I love limes and typically substitute limes for lemons in any recipe that calls for lemons or lemon juice. To me, although the difference is subtle, limes have a slightly milder, sweeter, and less tart flavor that I just enjoy more than lemons.
And here’s the main reason I love limes so much. Limes don’t have any seeds. And that makes squeezing out the juice a heck of a lot quicker and easier because I don’t have to catch or pick out any seeds. Better yet, I don’t have to bite into any seeds that I missed when catching or picking out the seeds.
I got to wondering: are there any significant nutritional benefits to lemons that I’m missing out on by using limes almost exclusively? So I went to the USDA National Nutrient Database to find out. I compared the nutrients in one ounce each of lemon juice and lime juice, which is equivalent to two tablespoons.
Note that while choline is not a vitamin, it plays a similar role to folate and B-vitamins and is important for normal brain function.
Probably the most significant difference is in the amount of vitamin C, in which case one ounce of lime juice has 9.2 mg of vitamin C, a little over ¾ the amount of vitamin C in one ounce of lemon juice, which has 11.8 mg. At close to 10% of the RDA for vitamin C, that difference is only slightly more significant.
So I would say that based on these numbers, one is not significantly better than the other. I’m comfortable that I’m neither gaining nor losing any significant benefits by substituting limes for lemons, and will continue to enjoy my favorite, limes.