Health benefits of lime

Health benefits of lime are due in part to the vitamin C and a phytochemical called limonin.

Health benefits of limes in a basket.
  1. Bernard Preston
  2. Citrus fruit list
  3. Health benefits of lime

The old adage is, when moving into a new home, make sure there is a lemon tree planted in the garden; to which I would add a lime. There are subtle differences in taste and nutrition, but both are rich in vitamin C, one of the four so-called anti-frailty vitamins, and limonin.

At least 50% of the goodies are contained in the pulp, so don’t strain the juice.

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 17th August, 2019.

By Bernard Preston

Limonin is a particularly interesting phytochemical that researchers are investigating; it has been strongly associated with preventing the ‘glutamate toxicity’ which is central in causing the neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Limonin gives them their bitter taste; many people do not like that, so sadly researchers are developing citrus varieties that are low in the phytochemical; then we will not get the protection needed against these nasty diseases.

We have been hoodwinked into thinking we need only eat those foods that are to the liking of our tastebuds.

The British sailors were called limeys after an inspired fleet doctor discovered that they would prevent the crew in the armadas from dying from scurvy.

Far more sailors, an estimated two million, succumbed to the deficiency than were ever killed in armed conflict.

It is assumed that it was the vitamin C in limes that was totally responsible for saving many lives, but the other active ingredients certainly also played their part.

Today not many people die of frank scurvy, but the more subtle symptoms of a mild vitamin C deficiency are fatigue, lethargy and malaise.

Those abound but of course there are many other causes of these subjective symptoms.

So, I hope I have convinced you that citrus needs to be daily on the menu, and limes and lemons are the best source.

At our green home we have both, but I favour the lime as our variety at least has no pips. But how do you get to enjoy them year round? The concentrate is loaded with preservatives and horrible beyond belief.

Health benefits of lime

Pressing limes using an electric juicer.

Health benefits of lime are what gave the British sailors their name; scurvy killed at least two million of them whilst exploring the high seas.

Our eight year old tree produces literally hundreds of limes every year, but the season is restricted to perhaps four or five months. So we freeze them.

Use an electric juicer (it’s arduous by hand) to squeeze the juice out of your limes and lemons, without the strainer. Pour it into ice-cube trays and when frozen, pop them into clear plastic bags, seal and return to the freezer. It takes about half an hour to process 50 limes.

At around R4 per lemon or lime, we have had over R1000 worth of fruit this year; more important we have a steady supply of the juice that is so essential for sparkling good health, and plenty of energy. We have no sleepless nights worrying whether we might get Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. A healthy microbiome in the colon is also vital, by the way, which is why we enjoy kefir several times a week. It’s these little things that make for well-being. 

A glut of limes

A glut of limes is one of the many benefits of those who have a small garden where they can plant one of the amazing trees. The season is considerably longer than that of lemons which is another benefit.

Freezing lime juice.

Rheumatoid arthritis

More health benefits of limes include a much lower incidence of rheumatoid arthritis. The vitamin C is a natural anti-oxidant that scientists have found neutralise the free radicals that damage our cell membranes, causing inflammation.

In our family's case, Helen clearly has rheumatoid arthritis in her hands and feet but interestingly has little pain. The joints are swollen and disfigured but with no disabling ache; she can garden without restriction, including weeding which is very hard on the fingers.


Our livers produce a protein molecule called Apo B that acts as a carrier of low density lipoproteins, the cholesterol that is considered dangerous by many authorities, though there are doubts.

In any event, one of the benefits of limes is that the limonin reduces the production of Apo B, thus reducing the LDL concentration in the blood.


Researchers have found that the phytochemical in limes and lemons help prevent the proliferation of tumour cells by increasing the levels of nitric oxide[2].

Take home

Clearly the health benefits of lime and lemon are vast, far beyond the scope of a short blog like this; the take home is simply that we should all be enjoying these citrus foods on a regular basis.

Remember to consume some of the zest where much of the limonene is found.

Did you find this page interesting? How about forwarding it to a friend, or book and food junkie. Or, better still, Face Book or Twitter it. 


56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa


What's this site about?

Bernard Preston books

A family affair by Bernard Preston comes after the trilogy that starts with Frog in my Throat.
Femoral nerve AP Xray from one of Bernard Preston's books.

Bernie's choice foods

Cooking green beans Bernard Preston passion

Bernie's bread

Bread machine loaf by Bernard Preston

Bernie's garden

green beans and granadillas Bernard Preston

Bernie's bees

Bees workforce in Bernard Preston's garden

Bernie's chickens

Chickens for free range eggs.

Bernie's solar

Residential solar panels at Bernard Preston's home

Bernie's rainwater harvest

Harvesting rainwater to a reservoir in the garden means a steady supply that is unpolluted by environmental toxins.