Adding lime and honey with cold water, or even warm water, to your daily diet will ensure that you get the antioxidant and antibacterial properties that both ingredients have to offer. A mixture of the juice of lime and honey has even been shown to be effective in suppressing coughs.
Both honey and lime juice offer antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Having lime and honey mixed together may be an effective method to treat coughs and sore throats.
Lime and Honey Nutrition
According to the USDA, a 100 gram serving of lime juice has 25 calories, 0.42 grams of protein, and 8.42 grams of carbohydrates. A serving of lime juice is a good source of minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, which help the body's heart and muscles function effectively, as well as with the transportation of nutrients across cells.
Read more: 5 Ways Drinking Lemon Juice Helps Your Body
Lime juice is an excellent source of vitamin C, with a 100 gram serving offering 30 milligrams, or 33 percent of the vitamin's recommended daily dose. The body does not produce vitamin C, but instead obtains it from fruit and vegetable sources like citrus fruits such as lemons and limes, berries and potatoes.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains that vitamin C is an important antioxidant required for healthy skin and bone development. It also helps in the formation of connective tissue, and in the healing of wounds.
A 100 gram serving of honey offers approximately 286 calories, 82.4 grams or 27 percent of the daily value of carbohydrates and 82.1 grams of sugar. It has no fat, and only contributes 1 percent to the daily doses of both fiber and protein.
Read more: How Many Calories in a Teaspoon of Honey?
A serving of honey has 2 percent of the recommended daily dose of iron. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, if the body is deficient in iron, it will lead to anemia, affecting the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity.
Benefits of Lime and Honey
Honey's anti-inflammatory properties have made it a go-to choice as a salve for wounds for centuries. According to an October 2019, study published in PLOS One, honey not only helps to reduce inflammation but may also offer antibacterial effects due to its hydrogen peroxide levels.
Specific types of honey, like Manuka honey, contain certain phytochemical compounds like methylglyoxal and flavonoids that exhibit antimicrobial properties. Flavonoids are also powerful antioxidants, and help protect the body from the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. An August 2018, study published in Molecules found that buckwheat honey offers the highest rate of antioxidant activity, while rapeseed honey has the least.
Read more: OK, But What Are Antioxidants Really?
A juice of lemon or lime and honey has been a long-held method of soothing a sore throat, explains the Mayo Clinic. However, even just honey with cold or warm water may be just as effective as a cough suppressant, on its own.
According to a February 2014, review published in CMAJ, honey may have a positive effect on suppressing coughs at night, when given to children older than 12 months. It should, however, not be given to infants, as one of the lemon honey water side effects is the chance of botulism poisoning, especially when it comes to raw honey.
Just like honey, lime juice is rich in phytochemicals like flavonoids and alkaloids, which offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The results of a March 2014, study published in the International Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences and Technology indicate that an equal ratio of lime juice and honey, even when heated, exhibit antimicrobial qualities and are effective at destroying the cell walls of bacteria responsible for sore throats and coughs.
- USDA FoodData Central: “Lime Juice, Raw"
- MyFoodData.com: “Nutrition Facts for Lime Juice"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Vitamin C"
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: “Vitamin C"
- USDA FoodData Central: “Honey”
- MyFoodData.com: “Nutrition Facts for Honey"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: “Iron”
- PLOS One: "Antibacterial Activity of Varying Umf-Graded Manuka Honeys”
- Molecules: "Antioxidant Activity as Biomarker of Honey Variety”
- Mayo Clinic: "Honey: An Effective Cough Remedy?”
- CMAJ: "Prevention and Treatment of the Common Cold: Making Sense of the Evidence”
- International Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences and Technology: “Stability Study of Antibacterial Activity of Mixed Lime Juice and Honey of Heating Temperature on Staphylococcusaureus and Streptococcuspyogenes"