Did you know that butter beans were a staple of the native American diet? These little white beans are also known as lima beans, and have since spanned the centuries to become a well-known fixture of a nutritious diet. But just what makes them so good for you? Here, we’ll explore the benefits of butter beans, their nutritional value, and some delicious ways to incorporate them into your diet.
Butter bean’s nutritional profile
Butter beans contain a wealth of nutrients to keep your body in check, including but not limited to<1:
- Starch: good for providing the body with quick energy
- Fibre: helps stabalise blood sugar, helps you feel fuller for longer, and improves digestive health
- Protein: each serving of butter beans contains more than five grams of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair essential tissues
- Folate: one of the B-Vitamins that’s needed to make red and white blood cells in bone marrow, as well as convert carbohydrates into energy2
- Iron: helps with general energy and focus, as well as boosting the immune system and contributing the regulation of body temperature3
Are butter beans good for you? The benefits of eating butter beans
They’re low in fat and calories
If you’re focusing on lessening your calorie intake, butter beans are a good choice4. Butter beans are considered a low-energy-dense-food, which means they have a low-calorie content compared to other foods of the same serving size.5 It also means that, after eating a portion of butter beans, you’ll feel fuller for longer. This helps you to limit your calorie intake and maintain a healthy weight.
They can help keep your heart healthy
A recent study shows that butter beans contain powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. These help protect the body against harmful free radicals, which can cause cell damage and a range of diseases.6
They can help with headaches
Butter beans contain high levels of a trace mineral called molybdenum, which helps detoxify sulphates. People with sulphate sensitivities often suffer from headaches, so could benefit from adding butter beans to their diet.7
They’re packed full of vitamins
Aside from the nutrients listed at the top of this page, butter beans are also packed full of vitamins. One cup of butter beans contains about 10% of your daily needs for Vitamin C, which is necessary for growth, development, and repair of body tissues. They also contain vitamin A (protects your eyes, supports bone health) and a tiny dose of magnesium too.
Three ways to cook butter beans
In the slow cooker: the easiest way to cook your butter beans is in the slow cooker. Simply pour them into the pot, cover them with cold water, add a teaspoon of salt and leave to cook until tender. They should take around five hours.8
On the hob: this method can take a while as you need to let them soak in a pan of cold water, for at least eight hours. Then, rise the soaked beans and tip them into a large, heavy pan. Add cold water to cover them and bring them almost to boil, before simmering until tender.
Roasted in the oven9: preheat the oven to 230C and line a baking tray with foil. Drain a rinse the butter beans and spread on prepared tray, before sprinkling them with garlic salt. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, flipping with a spatula halfway through.
For more delicious, healthy snacks, check out our selection of pulses. Enjoy!
Last updated: 26 May 2020