Lima Beans

Fibre is our best friend when we try to lose weight. This is because fibre has very few calories, and although it is not digested it has many health benefits.

In the Black Eyed Beans post we discussed soluble and insoluble starch. The bean is also very beneficial due to its fibre content, especially soluble fibre. Soluble fibre absorbs fluid in the stomach, forms a gel, and slows down the absorption of the carbohydrates. More importantly, soluble fibre has the ability to bind with the bile acids excreted by the gall bladder when we eat. The secreted bile acids contain cholesterol which is often not fully eliminated because it is reabsorbed by the intestines. So, by eating beans we may help our body to eliminate cholesterol because the fibre can help to carry the cholesterol out.

I was happy to discover that three of my favourite beans were investigated in one research study (Food ChemistryVolume 86, Issue 3July 2004Pages 435-440). Black-eyed beans, Chickpeas (Garbanzo) and Lima beans were compared with Soya Beans for binding with the bile acids across multiple categories. I won’t get into the details, but just for comparison when the three beans were assessed for binding capacity with bile acids the percentages were: Black-eyed beans – 14%, 21%, 25%; Chickpeas – 47%, 68%, 80%; Lima beans – 17%, 19%, 23%. I really like the conclusion that authors made: ‘Incorporation of garbanzo, black eye and lima bean in diets should be encouraged.’

Lima Beans


500 g dry Lima beans
Light Olive Oil spray
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 onion
500 g tomatoes (alternatively use your favourite pasta sauce)
1 teaspoon Stevia
1 cup vegetable stock
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Bunch of fresh coriander
Salt as desired


1. Soak the Lima beans and wash thoroughly. Boil the beans for 30 minutes or until soft but holds whole.
2. In the meantime, ensure that you have one finely chopped onion and minced garlic. Peel, seed and dice tomatoes and put aside as well.
3. Spray a casserole dish or wok with light olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes.
4. Once the Lima beans are cooked and  almost soft, drain and add to the casserole. Cook on low heat until beans are very soft. Don’t let the beans fry, add the stock gradually.
5. Add all the ingredients except coriander and mix. Once the beans start to bubble, switch off the heat. Serve warm with chopped fresh coriander on top.
Total: 1120 calories. Per serve: 112 calories

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