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7 Health Benefits Of Lima Beans

Last updated June 18, 2016

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Joe Calhoun

The lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) or butter bean is a legume in the Fabaceae family. The edible seed was cultivated originally in the Andes and Mesoamerica. Both bush and vine varieties exist. The bush varieties mature earlier than the pole varieties.


The lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) or butter bean is a legume in the Fabaceae family. The edible seed was cultivated originally in the Andes and Mesoamerica. Both bush and vine varieties exist. The bush varieties mature earlier than the pole varieties.

Here are the 7 health benefits of lima beans.

1.     Lima beans can help individuals detoxify.

Wines, dried fruits, and some vegetables contain sulfites, which can cause side effects, such as headaches and disorientation. Studies have shown that lima beans are extremely high in molybdenum, a rare mineral not frequently found in foods. One cup of lima beans contains 313 percent of the daily recommended value of molybdenum. This mineral counteracts the side effects of sulfites.

2.     Lima beans can fight neurodegenerative disorders.

Molybdenum also helps in cell energy production and development of the nervous system. Lima beans also provide the brain the necessary amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Some vitamins like folate play a significant role in the regulation of specific amino acids that the nervous system requires. Studies have shown that a deficient amount of dietary folate can increase the homocysteine levels, which can be a dangerous precursor to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. One cup of lima beans contains 39 percent of the recommended value of folate.

3.     Lima beans can help improve your heart.

Elevated levels of homocysteine are a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease and are found in between approximately 30 percent of patients with cardiovascular disease. Folate lowers the levels of homocysteine in the blood. Lima beans are also rich in magnesium. A one cup serving of lima beans contains 20 percent of magnesium. Magnesium helps the blood vessels relax and improves blood flow in the body.

4.     Lima beans are a great source of iron.

One cup of lima beans contains 25 percent of an adult’s iron needs. Iron plays a significant role in the production of red blood cells. Also, iron helps your body produce energy.

5.     Lima beans can help maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Lima beans have a very high content of potassium and a low content of sodium. One cup of lima beans contains an incredible 955 milligrams of potassium, compared to 3.8 milligrams of sodium. This helps the blood vessels relax and maintains proper blood pressure.

6.     Lima beans can help fight constipation and prevent fecal backup.

Lima beans are a great source of fiber. A one-cup serving of lima beans contains 13 grams of dietary fiber. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively. Fiber can prevent constipation, making one’s bowel movement easier to manage.

7.     Lima beans are an excellent source of protein.

One cup of lima beans contains 15 grams of protein, making it an excellent protein source for vegetarians. Lima beans contain all the essential amino acids that are needed by our body for good muscle-building.

References:

  1. Lima beans, large, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt Nutrition Facts & Calories. (n.d.). Retrieved August 10, 2017, from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4340/2
  2. Joshua, Z. P., & Suleiman, M. M. (2012). The effect of cooking time on the vitamin C, dietary fiber and mineral compositions of some local vegetables. Science World Journal7(1), 29-30.
  3. Zannolli, R., Micheli, V., Mazzei, M. A., Sacco, P., Piomboni, P., Bruni, E., ... & Pellegrini, L. (2003). Hereditary xanthinuria type II associated with mental delay, autism, cortical renal cysts, nephrocalcinosis, osteopenia, and hair and teeth defects. Journal of medical genetics40(11), e121-e121.
  4. Walter, T., Olivares, M., Pizarro, F., & Muñoz, C. (1997). Iron, anemia, and infection. Nutrition reviews55(4), 111-124.
  5. Oexle, H., Gnaiger, E., & Weiss, G. (1999). Iron-dependent changes in cellular energy metabolism: influence on citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Bioenergetics1413(3), 99-107.
  6. Homocysteine Studies Collaboration. (2002). Homocysteine and risk of ischemic heart disease and stroke: a meta-analysis. Jama288(16), 2015-2022.
  7. Plitzko, B., Ott, G., Reichmann, D., Henderson, C. J., Wolf, C. R., Mendel, R., ... & Havemeyer, A. (2013). The involvement of mitochondrial amidoxime reducing components 1 and 2 and mitochondrial cytochrome b5 in N-reductive metabolism in human cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry288(28), 20228-20237.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Aug. 2, 2014
Last updated: June 18, 2016