Here’s what you need to know about this healthy legume.
Lima beans are highly nutritious. Not only are a good chunk of lima beans carbs actually made up of heart-healthy, indigestible fiber, but they also contain a hefty dose of protein, manganese, folate and potassium.
Approximately one-third of the carbs in lima beans nutrition are in the form of fiber, a type of indigestible material that moves through the gastrointestinal tract slowly, adding bulk to the stool while supporting better digestion.
One of the most impressive lima beans benefits is its content of iron, a nutrient that is central to the production of healthy red blood cells in the body. In fact, it’s estimated that about 70 percent of your body’s iron is found in the hemoglobin and myoglobin, which are two types of proteins that are involved in transporting oxygen throughout the body.
The lima bean nutrition profile boasts a good amount of iron, which can aid in the prevention of iron deficiency anemia.
Folate is a B vitamin that is required for DNA replication, amino acid synthesis and vitamin metabolism, along with many other different reactions in the body. It also plays a central role in fetal growth and development and is especially important for ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
A deficiency in this crucial vitamin can increase the risk of birth defects, including neural tube defects. Some research also suggests that folate may help prevent premature delivery and protect against congenital heart defects as well.
Meanwhile, fiber helps keep you feeling fuller for longer to fight cravings and cut back on calorie consumption.
Growing lima beans at home is an easy way to get your fix of this flavorful ingredient. They are annual plants that require 60–90 days of frost-free, warm weather to reach harvest.
Frozen or dried lima beans are also available and easy to find at most major supermarkets.
Fresh beans should be stored in an airtight bag and refrigerated to help maximize their shelf life.
Although soaking isn’t required, it can help speed up the cooking process and promote proper digestion.
They work especially well combined with other veggies, such as zucchini, tomatoes, peas, garlic and onions. Alternatively, try adding them to soup, succotash or casserole dishes to bump up the flavor, fiber and nutrients.
Here are a few lima beans recipe ideas that you can use to help get you started:
That said, butter beans should be avoided in those with an allergy to legumes. Some people with an allergy to other legumes, such as soy, may also experience a negative reaction and should consume with caution.
Because they are high in fiber, you should also increase your consumption slowly to avoid digestive issues like gas and bloating. Be sure to also drink plenty of water, which can help fiber move through the body.
Cooking your beans is also very important. Raw butter beans contain linamarin, a compound that is converted to cyanide in the body, which can be toxic. Cooking the beans not only reduces the content of linamarin, but it also decreases the amount of antinutrients to optimize nutrient absorption.
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