Lemons Versus Limes - Which is better?

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

Deciding between lemons and limes might seem like choosing between red or green apples - isn't it just about what you like best? Well, there's actually a bit more to it. Both lemons and limes pack a punch in terms of flavour and health benefits, but they do have their differences.

>b>Health Benefits: A Citrusy Boost

Both lemons and limes are bursting with vitamin C, which is great for your immune system and keeping your skin looking fresh. Lemons edge out limes slightly with more vitamin C per serving. They also have a bit more limonene, a compound that researchers are studying for its disease-fighting abilities. Limes aren't slackers, though; they're rich in antioxidants that can help cool down inflammation and fight off disease.

Taste Test: Tangy or Tart?

Here's where your personal taste buds come into play. Lemons are famously sour, brightening up a tall glass of water or a sweet dessert. Limes are a bit more complex; they can taste bitter, sweet, and tart all at once, which makes them a favorite in many cocktails and exotic dishes.

Kitchen Showdown: Culinary Uses

In the kitchen, lemons and limes both earn their keep. Lemons are perfect for giving a fresh zing to both sweet and savory dishes. Got a batch of cookies? Add some lemon zest. Dressing a salad? Squeeze a bit of lemon juice.

Limes have a lock on cocktails like mojitos and margaritas, where their unique flavor shines. They're also essential in many Asian and Latin American dishes, providing that unmistakable kick.

Practical Magic: Beyond the Plate

Both lemons and limes can moonlight as cleaning agents in your home. Lemon juice is great for getting rid of tough stains and can even freshen up your garbage disposal. Lime juice is also handy for a quick kitchen cleanup, leaving a fresh scent behind.


Here in Australia, the price can swing quite a bit between lemons and limes. Generally, lemons are cheaper and more consistently priced throughout the year since they're grown more extensively. Limes can get a bit pricier, especially when they're out of season.

The Verdict

So, which is better? It really boils down to what you need them for. If you're after a cost-effective vitamin C boost and a versatile kitchen ingredient, lemons might be your go-to. But if you're looking to jazz up your meals and mix the best cocktails, limes are your best bet. Why not keep both on hand and use them as your recipes dictate? That way, you get the best of both citrus worlds!


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