Today is Lima Bean Respect Day. We don’t know who invented this holiday, but we suspect it may have been someone who grows them. So let’s cultivate a little knowledge about this underappreciated legume.
Lima beans have been found at archeological sites dating back as far as 6000 BC. They were named by Spaniards traveling through Lima, Peru in the 15th century.
The fiber in lima beans helps lower cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrates, keeping blood sugar level while insoluble fiber improves bowel regularity, which is associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.
They’re low in fat and full of protein, iron, magnesium, folate, manganese and calcium. They contain protease inhibitors that may halt the development of cancerous cells. Their high molybdenum content helps people who have sulfite allergies due to insufficient levels of molybdenum in their bodies.
Lima beans contain a cyanide compound and should not be eaten raw. Only varieties with the lowest cyanide levels can be legally sold in the United States. Cooking destroys it.
Show a little respect for lima beans today. Relax: We’re not saying you have to eat them.