Lime vs. Lemon: Why Both of These Citrus Fruits Are Healthy

Lime vs. lemon. 

It’s no contest; both of these small citrus fruits provide excellent health benefits. 

Luckily, because each of these small citrus fruits are healthy for you, there’s no need to choose. Both options help you reap the benefits of vitamin C along with minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Honestly, it comes down to a taste preference for most people. 

And, if you like both equally, you can get the best of both worlds. If you enjoy lemon and lime, you’ll be delighted to know there are several types to try. 

Best of all, each one has multiple uses other than just slicing and dropping into a cold glass of water. 

In this post, we share the perks of including each fruit into your diet. Read on to gain insight into the benefits of both and ways to use and enjoy each of these powerful citrus fruits. 

Lime vs. Lemon

Both of these citrus fruits offer similar nutritional value and health perks. No matter which one you choose to add more flavor to your menus, you’ll find both have essential vitamins and minerals. 

Each one has: 

  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium 
  • Folate 
  • Potassium 
  • Antioxidants 
  • Low-calories 
  • A flavorful profile 

Other than a lemon being a bit larger, what’s the major difference and benefit of each? It all comes down to taste preference, really. Both are acidic and sour, but lemons are often slightly sweeter. Lime has a bit more of a tart bite.  

As for health benefits, the bigger of the two citrus fruits wins. You’ll find slightly more fiber in a lemon, along with higher levels of potassium. 

And if you’re looking for more vitamin C, lemon is a better choice. 

But, don’t let that stop you from enjoying the flavorful profiles and benefits of each. 

Here’s a look at the two ways the fruits are powerful and delicious in their own right: 

Lime: The Little Green Gem 

limes in a pile with one sliced in half

 

Love lime? Other than adding a little zest to your food or drinks, when you consume lime you’ll get a dose of potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, B, and D. Plus, it contains antioxidants, which are essential for fighting against cell damage. 

And, just one line can help you reach 32% of your daily recommended value of vitamin C. 

Additionally, one cup of raw lime contains: 

  • Water: 177 grams
  • Calories: 60
  • Protein: 1.4 grams
  • Carbs: 21.1 grams
  • Fiber: 5.6 grams
  • Sugars: 3.38 grams
  • Calcium: 66 milligrams
  • Iron: 1.2 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 12 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 36 milligrams
  • Potassium: 204 milligrams
  • Sodium: 4 milligrams
  • Vitamin C: 58.2 milligrams

Who knew a tiny little fruit held so much nutritional potential? 

While you may be used to just one type of lime in the grocery store, there are several species of lime trees. In American grocery stores, the most popular lime types you’ll usually find are Citrus latifolia, the Persian or Tahitian lime. But, there are way more options than the kind you find in your everyday grocery store. 

Types of Limes

Lime aficionados, rejoice. Since limes grow year-round, you may be able to get these shipped to you or find them locally at a farmer’s market, produce stand, or natural foods store. You may just want to try them all after checking out this massive list of options below.

A look at the varieties of limes:

  • Key lime
  • Bearss lime 
  • Tahiti lime
  • Kaffir lime 
  • Musk lime 
  • Finger lime
  • Blood lime
  • Limequat
  • Kusaie lime
  • Rangpur lime
  • Philippine lime
  • Omani dried lime
  • Australian desert lime

Health Benefits of Limes 

It may be small, but the benefits of the lime are mighty. Whether you squeeze it, slice it, or zest it into your meals or drinks, you’ll reap some type of health benefit. 

A few of the ways you benefit? Here’s a look: 

Good source of antioxidants - Limes are full of antioxidants, a substance that protects your body against free radicals, which are known to cause a variety of illnesses in the body.

  • May aid digestion - Thanks to the acidity in limes, it helps saliva further break down food for easier digestion. Limes are known to easily stimulate digestive secretions in the digestive tract.
  • Reduces inflammation - Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant present in limes that can keep you healthy; vitamin C rids the body of free radicals (cell damagers). This means less inflammatory triggers are present to cause health issues.
  • May act as an immunity booster - Due to the variety of vitamins in limes, you’ll get an immunity boost from vitamin C and other antioxidants.
  • Low in calories, high in flavorAside from all the amazing benefits above, limes can be added to your diet for a very low caloric trade-off. Limes inject a bright flavor to nearly every food and beverage you can think of — from rice to fresh coconut water and everything in-between.

Ways to Use Lime 

These bright green citrus fruits are simple to include in your diet in tons of different food options. Whether you love adding lime flavor to your drinks or your meals, there are plenty of ways to include this antioxidant-rich fruit into your everyday life. 

A few ways to try lime: 

  • Flavor water - Add a few thin slices to your favorite water or seltzer.
  • Zest into yogurts - Use a zester tool to quickly infuse your plain yogurt with the tang of lime.
  • Add to smoothies - Squeeze the juice into your favorite smoothies for a slightly sour sip.
  • Famous key lime pie - If you enjoy baking, key lime pie is one of the most popular desserts to incorporate lime into with ease. Use the whole lime — including the juice and skin — and zest the skin atop the pie for a beautiful, decorative touch.
  • Infuse your teas - Love a good iced tea? Instead of lemon slices, give lime slices a try in steeped black tea.
  • Add to guacamole - When in doubt, add more lime juice to your guacamole. 

Lemon: The Yellow Sour Fruit 

lemons close up on wooden table

 

We recommend going for fresh lemons. It just tastes way better than the bottled stuff, don’t you think? Plus, the bottled versions have much less vitamin C content compared to freshly squeezed lemons. 

One cup of lemon contains:

  • Water: 178 grams
  • Calories: 58 
  • Protein: 2.2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 18.6 grams
  • Fiber: 5.6 grams
  • Sugars: 5 grams
  • Calcium: 52 grams
  • Iron: 1.2 mg
  • Magnesium: 16 mg
  • Phosphorus: 32 mg
  • Potassium: 276 mg
  • Vitamin C: 106 mg
  • Lutein + Zeaxanthin: 22 grams

Next time you go out to eat, keep the nutritional profile in mind, and go for the lemon in your water. 

Types of Lemons

Love lemons? Then you’ll be pleased to know that there are actually more options than the general Eureka or Lisbon lemon most commonly found in stores. You’ll notice some — like the Buddha’s hand lemon — definitely don’t look like your typical lemon.

A look at the different lemon types: 

  • Avalon lemon
  • Baboon lemon
  • Bearss lemon
  • Buddha’s hand lemon
  • Bush lemon
  • Citron lemon
  • Dorshapo lemon
  • Eureka lemom
  • Lisbon lemon
  • Meyer lemon 
  • Verna lemon
  • Primofiori lemon
  • Limetta lemon
  • Greek citron lemon
  • Interdonato lemon
  • Pink variegated lemon 
  • Femminello St. Teresa Lemon

    Health Benefits of Lemons

    Other than their beautiful lemony scent, lemons are good for a variety of health reasons. Over the years, its fruit, juice, and peel have made its way into both kitchen and cosmetic uses. Bioflavonoids, an antioxidant, are thought to be the reason for lemon’s best health benefits

    Some of the ways to use lemon to your benefit:

    • Promotes hydration - When you sleep or do any other physical activity, you lose water. This, in turn, can dehydrate the body. Adding lemon water to your diet can help you down more water thanks to the lemony flavor enhancement and keeps you from getting dehydrated. 
    • Aids digestion - Looking to get your digestive tract moving first thing in the morning? Drink a glass of lemon water. Or, add fresh lemon slices to a mug of warm water if you’re not much of a cold beverage drinker or live in a cooler climate and need warmth. 
    • Good source of vitamin C - This citrus fruit has plenty of vitamin C, an essential vitamin everyone needs.
    • Fights off bacteria - Thanks to lemon’s citric acid content, it can ward off bacteria and skin infections. Its antibacterial and astringent properties are thought to be the key players in knocking bacteria out.
    • Brightens skin - Lemon’s citric acid benefit is used in a variety of skincare products. It’s known to brighten dull skin, minimize fine lines, and fix dark spots. 

    Want to ensure you use every last bit of lemon? Consider using it as a natural household cleaner. Shine your stainless steel appliances with warm water and lemon juice. You can also rub the squeezed lemon along your kitchen sink faucet to make it sparkle like new. Toss the peels in the drain and turn on the disposal to work its magic as an antibacterial, too, while refreshing the air! 

    Ways to Use Lemon

    These bright yellow fruits are good for more than just decor in a kitchen counter bowl. From flavoring water — or adding even more zest to your favorite shots — there are a ton of creative uses for lemon! 

    A few ways to try lemon: 

    • Flavor water - Add fresh slices of lemon to your water to flavor it and give you a refreshing drink you look forward to with each sip. 
    • Add slices to WELLNESS shots - Make your favorite ginger shot a bit more lemony with some fresh slices of lemon. 
    • Zest into your baking - Lemon zest is perfect for bread, muffins, and other baked goods that need that extra tart-yet-mildly-sweet bite.
    • Squeeze into a juice - Is there anything more refreshing than lemonade? Skip the sugar and add stevia, honey, or agave syrup if you want to sweeten it the healthier way. 
    • Make homemade cold and cough remedies - Because of its antibacterial properties, wellness experts advise using lemon all throughout the cold and flu season! Check out some of their favorite home remedies here
    • Add more zest to your seltzer - Squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice into your favorite seltzer for a vitamin C enrichment. 
    • Create your own low-calorie dressing - When mixed with olive oil and your favorite seasonings, you can skip the store-bought dressing in favor of a bright, tasty dressing of your own.

    One important note: When you purchase citrus fruits, be sure to thoroughly wash the outside before cutting into them. This is especially important if you’ll be using the peel. By scrubbing the fruit down, you remove wax, dirt, pesticides, and other bacteria that may be present. 

    Lime vs. Lemon: Both Are Beneficial 

    lemons and limes on a white table

     

    The beauty of both of these fruits is how easy they are to find and use. 

    Just cut open and enjoy the health benefits, including vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and more. If you can get beyond the sourness, each fruit is worth incorporating into your eating habits weekly.

    Whether you squeeze it, juice it, or zest it, each use provides you with health benefits. 

    Tiny but mighty, these citrus fruits are absolutely worth adding to your weekly grocery list to help you get in that extra dose of vitamins and minerals in a simple way.

    What are your favorite ways to use lemons and limes? Let us know in the comments below! 


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