Reasons to Eat Lima Beans‎ (Butter Beans) – Health Benefits & Nutritional Facts

Reasons to Eat Lima Beans‎ (Butter Beans)  – Health Benefits & Nutritional Facts
Main Name: Lima beans
Biological Name: Phaseolus lunatus
Names in Other Languages: Haricot de Lima (French), Bataw (Filipino), Lima fazole (Czech), Manteca de soja (Spanish), Sem Phali (Hindi), Mochai (Tamil), Amarapayar (Malayalam), Chikkudukaya (Telugu), Pavta (Marathi)
Lima beans, scientifically known as Phaseolus lunatus is a legume and is most popular for its starchy and buttery texture. Often known as butter beans, lima bean pods are flat, oblong and slightly curved in shape with an average length of about three inches. Lima beans are actually the 2-4 flat kidney-shaped seeds embedded in the pod. The seeds of lima beans are usually cream or green in color with some variations, such as white, red, purple, brown, or black. Lima beans are most commonly used in the cuisines of Central America, Latin America, Asia, Caribbean, and Africa. Like other legumes, lima beans are highly nutritious and beneficial to one’s health. Their delicate flavor makes them a perfect complement to a variety of worldwide delicacies. Incorporate them in soups, blend them into excellent burritos, or cook, season, and serve them as a healthy appetizer; lima beans make great dishes to dig into. With several important minerals and vitamins in them, they carry loads of health benefits. Find the amazing advantages of adding lima beans in your regular diet in the sections that follow.
Lima beans are believed to have been cultivated in Peru for more than 7,000 years, but some historians consider that lima beans could be indigenous to Guatemala. Lima beans were in proper cultivation by 1301 and they gradually spread to North America. When Spanish explorers discovered America, they noticed different varieties of lima beans growing throughout South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Later, they introduced them to Europe and Asia, while the Portuguese explorers introduced lima beans into Africa. It is the ability of lima beans to resist the humid tropical weather better than most beans which made it an important crop in areas of Africa and Asia. In the 19th century, lima beans were introduced into the United States with production centered in California. The Sieva type beans found in Southern United States are traditionally called butter beans, also known as the Dixie or Henderson type. Here, lima beans and butter beans are considered as two distinct types of beans. Besides, they are even different in culinary uses, with lima beans being small and green, while the butter beans being large and yellow.


Health Benefits of Lima Beans

  1. Lima beans are extremely rich in protein and contain the eight essential amino acids required for a health body. They provide protein without adding many calories and saturated fats that the dairy and meat products generally do.
  2. They contain certain essential nutrients which are required for the detoxification process. Hence, they help in reducing the occurrence of certain inflammatory, degenerative, and cardiovascular diseases. Further, they help in maintaining the optimal health of the human body.
  3. With good amount of the trace mineral manganese, lima beans are necessary for energy production and antioxidant defenses. Manganese is required in the synthesis of the key oxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase, which disarms free radicals produced within the mitochondria.
  4. Lima beans provide several essential natural antioxidants called anthocyanins. Studies indicate that the darker the outer skin color of the beans, the more antioxidants they carry.
  5. Lima beans are major sources of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. These dietary fibers bind the bile acids present in the intestines and slow down the metabolism of carbohydrates. This way, lima beans help in reducing blood cholesterol levels in the body.
  6. Good sources of soluble fiber, lima beans absorb water from the intestines and produce a gel-like substance which is essential for lowering the metabolism of carbohydrates in the body, thereby resulting in slow absorption of sugars from the intestines. Eventually, this prevents the sudden spike of blood sugar level after meals; benefiting diabetic people.
  7. Folic acid, found in lima beans, reduces the levels of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine is known to promote conditions, like atherosclerosis by interfering with the integrity of the blood vessel walls and the formation of collagen. Studies have proved that regular consumption of lima beans can prevent health conditions, like stroke, heart attack, and PVD.
  8. Magnesium present in lima beans helps in relieving fatigue by inducing the relaxation of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. This nutrient is also important for relieving the symptoms of asthma, muscle soreness, and migraine headaches.
  9. Lima beans are a good source of the trace mineral, copper. Copper is necessary for reducing the risk of inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis. Besides, it promotes certain enzymatic actions which are required to maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, ligaments, and joints.
  10. Lima beans are useful for promoting weight loss. Unlike the carbohydrates provided by sugars, the carbohydrates found in lima beans are good carbohydrates that help in maintaining proper metabolism.
Lima Beans Nutrition FactsAmount: 1 cup
Weight: 202 g


Nutrients Amount
Basic Components  
Proteins 43 g
Water 20.6 g
Ash 8.7 g
Total Calories 683
Calories From Carbohydrates 521
Calories From Fats 12
Calories From Proteins 150
Total Carbohydrates 128 g
Dietary Fiber 38 g
Sugar 17 g
Fats & Fatty Acids  
Total Fat 1.4 g
Saturated Fat 325 mg
Monounsaturated Fat 125 mg
Polyunsaturated Fat 624 mg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 192 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 434 mg
Vitamin E 1.5 mg
Vitamin K 12 mcg
Thiamin 1 mg
Riboflavin 408 mcg
Niacin 3.1 mg
Vitamin B6 1 mg
Folate 798 mcg
Pantothenic Acid 2.7 mg
Choline 195.3 mg
Calcium 164 mg
Iron 15 mg
Magnesium 452 mg
Phosphorus 778 mg
Potassium 3.5 g
Sodium 36 mg
Zinc 5.7 mg
Copper 1.5 mg
Manganese 3.4 mg
Selenium 15 mcg


How many calories in lima beans (per 100 gm)
Lima beans have about 338 calories per 100 gm of weight.
How to Buy Lima Beans
  • You can find dried lima beans in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins in all supermarkets.
  • When buying lima beans in bulk, make sure that the bins containing the beans are covered and the store has a good product turnover to ensure the maximum freshness of beans.
  • Always check for any sign of moisture or insect damage while purchasing lima beans. Further, ensure that the beans are whole and not cracked.
  • You can find fresh lima beans at farmers’ markets or specialty grocery stores. Select those that are firm, dark green, and glossy.
  • Avoid buying lima beans with blemishes, wrinkles, and yellow stains.
  • Since fresh lima beans are extremely perishable, inspect them carefully after they have been shelled. Choose ones that are plump, have tender skins, and are green or greenish-white in color without any signs of mold or decay.
Lima Beans Storage Tips
  • Always store dried lima beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place. This way, they can be stored for up to six months.
  • Beans purchased at different times should be stored separately since they have varying stages of dryness and will require different cooking times.
  • Cooked lima beans are quite perishable and will remain fresh for only one day even if stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.
  • While storing fresh lima beans, the whole pods should be refrigerated in the refrigerator crisper and they will remain fresh for a few days.