Initially found in Central America, lima beans are now grown worldwide. They can either be produced as the bush variety or the vine variety. On average, the bush variety is the one that yields tiny seeds. These legumes are often referred to as sieve or baby lima. Sometimes, they are also called butter beans. This plant’s vine variety produces large seeds categorized as lima beans. These delicious beans are low in calories but rich in healthy complex carbohydrates. Lima beans can be picked up at most local grocery stores in cans or dried bulk containers.

Lima Beans Nutrition Facts

Lima beans offer many benefits to the body; here are nutritional facts about lima beans you need to know:

  • 1.3 grams of fat
  • 12 milligrams of sodium
  • 31 grams of carbohydrates
  • 7.6 grams of fiber
  • 11 grams of protein
  • 729 milligrams of potassium

The nutritional information above is based on one cup of dried lima beans. Additionally, the lima bean is a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent folate, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron, and magnesium source. Lima beans are also a good source of thiamin, Riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B-6.

Lima Beans Health Benefits

There are many health benefits of fresh lima beans; here are some of them:

Great Source of Fiber

Lima beans are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and “normal” fiber. The cholesterol-lowering fiber helps maintain a healthy heart. In contrast, the other fiber ensures a healthy digestive system—Lima beans and the high amount of fiber help maintain proper blood sugar levels. 

Protein and Iron

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.

Natural Detoxifying Food

Some foods and drinks we consume contain sulfites which can cause headaches and disorientation. Research has found that lima beans contain molybdenum, 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.

Folates

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 pregnancy can help prevent neural-tube defects in the newborn baby.

Aids in Stabilizing Blood Sugar Levels

Lima beans may help to regulate blood sugar levels. It is due to the presence of a type of fiber known as resistant starch. Resistant starch is not digested in the small intestine but is fermented by gut bacteria in the large intestine. This fermentation process leads to the production of short-chain fatty acids, one of which is butyrate. Butyrate has been shown to benefit blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

Aids in Weight Loss

Lima beans are a low-calorie food, making them an excellent choice for those trying to lose weight. Additionally, their high fiber content can help you feel full and satisfied after eating. It may help to reduce overall calorie intake and promote weight loss.

Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Lima beans contain soluble fiber, which has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber binds to cholesterol in the gut and prevents its absorption into the bloodstream. It can help to reduce your risk of heart disease.

High in B-Complex Vitamins

Lima beans contain high 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.

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References:

  1. Lima Bean Facts, Health Benefits and Nutritional Value (healthbenefitstimes.com)
  2. Lima Beans: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, Preparation Information, and More (webmd.com)
  3. Lima beans, raw, immature seeds nutrition facts and analysis. (nutritionvalue.org)

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