The Sweet & Sour Benefits of Lime?

The lime face

It’s amazing how good you can feel by adding some lime fruit to your diet. In central and south America people use limes all the time to flavor and preserve their food. In fact some say that adding lime to your food is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal.

My experience of using lime has been a very positive one. In fact, I consume lime every day and have been doing so for the past 5 years. I consume it mostly by adding some freshly squeezed lime juice to a large glass of water and I drink this first thing in the morning – usually 30 minutes before eating breakfast.

I feel very refreshed, cleansed and rejuvenated after consuming a glass of diluted lime juice (I usually squeeze half a lime in 10 ounces of water). It also keeps my bowel movements regular which is extremely important for good health. I have often experiment by going off the lime-water and I just don’t get the same positive results.

I believe that the consumption of lime has benefited me greatly and consider it to be a super-food. Here are some important questions and answers that are often brought up in discussions regarding limes.

Are Limes Acidic or Alkaline?

Limes are acidic in taste but are actually very healthy for you and are actually alkaline. They have an alkalizing effect because they contain high water content and low amounts of sugar. Limes are full of alkaline minerals that are extremely good for your body’s health.

Our bodies are supposed to be 80% alkaline and 20% Acidic. Therefore, alkaline foods such as limes are generally healthier for you and can balance your blood’s ph level.

Should you consume pure lime juice or dilute it?

Although Limes are fundamentally alkaline they do have acidic qualities such as citric acid. However, if a lime is dissolved in a glass of water it would decrease it’s acidic nature because the alkali particles bonds with the oxygen and hydrogen molecules to make it almost completely alkaline; the acidic qualities in the lime juice dissolves in water and is nullified because it does not bond with the oxygen or hydrogen molecules.

Consuming lime juice in concentrated form still has an acidic affect which can be corrosive and disrupt the organs of contact. It’s not very practice to measure the ph of your lime water and even that of your bodies on a regular basis. Therefore using less pure lime juice is better than using more. Experiment with it, feel it out and use your gut feeling (literally) to judge the amount of water and lime juice to use. As I mentioned above I use half of a lime mixed with one to one and a half cups of water. This ratio feels best for my body.

Will Lime damage the enamel on your teeth?

Concentrated and even diluted lime juice could possibly damage or irritate the enamel of your teeth. Several dentists have told me so. Just make sure that you brush your teeth or rinse your mouth thoroughly after drinking lime juice and your teeth should stay protected.

Lemons water vs lime water – which is better for your health?

While both limes and lemons have similar qualities I much prefer to consume limes after experimenting with both. Many years ago, one of my Yoga Gurus (I call him Swamiji) recommended that I try drinking lemon water first thing in the morning to cleanse my body.

I did try drinking lemon water for a few years but switched to lime water because it had a much more mild effect on my bodily systems. In fact some of the research and comments on the web suggest that limes are indeed more mild, calming and less concentrated in nature.

It seems to me that by simply observing the color differences, you can discriminate between lemons and limes. Lemons are usually bright yellow like the sun – suggesting that it’s full of bright, powerful and concentrated energy. Limes on the other hand are most often green – suggesting a more soothing and gentle quality like green cool moss.

In addition lemons have a stronger and more powerful taste than limes. Although lemons are said to be a richer source of minerals and vitamins ( In fact some say that they are richer than any other food known to man), perhaps their higher vibration of energy and stronger qualities make them harder for some people, including myself, to handle.

Ultimately it is a decision you need to make. Perhaps try both lemon water and lime water to see which is more suitable for your own body.

It should be known that sour tasting lemons or limes have a higher sugar and citric acid content which produces more acidic qualities, while sweet lemons or limes have less citric acid content and produces less acidic qualities.

What are the other health benefits of lime?

I am not a doctor and I don’t have my degree in food science or nutrition but my research has shown me that limes have many nutritional benefits: They are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, phytochemical, potassium, flavonoids, and limonene. The phytochemicals (limonene) that are high in anti-oxidants and have an anti- cancer effects

In addition to being alkalizing and full of nutrients and minerals, limes increase the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach, thus enhancing your digestive process and allowing your body to run smoothly.

I hope the information here and my experiences with lime will help you live a healthier lifestyle. Remember the slow food movement -  go for local, organic limes if possible. Try growing your own lemon or lime tree if you live in the appropriate climate for doing so. It’s important to try your own experiments to see what works best for you. Adding lime juice to my diet has had an extremely positive impact on my health. If you have any comments or feedback please visit me at facebook or twitter.

photo courtesy of  David Wullf

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