Healthy tips for cooking with lime

October 9, 2015

Limes are a delicious citrus fruit and high in vitamin C and antioxidents, which are important for overall good health. Check out these tips and get the most out of limes by incorporating them into your everyday meals.

Healthy tips for cooking with lime

History of limes

  • In the mid-1700s James Lind, a Scottish naval surgeon, discovered that drinking the juice of limes and lemons prevented scurvy, the scourge of sailors on long voyages.
  • Soon British ships carried ample stores of the fruits, earning their sailors the nickname "limey."
  • It was later learned that vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, and that limes are very high in this essential nutrient.

Expert tips for cooking with limes

Like lemons, limes are useful as flavouring agents in foods and beverages. However, unlike lemons, limes do not impart a distinctive taste of their own when used as a cooking ingredient; instead, they tenderize and heighten the flavours of other foods, especially fish and poultry.

  • Lime juice can also be used as a salt substitute for many meat and fish dishes.
  • A sprinkling of lime juice over a fruit salad prevents discolouration.

Some health benefits associated with limes

  • About 115 grams (four ounces) of lime juice has 30 milligrams of vitamin C, or 40 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adult women.
  • Limes are high in bioflavonoids and other antioxidants, which help protect against cancer and other diseases.
  • Limonene, found mainly in the zest of lemons and limes, may help reduce cancer risk.

Some drawbacks to consider

  • Lime peels contain psoralens, chemicals that make the skin sensitive to the sun; thus, care should be taken to minimize skin contact with lime peels.
  • Cut away the peels before squeezing the fruit so that the citrus oil containing the psoralens doesn't get into the juice.

Limes are used to accent the flavours of various foods and beverages. Keep this guide in mind and add limes to your diet to get all the benefits they have to offer, while avoiding the drawbacks.

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