The health benefits of lime/lemons include improved digestion, relief from constipation, weight loss, eye care, skin care, and treatment of scurvy, gum disease, piles, respiratory disorders, heart conditions, blood pressure issues, peptic ulcer, gout, urinary tract disorders, etc.
Limes and lemons are well-known for being good sources of Vitamin-C. Vitamin-C is antioxidant, antibiotic and has disinfectant properties. Lime juice and its natural oils are very beneficial for skin when consumed orally or applied externally. When applied externally on skin, its acids scrub out the dead cells, cures dandruff, rashes, and bruises. It rejuvenates the skin, keeps it shining, protects it from infections and reduces body odor.
Treatment of scurvy is a famous historical use of lime, scurvy being caused by a lack of Vitamin-C.
Vitamin-C’s antioxidant properties also protect eyes from aging and macular degeneration.
As well as Vitamin-C, limes/lemons are excellent sources of potassium. Potassium is an important mineral that, together with sodium, facilitates electrical conduction and chemical transmission in the brain and nervous system. Depression, anxiety, fogginess, and forgetfulness can often be traced to low potassium blood levels. That same nervous system needs potassium to assure steady signals to the heart. Potasium is also needed for normalised blood pressure. The high potassium content of limes is very effective in removal of the toxic substances and the precipitates which get deposited in kidneys and the urinary bladder. The disinfectant properties of limes also help cure infections in the urinary system. Furthermore, it stops prostrate growth and clears blockage of urine that can come from calcium deposits in the urinary tract.
One of the many causes of arthritis is an excess of uric acid that builds up in the body. Uric acid is one of the waste products that normal urination will clear out of the body, but unfortunately, when too much builds up, it can make the pain and inflammation from arthritis even worse. The citric acid in limes/lemons is a solvent in which uric acid can dissolve, increasing the amounts that are eliminated in the urine, thus reducing the risks of gout. Lime/lemon juice stimulates the production of urinary citrate, which breaks down and/or prevents the formation of kidney stones.
Even though lime/lemon juice is acidic, it is actually very alkalizing in the body and is highly effective in the treatment of inflammatory disorders like rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica, etc. The higher or more alkaline your pH, the more your inner terrain is resistant to minor and major disease.
Lime/lemon also contains magnesium, which is also important for heart health.
Lime/lemon contains calcium and folate, two nutrients that are important for post-menopausal women and women of child-bearing age.
In addition to the vitamin and mineral content, limes/lemons contain compounds called phytochemicals or phytonutrients. Phytochemicals, ( Phyto” Greek for plant) are non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties. Plants produce these chemicals to protect themselves from germs, fungi, bacteria, etc. They are nonessential nutrients in the sense that the human body doesn’t require them as as is the case with vitamins and minerals. They do, however, have valuable properties, which in my mind make them fairly essential in a modern diet. Examples of well-known phytochmicals include the phytochemical allicin from garlic has anti-bacterial properties, and Proanthocyanidins in cranberries, which bind physically to cell walls in the urinary tract thereby preventing the adhesion of pathogens that cause urinary tract infections.
The primary phytochemicals in limes/lemons are flavonoids. Flavonoids are a class of phytonutrient that provide plants with their colorful pigments. They are also used for UV filtration, nitrogen fixation, cell cycle inhibition, and as chemical messengers in cell signalling pathways. As with all phytochemicals, flavonoids are potent antioxidants. Antioxidants protect cells against oxidative damage and in humans reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Some types of flavinoid found in limes/lemons are Hesperidin, Limonene, Limonin Glucoside and Terpene. Hesperidin has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in animals fed a high-cholesterol diet. Mentioned in a previous post, increased triglyceride levels resulting from a sluggish and inefficient fatty liver have also been linked to increased incidence of cardiovascular disease. The liver produces more enzymes from lemon/lime water than any other food. Lime/lemon juice in water helps purify and stimulate the liver. Lemon/lime water liquefies bile while inhibiting excess bile flow.
The limonoid compounds in limes have been shown to prevent cancers of the colon, stomach and blood. In tests limonoids also cause cancer cell death. Various research studies demonstrate efficacy in ccases of cancers of the mouth, skin, lungs, breast and stomach. Limonins have also been shown to be effective againstcolorectal cancers, possibly due to the increased level of enzymes that detoxify carcinogens. The kaempferol oil in lemons and limes has also been shown to reduce the uncontrolled cell division characteristic of cancer, particularly in breast cancer.
In one study, flavanols, another type of flavonoid increased levels of nitric acid in the blood of smokers. This action lessens the blood vessel restriction that puts smokers at high risk for cardiac disease. Another study found that flavanols’ positive effect on blood vessels also supported better blood flow to the brain, improving cognition.
The beneficial effect of limes/lemons on peptic and oral ulcers appears to be due to the action of flavinoids. This effect on ulcers and wounds in the digestive system and excretory system while providing relief from constipation, removes all the root causes of hemorrhoids.
In a West African study, Flavonol glycosides in limes prevented the infective spread of cholera. This was achieved simply through drinking one part juice and one part water regularly. The potent antiviral properties in lime/lemon can kill cholera bacilli within a very short period of time.