What is the Difference between Lemon and Lime?

What is the Difference between Lemon and Lime?

Published by Tolu on 9th Sep 2023

Lemon and lime, both citrus fruits with zesty, tangy flavors, often find themselves side by side in recipes and cocktails. Yet, these two vibrant fruits are not interchangeable. In this article, we will peel back the layers to reveal the distinct characteristics and uses of lemon and lime, helping you understand the nuances that make them unique in the world of citrus.

What is Lemon?

A lemon is a yellow or yellow-green citrus fruit known for its tart and tangy flavor. It belongs to the Rutaceae family and is scientifically named Citrus limon. 

Lemons are typically small, oval or elliptical in shape, and have a textured, bright yellow peel that is rich in essential oils, which contribute to their distinctive fragrance and flavor. 

The inner flesh of a lemon is segmented into small, juicy, and acidic sections that are often used in cooking, baking, beverages, and as a condiment.

What is Lime?

Lime is a small, round or oval citrus fruit known for its tart and tangy flavor. It belongs to the Rutaceae family and is scientifically named Citrus aurantiifolia or Citrus latifolia, depending on the variety.

Limes have a thin, smooth, and glossy green or yellow-green peel that can vary in hue depending on ripeness and variety. The inner flesh is juicy and divided into segments similar to lemons, but limes are generally smaller and often have a more intense sourness.

Nutritional Values of Lemon and Lime

The nutritional values of Lemon and Lime are quite similar. Here let's first take a look at the nutritional value of lemon per 100 grams of raw lemon fruit:

  • Calories: 29 calories.
  • Carbohydrates: 9.3 grams 
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.8 grams 
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 1gram
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate (Vitamin B9)
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium 
  • Magnesium
  • Copper

Limes are another nutritious citrus fruit, similar to lemons, offering essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here is the approximate nutritional value of lime per 100 grams of raw lime fruit:

  • Calories: 30 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 9.3 grams 
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.7 grams 
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K 
  • Potassium 
  • Calcium 
  • Folate (Vitamin B9)
  • Phosphorus 
  • Magnesium 
  • Copper

Health Benefits of Lemon and Lime

These similiar fruits share certain health benefits together some of which are:

Rich in Vitamin C

Both lemons and limes are excellent sources of vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports the immune system, helps the body absorb iron, and promotes skin health.

Antioxidant Properties

The antioxidants in lemons and limes, including vitamin C and various phytochemicals, help combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Digestive Health

The acidity of lemon and lime juice can stimulate digestive enzymes, aiding in digestion and potentially relieving indigestion or bloating.

Weight Management

The fiber content in both fruits may help with weight management by promoting a feeling of fullness and reducing overeating.

Skin Health

The vitamin C and antioxidants in lemons and limes support healthy skin by promoting collagen production and reducing skin damage caused by free radicals.

Immune System Support

Vitamin C in these fruits strengthens the immune system, making it more effective at fighting off infections and illnesses.

Heart Health

The fiber and antioxidants in lemons and limes may contribute to heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease. Some studies suggest they may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Improved Hydration

Adding lemon or lime slices to water can enhance the flavor, encouraging people to drink more water, which is essential for overall health.

Kidney Stone Prevention

Citric acid in both fruits can increase urine volume and potentially prevent the formation of certain types of kidney stones.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

The antioxidants in lemons and limes may help reduce inflammation, which is associated with various chronic diseases.

Alkalizing Effect

Despite their acidic taste, lemons and limes have an alkalizing effect on the body, which can help balance the body's pH levels.

Aid in Iron Absorption

The vitamin C in these fruits can enhance the absorption of non-heme iron (found in plant-based foods) when consumed together.

Similiarites between Lemon and Lime

Citrus Family

Both lemons and limes belong to the citrus genus Citrus and are part of the Rutaceae family, making them close botanical relatives.

Sour and Tangy Flavor

Lemons and limes are known for their tart and tangy flavors. They share a similar acidic and citrusy taste profile, although there are subtle differences in their flavor profiles.

Rich in Vitamin C

Both fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system and promotes skin health.

High Water Content

Lemons and limes have a high water content, contributing to their refreshing and hydrating qualities.

Health Benefits

Both fruits offer potential health benefits, including their antioxidant properties, vitamin C content, and potential support for immune health.

Natural Cleaning Agents

The acidity of both fruits makes them effective natural cleaning agents, used for tasks such as removing stains and deodorizing

Differences between Lemon and Lime


Lemons are typically bright yellow in color when ripe, although some varieties can have a slightly orange hue. Their peel is smooth and glossy.

Limes can range from green to yellow-green when ripe. Key limes, a specific variety, are smaller and often have a more yellowish hue than Persian limes. Lime peel is generally thinner and smoother than lemon peel.


Lemons are usually larger than limes in size. Lemons have a typical diameter of 2 to 3 inches while limes have a diameter of around 1 to 2 inches.


Lemons have a tart and tangy flavor with a subtle sweetness. They are slightly more acidic than limes.

Limes also have a tart and tangy flavor, but their taste is often described as slightly more bitter and less sweet compared to lemons.

Uses in Cooking

Lemons are versatile and used in a wide range of dishes, including savory dishes, desserts, and beverages. Lemon juice, zest, and slices are common culinary ingredients.

Limes are frequently used in Mexican and tropical cuisines. They are a key ingredient in dishes like guacamole, ceviche, and Thai curries. Lime juice is popular in cocktails such as margaritas and mojitos.


The differences between lemons and limes, though subtle, are significant in the culinary world. From the distinct flavor profiles to variations in color and size, these citrus fruits offer diverse options for enhancing the taste and presentation of your dishes and beverages. Whether you prefer the bright, zesty notes of a lemon or the sharper, intense tang of a lime, both fruits bring a burst of citrusy freshness to your kitchen. If you're looking to buy quality limes and other groceries why not try our African Grocery Store??