The lime has the scientific name Citrus Aurantifolia. Historically limes were utilized by sailors to prevent scurvy. Limes began on the Indian subcontinent and have spread throughout Europe and to the United States. In the US limes are grown in Florida, California and Arizona as commercial crops. Limes have been grown in Florida since the sixteenth century.
Limes like all citrus are very susceptible to cold weather. They like deep soil which drains well. Limes may be grown outdoors or in potted containers depending on the climate. When planting outside, if temperature is a concern, plant lime trees on the south or southeast side of the house as close to the house as possible. Trees grown in potted containers typically do not do as well as those planted in optimal climate and soil outdoors. Either way, they require full sunlight. It is important to keep the ground under your lime tree canopy free of grass and weeds. Watch out for these pests and diseases: mites, foot rot, and tristeza.
Lime trees may be pruned to control size and shape as well as to remove dead or damaged wood. If planting a budded tree you may see fruit production in the second or third year after planting, and if planting a seedling tree it will take several more years before fruit production is likely.
Nutritional Values of a Lime
Serving size 1 med. raw (67g)
Amounts Per Serving % Daily Value
Protein 0.47 g
Total Carbohydrate 7 g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2 g 7%
Vitamin C 19.5 mg 35%
Vitamin A 34 IU
Calcium 22 mg
Potassium 68 mg
Phosphorous 12 mg
Sodium 1 mg
Health Benefits of Limes
Historically limes have been used for weight loss, aiding digestion, relieving constipation, skin care, and as a treatment/preventative for gout. Limes because of their high concentration of Vitamin C have been used to prevent scurvy.
The lime can also be used as a disinfectant and antiseptic. Limes especially the oil of the lime is high in flavinoids and other antioxidants which fight free radicals thereby offering anti-inflammatory and cancer preventative properties. Because limes are high in Vitamin C (citric acid) they aid in the absorption of calcium which aids in healthy bones.
Cooking with Limes
When choosing a lime look for a glossy green fruit with a thin and smooth skin that feels heavy for its size. Limes are good used raw or added to cooked dishes. They are a great flavor enhancer and are used in many recipes.
The skin or zest of the lime is edible and may provide an even greater lime flavor than the juice. Both lime juice and zest may be frozen. Limes may also be sliced thinly and dried for use in cooking.
Lime flavored drinks are especially popular.
Lime Concerns and Cautions
It is important to wash limes before using even if only utilizing the juice.
Because of the high Vitamin C content of limes it is important to monitor your total intake of Vitamin C daily to prevent intestinal discomfort and diarrhea.