Meghalaya’s Mosambi – Sweet Lime for Refreshment & Nutrition

Sweet lime from Meghalaya

Are you wondering where Meghalaya is and why we are referring to it? It is one of the 8 states that constitute the northeast part of India and is part of one of the 4 biodiversity hotspots of India. Thanks to this, the land is pristine and home to very many nutrition-rich plants, herbs and spices.

Our land has a lot to offer, farmers are hardworking, over 80% of the population depends on agriculture, yet many are subsistence farmers. Why?  Because most are family farms and reaching their produce to the market is challenging given the undulating terrain of Meghalaya.

Zizira is working to help them realize the potential of the land and improve the livelihood of the farmers we work with.Here is why we do what we do.

Meghalaya is home to the mother of all citrus fruits. Hence our interest in creating a post on Mosambi, which belongs to the citrus family.

Sweet Lime for an Energized Day

On a hot summer day, the weather can be oppressive. Exhaustion soon overcomes you, enervating you and your body jellifies. Instinct craves for a swig of that cool, soothing drink to get energized once again. Like most people's, your first fruit juice of choice happens to be Mosambi or Sweet Lime.

Mosambi is that ubiquitous lime that floods the shelves at the perfect time. In the mid-summer months of July-August, when the heat is at its relentless worst. What better time for a refreshing glass of that sweet nectar? Thanks to cold storage technology the fruit is now even available all year round.

Sweet lime from Meghalaya

Mosambi's scientific name is Citrus limetta, of the citrus family. After orange and pineapple, it might be the most popular citrus fruit. You cannot say it is sweet like the orange is.  You cannot say it is sour like the lime. Its taste is an in-between: bland and unassuming, a humble taste, like the fruit itself. There is, however, a subtle sophistication in taste, balanced between the sweet and the acidic. So you do not get hit by too much sweet, or too much tang. Instead, a well-rounded, mellow flavor caresses you, with energizing fruitiness.

Is Sweet Lime a lime or an orange? Well, it is a cross between Citron (Citrus medica) and Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium).

Mosambi is available in most cities of India, but the Meghalaya Mosambi comes from the area which is the origin of all citrus fruits in India, – the Nokrek National Park in the west Garo hills of Meghalaya.

Scientists have traced the origins of 17 species, 52 cultivars and 7 natural hybrids to the citrus gene pool of that region. Mosambi is a native of Southern Iran, where it known as Limu Shirin or Sweet Lemon. But now it is cultivated in many parts of the world.

Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and the Punjab top the charts as highest producers in India. The fruit is called mousambi or musambi in North India and Maharashtra, bathayi in Kerala, sathukodi in Tamil Nadu, and bergamot in France.

Whatever the local name this tropical and sub-tropical fruit is a joy to eat anywhere. It grows from seed and starts bearing fruit after 5 years, till about 20 years. While it retains its sweetness, it blends in the flavour of lime.

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A Look at Mosambi’s Nutritional Value

The National Institute of Nutrition says the following about Sweet Lime’s nutritive values (per 100 grams):
Calories (kcal) 43
Moisture 88.4
Protein (g) 8
Fat (g) 3
Minerals (g) 7
Fiber (g) 5
Carbohydrates (g) 9.3
Calcium (mg) 40
Phosphorus (mg) 30
Potassium (mg) 490
Iron (mg) 7

That’s not all. Mosambi, rind and all, is replete with phytochemicals such as limonoids, alkaloids and flavonoids. There are glycosides, Phenols, saponins, carotenoids, terpenoids, essential oils and steroids. These are biologically active compounds, so beneficial for health and well-being. They find many clinical uses and utility in the food and beverage industry.

Sweet lime’s fragrance finds valuable use in the perfume and cosmetic industry. One particular abundant compound is D-limonene which finds mention in the list of safe flavoring agents. D-limonene's unique feature is its rapid absorption into the body's different tissues. The compound dissipates fast into the lungs, liver, kidneys, intestines and mammary glands. This allows faster metabolism and effectiveness of action. Mosambi is also a great detoxifier and stress buster.

Daily consumption helps to flush out toxins, neutralizing the harmful effects of pollution.

Sweet lime piece from Meghalaya

Now for a Look at the 7 Health Benefits of Mosambi

Sweet lime’s generous vitamin C content makes it great for relieving one from colds. But there are too many benefits Mosambi bestows on health. We name just 7 at random.

  1. Helps Digestion – Mosambi's sweet and fragrant juice intensifies salivation. It thus assists the digestive process. The phytocompounds – flavonoids – help bile secretion and other digestive juices and acids. The rich potassium content helps ward off diarrhea and dysentery. Regular drinking of sweet lime juice prevents indigestion and keeps away constipation. It removes toxins from the intestinal tract and eliminates stomach problems. Banish vomiting tendency and nausea by drinking Mosambi juice with a pinch of salt. Mosambi also shows great promise in the treatment of Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD).
  2. Helps the Immune System – Sweet lime juice helps regulate better blood circulation. This assists proper functioning of the heart functions and thus strengthens the immune system.
  3. Great for Eyes - Sweet lime has antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. This translates to protection from attacks by free radicals and by bacteria. Thus, you avoid eye infections and macular degeneration of the eyes.
  4. Great for Skin – The fruit has disinfectant, antioxidant, antibacterial and antibiotic properties. It is also rich in Vitamin C and other minerals. These properties improve skin health and texture. Besides acting as astringent it reduces pigmentation, pimples and acne. The juice also bleaches away spots and blemishes and gives the skin a natural sheen. It is easy to apply. Dab it on your face and other affected areas before sleep. Upon waking up, wash with warm water on waking up.
  5. Great for Pregnant Women- Very often pregnant women are not allowed to consume this or that. Not so with sweet lime juice. Drink to your heart’s content. There's plentiful calcium, phosphorous and other minerals. These will benefit you and the child inside you.
  6. Great as Anti-diabetic – Sweet treatment for diabetics! First thing in the morning mix in 1 tablespoon Mosambi juice, 2 tablespoons Indian gooseberry juice, 1 teaspoon pure honey and ¼ teaspoon pure turmeric such as Lakadong turmeric powder. This will gradually ease your sugar levels to normal.
  7. Helps Reduce Weight- Weight reduction: Mosambi’s fat and calorie content are Besides, it works wonderfully on the digestive system and body's metabolism. Combine the juice with pure honey and you are on your way to weight reduction.

This list of benefits of Mosambi is of course not at all exhaustive. Suffice it is to say: make Mosambi (or any citrus fruit for that matter) your daily habit.

What FAO Says About Citrus Fruits

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has recognized the value of citrus fruits as part of a nutritious and tasty diet. As sources of macro-nutrients and biologically active compounds, they are invaluable for enhancement of health and reduction of risk of disease.

Hope you found this post informative. If you know something more about Meghalaya mosambi,  do share.  If you want to know anything more about the citrus fruits of Meghalaya – contact us.

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