Home » Are Limes Unripe Lemons? The Ultimate Guide

Are Limes Unripe Lemons? The Ultimate Guide

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

It is very common for lemons and limes to be confused because they are very similar in shape and size!

If you’ve ever looked at lemons and limes and wondered if limes are just unripe lemons, you’re certainly not alone! Many people have been asking the same question for many years. 

Are Limes Unripe Lemons? The Ultimate Guide

While lemons and limes do look similar, limes are not unripe lemons. Instead, their similarities stem from the fact that they both belong to the citrus family. These two fruits have a variety of similarities, as well as many differences. 

So, in this article, we have compiled all of the information you need on limes and lemons. By the time you have read this article, you’ll be able to distinguish between the two, and understand their fantastic health benefits! Let’s dive in!

What Is A Lime?

Limes are popular citrus fruits. They are green, small, and found in most grocery stores and markets! 

Most of the limes that we see are grown in Mexico, and Persian limes are the most common variety.

You can purchase limes all year round and, because of this, they are used in lots of different foods and a large variety of different drinks! 

Limes are usually sold in a dark green color, but they will begin to turn yellow as they ripen.

It is possible to purchase bottled lime juice, but it is not as tasty as fresh limes and it also doesn’t contain as many of the health benefits!

What Is A Lemon?

Lemon is also a citrus fruit, coming from the same family as the lime. The lemon is easily identified by its bright yellow color!

Lemons are not available all year round, but they are harvested for much of the year. This will depend on the conditions that the lemons are being grown in.

You can enjoy lemons in a wide range of different ways. They can be juiced, candied, preserved, or dried out! They can also be used as garnishes.

Are Green Limes Unripened Lemons?

Many people think that green limes are lemons that are not yet ripe. However, this is inaccurate. Limes are smaller than lemons and they never change color from their original green. 

Both lemons and limes are very similar in lots of ways, including nutritionally. They share a large number of different health benefits, but they are very different in lots of ways. 

While limes are small, green, and round, lemons are larger, yellow, and oval-shaped! Lemons are usually sweeter in flavor, and limes are slightly more bitter. Both lemons and limes are sour.

Differences Between Lemons And Limes 

Lemons and limes are different in lots of ways as they have different genetics. They are also grown in very different environments. 


Limes are mostly found in tropical or subtropical environments. In contrast, lemons are traditionally grown in moderate climates. 


Lemons and limes are very similar when it comes to taste. They both are acidic in their flavor, and they are used for similar reasons. They are commonly used in cooking and baking, as well as to make various drinks.

Lemons are slightly sweeter than more bitter limes.


Lemons and limes are both used for very similar purposes. They are both used in cooking and baking, as well as for medical and cosmetic purposes. 

Both lemons and limes are commonly used to add scent to certain cleaning products and air fresheners.

Do Yellow Limes Turn Into Lemons?

Are Limes Unripe Lemons? The Ultimate Guide

In some cases, when limes ripen, they may turn yellow. However, when this happens, it doesn’t mean that the limes have turned into lemons as they are two different fruits. 

Limes should be harvested before they turn yellow, while they are still green. However, when these limes are fully ripened, they sometimes turn a light yellow color.

When this happens, they don’t have the same fantastic flavor as green limes. For this reason, they should be eaten before they turn yellow. 

Limes are always harvested and sold when they are green and unripe, as this is when they have the best flavor.

To prevent your limes from losing color and flavor once purchased, you should keep them away from sunlight.

Where Are Limes Grown?

Lime trees originate in Southeast Asia as they grow best in tropical and subtropical climates. In the 10th century, this fruit was introduced into Northern Africa and Egypt by Arab traders. 

Now, limes are grown all over the world, and they can be grown all year round. The majority of limes that you buy from your grocery stores today come from Mexico or Brazil.

How To Add Limes To Your Diet

Usually, you will not want to eat limes due to the strong sour and bitter flavor. Instead, limes are delicious and healthy when they are added to various recipes.

To add lime to your diet, it is a good idea to include them in some desserts! Key lime pie is delicious. You can also add lime to your salsa or guacamole for added flavor. 

Adding lime to your water is also delicious and it will give you many of the health benefits that limes provide. 

How To Add Lemons To Your Diet

Lemons are usually much sweeter than limes, and they work very well in lots of different dishes. Add lemons to your diet by making lemonade from the juice of the lemons. You can also add lemon juice to some other drinks or cocktails.

Lemon zest can also be used in different baked goods, or it can be added to make delicious lemony desserts like lemon meringue pie! 

Health Benefits Of Limes

Lime has many different health benefits. These include: 

Vitamin C

Limes are very high in vitamin C which is great for maintaining a healthy immune system, ensuring that you can fight off any illnesses. 

Vitamin C also promotes healthy skin and it helps to protect you against any dry skin. 

Other Vitamins 

Limes also contain small amounts of vitamin B6, iron, and potassium. These are very good for your overall health as they are necessary vitamins for a healthy diet. 

Increase Iron Absorption 

Limes are also great for increasing iron absorption. They reduce your risk of developing certain cancers, heart disease, and kidney stones.

Health Benefits Of Lemons

Lemons also have many different health benefits. They are very similar to the benefits of limes. These are: 

Vitamin C 

Lemons are very high in vitamin C. This helps to boost your immune system and it is an essential vitamin for healthy skin. 


Lemons are high in fiber which helps you to manage your weight. They will also help to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Adding lemons and limes to your water is said to promote weight loss. This is because the fiber that is present in these fruits expands in your stomach, ensuring you feel fuller for a longer period.

Final Thoughts 

So, there you have it! While it is a common belief, limes are not unripe lemons. They are both separate fruits from the citrus family. While they are similar, they are not the same fruit! 

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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