18 Health Benefits of Lima Beans (No.6 Super-Vegetables)
Lima beans. From the name of that bean, you might find some clue about the origins of lima beans. Yes, lima beans come from Lima, the capital city of Peru. After Christopher Columbus discovered the American Ocean, the varieties of lima beans growing throughout Central America and Carribean. But now, you can find the lima beans in Africa and Asian too since this bean can withstand the tropical weather.
We bet that you already know that lima beans contain a lot of benefits. But, do you know all of the benefits of this bean? In this article, we already provide you with a lot of benefits that the lima beans could offer to your body. Here are the lists of the benefits of the lima beans.
- Rich of Fibers
As any other beans, lima beans contain a rich amount of dietary fibers. In fact, the fibers in lima beans would be beneficial for people who suffers from diabetes or hypoglycaemia because lima bean has a low glycemic index. The low glycemic index in a lima bean means that the blood sugar level in the body will not rise significantly after you consume this bean. Lima beans contain a low glycemic index due to its high soluble fiber.
- Rich of Iron
Lima bean is one of the foods that contain high amounts of iron. In fact, a cup of lima beans contains 24,9 percent of iron. This is very high amounts of iron , especially if you’re the type of person who susceptible to suffer from iron deficiency through a menstrual period, or an injury, both internally and externally.
One of the interesting fact is that the lima beans specified as non-heme iron, which is totally low in calories and also, fat free. So, you just don’t have to be worried about your diet when you want to consume this lima bean. Also, iron will help to transport the oxygen from your lungs to other parts of the body, which without a doubt will make you healthier and more energetic throughout the day.
- High Amounts of Protein
Do you know that lima beans could be the perfect replace for a meat if you want to gain some protein without being fat? Well, lima bean is very competitive, in fact slightly lower, if you compared the amount of protein with red meat. It will be a perfect match with meat if you mix the lima beans with whole grains. In fact, you will get more benefits if you decide to consume these beans because its contain high soluble fiber. A cup of lima beans will give you approximately 13 grams of fibers and about 15 grams of protein.
- Stabilizing Blood Sugar Level
Lima bean is a perfect choice to eat if you’re concerned about diabetes, hypoglycemia, or insulin resistance. Lima beans contain high amounts of soluble fibers which will help to maintain your blood sugar level. There are studies that occurred before and shown that people who ate high soluble fiber foods had lower levels of blood sugar and insulin.
- Detoxifying Sulfites
There are some people that have some kinds of allergies to sulfites. Once people suffer from sulfites allergies and they eat food that contain sulfites, they will experience headache and rapid heartbeat. So, if you’re the type of people who sensitive to sulfites, you need to consume lima beans since lima beans contains high amount of molybdenum, one of the parts of sulfite oxidase compounds that have responsibility to detoxifying sulfites.
- Perfect Source to Boost Energy
As already mentioned above, lima beans contain a great amount of protein, specifically slightly lower than red meat. But, lima beans have a lot of benefits for your health compared with the red meat. Lima beans contain high amounts of soluble fiber, which not only beneficial for your diet and maintaining your blood sugar levels, but also will give you a slow-burning energy. The effect of that slow-burning energy is that you will be more energetic throughout the day and stay away from tiredness.
- Fat Free
Well, if you don’t want to be fat and you don’t want to suffer from iron and protein deficiency at the same time, this lima beans provide you the solution. Lima beans contain a very low amount of calories, a cup of lima beans just have for about 216 calories, which will avoid you from being fat and also, lima beans’ dietary fibers ensures that you still have the supplies of healthy nutrients for the health of your body. So, you must consume these beans and you’ll be not worried about your weight anymore.
- Perfect Source of Folates
It is also revealed that lima beans contain a lot of folates. This folates is very essential for every woman, especially for pregnant woman. When you’re getting pregnant, getting all nutrients to ensure that your baby will stay healthy is a must. Folate is one of the nutrients which will protect your baby from any neural tube defect and also prevent you from premature labor. Folate is also very essential for your body to synthesize the cells. A hundred grams of lima beans will be more that enough for our folate requirements.
Folate is also essential to reduce the level of homocysteine. Homocysteine is one of an amino acid which is a product from a metabolic process called the methylation cycle. The excessive amounts of homocysteine will improve the risk of having a heart attack.
- Prevent Breast Cancer
Some studies revealed that lima beans turn out have a good effect to prevent you from breast cancer. There is a study conducted in animal, which shown that lima beans contain small amounts of isoflavone. Isoflavone is a compound that widely known for its efficacy in lowering the risk of some diseases associated with breast cancer.
- Great Source of Carbohydrates
It is also revealed that lima beans, like any other kinds of bean, contain high amounts of carbohydrates. Carbohydrate probably is one of the most important nutrients for your body because it can provide you with some energy. Well, this is a good news since every foods that contain great amount of carbohydrates are also having a side effect, especially related to the sugar levels contained in it.
Food that has a great amount of carbohydrates commonly also has a great amount of sugar too, which will bring your body bad effects. But, lima bean is an exception since it contain great amounts of carbohydrates, but has a really low amount of sugar, thus it will bring a lot of benefits to provide you an energy without harmful effects.
- Low Amount of Sodium
Sodium actually is pretty fine in your body if you’re not taking it excessively. But, if you’re taking it excessively, there are some harmful effects that could happen to your body, such as swelling in many parts of your body and also you will have a high possibility of high blood pressure. Lima beans contain a low amount of sodium, so you don’t have to be concerned about any diseases associated with high blood pressure.
- Digestive Tract Benefits
Studies have also shown that the fiber contained in lima beans would be very beneficial to prevent you from diseases associated with your digestive tract, such as constipation. The fiber contained in lima beans will maintain the existence of the healthy bacteria in your digestive tract and will prevent the bad bacteria. The healthy bacteria in your digestive tract will boost your immune system and protect your intestinal tract from irritable bowel syndrome, which might lead to more serious problems like colon cancer.
- High Amount of Potassium
Lima beans also contain high amount of potassium. Potassium is a kind of electrolyte which has a lot of benefits for your body. Potassium will help you to maintain the health of your digestive system and your heart. Potassium is also essential for the creation of new cells in the body, thus it will help to heal your wounds as quickly as possible. Potassium is also beneficial for your bones if its combined with manganese and vitamins, which will protect you from the risk of having Osteoporosis in the elderly period.
- Good Source of Manganese
Lima beans turn out to be a good source of manganese. Other than Vitamin C, manganese is one of the compounds that can stimulate the production of antioxidant. This antioxidant will be beneficial to fight against free radicals that could bring you a lot of negative effects, including skin aging.
- Rich Source of Vitamins
Lima beans are a perfect source of many kinds of vitamin, such as Thiamine, Vitamin B6, and Niacin. Together, these vitamins will be bound together to act as an co-enzyme in a metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats that stimulated by the iron. These metabolism will enable your body to receive nutrients from the food that you just ate.
- Great Amount of Copper
Copper is one of the compounds that would be beneficial for your body to help stimulate the release of antioxidant. This antioxidant will fight free radicals which will bring a lot of good effects on your body. This copper usually stored on a liver. If you want to add some coppers in the body, lima beans would be the perfect choice to consume.
- Great Amounts of Magnesium
Lima beans turn out to be a very good supply of magnesium. Magnesium is truly beneficial for your body, especially for your cardiovascular system. Having sufficient magnesium in the body will lower the risk of having heart attacks, because magnesium will enable your vein and arteries to relax, thus it will improve the blood flow. In fact, lack of magnesium will also promote the free radicals which without a doubt will make some harmful effects for your body.
- Prevent Heart Attack
This is probably one of the most important benefits that the lima beans could offer for your body. There are some studies that already been done before which evidence the efficacy of lima beans to protect you from heart attack and any other diseases related to your cardiovascular. Lima beans contain various combinations of components that will prevent you from heart attack.
Lima beans contain folate which will reduce the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid which will improve your risk of having a heart attack. Also, lima beans contain magnesium. This component has already been proven to maintain your cardiovascular system, because it will help your vein and arteries to relax.
Tips on How to Pick and Store Lima Beans
Now you already know that lima beans contain a lot of nutrients that would be very beneficial for your body. It is very important that you can pick and store lima beans properly so you will get the full advantage of its benefits. Here are some proper tips to pick lima beans and how to store it.
- You must choose the lima beans that still covered and buy from the store that doesn’t put it in an open place because lima beans is very susceptible from insect damage or get cracked. Lima beans need to be covered to keep its freshness.
- Choose lima beans that have the characteristic of dark green and glossy color rather than the blemishes, wrinkling, and yellow color. Pick lima beans which has tender contour and don’t have any signs of decay.
- If you already purchased it, keep it immediately in dry, clean, cold, and dark places which will keep it for about six months. Store it in the direct sunlight is a big no since it will kill all of the benefits that contained in the beans. Make sure you always cover it and place it in refrigerator if you don’t want to consume it immediately.
Tips on How to Prepare Lima Beans
After you purcashed it and store it, you might be wondering how to prepare it properly, so you will enjoy the tastiness of lima beans and get the full advantage of it. Here are some hints on how to prepare the lima beans.
- First, you need to spread the lima beans on the cooking surface, to check whether there are any stones or debris that contained among the beans. If you see them among the beans, get rid of them immediately.
- Wash the good lima beans that already free from stones and debris, so it will totally clean and look fresher.
- To make the cooking time become shorter, you need to soak the lima beans in advance. To soak the lima beans, you can put the lima beans in a saucepan, and then add three or four cups of water and boil it for about two minutes.
- After two minutes, take off the heat from the saucepan, and then let it stand for a couple of hours.
Tips on How to Cook Lima Beans
After you soak it, don’t eat it directly. You should not eat raw or uncooked lima beans since it contains linamarin, a kind of toxic which might bring you some negative effects. So, here are the steps on how to cook lima beans properly.
- Add the lima beans into a pot and add three to four cups of water. Make sure that the water’s height to be about one inch above the top of the beans.
- Boil it for about 45 minutes until the beans become tender.
- Since lima beans will produce foam during the boiling sessions, you need to skim that foam off. Because lima beans often to produce foam, you’re not recommended to cook it in pressure cooker.
- Do not add any seasoning, especially salt, during the boiling sessions because it will make the boiling sessions of lima beans become longer and longer than before.
- After the lima beans become tender, you can consume it immediately.
Lima Beans side Effects and Warning
Lima beans are truly beneficial for your health. But, like any other beans, these lima beans also have some side effects and warnings that you should take a look. Here are some side effects and warnings of lima beans.
- Don’t eat it uncooked
You’re strongly recommended to not eat it when the lima bean is still raw or uncooked. Raw lima beans contain linamarin. Linamarin is kind of cyanide that could be a toxic for your body. By cooking the lima beans, you will destroy the linamarin compound.
- It’s a Non-Heme Iron
Lima bean is one of the kind of non-heme iron, which is need special absorption because non-heme iron is pretty difficult to absorb compared with heme iron. So, make sure that you also have sufficient amount of Vitamin C so that they will help the absorption of non-heme iron into your body.
- Gastrointernal Problems
Like any other beans, lima beans also contain non-digestible fibers. This will lead to gastrointernal problems for the people who are not getting used to eat lima beans. Also, taking an excessive amount of beans into your diet might will cause problems related your intestinal system and as the result, you will feel some discomfort such as cramps or any other abdominal pain. Make sure you are drinking a lot of fluids after eating lima beans.
So, now you already know all of the important aspects from lima beans. Lima bean is one the kind of beans that will ready to give you a lot of advantages to your body. In fact, having a sufficient lima beans, even in your diet, would make your condition will be at the highest levels throughout the day. Stay healthy with the lima beans!