The amazing health properties of limes & why they might save your life
I love a good lime. The Boyf and I were randomly discussing “the angriest fruits” the other day – what would you consider to be an “angry fruit”? Suggestions came thick and fast: dragon fruit, pineapple (just look at those spines!) durian, lychees – everyone had something to offer.
One of my surfer mates suggested that lime was the angriest fruit. Anyone who has suffered a reef cut and then accidentally gotten lime juice on it knows the pain. Limes – they can bite back – but OH they have some great health properties too.
So what do we all know about limes?
Ok – they are green.
Often (when out of season) they can be outrageously expensive – in Sydney, where I live, I’m talking $3 or $4 each – ouch. That’d make anyone slightly miffed.
Also – one thing I know about limes is that they contributed to the discovery of the New World.
No, really, they did.
We’ve all heard of scurvy – right? Until the 16th Century, we couldn’t go very far at all. We could build boats – but they lacked the design and sturdiness to get across distant shores. The Chinese had awesome boats before this time, but most were “pleasure cruisers” and were incapable of crossing wild seas.
Then – the galleon was invented. Finally, there were ships that could travel to distant shores. Officially, Australia was “discovered” in 1770 but there are reports of Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon coming here as early as 1606. It was another 164 years (or a whopping 6 and a half generations!) that Captain James Cook made it to the fair shores of the continent now known as Australia.
Why the delay?
No, seriously – limes.
Oh you may laugh – but limes have helped us travel. Previously, when on long sea journeys – seamen became very sick. With no fresh food, they didn’t last long. Crews would perish at sea. Healthy men were felled like trees. There was lots of experimentation – what could help these sailors survive the long distances while at on long ocean voyages?
Good old mate Captain James Cook (who incidentally was probably eaten by cannibals in Hawaii) was one of the first Captains to prevent his crews from perishing at sea by issuing them with limes. The vitamin C in the limes helped to prevent scurvy – one of the leading causes of death at sea for almost 200 years. Simple, huh?
I suggest that limes are a superfood. Forget ya gogi berries, stuff your quinoa – that’s what I say.
Let’s talk limes.
One single fresh lime has about 22 milligrams of calcium and around five micrograms of folate.
Limes are a super source of Vitamin C. This vitamin moves through the body and neutralises the free radicals which it comes into contact with in the aqueous environments in the body. This happens both inside and outside your body’s cells.
Limes are anti-carcinogenic. The limonoid compounds in limes have been shown to prevent cancers of the colon, stomach and blood. Noice.
According to whfood.com: “In several villages in West Africa where cholera epidemics had occurred, the inclusion of lime juice during the main meal of the day was determined to have been protective against the contraction of cholera.”
So – lots of stuff to love about limes.
What are your favourite ways to eat them? Tell me!