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Originally found in Central America, lima beans are now grown throughout the world. They can either be grown as the bush variety or the vine variety. On average, the bush variety is the one that yields small seeds. They are often referred to as sieve or baby lima. Sometimes, they are also called as butter beans. The vine variety of this plant produces the large seeds that get categorized as lima beans.
Lima beans are a good source of both cholesterol-lowering fiber and “normal” fiber. The cholesterol-lowering fiber helps to maintain a healthy heart while the other fiber ensures a healthy digestive system. Lima beans and the high amount of fiber helps in maintaining proper blood sugar levels.
Lima beans are an excellent source of protein, with one cup containing 15 grams. Plus, lima beans have all the essential amino acids needed by our body for good muscle building. One cup of lima beans contains 25 percent of an adult’s iron needs per day. Iron plays a significant role in the production of red blood cells. Also, iron helps your body produce energy.
Some foods and drinks we consume contain sulfites which can cause headaches and disorientation. Research has found that lima beans contain molybdenum which is a rare mineral not normally found in food. Molybdenum helps to counteract the side effects of sulfites and lima beans are extremely rich in it.
Lima beans are a great source of folate. A serving of lima beans contains nearly all your daily recommended allowance of folates. Folate is one of the essential co-factor for DNA synthesis and cell division. Adequate folate in the diet around conception and during pregnancy can help prevent neural-tube defects in the newborn baby.
Lima beans contain high levels of B-complex vitamins, especially pyridoxine(vitamin B-6), thiamin (B-1), riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. The majority of these vitamins function as co-enzymes in the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates.