Before I start, let me tell you that I think Lima Beans taste awfully damn good. I eat them plain, I eat them doctored up in all sorts of concoctions, and I make a huge array of casseroles out of them (ie. Mexican, Italian, Indian, Mediterranean, and others I have yet to create) and have eaten them roasted. I relish Lima beans. I unfortunately have a fair number of relatives who do not enjoy Lima beans like I do. Here are some of the facts about Lima Beans (BESIDES THEIR EXCELLENT TASTE) and why they should reconsider their dislike: Phaseolus lunatus
is a legume. It is grown for its seed, which is eaten as a vegetable. It is commonly known as the lima bean. Phaseolus lunatus
is of Andean and Mesoamerican origin. Two separate domestication events are believed to have occurred. The first, taking place in the Andes around 2000 BC, produced a large-seeded variety (Lima type), while the second, taking place in Mesoamerica around AD 800, produced a small-seeded variety (Sieva type).
Lima beans are a good source of dietary fiber, and a virtually fat-free source of high quality protein.
Lima beans contain both soluble fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol, and insoluble fiber, which prevents constipation, digestive disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis. For people with diabetes, the high fiber content in Lima beans prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after eating them due to the presence of large amounts of absorption-slowing compounds in the beans, and their high soluble fiber content. Soluble fiber absorbs water in the stomach forming a gel that slows down the metabolism of the bean's carbohydrates.
Soluble fiber binds with the bile acids that form cholesterol and, because it is not absorbed by the intestines, it exits the body taking the bile acids with it. As a result, the cholesterol level is lowered.
They may therefore help to prevent heart disease, and may reduce the medical dosage required to combat cholesterol in the form of natural food.
Lima beans also provide folate and magnesium. Folate lowers levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is an intermediate product in an important metabolic process called the methylation cycle. Elevated blood levels of homocysteine are an independent risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
The magnesium content of lima beans is a calcium channel blocker. When enough magnesium is present veins and arteries relax, which reduces resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
I have several relatives that have Type 2 diabetes (insulin-resistance). The way in which the Lima bean can combat nearly every one of their maladies associated with diabetes is amazing. They can help balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy, and reduce the incidence of heart disease.