Difference Between Lime & Lemon

While some people think of a lemon and a lime as interchangeable, there are a number of differences between these two fruits, as well as unique health benefits to both!

Lime Vs Lemon

A lemon is a fruit of a small evergreen lemon tree (Citrus limon) that is native to Asia. In comparison, lime is actually a hybridized citrus fruit and comes in many different varieties around the world. However, both lime and lemon are from the same citrus family. The shape of a lemon is ellipsoidal, and the ripened fruit is bright yellow in color. On the other hand, lime is typically round and green and are slightly smaller than most lemons.

Note: Although some people may think that limes are simply lemons that haven’t ripened yet, they are sorely mistaken. Lemons are not ripe limes!

Lime Vs Lemon Nutrition

Neither lime nor lemon have a rich source of vitamins and minerals but both are low in calories and are an abundant source of vitamin C.

  1. Vitamin C
  • Lime: 100 g of lime contains 29 mg of vitamin C, which is 35% of the daily requirement.
  • Lemon: 100 g of lemon contains 53 mg of vitamin C, which is 64% of the daily requirement.
  1. pH Scale
  • Lime: The pH range of lime is 2.00 to 2.35.
  • Lemon: The pH range of lemon is 2.00 to 2.60. This makes lemon slightly less acidic than lime.
  1. Other nutrients
  • Lime: It is slightly higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein than lemon, but the difference is negligible.
  • Lemon: It is high in citric acid as well as phytochemicals, tannins, and polyphenolic compounds.

Lime Vs Lemon Taste

Lemon typically has more sugar, which often gives it a sweeter flavor than lime, whereas lime is sour or tart, making it ideal for cocktails and beverages. Eating pure lemon juice or lime juice can be equally unpleasant experiences, which is why they are usually mixed with other drinks or ingredients before being consumed.

While the two fruits clearly have a number of differences, in size, color, nutritional value, and species, the two citrus fruits do have a great deal in common as well.

Health Benefits

These two fruit varieties share many of the same health benefits, as outlined below, making them some of the most popular and important citrus fruits you can add to your diet.

Boost Immunity

Lime and lemon rich in vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, help strengthen the immune system. This critical vitamin stimulates the production of white blood cells, which are the first line of defense [3] for the body when it is attacked by an illness or infection.

Speed up Healing

Vitamin C plays a critical role in the production of collagen. Collagen is required for growth and development of muscles, skin cells, tissue, and bones throughout the body. Without the vitamin C of lemons and limes, the recovery rate of illnesses and injuries would be much slower.

Optimize Digestion

Lemons and limes both contain high levels of dietary fiber. This can easily bulk up the stool, reduce constipation, and eliminate excess gas and bloat. With about 3 g of fiber [4] in each fruit, it represents about 10% of the daily recommended amount of fiber.

Boost Circulation

Both of these citrus fruits contain significant levels of iron, which is an important element in hemoglobin. Without proper iron levels [5], people may suffer from anemia, characterized by weakness, fatigue, cognitive confusion, and light-headedness.

Prevent Cancer

Citrus fruits like lemons and limes contain high levels of other antioxidants, besides vitamin C, which can counteract [6] the effects of free radicals. Thereby, lowering oxidative stress and reducing the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer.

Weight Loss

The high fiber level and low-calorie count make these citrus fruits ideal for weight-loss. These fruits increase satiety without alleviating your calorie count. This, in turn, helps prevent overeating and snacking between meals, which makes it perfect for someone trying to shed some pounds!

How to Use Lime and Lemon?

For those who are passionate about designing and decorating drinks (cocktails and mocktails), should be well aware of the citric acid content in limes and lemons.

  • Both lime and lemon with a particular beverage produce different drinks with unique flavors.
  • For example, lemon juice with vodka results in lemon drop, while lime juice with vodka forms gimlet.
  • Additionally, lemons due to their tart, refreshing flavor find its applications in various culinary uses more than limes.

Other uses: Lemons are also used for cleaning products and as an element in natural healing, whereas, limes are used in perfumes and aromatherapy.

Lime or Lemon – Which One Is Better?

  • Lemons have a slight edge in terms of nutrients, taste, and versatility in cooking and beverages.
  • Limes do have a higher concentration of vitamin C and other antioxidants. They can also be used in many ways in cooking and cocktail-making.

However, while both of these fruits are very good for overall health, lemons would likely win the nutritional battle!

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