Lemons Vs. Limes: What’s The Difference?

Lemons Vs. Limes: What’s The Difference?

Despite what many people think, lemons and limes are not the same. Limes are not lemons that have not ripened yet, and lemons are not limes that have a bitter flavor profile. Lemons are yellow and limes are green, and even though they both belong to the Citrus limon family, they are not interchangeable; they do, however, have similar health benefits that we will detail in this article.

Historical Use

Originating in Asia, both lemons and limes have a long history of medicinal use. During the 18th and 19th centuries, English sailors brought lemons and limes with them on long voyages. Sailors required citrus fruits because they needed to decrease their risk of scurvy, which resulted from the lack of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the body.

The Difference Between Lemons And Limes


Lemons are high in tannins, phytochemicals, and an array of polyphenolic compounds. 100 grams of fresh lemon juice contains 53 mg of vitamin C, which satisfies 64% of the recommended daily intake (RDI). Lemons have a pH range of 2.00 to 2.60, due to the citric acid content, but they have more natural sugars than limes, which is why they are sweeter.


Limes are smaller than lemons and they are ever so slightly higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein than lemons, but this difference is extremely minute. Limes have a pH range of 2.00 to 2.35 because they have a lower sugar content than lemons, which is why their taste is more tart. 100 grams of fresh lime juice contains 29 mg of vitamin C, which satisfies 35% of your RDI.

The Takeaway

While the two citrus fruits are different, they have similar nutritional profiles and are beneficial to include in your diet. Even though lemons have a slightly greater quantity of nutrients, including vitamin B6, folate, and potassium, both lemons and limes share health benefits, which you can read about below.

They Both Help To Alkalize The Body

Some people can’t get past the fact that limes and lemons are acidic. They associate the natural acidity with acidic pH levels, but that is simplified and incorrect logic. Yes, limes and lemons are acidic in their natural state; this explains the sour taste and smell. Something magical happens when you consume limes and lemons, though. Once your body starts to metabolize lemons or limes, the change from acidic to alkaline happens, and this is because of the alkalizing minerals (potassium, magnesium, and sodium) that are present in both fruits.

They Boost Immunity

The real hero in lemons and limes is vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid. This vitamin helps stimulate white blood cell production, enhancing the first line of defense against foreign invaders like bacteria or viruses. In a study that was at International Antioxidant Research Centre At King’s College in London, England, iron and vitamin C, both of which are present in limes and lemons, can help protect DNA in healthy cells from oxidative damage.

They Contain Flavonoids

Flavonoids are phytochemicals that may be able to improve metabolic disorders and heart problems, and both lemons and limes contain lots of flavonoids. According to several cell studies, flavonoids possess anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, neuroprotective, and anti-diabetic properties. While more research needs to be done on the effectiveness of these flavonoids on cell health, initial research is promising.

They Expedite Healing

Did you think the benefits of vitamin C stopped at boosting immune function? Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, which is required for healthy skin cell, tissue, bone, and muscle development. Failure to regularly consume vitamin C can slow the rate at which wounds heal. A simple scrape can have accelerated recovery when you eat more vitamin C-rich foods like limes and lemons.