Limes may be small, but their juice is packed with flavor and nutritional benefits. They're even credited with saving English sailors from scurvy at sea, hence the nickname "limeys." Lime juice even has more acid and natural sugar content than its close cousin lemon juice. While some limes, known as sweet limes, contain little citric acid, the tart variety will give you the most nutritional bang for your buck.
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Macronutrients, Fiber and Calories
A 1-cup portion of fresh lime juice contains 1 gram of protein, 0.17 grams of total fat, which is 2 percent of the daily value set by the United States Food and Drug Administration based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, and about 20 carbohydrate grams, which is just 7 percent of the DV. One cup of fresh lime juice has 1 gram of fiber, which is 4 percent of the DV, and 60 calories. Additionally, lime juice has a trace amount of fat and is cholesterol free.
Lime juice is rich in vitamin C. A 1-cup portion of fresh lime juice contains 73 milligrams, which is more than 100 percent of the daily value set by the FDA. Vitamin C is crucial to the development of the body's connective tissue, for healing wounds and supporting blood vessel walls. Lime juice contains other important micronutrients in lesser amounts, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A and B vitamins.
Flavonoids are pigments that give plants their color. Citrus fruits and their juices are rich in flavonoids, which act as potent antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect your body from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage healthy cells. According to Linus Pauling Institute, a diet rich in flavonoids is linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, degenerative nerve diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and certain cancers.
Citric Acid Value
Citric acid, which gives the juice of sour limes its tart taste, may provide valuable protection for your body. In a study that investigated the antibacterial activity of lime juice against a species of harmful bacteria, lime juice was effective in decreasing the spread of the bacteria due to citric acid in the juice, according to an article published in the "Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology" in April 2006. The results suggest that fresh lime juice is effective in preventing certain bacterial infections.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Lime Juice, Raw
- United States Food and Drug Administration: Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide
- Harvard Medical School: Harvard Health Publications: Listing of Vitamins
- Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute: Flavonoids
- The Scripps Research Institute: Preserving Vision in Patients with Macular Degeneration: The Neuroprotective Effects of Dietary Flavonoids
- Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology: Antibacterial Activity of Citrus Fruit Juices Against Vibro Species
- The Nibble: Learn Your Limes
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Lime