Tangy, juicy and citrusy fruits are always a hit not only for their succulent taste but also for the copious amounts of nutritional content they offer. While lemons, oranges, strawberries form a major chunk of citrusy fruits, not so far behind is sweet lime. Available round-the-year, a glass of freshly sweet lime juice is all you need to quench your thirst, replenish electrolytes and hydrate the body from within.
Sweet lime also known as Mousambi, Mousami, Musami, belongs to the family of sweet lemons. Botanically speaking, it goes with the name Citrus limetta and this fruit that is native to southern regions of Iran also found extensively in Mediterranean basin is actually a cross between Citron and a bitter orange.
Sweet lime or sweet orange in India is a very important fruit crop for the agriculturalists, cultivated extensively in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. Though popularly known as Mousambi across India, it is also referred as Satukudi or Satukodi in Tamil, Battayi or Chinikaya in Telugu, Moushumi in Bengal and Musambi in Malayalam.
Grown in hot, climatic conditions, cultivating Sweet Lime requires loose and loamy textured soil – a mix of clay, sand and silt that is rich in natural nutrients. The trees of sweet lemon grow up to 26 feet in height, brown bark with numerous thorns, sporting distinctly winged leaves, and tiny white flowers. The fruits look oval in dark green colour when raw but turn into bright yellow colour as they ripen.
The plant saplings will take around 5 to 7 years to grow fully and the amount of produce usually depends upon the quality of the soil, age of the plant, variety etc.
Nutritional Content In Sweet Lime:
Sweet lime though belongs to the family of citrus fruits is low on acidic content and boasts 50 mg of vitamin C, for each serving which is almost 22% of the daily dietary requirement.
This tasty fruit also offers ample amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin B6, thiamine, potassium besides niacin, riboflavin, phosphorous, magnesium in negligible amounts.
Sweet Lime In Ayurveda:
Ayurvedic texts like Bhavaprakasha Nighanta in the chapter Amraadiphala Varga recommends the daily intake of sweet lime or mousambi for curing digestive issues, throat pain, nausea or viral infections. Referred as Mista nimbu phala in Sanskrit, Ayurveda describes the fruit as sweet to taste, hard to digest, the one which can balance the doshas of vata and pitta but aggravates kapha dosha.
Health Benefits of Sweet Lime:
Being a nutritional powerhouse of antioxidants and various vitamins, minerals, sweet lime offers a wide range of medicinal and therapeutic benefits.
The daily intake of sweet lime as a whole fruit or juice improves hunger, especially in those suffering from anorexia – an eating disorder that leads to extreme loss of body weight. Regular intake of sweet lime stimulates the salivary glands for the food to taste better, hence encouraging the person to eat more.
Indigestion is a common health condition often caused due to excessive consumption of heavy meals, poor liver function, lack of digestive juices etc. There are quite a few home remedies available in treating digestive issues and sweet lime is a prominent one. Eat few slices of sweet lime daily for secreting bile juices, digestive acids, improve the intestinal functioning and treat indigestion.
Nausea and Vomiting:
Nausea or aversion towards food items can be caused due to various reasons including pregnancy, indigestion, hormonal imbalance, poor functioning of the vital organs. In certain cases, nausea and vomiting can be relieved by consuming sweet lime owing to its pleasant aroma and taste bring down the symptoms instantly.
Soothes Peptic Ulcers:
Peptic ulcers are like open sores that occur in the inside lining of stomach, above small intestine. These ulcers cause severe abdominal pain and distress, making it very tough even to consume water. If not treated on time, can affect the inner lining of esophagus. Sweet lime though a citrus fruit is not acidic in nature turns the intestinal flora into alkaline in nature, soothing peptic ulcers.
Scurvy also known as Moeller’s disease results due to the deficiency of vitamin C and it leads to extreme fatigue, bleeding gums, bruising, hair fall etc. Mosambi, rich in vitamin C helps in curing this condition and restores normal health at a faster pace. Guzzle down at least 2 glasses of sweet lime juice daily to beat scurvy.
Jaundice is caused due to high levels of bilirubin in blood and is a result of either hepatitis, gallstones and even tumours. Patients suffering from jaundice need to be on a strict diet as oily, greasy foods worsen the condition. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend including mousambi in daily diet as it digests easily and improves liver function.
Vitamin C plays a crucial role in building immunity and shielding body from various seasonal infections like cough, cold and fever. Sweet lime being a powerhouse of this important vitamin is an immunity booster. Make it a point to eat this incredibly nutritious fruit at least thrice a week to beat viral and bacterial infections.
Health conditions related to bone health are chronic and they could become severe with the age. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis are a result of inflammation of the tissues caused by the immune cells. Loaded with vitamin C and folic acid, sweet lime strengthens bones and improves the functioning of joints.
Urinary Tract Infection is a common problem especially among women. In certain cases, this nagging infection is recurrent causing pain in urination, discomfort in the lower abdomen, fever and chills. Mousambi presents with ample amounts of potassium making it a natural choice of food to beat UTI and improve the functioning of kidneys and urinary bladder.
Hydrates From Within:
Dehydration is the main culprit behind many acute conditions right from sudden fever, chills, loss of consciousness to electrolyte imbalance. Rich potassium, magnesium, manganese and other minerals, a glass of sweet lime juice is all you need to replenish the lost electrolytes and to hydrate fully.
Human body needs antioxidants to prevent and slow down the damage caused to cells due to free radicals. Consuming antioxidant rich diet is important for improving the functioning of heart, preventing cancer and other life-threatening conditions. Mousambi boasts active compounds that are super rich in antioxidants like kaempferol, flavonoids, quercetin, limonoids and vitamin C, that can aid the body in beating various health conditions.
Flushes Out Kidney Stones:
Kidney stones are hard, small mineral crystal-like deposits that can excruciating pain in the lower back and are hard pass in urine. Kidney stones are a result of high concentration of calcium in the urine and other minerals. According to various studies, consuming citrus fruits as a part of daily diet significantly decreases the chances kidney stones. Eat sweet lime regularly to prevent these painful stones in the kidneys and to flush them out naturally.
Improves Iron Absorption:
Iron is a vital nutrient that plays various roles in the bodily functions including transporting oxygen, producing red blood cells. Iron deficiency is also known as anemia and it often causes extreme fatigue, difficulty in breathing, dry and pale skin. Eating sweet lime after lunch improves the absorption of iron in to the blood stream and prevents anemia.
Maintains Heart Health:
A healthy heart is an indication of overall wellbeing but blame it on fast-paced lifestyle, this super vital organ of the body is bearing all the major brunt. High blood pressure, stress, fat deposits are few major reasons behind poor functioning of heart. Improve the performance of heart by consuming sweet limes as a part of your daily diet plan to reduce high blood pressure, prevent plague formation in the arteries.
Skin & Hair Health:
Vitamin C offers plethora of health benefits not only for the functioning of the body but also for the skin and hair. Regular intake of sweet lime stimulates collagen – an important protein to prevent the skin from sagging and wrinkles. Being hWigh in antioxidants it effectively prevents signs of ageing, reduces oxidative stress, strengthens hair follicles besides giving skin, hair a natural glow.
Difference Between Lemon and Sweet Lime:
Both lemon and sweet limes belong to the family of citrus foods and are loaded with vitamin C. However, there are few significant differences between these both varieties and that’s why they are used separately in cuisines.
Lemons are large, oval shaped, yellow-coloured fruits while sweet limes are green, spherical fruits.
While lemons sport thinner skin, the peel of sweet lime is much thicker.
Lemons are sour to taste but the juice of sweet lime turns sweeter as they are ripe.
Lemons are slightly more acidic in nature at a value of 2.00 to 2.60 while the acidic content in sweet lime is around 2.00 to 2.35.
When it comes to health benefits, lemons and sweet limes offer equally and it is your choice on which one to include in your diet.
Sweet Lime Vs Orange:
Orange and sweet lime are two popular fruits. Both these fruits are very tasty, can be consumed as a whole fruit or juice.
While mousambi provides instant hydration, reduces muscle cramps, oranges are rich in fibre, stimulate the process of digestion. Sweet lime and oranges are a source of natural sugars, improve heart function and keep high blood pressure under check.
Sweet Lime Recipes:
Sweet lime is often consumed in the form of juice, but do you know that this delicious fruit can be incorporated into various delicious delicacies?
Here are few interesting and easy recipes to make it mousambi
Sweet Lime Cake:
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup butter milk
½ cup oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup milk
2 tbsp fresh sweet lime juice
2 tbsp grated sweet lime peel
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp grated sweet lime peel
In a bowl, mix sugar, buttermilk and oil. Stir till sugar dissolves completely.
Swift all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda together. Add sweet lime juice and stir it in cut and fold method.
Add milk, sweet lime peel and stir till it get right consistency.
Grease the oven tin, dust it with all purpose flour before pouring it in the batter.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees till done.
For The Glaze:
In a bowl, mix powdered sugar, sweet lime peel and juice.
Wait till cake reaches room temperature and pour the glaze evenly.
Refrigerate it and serve chilled.
Sweet lime or Mousambi is a delicious citrusy fruit that is loaded with various vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, dietary fibre, potassium, magnesium etc. Eating sweet lime regularly averts the risk of cancer, keeps heart healthy and soothes the intestinal lining. While buttermilk aids in addressing digestive issues, milk provides necessary amounts of calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin etc.
Sweet Lime Sherbet:
The winter is almost reaching its end and we are already feeling humidity in the air. Seek solace from heat in this Mousambi sherbet.
2 cups chilled sweet lime juice
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cumin powder
1 cups chilled water
Few sprigs of mint
In a bowl, stir in sweet lime juice and lemon juice. Ensure there are no seeds.
Add sugar, stir it gets melted completely. Add salt and cumin powder.
Pour in chilled water to adjust the taste.
Serve it garnished with mint leaves.
Sweet lime juice provides instant hydration and helps in correcting electrolyte imbalance especially during summer months. Both sweet lime and lemon are a rich source of vitamin C and help you in fighting various infections besides boosting immunity. These both fruits are also negligible in fat content making it ideal for weight watchers. Cumin powder and mint freshen the breath, stimulate digestion.
Sweet lime though a fruit loaded with various nutrients, must be consumed in moderate amounts. However, excessive intake of this fruit can cause digestive issues including nausea, vomiting. Make sure to brush your teeth after consuming this fruit as the acidic content in these fruits can lead to cavities and remove enamel from the teeth.
Sweet lime also known as Mousambi is a popular fruit that is native to Iran and Mediterranean regions but available amply in India, throughout the year. With high concentrations of vitamin C, dietary fibre, iron and other minerals, sweet lime helps in dealing with various digestive issues, stimulates appetite, fights scurvy, maintains electrolyte balance besides providing skin and hair flow from within. This antioxidant rich fruit helps in averting the risk of cancer, boosts immunity and flushes out toxins. Though consumed popularly in the form of juice, sweet lime is not an alien ingredient in baking and is used extensively in modern cuisines.
However, take it in moderate amounts to avoid digestive issues like nausea and vomiting.