Lima bean – Healthy superfoods – by Dr. Nuwanthi Fernando
14 Important Health Benefits of Lima Beans
by Dr. Mariangel Leota
Learn about the important health benefits of Lima beans, a superfood with high amounts of vitamins, fiber, and proteins.
Its cultivation takes place in warm and temperate countries and what is consumed are its seeds.
It is common to find abundant harvests of lima beans in northwestern Argentina, as well as in fields located in mountainous areas, where the climate is dry, with cool nights and sunny days.
Nutrients of lima beans
In terms of the nutrients, it contains, there are starches, proteins, fibers, and minerals, including copper, iodine, folic acid, manganese and vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, and B6.
It is a bean that has little fat, which helps reduce cholesterol, regulates blood sugar and the many fibers it provides, the intestine is very favored.
- They contain slow-absorbing carbohydrates.
- They are high in folic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
- It provides magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium and phosphorus.
- It is a great source of fiber (about 17 grams).
Nutritional properties of Lima Beans
Lima Beans are foods rich in fiber, folates, potassium, and iron, although their main component is carbohydrates. They also provide a significant amount of vegetable protein.
Benefits of eating Lima Beans
Good for your heart
it contains fiber that helps to regulate the levels of cholesterol in the blood, preventing cardiovascular diseases, while it contains potassium, a mineral that regulates blood pressure and is recommended for hypertensive patients.
They have antioxidant properties that fight free radicals that damage cells, preventing degenerative diseases, premature aging and some types of cancer.
Its richness in micronutrients as important vitamins, antioxidant chemical compounds and fiber make them an important food group in the fight against oxidative stress of the organism and in the prevention of secondary disorders to digestive dysfunctions.
The antioxidant functions of nutrients such as vitamin E, zinc and selenium are very important: they prevent or delay the appearance of damage to our cells and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer.
Oxidative stress is the basis of many of the most prevalent diseases in our environment and the process of human aging.
Help to control your weight
The consumption of Lima Beans gives a feeling of fullness and prevents you from eating by eating, while they contain a lot of fiber that is not digested so that half of their calories are evacuated by the body helping to maintain weight. They are also low in fats and sugars.
Strengthen your bones
Lima beans contain calcium so they are good for keeping bones healthy and preventing the complications that occur in them.
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a decrease in bone density due to the loss of normal bone tissue. This leads to a decrease in bone resistance against trauma or load, with the consequent appearance of fractures.
The calcium and vitamin D content of lima beans are relatively high, their absorption is really fast and the strengthening of the bones is fast.
These beans are an excellent vegetable source of protein, vitamin D and calcium for vegans who need these nutrients to prevent osteoporosis. The minimum consumption to prevent osteoporosis is 3 servings of lima beans a week.
Help your immune system
The Lima Beans provide vitamin C, a nutrient that elevates the body’s defenses by strengthening the immune system to fight infections, viruses, and bacteria that enter the body.
The immune system needs nutrients such as Vitamin C and Zinc to function properly, for the growth of white cells (cells responsible for defending the body) and to prevent infectious diseases caused by viruses and bacteria.
Few plant sources have so many nutrients concentrated in small amounts. It is estimated that a small ration of these beans is enough a day to strengthen the immune system. Its use is recommended in patients with diabetes and cancer who have weakened immune systems.
They are rich in iron, an important mineral to prevent anemia, while the vitamin C they possess favors the absorption of iron by the body.
Anemia is the lack of tissue oxygenation due to the low production of red blood cells and hemoglobin. The causes of anemia can be genetic or caused by malnutrition.
To prevent anemia, adequate daily consumption of iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid, which are found in large quantities in red meats, is necessary, but also lima beans have a large source of these nutrients, which are necessary for the functioning of the organism.
Lima beans are positioned as a great alternative for vegans who need these nutrients.
Good for your memory
They contain vitamin B1, which is responsible for producing energy and stimulating cognitive functions, as well as the synthesis of the neurotransmitter related to Alzheimer’s disease.
Allied of pregnant women
Lima Beans have a large amount of folic acid, an essential nutrient for the body, especially for pregnant women. And, it has been shown that folic acid contributes both to prevent diseases, and to promote the development of the fetus so that this food is a fundamental of the diets during the gestation period and even in the lactation period.
The consumption of folic acid is of vital importance during pregnancy, it is recommended to take folic acid supplements to ensure that its consumption is correct, but you can also consume folic acid naturally consuming lima beans, because of its high content of this nutrient, it is an excellent ally for pregnancy.
The high content of choline
Lima beans have a high content of choline, an essential nutrient to keep our nervous and muscular systems in good condition, carry out the metabolism of fats, strengthen memory or eliminate toxins. Choline deficit has been associated with numerous alterations in our body such as liver and neurological disorders, infertility or atherosclerosis (fat accumulation in the arteries). Other foods of plant origin with choline in addition to the lima beans are quinoa, spinach, wheat germ, cauliflower, almonds, broccoli, oats, and flax or linseed
They favor the digestive system
This superfood helps to protect the digestive system, by its fiber content favoring the processes and avoiding complications such as constipation, and especially protect the colon, by helping to keep the bacterial flora stable.
The amount of fiber contained in lima beans allows you to cleanse the digestive system of all toxins and waste accumulated by a poor diet. Soluble fiber also improves intestinal transit by increasing the digestion of food.
High protein content
Beans are complete proteins, which means they provide all the essential amino acids your body needs. Eat more legumes and grains, such as rice, rich in protein, to make sure you consume all the essential amino acids. You do not have to eat other proteins in the same food like beans.
Control blood sugar and cholesterol
The soluble fiber of lima bean exerts a very positive effect on the levels of sugar in the body because it regulates the speed with which sugars pass into the blood, slowing down the process.
Also, fiber regulates cholesterol by facilitating its elimination during digestion.
For these reasons, this food should be included in the diet of those people who have problems of hypercholesterolemia or hyperglycemia, since it would help them, in a simple way, to cope with their illness.
Among the health problems, we can preemptively affect with a healthy diet are cardiovascular processes such as arteriosclerosis, excess weight that becomes the gateway for these and many other diseases.
Its capacity to prevent cardiovascular diseases is further reinforced by its high content of vitamin C, beta-carotene and other antioxidant compounds.
Lima beans in the diet for hypertension
Its high potassium intake, together with the low sodium content, is very indicated in diets for people with hypertension. In addition, its high contribution of folates is very effective to combat anemia, produce more red blood cells and hemoglobin’s to maintain blood pressure in good condition.
Benefits for skin and hair
- It slows cellular aging due to its antioxidant content.
- Maintains the healthy appearance of the skin.
- It can fight eczema, irritation, dermatitis, skin allergies or dry skin.
- Being a food rich in zinc, iron, protein, and biotin, it helps to prevent the hair from weakening, providing softness and strength to it.
Beans are famous for the gastrointestinal problems they sometimes cause. Reduce intestinal discomfort by changing the water several times while soaking the beans. Also, drink plenty of fluids and do regular physical activity to help your body process the fiber in the beans. Adding beans little by little to your diet can also help you avoid unpleasant bowel effects. If you still experience gas, abdominal cramps and other symptoms after eating beans, consider taking an over-the-counter digestive enzyme supplement to help your digestion.
Lima beans are rich in oxalates, so they are not suitable for people who have gallbladder problems and especially if they have kidney problems.
Neither should be abused in some conditions, because due to the content of oxalates because they interfere with the absorption of calcium.