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Nutrition Facts for Green Lima Beans vs. White Lima Beans

Lima Bean Nutrition Facts

Both the green, immature lima beans and the more mature white lima beans pack a lot of nutritional bang for their low caloric buck. Let's take a closer look at these nutrition-packed legumes.

Green Lima vs. White Lima vs. Butter Beans...

In the US, lima beans – also known as butter beans – are typically eaten in their immature stage when the beans are still green. In many other countries, cooked mature lima beans, which are typically white or cream-colored, are also commonly eaten. In the UK, lima beans are commonly known as butter beans due to their rich, buttery texture.

Only Green Lima Beans Provide Carotenoids and Vitamin C

White and green lima beans have very similar nutrient profiles (see Nutrient Facts Charts at the end of this article); however, there are also a couple of interesting differences between the immature and mature seeds of the Phaseolus lunatus (lima) plant. For example, a 100-gram serving of cooked green lima beans provides about 6% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids) and 17% of the daily value for vitamin C. Mature lima beans, by contrast, do not provide significant amounts of carotenoids or vitamin C.

In addition, according to USDA's Nutrition Facts data, a 100-gram portion of cooked green lima beans contains 6.2 micrograms of vitamin K, which corresponds to about 8% of the daily value for this bone health boosting vitamin. Mature lima beans, by contrast, provide only 2 micrograms of vitamin K per 100 grams.

In terms of folate content, however, mature lima beans seem to beat their immature counterparts: A 100-gram serving of mature beans provides a whopping 21% of the daily value for folate, while an equal-sized serving of green lima beans supplies only 6%.

Small Differences in Mineral Composition

In terms of minerals and trace elements, there are no significant differences between immature and mature lima beans with any exception: the young, green beans have been shown to contain almost three times as much manganese as their mature counterparts. Manganese plays many important roles in human health, but it is perhaps best known for its role in the formation of healthy cartilage and bones.

Nutrition Facts for Green vs White Lima Beans

The following tables provide nutrition facts for immature (green) lima beans as well as for mature (white) lima beans. All values are for a 100-serving of cooked beans. The nutrition facts provided below include both the absolute amount and the percent daily value (%DV) for each nutrient. The percent daily values are provided in brackets.

Chart 1: Calories and Macronutrient Composition

Green Lima Beans White Lima Beans
Calories 123 kcal (6%) 115 kcal (6%)
Carbohydrates 23.6 g (8%) 20.9 g (7%)
Dietary Fiber 5.3 (21%) 7.0 g (28%)
Fat 0.3 g (0%) 0.4 g (1%)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 50 mg 52 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 104 mg 118 mg
Cholesterol 0 mg (0%) 0 mg (0%)
Protein 6.8 g (14%) 7.8 g (16%)

Chart 2: Vitamin Composition

Nutrient Green Lima Beans White Lima Beans
Pro-vitamin A 303 IU (6%) 0 IU (0%)
Vitamin C 10.1 mg (17%) 0 mg (0%)
Vitamin E 0.1 mg (1%) 0.2 mg (1%)
VItamin K 6.2 mcg (8%) 2.0 mcg (2%)
Thiamin 0.1 mg (9%) 0.2 mg (11%)
Riboflavin 0.1 mg (6%) 0.1 mg (6%)
Niacin 1.0 mg (5%) 0.4 mg (2%)
Vitamin B6 0.2 mg (10%) 0.2 mg (8%)
Folate 26 mcg (6%) 83 mcg (21%)
Vitamin B12 0 mg (0%) 0 mg (0%)
Pantothenic Acid 0.3 mg (3%) 0.4 mg (4%)

Chart 3: Minerals and Trace Elemements

Nutrient Green Lima Beans White Lima Beans
Calcium 32.0 mg (3%) 17.0 mg (2%)
Iron 2.5 mg (14%) 2.4 mg (13%)
Magnesium 74.0 mg (18%) 43 mg (11%)
Phosphorus 130 mg (13%) 111 mg (11%)
Potassium 570 mg (16%) 508 mg (15%)
Sodium 17.0 (1%) 2.0 mg (0%)
Zinc 0.8 mg (5%) 0.9 mg (6%)
Copper 0.3 mg (15%) 0.2 mg (12%)
Manganese 1.3 mg (63%) 0.5 mg (26%)
Selenium 2.0 mcg (3%) 4.5 mcg (6%)

The absolute amounts in the nutrition facts table above are based on data provided by the USDA SR-21. The table is not comprehensive, i.e. mache lettuce may also contain other nutrients and phytochemicals not included in the chart. The Daily Values are based on recommendations for a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your actual daily needs for various nutrients may be different depending on your calorie needs.
The percent daily values or %DV above have been calculated by healwithfood.org and are based on recommendations for a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be different depending on your individual needs.

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