The idea that certain foods can rev up your metabolism and help burn fat faster has been around seemingly forever, but little scientific proof lies behind it. Grapefruits have been shown to help with weight loss, though the mechanism isn't well understood. Limes, like grapefruits, are in the citrus family, but that doesn't mean their chemical composition is identical. Believing that limes burn fat may be a little misguided, but eating fresh limes as part of a healthy diet is a very smart idea.
Limes are small, green citrus fruits that grow mostly in tropical climates. According to Food.com's Kitchen Dictionary, there are two kinds of limes: Persian limes and Key limes. Key limes are more yellow than green and tend to be smaller than Persian limes. Their extra-tart flavor is famously used in key lime pie.
Fat Burning Benefits
A study published in the October 2006 issue of the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition" found that people who consume appropriate amounts of vitamin C tended to burn 30 percent more fat when doing moderate exercise than people whose levels of vitamin C were depleted.
Limes are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which are useful in fighting free radicals. These are found in your bloodstream and are connected to some kinds of cancers and also to some of the effects of aging, including arthritis.
Fresh lime juice is an excellent substitute for salt in cooking, adding flavor without the problems of sodium. Adding a lime wedge and a cinnamon stick to water may encourage you to stay hydrated if you find plain water boring. Lime juice is a good tenderizer for poultry and fish as well.
Any diet that relies heavily on one food, such as limes, to the exclusion of balance and variety is unhealthy. According to MayoClinic.com, the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat a healthy diet that features lean proteins, whole grains, essential fatty acids from nuts and seeds, fresh vegetables and plenty of fresh fruit, including limes. Limes alone will not magically burn fat, but using them to keep your vitamin C levels up to 75 mg per day for women and 90mg per day for men can help you increase the effectiveness of your workouts. One lime gives you about 35 percent of this recommended daily value, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.