If you’re like most people, then you’d never think when drinking a glass of lime water that it is doing much, much more than simply quenching your thirst. Sure, it’s yummy and refreshing, but does it do more than cool you down on a hot summer’s day? Is there a reason you should pick lime water over other drinks this summer? Yes, there is, and not just one or two good reasons but a whole page of really great ones.
There are several health benefits of lime water that you may always have known about, but there are plenty more that you could never have guessed. Whether you are a fitness freak or a couch potato, we’re sure that after reading about the health benefits imparted by a humble glass of lime water you’ll be including this healthy beverage in your diet as often as possible.
Lime water has zero fat, no cholesterol, negligible calories (if no sugar is added) and is also a good source of dietary fiber. Lime itself packs quite a punch when it comes to the mineral and vitamin department.
- vitamin C
- vitamin B6
- panlothenic acid
When you have a glass of plain lime water, you are ingesting all this nutrition in the simplest way possible. Now let’s take a look at what they will do when they get into your body.
Even a student in third grade will tell you this well-known fact. Lime water is known to protect against scurvy because of lime’s high vitamin C content. Scurvy is a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. It is characterized by such uncomfortable symptoms as repeated infections, ulcers in the mouth, bleeding gums and cracked lips. All you really need to steer clear of scurvy is get a good dose of vitamin C on a regular basis. And lime water provides you with all that you need. In fact, in the 18th century all English soldiers were rationed one lime a day to keep scurvy at bay. Just imagine how high the vitamin C content in just one lime is if that’s all it takes to prevent the disease.
Also Prevents and Heals Ulcers
Ulcers too can be combated with a regular glass of lime water. It’s all that vitamin C working its magic again. Both peptic ulcers (in the gastrointestinal tract) as well as painful mouth ulcers can be easily avoided and healed with daily lime water.
Good for your Liver
Lime water is known to purify the liver and regulate bile production and flow. That’s why it is recommended when you feel nauseous; since the lime water dilutes the bile, thus making it less potent so that it is literally helping to ‘keep it down’.
Helps you Digest Food
The molecular composition of lime water is very close to saliva, and saliva is the first and major aid in digestion. Lime water is also very similar to digestive juices, mimicking the hydrochloric acid in the stomach that breaks down the food you eat, which allows you to eliminate it faster and easier. By regulating your digestive system, you will experience fewer or no instances of both constipation and diarrhea.
Ayurveda recommends having a glass of lime water sans sugar first thing in the morning at least half an hour before breakfast to stimulate the bowels and help keep you regular.
Detoxifies your System
The ancient system of Ayurveda has long extolled the health benefits of lime water, specifically when it comes to eliminating toxins from the digestive system. Modern science does not argue. Lime water is one of the foods allowed on a detox diet for that very reason. Toxins regularly build up in the gastrointestinal tract because the foods we eat today are full of chemicals that cannot be digested by our system. If you don’t manage this early on, which most people do not, it leads to a deterioration of the digestive system over time. This is, in fact, why we are unable to digest easily as we age – it’s not because we’re getting older, although that plays a small role, but that our digestive tract is filled with a toxic slime that is choking us from the inside out. Lime water greatly reduces this imbalance in the body by neutralizing all that gunk and cleaning out your insides.
Note that although lime water works wonders when it comes to detoxifying your system it is not a magic pill. You cannot expect to constantly eat junk and then run to lime water to clean up your digestive tract. An all-round healthy lifestyle is the only way to ensure an overall healthy system in the long run.
Reduces Phlegm (Mucus)
Drinking a glass of lime water when you have a bad cold will actually help you breathe easy. Excessive mucus is actually quite common nowadays because of a higher incidence of asthma, allergies due to pollution, genetically modified foods and weaker immune systems on the whole. Mucus is not bad and is in fact necessary to moisturize the insides of your body. The extra mucus is formed as you body tries to arrest whatever it is trying to get rid of. A noble endeavor but one that leads to much discomfort causing a runny nose, coughing, stuffiness in the head and even snoring. You can help your body eliminate the cause of distress as well as regulate mucus levels simply by imbibing more lime water.
Can Aid Weight Loss
Because it (a) flushes out toxins and (b) improves your digestive system, lime water serves as a wonderful catalyst for weight loss. Most of us tend to retain weight because of sluggish digestive systems that do not metabolize the food we eat as well as they are supposed to. The toxins from the food we eat also have a strong presence in our systems and further debilitate normal digestion. When you take care of both these problems, you are automatically paving the way for a better metabolism and thus more efficient calorie burning. Studies have also shown that those who drink a glass of lime water before breakfast are less likely to binge during the day and are also likely to be more satisfied with smaller portions during their meals.
However, do not rely on lime water alone to lose weight. You have to have an otherwise healthy diet, exercise regularly, sleep well and have a reasonable work/life balance for any weight loss to reach its full potential and to be long-lasting.
Good for your Heart
- Lime water contains magnesium, a mineral that is crucial for a healthy heart.
- The potassium content in lime water helps to reduce your risk of heart disease as this mineral hones the nervous system enough that it can send regular and steady signals to the beating organ.
- Lime water reduces and can even totally eliminate the buildup of plaque that coats your arteries if you have a lot of bad cholesterol in your system.
Reduces Blood Pressure Too
Potassium is also crucial in maintaining healthy blood pressure by improving circulation. High blood pressure is a risk factor for several major illnesses including heart disease and stroke. So when you lower your risk of high blood pressure, you are actually stopping the major diseases in their tracks.
May Combat Cancer
This is one of the health benefits of lime water which is debated but not denied completely by science. Limes do indeed have antioxidant properties which aid in the prevention of several other diseases. There is research which proves that the very same properties that makes lime a superfood can also contribute to its role in battling cancer cells. The flavonoids in lime water are known to prevent certain cancer cells from further dividing and perpetuating, thus stopping the killer disease in its tracks. Lime water also seems to have quite an influence on the nature of these cancer cells too, causing them to die rather than create havoc in the host (body).
Boosts the Immune System
Lime water is antiseptic and anti-bacterial in addition to having all that bountiful nutrition. So lime water is one of the perfect foods to boost your immune system. Because of lime water’s protective properties, you will reduce your chances of catching an infection. Those colds and viral flus will become a thing of the past if you drink lime water regularly. Another reason that lime water will boost your immune system is because the vitamin C in it will, as it travels through your body, destroy the free radicals that it encounters. Free radicals are quite harmful to other cells in the body as they are capable of corrupting healthy cells, causing major damage and inflammation.
As we saw in the last point, free radicals are one of the causes of inflammation. Arthritic pain is caused mainly due to inflammation. Because the vitamin C is so good at getting rid of free radicals, the lime water will ensure that inflammation will be reduced as will the pain associated with it.
However, it is not just arthritic pain that lime water can prevent – it can also stop the disease from developing. Consuming lime water on a daily basis can reduce your risk of arthritis.
Gout is caused mainly due to a buildup of toxins and a proliferation of free radicals. Lime water can help with both as it is a great detoxifier and also a well-armed soldier against free radicals.
Wonderful for your Skin
Vitamin C is one of the main components in the production of collagen, the stuff that keeps your skin supple and young-looking. So drinking lime water on a regular basis as well as rubbing it directly on your skin will give your skin a new lease on life.
Cares for your Eyes
Is there any part of the body that lime water doesn’t benefit? In addition to taking care of you from the inside out, lime water’s vitamin C works wonders on your eyes as well. The flavonoids that we talked about earlier help to keep eye infections at bay while the antioxidants slow down both macular degeneration and aging.
Other Tips to Gain the Health Benefits of Lime Water
Limes are available throughout the year so you never have to stop getting the health benefits of lime water when the seasons change. Here are some tips to buying lime for your lime water and other guidelines to get the best out of this super-beverage.
- Lime water made with warm or room temperature water has more health benefits than if it is made with cold water. While the lime itself needs to be stored in the fridge, you’ll get more juice out of them and better health benefits if you bring it to room temperature before squeezing into a glass of water.
- For best results, do not add sugar to your lime water. If you absolutely cannot stand the taste of lime water without a sweetener then try honey. However, lime water is really most beneficial when had on its own.
- Pick light green limes for your lime water as these are the ones which have the highest nutritional content and are also the juiciest. The skin should be shiny and light should reflect off it – the dull ones are older and less juicy. Also feel for the weight of the lime – the heavier limes are the ones you should take home. The lighter ones do not have as much juice which is why they feel lighter.
- Even though you are just using the juice inside the lime for your lime water, make sure to wash limes thoroughly before cutting as there may be traces of dirt, pollution and pesticides on the thick outer skin.
- When making lime water, be careful to remove the seeds as they are actually quite poisonous and even just a handful of them can cause death. So avoid chewing lime seeds or swallowing them whole if they get into your lime water by accident.