Living on a small island, off the main land can be a challenge in many ways. Time goes at a slower pace, many new inventions and creations reach us later and we have to become creative in order to get what we want, since we have limited supplies available.
Mostly we see this in the food available and in our health status. Recent surveys have shown a high number of chronic diseases (49%-70%) on the island. Our region is full of beneficial fruits, roots and vegetables that can enrich our lives and improve our health from the inside and the outside. Check out these naturally grown products from our region, which can better your health and are available on island.
Health Benefits of Lime
The first fruit that comes to mind in terms of its medicinal uses and skin treatment is the reliable lime. This sour citrus fruit can do what many advanced medicines cannot. Lime, bearing the scientific name Citrus Aurantifolia, has been used for ages in the treatment of various ailments.
Lime juice and its natural oils are very beneficial for the skin when consumed orally or applied externally. It rejuvenates the skin, keeps it shining, protects it from infections and reduces body odor due to the presence of a large amount of vitamin-C and flavonoids. Both are class-1 anti-oxidants and have antibiotic and disinfectant properties. When applied externally to the skin, its acids scrub out the dead cells and cure dandruff, rashes, and bruises. Limes can also be used to create a refreshing bathing experience if their juice or oil is mixed into your bath water.
Lime has an irresistible scent which causes your mouth to water and this actually aids primary digestion. Saliva floods into your mouth even before you taste it. The natural acidity in lime does the rest. While the acids break down the macro molecules of the food, the flavonoids, the compounds found in the fragrant oils extracted from lime, stimulate the digestive system and increase the secretion of digestive juices, bile and acids. This flood of flavonoids also stimulates peristaltic motion. This is the reason behind the lemon pickle being served with lunch and dinner, a traditional practice in India and various neighboring countries of the region.
Primarily, the ample amount of acids present in lime helps clear the excretory system by washing and cleaning off the digestive tract, just as some acids are used to clean floors and toilets. The roughage in limes is also helpful in easing constipation, but the most beneficial element in lime is the high acidity. A large dose of lime juice with salt also acts as an excellent purgative without any side effects, thereby providing relief from constipation.
According to the American Diabetes Association, limes and other citrus fruits are considered a diabetes super food for a number of reasons. Mainly, the high level of soluble fiber found in limes make it an ideal dietary aid that helps regulate the body’s absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, thus reducing the occurrence of blood sugar spikes that are a serious risk to diabetic patients. Also, limes and other citrus fruits have a low glycemic index, which means that they will not cause unexpected spikes in glucose levels, in addition to the benefits of the soluble fiber.
The same soluble fiber which can help diabetics maintain their blood sugar levels can also lower blood pressure and eliminate the presence of LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol). Furthermore, soluble fiber can cut down on inflammation of the blood vessels, which is a known preventative measure against heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
In addition to vitamin-C, lime contains special compounds called flavonoids (limonoids such as Limonin Glucoside) which have antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, antibiotic and detoxifying properties that stimulate the healing process of peptic and oral ulcers.
The flavonoid-rich oil that is extracted from limes is extensively used in anti-congestive medicines such as balms, vaporizers, and inhalers due to the presence of Kaempferol. Just scratching the peel of a lime and inhaling it gives immediate relief for congestion and nausea.
One of the many causes of arthritis is an excess of uric acid that builds up in the body. Uric acid is one of the waste products that is normally excreted in urine. Unfortunately, when too much uric acid builds up, it can make the pain and inflammation from arthritis even worse. The citric acid found in citrus fruits, like limes, is a solvent in which uric acid can dissolve, increasing the amounts that are eliminated in the urine. Citrus fruits in general have anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used for a number of inflammation issues.
Vitamin-C again! Its anti-oxidant properties protect eyes from aging and macular degeneration. On top of that, flavonoids help protect them from infections.
If someone is suffering from a fever, limes and lime juice can be of great importance. Citrus fruits in general have fever-reducing qualities and, if the fever is very high, the patient’s diet should be restricted to lemon juice and water. However, if the fever is mild to moderate, other fruit juices, particularly citrus juices like lime juice, can be administered in order to bring the fever back to a manageable level. Vitamin-C, found in high concentrations in citrus fruits, naturally lowers the temperature of the body.
There are two main causes of gout. The first source is the accumulation of free radicals in the body and the second is the accumulation of toxins in the body, primarily uric acid. Limes can help prevent both of these causes. It is a wonderful source of antioxidants and detoxifiers (vitamin-C & flavonoids) which reduce the number of free radicals, as well as detoxifying the body.
The root cause of gum problems is a deficiency of vitamin-C and microbial growth. Sometimes, the ulcers come from physical trauma. In all of these situations, limes can help. Its vitamin-C cures scurvy which causes bleeding and spongy gums, and its flavonoids inhibit microbial growth. Flavonoids also help heal ulcers and wounds.
Since lime helps heal ulcers and wounds in the digestive system and excretory system while providing relief from constipation, it also eradicates all the root causes of piles. Piles is a different term for hemorrhoids, an uncomfortable condition that occurs in the anal region and can result in bleeding and discomfort both during excretion and with general activity. It can also lead to certain forms of cancer. Limes can help prevent their formation or recurrence.
A glass of warm water with a full lime’s worth of juice in it is an excellent weight reducer as well as a brilliant refresher and antioxidant drink. The citric acid present in lime is an excellent fat burner. You can consume two glasses a day and see legitimate and remarkable results within a week.
The high potassium content of limes is very effective in the removal of the toxic substances and precipitates that are deposited in the kidneys and urinary bladder. The disinfectant properties of limes also help cure infections in the urinary system. Furthermore, it stops prostate growth (very common in males above 40) and clears any blockage of urine that can come from calcium deposits in the urinary tract.
Limes are a good appetizer and digestive. They can help to cure rheumatism, prostate and colon cancer, cholera, arteriosclerosis, fatigue and even high fevers (contrary to popular belief). The best part is that there are no negative side effects!
(Sources : nhf.org.jm, organicfacts.net, RCN, foodfacts.mercola.com)