I like to write about interesting commercial topics, and good eats are no exception.
What Are Spanish Limes?
Spanish lime is a small, round lime with a bumpy green peel and yellow-green flesh. It has tiny seeds and is about the same size as regular lime. It can grow up to 2 inches in diameter.
Spanish limes are also known as the West Indian lime, the key lime, or Mexican lime. In Spanish-speaking countries, it is called "mamoncillo", and in the Caribbean it is called “limoncillo”. Researchers believe this particular citrus fruit was introduced to Florida by early Spanish explorers.
The Spanish lime tree is native to the West Indies. It grows to about 15 meters (50 feet) tall. It has small, fragrant flowers that are greenish-white in color.
What does a Spanish lime taste like? They have a unique flavor that is both sweet and sour, rather like a cross between a lime and a lychee.
Spanish Lime Health Benefits
Aside from the appeal of its unique taste, the Spanish lime contains many nutrients that are good for your body, such as calcium, flavonoids, fiber, and vitamin C. Here are ten health benefits of the Spanish lime that you may find surprising:
1. Improve Sleep Quality
Spanish lime contains tryptophan, a natural chemical known to produce serotonin. Serotonin is a naturally occurring chemical in your body that helps to relay signals from one nerve cell to another. It plays an essential role in the regulation of your mood, and also helps to regulate your sleep cycle. When you're feeling sleepy, serotonin is released, which causes melatonin to be released. Melatonin is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel sleepy thereby promoting restful sleep.
2. Boost the Immune System
As a citrus fruit, Spanish limes contain a lot of Vitamin C. By adding them to your diet, you may be giving your immune system a boost. Vitamin C is a nutrient found in many foods but is particularly known for being present in citrus fruits. It helps the body develop and maintain healthy bones, teeth and gums, blood vessels, and tissues. Vitamin C also helps the immune system fight infection. It also helps wounds heal faster and helps protect the body from disease-causing germs.
3. Prevent Diabetes
Spanish limes can reduce the risk of diabetes, according to research carried out by a team of nutrition specialists. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers revealed that citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, which can help fight diabetes and reduce the risk of heart disease.
4. Improve Skin Health
The Spanish lime fruit contains a considerable amount of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that restore the skin. Flavonoids are polyphenols that are present in many plants. They are often the substances that give the skins of fruits and vegetables their color. Flavonoids are what causes red apples to be red, for instance. These polyphenols are also known to have many health benefits because they can improve blood flow in the body.
5. Improve Dental Health
It has been discovered that the calcium found in Mamoncillos may help to build strong bones and teeth, by reinforcing enamel, preventing cavities, and protecting your teeth. Calcium is an essential nutrient for helping our bodies to build resistance against decay and disease.
6. Prevent Cancer
Because of the flavonoids found in Spanish limes, some researchers believe these fruits may be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of cancer, and more studies are underway to prove this. Flavonoids are compounds that are present in almost all plants. They belong to the polyphenol family and are thought to have several properties, including antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer.
7. Lower Cholesterol
In the modern Western diet, much of the food we consume is high in saturated fat, which can contribute to high cholesterol levels due to having too many lipids or fats in your blood. Researchers have found that the limonins in Spanish limes may reduce cholesterol levels by as much as 30% in just four weeks.
8. Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
When experiencing high cholesterol, the risk of heart disease increases because blood cannot find a way to flow easily through the arteries. It stands to reason, therefore, that finding ways to reduce cholesterol through getting exercise and eating healthy foods, may help reduce heart disease risk.
9. Improve Digestion
Limes are rich in fiber and pectin, nutrients that help to improve digestion, and the Spanish lime is no exception. Fiber and pectin are two types of carbohydrates. They are both found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. Fiber also makes up the cell walls of plants. It helps your body in many ways by helping you feel fuller for longer and perhaps even aiding in weight loss.
10. Prevent Constipation
The natural fiber found in Spanish limes also helps relieve constipation and keep your bowel movements regular. Fiber is critical for your overall health, but is especially important for bowel health. Dietary fiber works by bulking up your stool and then softening it, thereby making it easier to pass.
How to Eat a Spanish Lime
You may be surprised to learn about the many health benefits of Spanish limes. Try incorporating them into your diet and see for yourself how these little citrus fruits can benefit your own health and wellness.
Sources and Further Reading
- Melicoccus bijugatus (Spanish lime)
M. bijugatus is a slow growing tree, native to South America, which is now cultivated and naturalized widely throughout the tropics (Francis, 1992)...
- Mamoncillo (Spanish Lime) Information, Recipes and Facts
Information about Mamoncillo (Spanish Lime) including applications, recipes, nutritional value, taste, seasons, availability, storage, restaurants, cooking, geography and history.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Louise