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Limes are indigenous to southeastern Asia, where they have been grown for thousands of years. From the earliest sailing days on British ships, sailors were given lime juice to prevent scurvy, hence the nickname limey for British sailors.

Today perhaps to counter California's dominance of lemon crops, Florida supplies most of North America's lime needs. California is second, and Mexico recently has ramped up production to significant amounts.

Limes grow all year. They are harvested in Florida all twelve months of the year. Imports typically arrive from May until August. The most common lime found in the US is the Florida Persian, which has a smooth, tight rind, and few or no seeds. The Florida Persian is a light orange-yellow color when ripe.

The Mexican lime is lemon-yellow when ripe, and has a smooth, tight rind.

Limes contain 5 to 6 percent citric acid, too acidic to drink without sweetening. Use your juicer to make a natural limeade with limes and apples.

Subacid fruits, such as apples, pears, plums, peaches, grapes and apricots go best with limes.

Beneficial Effects

Limes are more remarkable for their high vitamin C content. They are helpful for the relief of arthritis. They are also closely akin to the lemon.

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