Spanish lime (Melicoccus bijugatus) is a rare, exotic fruits native in South and Central America, also Carribean. It is a member of soapberry family, means it is closed relative of lychee and longans. It is also called genip, genipe, ginepa, quenepa, quenepe, chenet, canepa, mamon, limoncillo, skinip, and kinnip. It can be found both cultivated or naturally grown in coastal areas and dry forests. It has 2 varieties: sweet and sour. The sour one is usually eaten with chili powder, salt, and lime; while the sweet one is eaten just the way it is without adding any spices.
Spanish lime is green in color and has the similar look to unripe lime. This is the reason why Americans call it Spanish lime. The skin of the fruit is thick and for consuming the creamy and soft pulp, you need to peel off the skin away. This small round fruit is about the size of an olive with hard skin. Listed below are some of the health benefits of Spanish lime.
Health benefits of Spanish Lime
1. Spanish lime maintains a healthy digestive system:
The fibers help prevent constipation by absorbing water from outside of the colon and increasing the mass of the stool. The fibers also help cure diarrhea by absorbing excess water from the stool. The seeds of Spanish lime can be roasted, crushed, and mixed with honey to soothe away diarrhea. Moreover, the leaves can be boiled and the decoction is taken to treat intestinal problems.
2. Spanish lime promotes healthy eyes:
Spanish lime consists of a good amount of vitamin A. Vitamin A is very important to maintain healthy eyes. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to Nyctalopia, a condition where it is difficult or impossible to see in low light.
3. Spanish lime improves your urinary system:
Vitamin A found in Spanish lime is an essential nutrient for the body’s urinary system. Research has shown that an increase in vitamin A decreases the risk of urinary infections by over two-thirds. Since Spanish limes are packed full of vitamin A and are recommended for anyone who suffers regularly from bladder infections.
4. Spanish lime lowers blood pressure:
Equally, it is full of antioxidants (phenolic compounds), which play important role in reducing the damage in blood vessels caused by free radicals. Healthy blood vessels will make the heart put less effort into pumping the blood, thus lowering blood pressure. Combined with the effect of lowering cholesterol, consuming Spanish lime can keep us away from cardiovascular diseases
5. Natural Fabric-dye:
The juice from the fruit gives a dark-brown stain when it touches any fabric.
However, it should be noted that unripe Spanish limes are poisonous. Since the juice from the fruit can stain clothes, it is advisable to peel the skin carefully, and equally take precautions on the big seeds too, since it can cause choking hazards in children.