Long before modern doctors knew the health benefits of consuming lima beans, people grew these legumes as a primary food source. In fact, thousands of years ago, lima beans were a staple in the diets of native cultures across South America. And all it takes is a quick glance at the facts about lima beans' nutrition to see why they're still so popular.
Lima beans provide a diverse range of nutrients to the human body. Of these nutrients, some of the most important include protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and essential vitamins.
So why not add these delicious beans to your regular diet?
Lima Beans Nutrition Facts You Need to Know
Potassium promotes overall cardiovascular health, muscle development, and bone strength.
On top of being a great source of potassium, lima beans contain a high amount of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, iron, and vitamin b-6. Lima beans are also a relatively rich source of plant protein and essential amino acids.
Because of their protein content, lima beans are an important part of a healthy, plant-based diet. Eating lima beans with a sulfur-based amino acid source, like rice, will provide your body with all the amino acids it needs.
Plus, lima beans are naturally low-fat and low-calorie.
Why Everyone Should Be Eating Lima Beans
Countless doctors and nutritionists have studied the benefits of including beans in a healthy diet. Because of this research, we know that lima beans nutrition benefits aren't limited to being low-fat and high in potassium!
Actually, one published study even connected the consumption of legumes with a decreased risk of mortality in the elderly. If that wasn't enough, we also know lima beans can prevent heart disease (the leading cause of death in the United States).
What else can these amazing beans do for your health? Let's find out:
They can protect your heart health
Diets high in legumes can help reduce your cholesterol levels. That is largely because beans contain an abundance of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber binds to cholesterol in the stomach and clears it out of your system before it can collect in your blood.
Additionally, a diet high in legumes reduces one's risk of coronary artery disease. Specifically, the magnesium and folate in lima beans are known to prevent heart disease and improve overall heart health.
They can help you lose weight
The same soluble fiber that controls cholesterol also takes longer to break down in your digestive system. In other words, you feel fuller for longer.
That, combined with their low fat content, makes lima beans an excellent food choice for people looking to control their appetites.
They can help manage your blood sugar
Diabetics, of course, need to watch their carbohydrate consumption. But fiber is one exception.
Like other legumes, lima beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Due to this fiber content, lima beans are low on the glycemic index. Being low on the glycemic index means that lima beans prevent your blood sugar from rising too quickly after a meal.
Even if you don't have diabetes, eating a diet high in fiber could actually lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
How to Start
Incorporating Lima Beans into Your Diet
One of the most popular recipes using lima beans is succotash, a traditional Native American dish. Succotash is a mix of lima beans with corn (sometimes with sweet peppers, potatoes, or tomatoes). However you make it, succotash is a delicious and nutritious side dish that everyone will enjoy.
Another tasty, plant-based recipe is autumn lima bean stew.
At the end of the day, though, there's no shortage of amazing recipes you can create with this nutritious, versatile legume.
What's your favorite lima beans recipe? Have lima beans' nutrition benefits helped you fight high cholesterol or diabetes? Let us know in the comments below!
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