Lima Beans- One of the World’s Healthiest Foods

I’ll bet you didn’t know that the simple lima bean is considered one of the world’s most healthiest vegetables!   This legume is a must in your kitchen (and garden).  Simple to grow and simple to harvest, and oh so delicious!  Just grow and harvest like you would any dry bean or green pea.  Freeze or can according to directions, and have this wonderful complete protein available year round.

If your garden does not have space to include this bean, then you can find it readily in any grocery store, dry or canned, and sometimes frozen.  I always recommend buying the dry beans, soaking, sprouting, and cooking according the package directions.   It takes some fore-thought, but the health benefits and taste outweighs the work, in my opinion.

Lima beans have a delicate flavor that wins them the nick name, butter beans, because of their starchy yet buttery texture.   Their hearty goodness makes for a great main dish or a soup bean.  Fresh limas are difficult to find, but dried and canned, and sometimes frozen, are available year round.

Benefits of lima beans

Lowers cholesterol/heart disease – lima beans are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber.  Eating foods high in fiber lowers risk of heart attack, stabilizes blood sugar, and is excellent for those with insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, and diabetes.  Fiber provides slow-burning energy.

Stabilizes blood sugar – being high in fiber helps keep blood sugar levels stable.

Nerves/blood vessels/cardiovascular – lima beans are a good source of magnesium which helps sooth the nerves, and improves flow of blood to blood vessels.   A deficiency of magnesium is associated with heart attacks, and in addition, after the attack they help promote free radical energy, which reduces inflammation and disease

Promotes energy – lima beans are high in iron (1 cup gives 24.9% of daily value), which promotes energy in the blood.  Unlike red meat, lima beans are low in calories, high in fiber, and fat-free.

Relieves constipation – lima beans are high in fiber (1 cup gives nearly 10 grams of fiber, whereas one slice whole wheat bread gives only 2.8 grams of fiber)  

Excellent source of protein – 1 cup lima beans provides 13 grams protein.  Protein builds muscle, decreases hunger, helps with weight loss efforts

Ways to eat lima beans:

  • Serve whole and sprinkle with seasoning.
  • Makes a great addition to soups.
  • Blend cooked lima beans and sweet potatoes together.  Serve with your favorite grain and fresh salad or vegetable for a tasty meatless meal.
  • Use lima beans for a twist on humus.  Add chopped garlic to pureed lima beans and fresh herbs of choice.  Use spread as a dip for crackers/crudites or as a sandwich/wrap filling.