Lime juice is a sour, tart liquid that is obtained from the fruit of the Citrus aurantifolia, a shrubby citrus tree that is native to Asia. A small, green fruit related to the lemon, lime fruit is pale green with a juicy pulp. Widely used for both culinary and non-culinary purposes, it is among the most popular citrus juices available on the market today. Once you are aware of the health benefits that lime juice offers, you may want to find a way to get it in your diet.
Dietary Vitamin C
Drinking lime juice helps to meet the body's daily requirement for vitamin C. The USDA reports that a cup of freshly squeezed lime juice contains 72.6 milligrams of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is needed for the growth and repair of tissues, as well as the repair and maintenance of our bones and teeth, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It also helps the body to produce collagen, a protein that plays a vital role in the production of blood vessels, skin, tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
Limes contain unique active compounds called flavonol glycosides, which not only offer anticancer and antioxidant benefits, but also have antibiotic properties. The antibiotic properties of these compounds have been shown to protect against the contraction of cholera, a disease caused a bacteria called Vibrio cholera. Research conducted in West Africa, published in "Tropical Medicine and International Health," shows that drinking lime juice with the main meal protects participants against this disease.
Lime juice has potent anti-carcinogenic properties. J. Robert Hatherill Ph.D., a research scientist, writes that limes and other citrus fruit contain a variety of cancer-fighting compounds called flavonoids. Flavonoids are a family of naturally-occurring compounds found in many fruit and vegetables. In his book "Eat To Beat Cancer," he reports that the biological activity of citrus juice flavonoids have anti-cancer effects that prevent the invasion of cancer cells. These compounds also powerfully inhibit the growth of tumor cells. He notes that the juice has most cancer-fighting clout when it is drunk fresh.
Limes contain eight different kinds liminoids, which are compounds that promote the activity of an enzyme in the liver called glutathione-S-transferase or GST, according to Hatherill. This liver enzyme detoxifies a variety of cancer-causing chemicals. In effect, it deactivates these harmful chemicals, turning them into harmless chemicals that are then removed from the body in your urine.
- USDA: Lime Juice
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C
- Tropical Medicine and InternatHealth: Protection From Cholera by Adding Lime Juice to Food - Results From Community and Laboratory Studies in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa
- Eat To Beat Cancer; J. Robert Hatherill Ph.D.
- Linus Pauling Institute: Flavonoids