Limes are a citrus fruit often used to accent flavors in foods. They are a common ingredient in Mexican, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisine.
They are grown year-round in tropical climates and are usually smaller and less sour than lemons.
The Tahitian or Persian lime is the most commonly used variety in cooking. Key limes are smaller, rounder, and more acidic than Tahitian limes, and they are known for their use in Key Lime pie, a classic dessert.
One of the places commonly associated with growing limes is Key West, FL. However, this is a misconception – almost no limes are grown there today. They are mainly grown in subtropical climates, such as Mexico, India, and Egypt.
This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of limes and an in-depth look at its possible health benefits, as well as tips on how to incorporate more limes into your diet and any potential health risks of consuming limes.
Fast facts on limes
- One lime can provide 32 percent of the vitamin C needed in a day.
- The nutrients in limes can support heart, reduce the risk of asthma, and promote healthy skin.
- Lime juice and zest can also be used to flavor drinks and dishes.
- Be sure to wash the peel, even if you are planning to discard it.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, the juice of one lime that weighs approximately 44 grams (g) contains:
3.7 g of carbohydrate
0.74 g of sugar
0.1 g of fiber
0.13 g of protein
Limes are renowned for their vitamin C content. One lime with a 2-inch diameter provides 32 percent of an individual’s recommended daily vitamin C intake.
The juice from one lime provides 22 percent of the daily amount.