Let’s Talk Legumes
So, I have covered fruits and vegetables quite a lot on this blog over the last two years. And it has been fun. But people often have a love-hate relationship with legumes. So, for a couple of weeks, we are going to be covering the origins, benefits, and pitfalls of legumes all over the world. Who knows? Maybe, there will be a recipe linked in there that is relevant to your interests? Get ready to get your nutrition on, because we are going to be talking about…
They are considered the most dreaded of ‘vegetables’ to be found on the plates of 5-year-olds all over the US and are even relegated to the list of “anything but those” for most US adults. But are they really deserving of this much hate?
It turns out that this bean had a greater importance in prehistoric South American culture. The earliest traces of the lima bean have been found in Peru that go as far back as 6,000 t0 5,000 BCE. They were considered a luxury among the Mochica and Moche tribes of Pre-Columbian Peru. Pictures of the lima bean were even found in their earliest form of writing on pottery pieces.
That’s one very important bean!
Now that we know it was important, just how much does it measure up in terms of benefits for our daily diet.
The Benefits of Lima Beans
- Protein- These are the building blocks of our body, and Lima beans provide quite a lot of it. With a whopping 24% of protein in its daily value, it is great for growth and development in cells, tissue, bone strength and cognition.
- Dietary Fiber- If you don’t digest your food properly, your body will keep in toxic waste, leaving you with nothing but diarrhea and disappointment. The right nutrient that prevents this from happening is dietary fiber and a single cup of lima beans offers 50% of your daily value of dietary fiber.
- Manganese- You hear about antioxidants in things like berries, but did you know they exist in lima beans? These antioxidants come in the form of manganese, an antioxidant that specifically aids the immune system, and can even help with the prevention of cancer.
- Low Glycemic Count-Do you worry about your blood sugar? If so, you are in luck, because lima beans only have a glycemic index count of 17. In a scale of 1-100, that isn’t too bad at all!
Pitfalls: Do NOT eat them raw!
Lima beans, in their natural state, contain a form of cyanide that can be toxic, when eaten uncooked.
Fortunately, after you boil them for 10 minutes or so, they will become safe to eat.
Lima Beans Recipes
Click on the photos below for the recipes! These were all courtesy of Food Network. Give them a visit!
Sauteed Lima Beans with Bacon
Do you want to know how the South cooks their lima beans? With bacon, lemon juice, and shallots.
Are you in the mood for something more substantial with a hint of spice? Try out this oxtail recipe with lima beans in it!
Do you want to know how the indigenous tribes ate their lima beans? This is one of the ways they did it!