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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Beans and Legumes >>  Lima Beans

Lima Beans

Lima beans are available in two main type’s potato lima or large lima beans and small or baby lima beans. They have a starchy butter like taste, so often they are even referred as butter beans. Fresh varieties of lima beans are available in summer and fall; however dried and canned lima beans are available year round. Lima beans when combined with whole grains provide negligible fat and high quality protein.

Cholesterol conscious

Lima beans are rich in cholesterol lowering fiber that helps lower cholesterol by binding with bile and eliminating it from the body. Besides lowering cholesterol, fiber from lima beans also helps to control blood sugar levels (lima beans have a low glycemic index) in people with irregular glucose metabolism like in diabetes, hypoglycemia or insulin resistance.
Lima beans may help to maintain the blood sugar levels by slowly burning the energy and providing steady amounts of glucose to the blood. The insoluble fiber in lima beans helps to relieve constipation by increasing the stool bulk and may also prevent gastrointestinal disorders like diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Sulfite sensitive

Molybdenum is an important component of sulfite oxidase, an enzyme required for detoxification of sulfites. Sulfites when consumed in higher amounts (commonly added in prepared foods and salad bars) can cause headache, rapid heartbeat or disorientation. This reaction to sulfites is only possible when the body stores of molybdenum are low.

Heart health

Lima beans lower the risk of getting a heart attack and death from other coronary heart diseases. Researchers found that including legumes as a part of a healthy diet is associated with 82 % reduction in the risk of heart diseases and especially lima beans in diet significantly lowers both LDL and total cholesterol in the body.
Folate along with magnesium helps to keep the levels of homocysteine in check, as an increase value is associated with a risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium is also a natural calcium channel blocker and helps improve blood flow throughout the body. A cup of cooked lima beans provide 39.1% of the daily value for folate and 20.2% of the daily value for magnesium.

Manganese - is a trace mineral is an important cofactor for number of enzymes involved in energy production and antioxidant defense. One cup of lima beans provides 48.5% daily value for manganese.  
A cup of cooked lima beans provide 24.9% of the dietary value for iron. Iron from lima beans helps to replenish the low stores in the body and is especially important for menstruating women who are at high risk of anemia.

People with purine related problems like gout, uric acid problems or kidney problems should consume lima beans wisely as it has these naturally occurring purines that should be avoided in such conditions.
Submitted on January 16, 2014