College Papers

“Limes”What sourest fruits in the world, but do

“Limes”What comes to mind when you think about limes?  Limes are one of the most sourest fruits in the world, but do they really benefit your health?  Most people know that you can use it in different ways from using it as a disinfectant, acne treatment, and boosting your immune system.  It is a natural alternative compared to the chemicals and other ingredients in daily use products.  The common lime citrus fruit has many vitamins and minerals that are essential for your health such as vitamin C and potassium.  There are many different types of limes that have different characteristics such as size, color, taste, smell, and texture.  Limes may have positive effects on your health by giving your body antioxidants but, it also has its negative effects on your body too.  Specifically, the Mexican Lime has originated from the Indo-Malayan region.  Mexican Limes “was unknown in Europe before the Crusades and it is assumed to have been carried to North Africa and the Near East by Arabs and taken by Crusaders from Palestine to Mediterranean Europe,”  Those limes were cultured in Italy and France in the mid- 13th Century.  In 1520, Spaniards introduced Mexican Limes to the Caribbean islands and Mexico because it was commonly grown in Haiti.  It was then acclimated in Mexico and the West Indies.  The Tahitian lime origin is unknown, but is believed to be a hybrid of the Mexican lime.  “This lime was adopted into cultivation in California but is not extensively grown there, the bulk of California’s lime crop being mainly the Mexican lime,”  The tahitian lime became well developed as a commercial crop after World War I.  Market Consumers  and Canadians refused to buy Tahitian limes because the market consumers viewed them as just a “green lemon” and the Canadians typically used Mexican limes which they thought was more flavorful.  Going into the 1930’s “many Florida citrus growers planted limes for extra income,”  The development of limeade concentrate provided a more successful development of the Tahitian lime industry.  In the 1970s through the 1980 the production of Tahitian limes had drastically increased by 60 percent which valued to about 9 million dollars.  Commercially, limes became a commonly grown fruit due to the pineapple culture being abandoned on the Florida Keys.  “The Mexican lime continues to be cultivated more or less on a commercial scale in India, Egypt, Mexico, the West Indies, tropical America, and throughout the tropics of the Old World. There are 2,000,000 seedling trees near Colima, Mexico.  Mexico raises this lime primarily for sale as fresh fruit but also exports juice and lime oil,” (Morton) There are many types of limes including Mexican limes, Tahitian limes, Rangpurian limes, Palestinian sweet limes, giant key limes, and limequats.  The Mexican lime is also known as the key lime or the West Indian lime.  It is a small and round shaped fruit.  The color of the skin that this type of lime has is a pale yellow and green color.  This type of lime is more acidic than other types of limes and it could be identified by its distinctive smell.  On the tree that the key lime grows on has very sharp thorns causing it to be not the most popular type of lime.  The Mexican lime or the key lime is very frost sensitive which means  it is more suitable to a more tropical environment like the coastal areas.  The Tahitian lime is also known as the bearss lime or the Persian lime.  The shape of the fruit is oval and a bit larger than the Mexican lime.  The fruit is also seedless with a typical lime smell.  The tree branches of  the Tahitian lime are sometimes thornless or covered with thorns.  The skin of the fruit is thin, smooth, and light green to yellow when it is fully mature.  The Rangpurian lime is a hybrid of a lemon and a mandarin orange making it an untrue lime.  It resembles more of Mandarin oranges rather than a lime, but is still a type of lime.  It produces a very acidic juice making it a substitute for an actual lime.  It has many seeds with a loose and thin outer layer of skin.  The Palestine sweet lime is also one that is not a true lime, but is still categorized as one.  The color of the fruit is a pale yellow and the flavor of this lime is slightly acidic.  The giant key lime is very similar to a regular key lime, but the major difference is the size of it.  The giant key lime is about more than twice the size of the common key lime.  A limequat is a hybrid of a lime and a kumquat, but has more of a lime flavor to it.  Unlike other types of limes the limequat can survive in environments that have occasional frost which means the plant is more frost tolerant (Sauls).The best environment for lime development or production specifically for the Mexican lime would be in tropical and subtropical environments because Mexican limes are sensitive to the cold.  Limes tend to thrive in warmer and moist climates.  Limes tolerate droughts better than any other citrus fruits.  Many citrus fruits especially limes grow in mild winters and hot to warm climates such as the Caribbean countries (Morton).  The temperature lime trees need to grow in is 50-55 degrees fahrenheit.  If the temperature drops to about 20 to 30 degrees fahrenheit then the limes may survive for a few hours but, there is a high chance of the lime tree forming ice on the fruit causing the tree to die off as a whole (Arpaia).    Limes are a great source of vitamins specifically vitamins A and vitamins C.  There are about 19.5 mg of vitamin C in a single lime.  Limes could also be a great source of antioxidants which protects your body tissue from the damage of oxidation.  The daily amount of vitamin C needed for adults is about 60 mg and 45 to 50 mg of vitamin C for children.  Limes also contain 34 IU of vitamin A that helps with your cell reproduction, vision, bone growth, tooth development, healthy hair, and skin.  Folate and folic acid are both a form of vitamin B9 which are in limes.  The lime contains about 5 mcg of vitamin B9 which your body needs in order to create red blood cells.  Lime is one fruit you could get minerals from such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, iron, selenium, zinc, copper, and manganese. A single lime contains 68 mg of potassium which helps you to have proper heart function.  Just in the peel of a lime there is a high oxalate content which is an organic acid but, in the juice of a lime there is very little oxalate content (Bohlmann). Positive effects that limes does for your body is that it gives you a rich source of vitamin C.  The vitamin C that limes contain could give your body a boost for your immune system.  Limes contain antioxidants that help to keep your arteries healthy in order for it to carry blood out to your organs.  Specifically, the lime peel and juice carry antioxidants that slow down the buildup of plaque on your artery walls.   By consuming the juices of  limes it could fight off the bacteria of E. coli which could protect the body from getting food poisoning.  Another bacteria that limes fight off is cholera which is an infectious bacterial disease that affects the small intestines.  By simply drinking the sour juices of a lime it could improve your health by feeding your body essential vitamins and minerals.  Limes and other fruits were found to contain great amounts of natural sugars and protein concentration (Cherian). Negative effects of limes to the body is that it can wear down your teeth enamel which protects your teeth when you chew, bite, and grind your teeth.  Teeth enamel is important because it protects your teeth from any damage but, once your teeth chip your enamel can’t repair itself like the bones in your body.  Although limes do wear down your teeth enamel, other fruits wear down teeth enamel even more.  This means limes are the least harmful to teeth enamel (Cherian).  Since there are high levels of acidity in limes it can increase gastric ulcer.  Gastric ulcer happens in the lining of the stomach and can cause pain.  Another negative effect that limes have on the body is when lime oil is applied directly to the skin, it may cause an increase of sensitivity to the sun which the skin can develop rashes, sunburns, and blisters to those that have sensitive skin.  The excessive exposure to Tahiti Lime peel oil may cause dermatitis which is the inflammation of the skin.  Many people tend to roll the fruit either in between their hands or on a countertop which may cause the lime oil to spread in places that may not get washed (Morton). Problems for producing limes are that if lime trees do not have good draining soil then the tree may not develop because lime trees do not tolerate heavy soil.  A disease that may affect the Mexican Lime is withertip which is when the tree slowy starts to dry up and the leaves wilt and fall off.  Lime anthracnose infects flower buds and blossoms of the Key Limes unlike the Tahiti Lime Julia F. Morton claims that they are immuned.  Algal disease or Red alga is another disease that infects the leaves and bark of the tree.  Pests or insects that may affect the production of limes are citrus red mites and broad mites which heavily infest the leaves and the fruits (Crane).  Limes are not only used for flavoring and garnishing foods but, they are also used for many other thing.  The medical use for limes were for treating scurvy which is a condition caused by the lack of vitamin C and limes are rich in vitamin C making it a cure for this disease.  Lime juice could also be an antidote for the painful oral irritation and inflammation (Morton).  Another medical use for limes is using it for acne and acne scars.  The juices and oils of  limes could kill bacteria that gives you acne.  It could also reduce the scarring that came from the acne.  “Lime juice actually works pretty well to keep skin shiny and tighter,” (Bohlmann) Lime are also used many different types of foods and drinks.  Both the Tahitian and Mexican limes are used for making limeade, alcoholic drinks, and deserts.  A lime wedge is commonly served with avocados and the lime juice is commonly used as an alternative to vinegar in dressings and sauces (Morton).   In conclusion, limes do benefit your health in many different ways.  Researching all about limes and how it can benefit people brought up the conclusion that limes should be included more into daily lifestyles.  For example, lime juice and oil is a natural alternative to help with acne.   By personal experiences fresh lime juice was applied to the face on painful acne and acne scars which showed jurassic changes to the physical look of it.  Another alternative way limes could be used is for a disinfectant cleaning product.  Instead of people using harsh smelling chemical products that could be harmful to your health, limes could replace those products with a fresh scent and the same effect of using a chemical based product.  Fresh limes are filled with vitamin C which helps to boost your immune system.  Drinking water with fresh squeezed lime juice is another alternative to the store bought vitamin C tablets that may have other unwanted ingredients in it.  With this research society will be educated on the importance of this crop to people who want to change their lifestyle.  Society will also be educated on the natural remedies to aid in any health problems they may have.  This crop could catch different diseases if not cared for the right way making it an important crop.  Without this crop the many different uses for it wouldn’t be possible.  Although there would be alternatives for limes it wouldn’t be the same.         Works CitedArpaia, Mary, and Adele A. Kader. “Fruit English.” UC Postharvest Technology Center.Bohlmann, Robert. “Nutrition Facts: Lime.” VegOnline.org, 14 Feb. 2013.Cherian, Christina, and Austen Thelen. “Four Citrus Fruits.” Four Citrus Fruits Tested for Sugar, Protein Concentration, and PH.Crane, Jonathan H. “Key Lime Growing in the Florida Home Landscape.” EDIS New Publications RSS, Horticultural Sciences, 31 Jan. 2017, edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ch092.Mauk, Peggy A., and Tom Shea . “Questions and Answers to Citrus Management.” Questions and Answers to Citrus Management.Morton , Julia F. “Citrus Aurantifolia Swingle.” Mexican Lime.Morton , Julia F. “Tahiti Lime .” Tahiti Lime.