Lime vs Lemon – Differences and Health Benefits

Lime and lemons are the two remarkably common natural fruits that snap to anyone’s taste buds. They are the perfect fruits for someone who is looking for something citrusy and scrumptious. Though these two are common fruits, how to distinguish between these two is not common knowledge. To be clearer, we know them in our native language as Bara Nimbu for lime and lemon as Nimbu. Lets read Lime vs Lemon.

Lemons and limes are what most of us prefer to consume as the very first in the morning with lukewarm water. They are considered as powerhouses, with both these fruits being Antioxidants and having Antibiotic effects. While both are easily accessible all the year round, lemons are in the pinnacle of their season around May, June, and August. Limes have their peak season from May through October. Here is a picture that makes these fruits more identifiable and easy to distinguish from each other.

So we now know that limes and lemons are not the same fruit and there are some subtle differences between the two. Lemon is scientifically known as Citrus Limon while lime is scientifically known as Citrus aurantifolia.

Broad Differences Between Lime and Lemon

  • Color– Lime is green in color whereas lemon is splendid yellow in color and is a little more of a ripe fruit. What needs to be noted here is that lemons are not ripe limes.
  • Size– Lime is round in shape and smaller in size measuring around 3–6 centimeters (1.2–2.4 in) in diameter with a thin outer skin. Lemon, on the other hand, is oval and broad in size in comparison with lime. Lemon also has an apical nipple at the top.
  • Origin-Lime and lemon are both from the same citrus family and share a common origin stemming from the family of Rutaceae Plantae. Lime originated in Indonesia and some parts of Southeast Asia while lemon originated in India, China, and Burma.
  • Type-Lime generally comes in two varieties the Key and the Tahitian while the two famous types of lemon are Eureka and Lisbon.
  • Features -Lime and lemon differ in terms of their peculiar taste. Lime is bitter in taste and is more acidic in nature. In comparison, lemon is sour in taste because the pH scale of lemon is 2.00 to 2.60 whereas for lime the pH scale is 2.00 to 2.35.
  • Nutritional content- Lemon and lime also share some common nutritional contents but in varying numbers.

The above comparison is very useful for those who are looking for the differentiating factors between lime and lemon.

How Limes and Lemons Help in Achieving Optimal Health Through “Limonins”

Research has shown that Limonoids can be used to help fight cancers like breast, lungs, skin, mouth, stomach, and colon. Limonoid is mostly present in citrus fruits like lemon and lime. In both lime and lemon, limonin is present in the form of limonin glucoside which is easily digested by human bodies. Limonin act as a catalyst to prevent the cancerous cells from proliferating. In comparison to other natural anti-carcinogens, limonin ranks higher on the list of positive effects.

How to Choose and Store Lime and Lemon

For both lemon and lime, it is always better to pick a substantially sized fruit. It should be free from rot and mold and should have a gleaming skin. Good lemons generally have a bright yellow color and limes which are dark green in color are more juicy and succulent.

For up to a week, both limes and lemons can be kept at room temperature away from sunlight and in a cool place. If they need to be stored for more than a week, then, both these fruits need to be stored in the refrigerator. They should be stored in a loose-knit plastic bag.

Juice and Zest Storage Place the freshly squeezed juice in an ice plate until it solidifies. The dried zest of both the fruits can be kept and stored in a cool and dark place in an airtight container.

Quick Refreshers using Lime and Lemon
  • Drinks-Lime and lemon juice can be frozen with a bit of their zest in an ice tray. These cubes can later be put in a glass along with soda and sugar syrup or can be added to a Mojito.
  • Salad Dressing– To make a light and refreshing salad dressing, mix some lemon or lime juice with a drizzle of olive oil. Add to it some freshly crushed garlic and pepper. This salad dressing uplifts any salad and is very refreshing for the palate.
  • Take your supper to the next level by tossing some cooked black rice with parboiled snow peas, chicken pieces, scallions, pumpkin seeds, lime juice and lime zest.
  • Lime and lemon marmalade– This marmalade acts as the savior when we are out of veggies or not in a chef mode. It can be prepared by using either lime or lemon or a combination of both with some sugar syrup. This marmalade can be stored for long in a refrigerator.
Can We Substitute Lime Juice with Lemon Juice and Vice-Versa?

Yes, lime and lemon juice and their zest can act as a substitute for each other but it totally depends on one’s preference and taste. People also choose between the two on the basis of their usage and benefits derived. The differences between both are very mild and subtle and it is up to one’s taste buds to choose from the two. The zest of both fruits contains almost the same essential oils but they differ mildly in their flavor. So one must let their taste buds act as the guide and make the choice for them. The choice, however, should be made keeping in mind the lemon and lime zest usage.

Which is Better – Lime or Lemon?

For the most part, both lime and lemon offer almost similar medical advantages. Lime has more of Vitamin A, proteins and starches as compared to lemon. It’s an absolute essential in most kitchens and is a great ingredient for mocktails and even desserts. Lemon is an essential part of most cuisines and can also be used as a cleaning agent or for fragrance purposes.

When life offers you lemons, make lemonade and when it offers you some limes go make that lime curd. Both lime and lemon are those sublime fruits that we cannot do without. One must choose between the two on the basis of which one tickles your taste buds more and what is the purpose that you need them for.

Hardip Koradia

Hardip Koradia is a pro health blogger with years of experience in writing resourceful articles on different health topics like alternative health, natural health, home remedies, yoga, diet, etc. His passion for health inspired him to start AyurHealthTips, a growing health blog.

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