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Butter Beans

Nutritional Information

1/2 cup, butter beans

  • Calories 110
  • Calories from Fat 0
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 0g0%
  • Saturated Fat 0g0%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 370mg15%
  • Potassium 0mg0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 18g6%
  • Dietary Fiber 4g16%
  • Sugars 2g
  • Protein 6g12%
  • Calcium 4mg0%
  • Iron 10mg56%
  • Vitamin A 2%
  • Vitamin C 2%

When In Season:

    Louisiana: June (late) - December (early)
    North Carolina: July (late) - August (late)
    South Carolina: July (early) - November (late)

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Butter Beans on Wikipedia:

Lima bean Lima beans Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Division: Magnoliophyta Class: Magnoliopsida Order: Fabales Family: Fabaceae Subfamily: Faboideae Tribe: Phaseoleae Genus: Phaseolus Species: lunatus Binomial name Phaseolus lunatus L. Synonyms

Phaseolus limensis Macfad.

Moche ceramic vessel with lima beans. Larco Museum Collection. Lima-Peru

Phaseolus lunatus is a legume. It is grown for its seed, which is eaten as a vegetable. It is commonly known as the lima bean or butter bean; it is also known as Haba bean, Pallar bean, Burma bean, Guffin bean, Hibbert bean, Sieva bean, Rangoon bean, Madagascar bean, Paiga, Paigya, prolific bean, civet bean, sugar bean or đậu ngự (Vietnamese).


Origin and uses

The P. lunatus is of Andean and Mesoamerican origin. Two separate domestication events are believed to have occurred. The first, taking place in the Andes around 2000 BC[citation needed], produced a large-seeded variety (Lima type), while the second, taking place most likely in Mesoamerica around AD 800, produced a small-seeded variety (Sieva type). By 1301, cultivation had spread to North America, and in the sixteenth century the plant arrived and began to be cultivated in the Eastern Hemisphere.

The small-seeded wild form (Sieva type) is found distributed from Mexico to Argentina, generally below 1600 meters above sea level, while the large-seeded wild form (Lima type) is found distributed in the north of Peru, between 320 and 2030 meters above sea level.

The Moche Culture (1-800 AD) cultivated all of the lima beans and often depicted them in their art.[1] During the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru, lima beans were exported to the rest of the Americas and Europe, since the boxes of such goods had their place of origin labeled ``Lima - Peru``, the beans got named as such.

The term butter bean is widely used for a large, flat and white variety of lima bean (P. lunatus var. macrocarpus, or P. limensis[2]).

In the Southern United States the Sieva type are traditionally called butter beans, also otherwise known as the Dixie or Henderson type. In that area, lima beans and butter beans are seen as two distinct types of beans.

In the United Kingdom, ``butter beans`` refer to either dried beans which can be purchased to re-hydrate or the canned variety which are ready to use. In culinary use, lima beans and butter beans are distinctly different, the former being small and green, the latter large and yellow. In areas where both are considered to be lima beans, the green variety may be labeled as ``baby`` limas.

Despite the lima bean being named after the city of Lima, Peru, the two have distinctly different pronunciations in most dialects of the English language (and possibly other languages). The city's name is adapted from the Quechua language and is properly and popularly pronounced ['limə], while the name of the bean is usually pronounced ['laɪmə].


Both bush and pole (vine) varieties exist, the latter from one to four meters in height. The bush varieties mature earlier than the pole varieties. The pods are up to 15 cm long. The mature seeds are 1 to 3 cm long and oval to kidney shaped. In most varieties the seeds are quite flat, but in the ``potato`` varieties the shape approaches spherical. White seeds are common, but black, red, orange and variously mottled seeds are also known. The immature seeds are uniformly green. Lima beans typically yield 2900 to 5000 kilograms of seed and 3000 to 8000 kilograms of biomass per hectare.

Bush types:

Henderson/Thorogreen, 65 days Eastland, 68 days Baby Fordhook, 70 days Fordhook 242, 75 days, 1945 AAS winner

Pole types:

Giant Speckled/Christmas/Speckled Calico, 78 days[3] Big 6/Big Mama, 80 days[4] King of the Garden, 85 days

Nutritional value

This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2009)

Like many other legumes, Lima beans are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. It lowers cholesterol and its high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal. And it provides virtually fat free high quality protein. It is a good choice for people with diabetes suffering with insulin resistance. Lima beans can help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy.

Lima beans may reduce the medical dosage needed to combat cholesterol in the form of natural food.

Lima beans have the trace mineral, molybdenum, an integral component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, and it detoxifies sulfites. Sulfites are a type of preservative generally added to prepared foods.

Lima beans are high in dietary fibers, this means that blood sugar does not rise high after eating beans. This is due to the presence of higher amounts of absorption-slowing protein in the beans, and their high soluble fiber content. Soluble fiber absorbs water in the stomach forming a gel that slows down the metabolism of the bean's carbohydrates. The fiber is also the reason for the cholesterol lowering function of beans. Fiber binds with the bile acids that are used to make cholesterol. Fiber is not absorbed by intestine and it exits the body taking the bile acids with it. As a result, the cholesterol is lowered. Lima beans also has insoluble fiber, which prevents constipation, digestive disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis.

Lima beans helps prevent heart disease, since eating high fiber foods, such as lima beans reduces cholesterol level. Lima promotes healthy heart because of its folate and magnesium. Folate lowers levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is an intermediate product in an important metabolic process called the methylation cycle. Elevated blood levels of homocysteine are an independent risk factor for heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease.

Lima's magnesium content is a calcium channel blocker. When enough magnesium is around, veins and arteries relax, which reduces resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

Iron for Energy: Apart from providing slow burning complex carbohydrates, lima beans can increase your energy by helping to restore your iron element. For menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, add lima beans for iron. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism.

Lima beans are a very good source of the trace mineral manganese, helps enzymes important for energy production and antioxidant defense.

Limas are a good source of protein and you can replace red meat with lima beans plus brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

Raw lima beans and butter beans contain linamarin, a cyanogenic glucoside. The beans are rendered safe when cooked. Low-linamarin varieties are typically used for culinary purposes. It is possible for one handful of raw beans to make a person violently ill.

Nutrition facts

Lima beans, cooked 1.00 cup 188.00 grams 216.20 calories

Nutrient Amount DV (%) Nutrient Density Molybdenum 141.00 mcg hi 188.0 15.7 Tryptophan 0.17 g 53.1 4.4 Dietary Fiber 13.16 g 52.6 4.4 Manganese 0.97 mg 48.5 4.0 Folate 156.23 mcg 39.1 3.3 Protein 14.66 g 29.3 2.4 Potassium 955.04 mg 27.3 2.3 Iron 4.49 mg 24.9 2.1 Copper 0.44 mg 22.0 1.8 Phosphorus 208.68 mg 20.9 1.7 Magnesium 80.84 mg 20.2 1.7 Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.30 mg 20.0 1.7


^ Larco Hoyle, Rafael. Los Mochicas. Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera. Lima 2001. ISBN 9972-934-10-1 ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, various quotations ^ ``Giant Speckled Christmas Lima Pole Bean``.  ^ ``Improving Heirloom varieties``. Mother Earth News. Retrieved 01-07-2010. 

External links

Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on Lima bean Crop Wild Relatives Gap Analysis Portal reliable information source on where and what to conserve ex-situ, regarding Phaseolus genepool Plants For A Future: Database Search Results Illustrated Legume Genetic Resources Database Sorting Phaseolus Names Recording of a song called ``Butter Beans`` from the Florida Folklife Collection (made available for public use from the State Archives of Florida)