Limes are small citrus fruits with both skin and flesh are green to yellow in color. Although, if left on a tree, limes are ripen to an orange color. And since they are very similar to lemons, they are usually picked green. They are like small oranges that are round and have one to two inches in diameter. The term “lime” actually refers to a variety of fruits such as in species, hybrids, and citruses. There are also a few varieties known as scented limes. This is due to their scents which are stronger than other regular limes. A good source of vitamin C, these limes are considered to be smaller and sweeter than lemons. Though, in general, a lime tastes either sour or sweet. A sour lime has a higher sugar and citric acid content which produces an acidic taste, while a sweet lime has little citric acid content and tastes sweet. Limes leaves are also recognized as an herb in East, South, and Southeast Asia.
Limes are commonly used to accent the flavors of certain foods and beverages. Popular examples are Persian and Iraqi cuisine where they use dried limes as flavoring. They are also very common in some Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican, and Southwestern United States dishes. Most possibly because of the acidity of its juice and the floral aroma of its zest.
This sweeter than lemon fruit is grown all year round, though in Mediterranean countries it is not ideal to grow limes since they were not hardy enough. In Egypt, they do very well, but sweet limes are not readily available in the United States. On the other hand, they are grown abundantly in West Indies where the British Navy get their supplies of limes as their medicine for scurvy. India too, is the popular producer of limes due to the fact that they grow well in tropical regions.
Limes are known to have an acidic or sourish taste, but once consumed is really alkaline. Since fresh fruits are known to be alkaline producing, lime fits the part as an alkaline forming fruit. Through this, it helps the body maintain a healthy pH balance. And even if a lime is chemically acid, it has an alkalizing effect once it has metabolized in the body. This is very beneficial to us considering they have very little sugar. In addition, they contain an ample amount of oxygen.
A lime has many nutritional benefits and a good source of vitamin C, folic acid, phytochemical, B6, potassium, flavonoids, and limonene. The phytochemicals that are in it are high in anti-oxidant and has an anti cancer effects. While the limonene increases the level of enzymes that detoxify carcinogens has an anti cancer element as well.
The lime extracts and essential oils have uses too. They are often used in aromatherapy, cleaning products, and in perfumes. Indian used lime in Tantra for getting rid of evil spirits. Also, a lime is combined with Indian chilis as a protection charm against the evil eye. People even hang limes over the sick individuals because it is believed to repel the evil spirits again.