Can you imagine a world without Lemons or Limes?  I realize that we are quite spoiled with our wonderful array of food choices, but these zesty citrus are essential for LIVING YOUNGER.  Cultivated for over 2,500 years, Lemons are a cross between a Lime and a Citron.  Although they are not something you would grab for a quick snack, they bring out the best in other foods.  Lemons and limes add zip to life!

In the 18th century, British sailors became known as “limeys” because they carried Limes on their ships to prevent scurvy.  Caused by a lack of Vitamin C, patients become exhausted, develop anemia, get swelling in some parts of the body and experience ulceration of the gums.  This nutritional deficiency can even result in tooth loss.  During the California Gold Rush around 1850, lemons were so important for preventing scurvy that people were willing to pay $1.00 per Lemon.  They had to be imported from Tahiti and Mexico, and that cost is estimated to be equivalent to about $30.00 today!

Interestingly, Spanish explorers introduced West Indies Limes to the Florida Keys in the 16th century, becoming what we term “Key Limes.”  When researchers officially discovered Vitamin C in 1932, they realized that it was actually the Vitamin C that provided protection against scurvy and not just Lemons and Limes in particular.  

We appreciate all the ways that Vitamin C helps us LIVE YOUNGER.  It is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body that fights free radicals.  Lemons and Limes contain lots of fantastic phytonutrients, including two unique flavonoids:

  1. Hesperitin:  The peeling and membranous parts of these fruits contain the highest amounts of this citrus bioflavonoid.  It’s a byproduct of the orange juice industry but it’s a shame to miss out on it.  A deficiency of hesperitin has been linked with abnormal capillary leakiness, as well as night leg cramps and aches in the extremities.  In Europe it is commonly used for the treatment of hemorrhoids and venous insufficiency.    
  2. Naringenin:  This is located on the inner peel of Lemons, Limes, and other citrus fruits.  It’s another compelling reason to eat the whole fruit rather than just drinking the juice!  Naringenin is currently the topic of many studies and it may have therapeutic value in chemotherapy.  Additionally, it may inhibit the growth of cancer cells.  

Like all fruits and vegetables, Lemons and Limes continue to respire.  This is the chemical process by which they convert oxygen and sugar into carbon dioxide, water, and heat.  It’s the breakdown process of foods after they have been harvested.  To slow this process, it helps to store them at lower temperatures.  Avoid storing Lemons and Limes in plastic or in restricted spaces.  This accelerates the deterioration and will cause them to rot quickly.  They are juicier at room temperature and will keep about five days unrefrigerated.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help neutralize free radicals.  Free radicals can be good or bad depending on their ratio with antioxidants. Whole fruits and vegetables contain a mosaic of nutrients that work together to balance chemical processes in the body.  While Vitamin C supplements can be beneficial, eating the complete fruit is the smart START SOMEWHERE.  Lemons and Limes add zip to meals while benefiting the body with a reduced risk of chronic disease because of their rich stores of Vitamin C and a host of other great nutrients.  LIVE YOUNGER by adding more real food to your life.  You can do it.  I will help you!

Lemons and Limes Add Zip

Lemons and Limes Add Zip