by REEMSHA AKBAR
Did you know that dried limes are staple ingredients in the Omani kitchen? Yes, the black limes, known locally as loomi, are popular in town and they pack a ton of health benefits, too.
These dried balls of goodness are made by boiling fresh limes and then leaving then to sun-dry. The end result is a unique, tangy and sweet flavour with a rich fermented aroma.
This ingredient is an ancient Omani citrus spice that became popular in the Arabic and Asian kitchens, with colour ranging from pale brown to ashy black with a hard and thin outer shell. When cracked open, these limes have a dry flaky flesh. The darker the lime the more intense and pungent the flavour. Usually crunched to bits or used as a powder.
This week, we are exploring the health benefits of this Omani ingredient. Here are eight benefits to using black limes:
1. Prevents Heart Disease
Contains beneficial potassium components excellent for heart muscles as it strengthens and regulates the pumping of blood. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces cholesterol.
2. Promotes A Healthy Digestion System
Black limes cure diarrhoea and other gastric issues, and boost the immune system. A natural cleanser for the digestive system; it reliefs constipation and opens appetite.
3. It’s A Brilliant Detox Agent
Expels harmful bacteria, waste and other toxins out of the body by cleaning the intestine with its high percentage of vitamin C and antibacterial properties.
4. It Has Anti-Cancer Properties
It’s Anti-cancer properties prevent the DNA change, due to the compounds that are reported to stop cell division in numerous cancer cell lines. Work as a natural antibiotic too.
5. Has A Ton Of Minerals
Contains folic acid, B vitamin and amino acid, Along with traces of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, which aids in producing new cells formation.
7. It Packs Vitamin C
Dried limes fight inflammation, common cold and raise the efficiency in the immune system. It also protects the body from viral infections and stress.
8. A Great Source For Vitamin D
It Increases physical movement, prevents osteoporosis, strengthens the bones, muscles and teeth.
Bonus: A recipe for Chai Tea with Omani Loomi
– 3 dried limes
– 2 cups of water
– Pick or crack the dried lime open in a pan
– Add water and bring to boil
– Simmer for 20 minutes
– Remove from heat and let it warm
– Drain and filter the drink in a cup
– Add the honey to sweeten the drink.