The human body is about 60% to 75% water. Adequate hydration is necessary to flush toxins from the body, is essential for cognition, prevents dehydration, and provides energy. It can reduce headache onset and aid in weight management. With the summer heat kicking in, it is imperative to replenish the body’s systems from lost sources with water, other rehydrating beverages, and fruits and vegetables. It can be difficult for individuals to drink enough water, making it feel like a chore. Drinking lime water by adding a slice of lime or lime juice can add flavor with beneficial properties for everyday health, nutritional properties, and only a trace amount of sugar.
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Citrus fruits offer anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects and can help protect the cardiovascular system. Limes can provide a sour boost and a refreshing twist to a cold glass of water.
Limes provide an excellent source of antioxidants that protect the body by preventing or stopping cell damage caused by free radicals or chemicals. Limes contain:
- Vitamins A, B, C, and D
Digestion and Gut Health
Drinking lime water improves digestion.
- The acidic nature of limes causes salivation, which is good for breaking down food for better digestion.
- Flavonoids in limes stimulate the secretion of digestive juices to regulate different gut physiology in the gastrointestinal tract. They also stimulate the secretion of:
- Gut hormones
- Digestive juices
- Gut microbiota
- These play an important role in immune function to fight the growth of certain harmful bacteria that can lead to infection.
- The acidity of limes can clear the excretory system and stimulate bowel activity for individuals experiencing constipation.
- For individuals with frequent heartburn or acid reflux, drinking a glass of warm water with two teaspoons of lime juice 30 minutes before meals can help prevent reflux symptoms.
The body’s risk of infection is higher during cold and flu season.
- Vitamin C and antioxidants can strengthen the immune system to help the body fight off infections like the cold and flu virus.
- Individuals who take vitamin C regularly may see milder symptoms and shorten the duration of a cold.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
Limes are a good source of magnesium and potassium for heart health.
- Potassium can naturally lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation, which reduces the risk of a heart attack and stroke.
- Research is ongoing on lime compounds called limonins that could help reduce cholesterol levels.
Lower Blood Sugar
Limes can be helpful for individuals with diabetes.
- Limes have a low glycemic index.
- They help regulate how the body absorbs sugar into the blood.
- As a result, individuals may experience fewer spikes.
Arthritis, gout, and other joint problems are caused by inflammation.
- Vitamin C can reduce inflammation to help relieve symptoms of arthritis and similar conditions that cause joint pain and stiffness.
- Limes can help reduce uric acid levels.
- A waste product the body produces when breaking down foods that contain purines.
- High levels can cause gout.
- Citric acids increase metabolism, helping the body burn more calories and store less fat.
- Regular physical activity is necessary for at least 30 minutes 3-4 days a week.
- Food portion control is important for weight control.
- Make one-half of all meals fruits and vegetables.
- To start the day and increase metabolism, drink a glass of lime water in the morning or have the juice of a lime wedge before meals.
Bucher A, White N. Vitamin C in the prevention and treatment of the common cold. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2016;10(3):181-183. doi:10.1177/1559827616629092
Fan, Shunming et al. “Limonin: A Review of Its Pharmacology, Toxicity, and Pharmacokinetics.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 24,20 3679. 12 Oct. 2019, doi:10.3390/molecules24203679
Iorgulescu, Gabriela. “Saliva between normal and pathological. Important factors in determining systemic and oral health.” Journal of Medicine and Life vol. 2,3 (2009): 303-7.
Oteiza PI, Fraga CG, Mills DA, Taft DH. Flavonoids and the gastrointestinal tract: Local and systemic effects. Mol Aspects Med. 2018;61:41-49. doi:10.1016/j.mam.2018.01.001
Panche, A N et al. “Flavonoids: an overview.” Journal of nutritional science vol. 5 e47. 29 Dec. 2016, doi:10.1017/jns.2016.41
Pattison, D J et al. “Vitamin C and the risk of developing inflammatory polyarthritis: a prospective nested case-control study.” Annals of the rheumatic diseases vol. 63,7 (2004): 843-7. doi:10.1136/ard.2003.016097
Peyrot des Gachons, Catherine, and Paul A S Breslin. “Salivary Amylase: Digestion and Metabolic Syndrome.” Current diabetes reports vol. 16,10 (2016): 102. doi:10.1007/s11892-016-0794-7
USDA, FoodData Central. Lime, raw.
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