Lima beans are among our prized comfort foods. They co-star with corn in Native American-inspired succotash, and they impart a lovely hue and creamy texture to a host of other dishes. Lima beans are full of flavor and nutritional value. Research suggests they contain powerful phytochemicals that fight free radicals, toxins, microbes, and inflammation. These tasty legumes help build cells and promote heart health while checking cancer growth. Lima beans are certainly worthy of their worldwide popularity and a regular showing on your plate.


1. History of Lima Beans

Lima beans (Phaseolus limensis or Phaseolus lunatus) are legumes, related to kidney beans, lentils, and other common beans. They have grown in the fields of Peru for over 7,000 years, and the country's capital city is where they most likely got their name. However, recent research suggests that the beans originated in Guatemala. They appear in literature as far back as the 16th century. Various cultivars grow around the world in pole vine and bush varieties. Lima beans are also called butter beans due to their smooth, buttery texture. Other cultures call them Madagascar beans and sieva beans. The seeds are typically light green or cream in color, and some varieties come in white, brown, black, purple, and red.

lima beans comfort JannHuizenga / Getty Images


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