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Lima Bean Nutrition Facts, Carbs, and More Health Benefits

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Lima Bean

Lima Bean Nutrition Facts, Carbs, and More Health Benefits- Lima beans are a type of legume that is commonly used in traditional dishes from all over the world. They have a unique taste and texture due to their large size. These beans are also an excellent source of protein, fiber, folate (B9), thiamine (B1), iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamins B6 and E. They provide a good amount of manganese in addition to being low in fat. They can be used raw or roasted for different effects on the nutrition profile. In addition to their nutritional content they are also fairly easy to cook with requiring only relatively few ingredients other than water such as olive oil or vegetable broth.

The history of Lima Beans is a long one. They were first cultivated way back in the 8th century BC in Peru. They are presumed to have come to America by way of Spanish explorers many years later. The name Lima originates from the city also named Lima in Peru which was an important export hub for this legume during colonial times.

Lima Beans are an excellent addition to any diet whether you are on a carbohydrate restricted diet or not. They provide high amounts of fiber and protein while being very low carb and fat rich making them a great food for weight loss and improved health benefits when substituted for higher carb foods in your diet.

Lima Beans Nutrition Facts:

100 grams of Lima Beans have 180 calories, 4 grams of fat and 2 grams of carbs. Lima beans contain a huge amount of protein, which is 56% of the RDA. This protein is also high in quality as it is complete which means it contains all the essential amino acids your body requires. In terms of nutrients per 100g, this exceeds the daily values for both calcium and vitamin K.

Carbs in Lima Beans include both simple and complex carbohydrates. The simple carbs are the sugars in these legumes, which are mostly glucose. This includes sucrose from the sugar cane that is also added when preparing these beans for traditional dishes. For example, the cook will often add sugar or granulated sugar to a dish to enhance the flavor as well as give it a darker color. Complex carbs also contain fiber which is important because they are a great source of energy and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Nutritional Facts and Analysis:

Non-starchy vegetables: On average, 50 grams of non-starchy vegetables is the recommended daily intake for adults (1, 2).

Lima Beans are a good source of the following vitamins and minerals:

• Vitamin B1(Thiamine): 6% of the RDI

• Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 4% of the RDI

• Vitamin A: 1% of the RDI

• Copper: 10% of the RDI

• Dietary Fiber: 14 grams (28%) • Manganese: 40% of the RDI • Magnesium: 15% of the RDI • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 7.5% of the RDI • Folate (vitamin B9, folic acid or vitamin M): 11 % of the RDI • Iron: 9.5% of the RDI • Potassium (K): 5% of the RDI • Zinc: 20% of the RDI

Note:

• All values are per 100 grams of Lima Beans Source: US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS)

While Lima Beans are low in carbohydrates, they still offer a variety of fiber, which includes soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is one that dissolves in water making it easier to digest. This type is also known as beta-glucan and is comprised mainly but not entirely of galactans. It will be absorbed more slowly than other types of fiber which can help with blood sugar management.

Lima Beans have a low glycemic index of 20 (3) which makes these beans lower on the glycemic index than white bread, white rice, and some types of wheat. This is due to the anti-glycemic properties of soluble fiber. Fiber helps to slow down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates by increasing the time they spend in the small intestine. This can help stabilize blood sugar levels as well as promote regular bowel movements (1).

Lima Beans also contain high amounts of prebiotics which are bacteria that help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut and digestive system. They also spur more efficient nutrient absorption and digestion by non-digestible fibers (4).

These beans are also a good source of folate which is an important B vitamin that is needed for many different processes in your body. It is especially needed for the production of new cells, healthy red blood cells and DNA formation. In addition to all of this, folate has been shown to have positive effects on metabolism (5).

Lima Beans also contain some manganese which helps to support cardiovascular and nervous system health, muscle function and various other functions in the body (6).

Lima Beans are a good source of the following minerals:

• Manganese: 40% of the RDI • Magnesium: 15% of the RDI • Potassium (K): 5% of the RDI • Zinc: 20% of the RDI

Note:

• All values are per 100 grams of Lima Beans Source: US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS)

As you can see, Lima Beans are not only an excellent source of fiber but also multiple vitamins and minerals that work together to support good health. They have one less carb than most other beans but still have a good amount for their size. They also provide over half of your daily dose of B vitamins which is important for overall nutrition. They don't offer nearly as much in terms of fats and carbs, which helps keep the net carb count low.

Health Benefits:

Diabetes: The high fiber content of Lima Beans can help to improve digestive health and promote regularity. In addition to this, the beta-glucans promote a healthier gut environment by encouraging the growth of good bacteria that can protect against pathogenic bacteria that can cause diarrhea (7).

Lima Beans are also good for diabetics because they contain a relatively high amount of soluble fiber, along with being low in carbs and fat (8). Diabetics are also recommended to increase their consumption of high fiber foods because they can help to manage blood sugar levels. The soluble fiber in Lima Beans is known as beta-glucans, which has been found to help slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream and prevent sharp spikes in blood sugar levels (9).

Lima Beans are high in protein and low in carbs, which makes them a great food for weight loss. They contain almost twice the amount of muscle building protein found in beef and have been proven to physically reduce hunger pangs (10).

The huge amount of antioxidants and phytochemicals found in Lima Beans can promote heart health by reducing inflammation as well as lowering cholesterol levels.

Lima Beans are a good source of folate and manganese which can help to prevent cardiovascular diseases by slowing the development of plaque in the arteries. Folate is also important for maintaining healthy red blood cells which can in turn improve circulation.

Manganese has been shown to help lower blood pressure, as well as reduce oxidative stress and inflammation (11).

The high amounts of magnesium found in Lima Beans are important for bone health, as well as softening stools and reducing constipation.

Additionally, they contain protein, vitamin B1 (thiamine), zinc, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) along with other vitamins and minerals which can be beneficial for your overall health (12).

Health Risks:

If you have a problem digesting legumes then Lima Beans may not be right for you. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, less than half of the population can actually digest or tolerate beans (13).

Since they are high in fiber they can cause gas and bloating if you are not used to eating a high fiber diet. If this is the case, then it is recommended that you slowly increase your consumption of these. You can also try preparing them in a variety of ways or add them to foods where they will be masked by other flavors.

Lima Beans are part of the legume family, which contains lectins that may cause blood sugar issues or digestive distress for some people. If this is the case for you, then it is recommended that you try to avoid or limit your consumption of these beans.

Lima Beans tend to be high in sodium, so care should be taken with their consumption if you are on a low sodium diet. One cup of Lima Beans contains 719mg of sodium which is well over half your daily intake (14).

Summary:

Lima Beans are a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals and contain only 1 net carb per one cup serving size. They are full of soluble fiber which is great for digestion, blood sugar control and weight loss. Lima Beans are a great food for diabetics and help to stabilize blood sugar levels as well as promote healthy red blood cell formation. They are high in antioxidants, which protect your cells from free radical damage and improve cardiovascular health. This versatile bean can be used in soups, stews or casseroles or even eaten on their own. In addition to all of the health benefits mentioned above, Lima Beans can also help to lower cholesterol levels (15).

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