Limes are thought to have originated in Southeast Asia and were introduced into Northern Africa by Arab traders. From there it entered Europe through Spain sometime in the 13th century. Then it spread to the New World via European explorers. Sailors then relied on this Vitamin C-rich fruit to prevent scurvy.
The fruit has had a long history of culinary and medicinal use. It figures significantly in Indian and Persian cuisine. From its leaves to oil extract, limes have several therapeutic uses in Ayurvedic and other traditional non-Western medicine.
However along with its health benefits, limes also present minor risks that need to be considered in order to take full advantage of the fruit. Read on and discover the pros and cons of limes.
Just like lemons, limes are known to be a rich source of Vitamin C. This nutrient, in combination with the various phytochemicals present in the fruit, enables its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Lime juice, one of the common ways the fruit is prepared and consumed, was shown in one study in West Africa to be protective against cholera infection. Other research has also looked into other components of the fruit and found it generally effective against various types of pathogens. The study showed that different solvents and preparation methods bring out different types of antimicrobial substances in lime. Oil extract may be good for treating one condition while tincture is better for another.
Food rich in Vitamin C has been associated with lower risks of developing inflammatory polyarthritis. The study that made this investigation involved 20,000 participants. It discovered that those who consumed the lowest amounts of the nutrient were three times more susceptible to arthritis than those who took in the highest.
As for cancer, it turns out that the phytonutrients in lime as well as in other citrus fruits are able to inhibit the proliferation of tumors and even trigger apoptosis or cell death of said tumors. This is in addition to the basic protection that the body receives from the antioxidant properties of the fruit.
The citric acid in lime and other citrus fruits tend to wear down teeth enamel and, because it is acidic, can worsen gastric ulcers. Aside from these there are certain components or preparations of lime that you need to consider as possible risks. Lime oil for example when applied directly to the skin can heighten sensitivity to sunlight. This can then increase susceptibility to sunburn, blisters or rashes.
It would also be prudent to ask your doctor if it’s safe to take lime juice along with certain pharmaceuticals. Lime juice is known to interact with some types of medication. Specifically it might slow down the liver’s capacity to break down these drugs. Some examples of such medications are lovastatin, itraconazole, and fexofenadine.
Lime Practical Uses:
Being quite sour, limes are just mostly used to add flavor. The juice and zest are probably the most often used parts.
When a juice extractor is not handy, one way to squeeze out more juice is to poke holes in the flesh with a toothpick. If you stored the limes in the refrigerator, it would also be better to let it thaw to room temperature first before squeezing. Lime juice can be:
- made into limeade
- used as sour mix for cocktails
- mixed with olive oil and other spices for salad dressing
- marinade dishes
- directly cook fresh fish with its acidic content as in the South American dish called ceviche
Meanwhile when grating with a traditional zester or microplane grater, be sure to avoid the bitter tasting white pith. Lime zest is good for:
- baking desserts such as Key lime pie
- adding a tart flavor to grilled dishes
- garnishing meals, sauces, and drinks
In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of grapes and how to moderately use it in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of limes, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the pros and cons of limes.