Edamame vs Lima Beans Health Benefits

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Edamame vs Lima Beans Health Benefits

Are you trying to eat healthier and wondering about edamame vs lima beans health benefits? Well, you’re in the right place! Edamame and lima beans are not just trendy foods; they’re packed with goodness that can make you feel better.

Knowing how foods like these legumes fit into your balanced diet is essential in today’s busy world. They’re like nature’s little treasures, full of things that help your body stay healthy. They can boost your heart health, make digestion smoother, and even help you manage weight.

Let’s start on this journey to discover the health secrets of edamame and lima beans.

Lima Beans

Lima beans belong to the legume family, which includes beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts – all kinds of seeds or pods. While they are typically harvested in the fall, many folks use dried, frozen, or canned lima beans instead.

The name “lima beans” comes from Lima, the capital city of Peru. People in Central and South America have cherished these beans for centuries due to their energy and nutrients. As far back as 800 BCE, the Moche civilization in Peru was cooking up these large, flat beans. Today, lima beans can be harvested in different parts of the world, including the United States and Mexico.

Lima beans come in various types, the most common being pale green (fresh lima beans) or cream-colored (dried lima beans). The larger ones are also called butter beans, while the smaller ones are called baby lima beans.

Because they provide texture, depth, and taste to many soups and stews throughout South America and the Caribbean, lima beans, whether fresh or dried, are frequently used.

Edamame Beans

Edamame beans are young soybeans picked before they get all hard and mature. You can get them with or without the pod, fresh or frozen, and they’re famous for being a plant-based food with possible health perks.

In the U.S., people started growing soybeans in 1855, but it wasn’t until 2008 that Europeans started selling edamame in stores, mainly because it’s a good source of protein.

The term “edamame” is Japanese for “beans” and “branches.” These green beauties have been a food staple in different parts of Asia for a long time. Nowadays, you can find them all over, often tucked away in the frozen food section next to the french fries and pizzas in North American grocery stores. But sometimes, you might stumble upon fresh or dried versions, too.

Edamame Beans And Lima Beans Comparison


Although edamame and lima beans look the same, their taste still differs. Edamame is made from the same soybean used to make tofu and soy milk; young beans are harvested before they harden and develop a more robust flavor. It has a more delicate and slightly sweet flavor than lima beans.

Lima beans, commonly called butter beans, have a smooth, creamy texture and a nutty flavor that go well with many cuisines. Lima beans taste mildly sweet and starchy, making them an excellent soup and stew-thickening ingredient.


Compared to edamame pods, lima beans are shorter and more rounded. They have an even surface and two to three big, oval-shaped beans. White or cream-colored seeds inside the pod have a starchy flavor and a little mealy texture.

Lime beans, on the other hand, are flat, oval-shaped veggies that are frequently available in various colors in grocery stores. They are the ideal dinner because they are filling, inexpensive, and easy to make. Lima beans are a great meal to include in your diet at any age, even though many people dislike them.


Because of their high carbohydrate content, lima beans have a softer, mealier consistency. The lima bean’s outer skin disintegrates while cooking to reveal a smooth, creamy interior.

Edamame seeds have a soft and slightly chewy texture after being boiled because they are high in protein and fiber. Though the pod is not edible. Thus, there is no need to eat it.


Lima beans can be consumed raw or cooked, notably in dishes where they are mashed or puréed, like spreads or dips.

Edamame beans taste great when boiled with a bit of salt. The edamame beans’ inherent sweetness is helped to come out by cooking. They are frequently added to soups, salads, and stir-fries and served as a side dish.

Nutritional Profile

A 160g of cooked edamame has 224 calories, 13.8g of carbohydrates, 18.4g of protein, and 8g of dietary fiber1. Edamame beans also contain complete protein, like dairy and milk products. In addition, contain isoflavones, an antioxidant that may help lower the risk of cancer and osteoporosis, and polyunsaturated fats, which give out omega 32.

You’ll also find a bit of vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6 in edamame.

For 170g of cooked lima beans, it has 209 calories, 12g of protein, 40g of carbohydrates, and 9g of dietary fiber3. Manganese, an essential antioxidant for metabolism, is particularly abundant in lima beans4. Each serving contains sufficient copper, which supports immunological health and enhances cognitive function5.

Additionally, lima beans are a good source of magnesium, which your body needs for DNA synthesis and energy production6. Lima beans are also rich in vitamin C and B6.

Health Benefits Of Edamame

1. Inflammation

In 20127, a study involving 1,005 Chinese women discovered that the ones who ate more soy products had lower levels of certain substances in the body that cause inflammation in their blood than those who didn’t.

Edamame’s choline content is noteworthy, as it’s been suggested in another study that choline might play a role in protecting against the inflammation linked to heart problems8.

2. Fertility

Some claim that increasing your iron and protein intake from plant sources, including edamame, spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, and beets, may increase fertility or reduce your chance of developing ovulatory problems.

According to a 2018 mini-review9, a high intake of folic acid, polyunsaturated fats, and plant-based diets is associated with fertility. The authors urge more understanding of how a healthy diet affects fertility problems.

3. Breast and Prostate Cancer

People have been debating whether soy impacts the likelihood of getting breast cancer. Certain substances in soy, called phytoestrogens or isoflavones, seem to behave a bit like estrogen. Too much estrogen could raise the chances of developing certain types of breast cancer.

As per the American Cancer Society (ACS), there’s no indication that soy products increase the chances of breast cancer or any other cancer type. The ACS thinks that the advantages of eating soy likely outweigh any possible risks10.

In 201811, a study discovered that having soy products could notably reduce the chances of prostate cancer in men. Additionally, in 202012, a review hinted that soy might also provide some protection against breast cancer.

4. Diabetes

According to a 2012 study13, people with type 2 diabetes may benefit from consuming unsweetened soy products like edamame.

These researchers examined data spanning 5.7 years and 43,176 individuals. They discovered that those who drank unsweetened soy products had lower rates of type 2 diabetes, but people who ingested sweetened soy products had a higher chance of contracting the illness.

5. Energy Levels

Edamame is a great way to get non-heme iron, like lentils, spinach, and dried fruits. Lack of iron can be a risk of iron deficiency anemia.

6. Menopause-Related Issues

In 2017, a study showed that women got soy isoflavone treatment for about 12 weeks14. The exciting part was that these women said they had fewer menopause symptoms like feeling tired, dealing with hot flashes, feeling down, and getting easily annoyed compared to the ones who didn’t get the treatment.

Health Benefits Of Lima Bean

1. Blood Sugar Control

According to studies, adding lima beans might help maintain more stable blood sugar levels over time. Similar to other beans, lima beans have a low glycemic index, which assesses how much certain foods can raise your blood sugar levels15.

Additionally, lima beans boast a high fiber content, which can help delay the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, thus assisting in regulating your blood sugar levels16.

2. Support Weight Loss

Adding lima beans to your meals might help to shed those extra pounds. These little beans are packed with protein and fiber, which could be a game-changer for your weight loss journey.

The protein in lima beans is pretty awesome, and some research suggests that getting more protein can help you control your appetite, make you feel fuller, and even reduce those pesky food cravings17. On top of that, fiber does some great things, too. It can slow down how quickly your stomach empties, meaning you stay satisfied longer and might see some benefits of weight loss18.

Little research focuses explicitly on lima beans, but some studies have shown that eating more beans and legumes, in general, could be linked to weight loss and less body fat19.

3. Improve Heart Wellness

Lima beans are packed with soluble fiber, which can dissolve in water and create a gel-like substance. This type of fiber has been proven to lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure20.

Additionally, lima beans are chock-full of antioxidants. These little defenders can shield you from oxidative stress and inflammation, which goes a long way in maintaining the health and strength of your heart21.

Possible Risks Of Edamame And Lima Beans

Soy is a frequent cause of allergies in young kids and can induce symptoms in individuals with eosinophilic esophagitis22, an allergic inflammation of the esophagus.

If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction while eating edamame, it’s crucial to discontinue consumption. If you experience swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical assistance. These symptoms could indicate anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening condition.

Like various bean varieties, lima beans have antinutrients, which might hinder the body’s ability to absorb minerals23. Additionally, raw lima beans contain linamarin, a cyanogenic compound that some consider potentially harmful to humans24.

Edamame vs Lima Beans Health Benefits

In the world of legumes, both edamame and lima beans offer unique health benefits that can enhance your overall well-being. While edamame shines with its protein and antioxidant-rich profile, lima beans provide a versatile source of fiber and essential nutrients.

Choosing between these two legumes depends on your preferences and dietary needs. Incorporating both into your meals can provide a well-rounded nutritional boost, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds. So, whether you’re crunching on edamame pods or savoring a hearty bowl of lima beans, you’re on the right track toward a healthier you.


1 FoodData Central. (n.d.). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1100450/nutrients

2 Sahin I, Bilir B, Ali S, Sahin K, Kucuk O. Soy Isoflavones in Integrative Oncology: Increased Efficacy and Decreased Toxicity of Cancer Therapy. Integr Cancer Ther. 2019 Jan-Dec;18:1534735419835310. doi: 10.1177/1534735419835310. PMID: 30897972; PMCID: PMC6431760.

3 FoodData Central. (n.d.). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169135/nutrients

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5 Office of Dietary Supplements – Copper. (n.d.). https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Copper-HealthProfessional/

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7 Wu SH, Shu XO, Chow WH, Xiang YB, Zhang X, Li HL, Cai Q, Ji BT, Cai H, Rothman N, Gao YT, Zheng W, Yang G. Soy food intake and circulating levels of inflammatory markers in Chinese women. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Jul;112(7):996-1004, 1004.e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.04.001. PMID: 22889631; PMCID: PMC3727642.

8 Liu L, Lü Y, Bi X, Y, Xu, M, Yu X, Xue RQ., He X, & Zang W (2017, February 22). Choline ameliorates cardiovascular damage by improving vagal activity and inhibiting the inflammatory response in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Scientific Reports; Nature Portfolio. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep42553

9 Panth, N., Gavarkovs, A., Tamez, M., & Mattei, J. (2018). The Influence of Diet on Fertility and the Implications for Public Health Nutrition in the United States. Frontiers in Public Health, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2018.00211

10 Soy and Cancer Risk: Our Expert’s Advice. (2019, April 29). American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/latest-news/soy-and-cancer-risk-our-experts-advice.html

11 Applegate, C. C., Ranard, K. M., & Jeon, S. (2018). Soy Consumption and the Risk of Prostate Cancer: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10010040

12 Wei, Y., Lv, J., Guo, Y., Bian, Z., Gao, M., Du, H., Yang, L., Chen, Y., Zhang, X., Wang, T., Chen, J., Chen, Z., Yu, C., Huo, D., Li, L., & Biobank Collaborative Group, C. K. (2020). Soy intake and breast cancer risk: A prospective study of 300,000 Chinese women and a dose–response meta-analysis. European Journal of Epidemiology, 35(6), 567-578. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-019-00585-4

13 Mueller, N. T., Odegaard, A. O., Gross, M. D., Koh, P., Yu, M. C., Yuan, M., & Pereira, M. A. (2012). Soy intake and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Chinese Singaporeans: Soy intake and risk of type 2 diabetes. European Journal of Nutrition, 51(8), 1033. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-011-0276-2

14 Ahsan, M., & Mallick, A. K. (2017). The Effect of Soy Isoflavones on the Menopause Rating Scale Scoring in Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Women: A Pilot Study. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR, 11(9), FC13. https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2017/26034.10654

15 Vega-López, S., Venn, B. J., & Slavin, J. L. (2018). Relevance of the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load for Body Weight, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease. Nutrients, 10(10). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101361

16 Akbar, A. (2023, May 1). High Fiber Diet. StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559033/

17 Leidy, H. J. (2014). Increased Dietary Protein as a Dietary Strategy to Prevent and/or Treat Obesity. Missouri Medicine, 111(1), 54-58. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6179508/

18 Miketinas DC, Bray GA, Beyl RA, Ryan DH, Sacks FM, Champagne CM. Fiber Intake Predicts Weight Loss and Dietary Adherence in Adults Consuming Calorie-Restricted Diets: The POUNDS Lost (Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies) Study. J Nutr. 2019 Oct 1;149(10):1742-1748. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz117. PMID: 31174214; PMCID: PMC6768815.

19 Tucker, L. A. (2020). Bean Consumption Accounts for Differences in Body Fat and Waist Circumference: A Cross-Sectional Study of 246 Women. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/9140907

20 Surampudi P, Enkhmaa B, Anuurad E, Berglund L. Lipid Lowering with Soluble Dietary Fiber. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2016 Dec;18(12):75. doi: 10.1007/s11883-016-0624-z. PMID: 27807734.

21 Messina V. Nutritional and health benefits of dried beans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100 Suppl 1:437S-42S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071472. Epub 2014 May 28. PMID: 24871476.

22 Gonsalves, N. (2015). Dietary Therapy for Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 11(4), 267-276. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4836598/

23 Carbas, B., Machado, N., Oppolzer, D., Ferreira, L., Queiroz, M., Brites, C., Rosa, E. A., & Barros, A. I. (2020). Nutrients, Antinutrients, Phenolic Composition, and Antioxidant Activity of Common Bean Cultivars and their Potential for Food Applications. Antioxidants, 9(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9020186

24 Lai, D., Maimann, A. B., Macea, E., Ocampo, C. H., Cardona, G., Pičmanová, M., Darbani, B., Olsen, C. E., Debouck, D., Raatz, B., Møller, B. L., & Rook, F. (2020). Biosynthesis of cyanogenic glucosides in Phaseolus lunatus and the evolution of oxime‐based defenses. Plant Direct, 4(8). https://doi.org/10.1002/pld3.244


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