Limes -- the beautiful, bright green fruit available year-round in even the most northern of supermarkets -- are a tropical fruit native to Asia, according to chef and food researcher James T. Ehler. If you haven't tasted a lime in a while, you might consider adding these tropical fruits to your shopping list. While not a magic weight-loss food, they can help you reach your goals.
There's a popular misconception that citrus fruit such as lemons, limes and grapefruits can raise your metabolism and thus cause your body to burn more fat. But no foods, including limes, have a direct impact on your metabolism, according to the American Council on Exercise. The only way to increase your metabolism is to exercise and build muscle, which burns more calories than fat.
Even though they don't raise your metabolism, limes are a wholesome, low-calorie food. An entire lime contains only 20 calories, approximately one-tenth of a gram of fat and no saturated fat, according to the Fat Secret nutrition information database. A single lime also provides 23 percent of your daily value for Vitamin C, an important nutrient.
Benefits of Liquid Calorie Reduction
Limes can help you lose weight if you drink water with a slice of lime instead of higher-calorie beverages. According to the Centers for Disease Control, dieters often underestimate the calories in what they drink. A 16-ounce cafe latte made with whole milk contains 265 calories, while a 20-ounce bottle of sugar-sweetened soda contains 227 calories. By contrast, there are no calories in a glass of water with a slice of lime.
Flavor for Low-Calorie Recipes
Limes also can add a lot of flavor to recipes without a lot of calories. You can use lime in a marinade for shrimp or as a flavoring for a minty iced tea. You also can use lime in Mexican or Mediterranean-inspired recipes. Try squeezing a lime over a vegetarian burrito or a roasted piece of chicken.
If you suffer from frequent heartburn, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, acidic foods such as limes and other citrus fruits can worsen your symptoms.