What makes lima beans great for your good gut?
The lima bean is a type of legume known for its mild flavor, creamy texture, and unique color, which can range from beige to green. They are also known as the butter bean, double bean, or wax bean; whatever you know them as, they are a great plant protein option that can be convenient as you can purchase them dried, frozen, or even canned. Delicious and versatile, lima beans are also highly nutritious and have been linked to several potential health benefits.
Lima beans are not only a great source of plant protein, they are also rich in manganese, copper, zinc, calcium, thiamine and iron. There are a number of benefits that come from these little beans and the nutrients they contain, such as anti-inflammatory properties to reduce arthritis or other inflammatory illnesses (such as IBS, Crohn's disease, and SIBO), as well as provide nerve protection with their high content of thiamine (vitamin B1). Their rich iron content also helps to boost red blood cell circulation, improving oxygenation and increasing energy. Also, their high fiber content may additionally aid in bulking up the stool and assist in motility by stimulating peristalsis (muscle contractions that move food through the intestines). 1/4 cup of lima beans contain 3.25 grams of fiber. The fiber present in these #goodgut beans can help as well with decreasing the amount of carbohydrates and sugar in the blood by slowing down their digestion!
Finally, in an in-vitro study with beans from Ecuador, two different types of protein isolates from lima beans were tested, and both displayed significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory inhibition. This means that the compounds contained in lima beans when tested in the lab are able to fight oxidative stress and inflammation, which is important for those with IBS, IBD, or other inflammatory conditions of the gut! Try out a cup or two of these beans to your meals a few days a week to make sure you reap all the benefits!
Ways to eat it
*for those that are gut-sensitive, try soaking the beans in water for 12-24 hours, and then cooking them! Be sure to use dry beans when you do this process*
Soak, cook, then sautee the beans with your favorite #goodgut veggies!
Go even simpler! Soak, cook, salt, then serve! These beans taste nutty and sweet when cooked properly, and they can be a fantastic lunch or afternoon snack! If you want to get really creative, soak, steam or boil them, and then put them in the air fryer to add a nice crispy texture!
An easy modification of the Mung Bean Medley recipe from Married to Health is another fantastic way to eat these nutrient-packed beans!
Recipe: Lima Bean Medley
Picture from marthastewart.com
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
3 cups lima beans, cooked
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1/2 cup red cabbage, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Himalayan pink salt
5 1/2 cups vegetable broth
Bring 5 ½ cups of vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot.
Once boiled, pour in 2 ¾ cups of dry lima beans, reduce heat and cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 min.
Check on lima beans occasionally to ensure they are not overcooked. They should have texture, and not be mushy.
Drain the beans and leave them to the side. Note: You can pour cold water on them to stop the cooking process quickly.
In a large bowl, place all of the ingredients together and mix thoroughly.
Taste the mixture and add any additional flavoring needed.
Heal with Each Meal!
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Agbenorheiv et al. (2015). Proximate composition, minerals content and functional properties of five lima bean accessions. Journal of Food Security, Volume 3, pp 69-74. http://csirspace.csirgh.com/bitstream/handle/123456789/1313/Proximate%20Composition%2c%20Minerals%20Content%20and%20Functional%20Properties%20of%20Five%20Lima%20Bean%20Accessions.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.
Health benefits of lima beans (n.d). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-lima-beans#1.
Lima beans facts and health benefits. (n.d.). Health Benefits Times. https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/lima-beans/.
Beans (part 1) how to make them more digestible. (n.d.). Boston Functional Nutrition. https://bostonfunctionalnutrition.com/beans-part-1-how-to-make-them-more-digestible/.
Easy lima beans. (n.d.). Ahead of Thyme. https://www.aheadofthyme.com/2016/03/easy-lima-beans/.
Calero-Caceres et al. (27 August 2018). Antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory activities of proteins of Phaseoulus lanatus baby lima beans produced in Ecuador. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/401323v1.full.