I'll bet you didn't know that the simple Lima Bean is considered to be one of the world's healthiest vegetables! This legume is a must in your kitchen (and garden). Simple to grow, harvest, and prepare, and oh so delicious! Just grow and harvest like you would any dry bean or green pea. Freeze or can according to directions, and have this wonderful complete protein available year-round. For more detailed information on growing Lima Beans, see our National Gardening Books of Vegetables Collection
Lima beans are one of the highest iron-containing vegetables you can grow. This is quite impressive given the wide array of greens and vegetables that also are a rich source of iron. However, unlike lima beans, many of these other vegetables also contain substances like tannic acid, phytic acid and even some fiber or other minerals that inhibit absorption of iron. This can be easily remedied by simply adding a rich Vitamin C source with your meal, like tomatoes, fruit, or red peppers. Our faithful lima bean is also a good source of Vitamin C, so we do not need to concern ourselves with malabsorption of iron when consuming lima beans unless there are other issues going on in the body, like GERD, acid reflux, low stomach acid, or mineral imbalance. If you are concerned about any of these issues, or malabsorption of your food, then I recommend you see a Functional Nutrition Practitioner to help you overcome these naturally.
Iron is an essential nutrient required by the body in the production of healthy red blood cells. Studies show that nearly 70% of your body's iron is found in the hemoglobin and myoglobin, two types of proteins that help transport oxygen throughout the body. This is huge for energy production! The lowly lima bean is rich in iron, offering a whopping 4.5 mg. with every cup. This represents 25% of the USDA's daily iron requirement. Having good quality iron in the diet nourishes the red blood cells, gives energy to the body, and prevents iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia happens when the body is unable to produce enough healthy red blood cells due to lack of iron and can result when you don't get enough iron on a daily basis. Several ways this can occur include not consuming enough iron-rich foods (red meat, and green leafy vegetables), illness or medications that prevent iron absorption. Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are: fatigue, dizziness, weakness, pale skin, headaches, fast heartbeat, cold hands and feet, and shortness of breath.
Benefits of Lima Beans
There are many benefits of adding lima beans to your menu. I have outlined a few for you:
If your garden does not have space to include this bean, then you can find it readily in any grocery store, in dry, canned, or frozen form. And, if you are lucky, you may be able to find them fresh at your local farmer's market. Many times they come already shelled for your convenience! If you can't find them fresh, I recommend buying the dry beans, then soaking, sprouting, and cooking according the package directions. It takes some forethought, but the health benefits and taste outweigh the work, in my opinion.
Lima beans have a delicate flavor that wins them the nickname "butter beans" because of their starchy yet buttery texture. Their hearty goodness makes for a great main dish or a bean soup.
Ways to eat lima beans:
Rich in nutrients, high in flavor, lima bean are "win-win" for anyone wanting home-grown vegetables for both nutrition and energy. Growing them is easy, and pleasurable as you work toward getting your vim and vigor back while also eating for good nutrition.
As an FDN-P, she helps men and women age gracefully and beautifully by getting to the root cause of belly fat, energy loss, hormone and mineral imbalance. She strongly believes that mineral imbalance is the root cause of most chronic symptoms and disease today. Using functional lab testing, food and lifestyle changes, one can overcome most diseases naturally without medication. And she teaches others how to grow their own food to help balance minerals in one's daily food and lifestyle.