Having problems with your blood sugar or digestion, or need help with hair growth and skin repair? You might just need more patani in your diet!
Patani (Phaseolus lunatus), or lima beans, are sometimes called butter beans for their buttery texture. Patani is a thin, climbing vine with thin leaves and green to yellow flowers. It is usually eaten as a green or white bean, while dark-colored varieties may sometimes contain toxins harmful to humans. Dark-colored varieties which are safe to eat should be boiled several times before consumption. Its leaves, seeds and seed pods are also edible. It has a distinct starchy yet slight buttery taste.
It is said that lima beans originated from Peru in South America. They were introduced to Europe and Asia by Spanish explorers, and in Africa by the Portuguese explorers. Lima beans thrive in tropical weather than any other beans so they became popular in Asian and African regions, and it eventually became a staple crop for indigenous people. They can also withstand harsh weather conditions.
Patani have several health benefits due to the fact that they contain various vitamins, minerals and other nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and B-vitamins. According to reports, lima beans contain 39% of the necessary daily folate supply of our body, which is important for cell division and DNA synthesis, 20% of thiamin, and 15% of vitamin B6. These health benefits include:
1. Blood Sugar
Enriched with soluble fiber, patani are great for people with diabetes and hypoglycemia. After eating beans, these fibers form a gel which slows down metabolism, thus preventing the sudden rise of blood sugar after a meal. Because of this stability, the chance for diabetes to develop and its symptoms to manifest are lessened.
2. Lowers Risk for Heart Attacks
Lima beans are rich in dietary fiber which helps remove cholesterol from the body. They also supply significant amounts of folate and magnesium which are important in lowering the risk for cardiac arrests. Fiber in the body also decrease blood cholesterol levels.
3. Helps Digestion and Colon Health
Dietary fibers present in lima beans have another function for the body–improve digestive health by bulking up the stool and stimulating motion for easier passage through the colon. These fibers also improve nutrient uptake and make sure that we get the most out of what we eat. Additionally, fiber protects the colon and minimizes the possibility of colon cancer, since it lessens the amount of time the toxic substances stay in the colon.
4. Energy Booster
Lima beans have low calorie count and are rich in complex carbohydrates, which maintains high energy level for the body. Iron present in lima beans help increase energy, and is very beneficial to women who are on their menstruation period, pregnant and lactating women, children, and adolescents.
5. Protein Substitute
If you’re looking for alternatives to red meat for your protein supply, lima beans are great sources for protein. They provide almost the same amount of protein with red meat, but with lesser calories. These proteins will also be stored by the body for more energy.
6. Bone Development
One cup of lima beans contain more than 1⁄3 of our suggested protein intake, and protein is considered as the building blocks of our body. These proteins help in the proper development of bones. Aside from protein, lima beans are also rich in calcium, magnesium, and manganese, which are necessary in strengthening the bones.
7. Hair Growth
Lima beans are also great sources of iron and iron also has another important benefit for the body. It assists oxygen travel to the hair, which will promote proper growth and healthier locks.
8. Weight Loss
Lima beans assist weight loss in such a way that the extract from the bean prevents alpha-amylase activity. This means that the extract prevents the digestion of complex carbohydrates to simple sugars, which reduces calories.
9. Healthy Skin and Antioxidant Properties
Manganese, which is abundant in lima beans, are important factors for antioxidant compounds. These antioxidant compounds provide protection from free radicals, which damages our cells. Another vital factor for antioxidants is copper, also found in lima beans, and it helps keep skin glowing and healthy since it prevents cell damage.
10. Sulfite sensitivity
Some people are sensitive to sulfites, which is a kind of preservative present in prepared foods such as salad packs. Sensitivity to sulfites result in rapid heartbeat and headaches. Lima beans have molybdenum, which detoxifies these sulfites, and prevent these symptoms to occur.
In order to get maximum health benefits from the lima beans, the key is to cook them properly. It is very important to clean the beans. Make sure that all stones, debris, and damaged beans, if any, are removed. You should also make sure that the beans are rinsed properly under cool running water.
The healthiest way to cook lima beans is by putting the beans in water or broth of your choice and bringing it to a boil. After that, reduce it to a simmer and wait until the lima beans are tender. This usually lasts for about 45 minutes or more. In any case that foam appears when you boil the beans, just grab a spoon or ladle and skim off any foam.
Lima beans can be eaten as the main protein source, in soups and stews, or as additions to salad. For storage, dried lima beans should be kept in a cool, dry place inside an airtight container and they could last for six months, depending on how fast they dry up. For fresh lima beans, they should be kept inside the refrigerator, where they can be fresh for a few days. Once cooked, lima beans easily get spoiled, so it is very advisable to consume them as soon as possible.
- M. Anamika. (2019). “6 Amazing Benefits of Lima Beans for Skin, Hair and Health”. https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-lima-beans-for-skin-hair-and-health/#gr ef
- n.a. (2019). “Lima Beans” from The World’s Healthiest Foods. www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=59
- n.a. (2016). “What Are Lima Beans Good For?” https://foodfacts.mercola.com/lima-beans.html
- Staughton, J. (2019). “7 Wonderful Benefits of Lima Beans”. https://www.organicfacts.net/lima-beans.html
- Kassem, N. n.d. “Which Beans are Good for Diabetics?” https://www.livestrong.com/article/362225-which-beans-are-good-for-diabetics/
- “Patani” from Philippine Medicinal Plants. http://stuartxchange.com/Patani.html