Ah, the secret life of plants and the bugs that surround them. We live in an incredible world with so many things going on around us that we know so little about. Consider the lima bean. Just one of many plants with the ability to conduct its own brand of chemical warfare.
When under attack by spider mites the lima bean emits a foul-tasting chemical that makes the mites spit “Ptooey!” and move on. Not only does this deter the mites already on the plant, but the neighboring beans pick up on the scent and start to whip up a batch of their own mite miffing magic, saving the entire patch.
When caterpillars invade, the lima bean switches tactics and puffs out a fragrant perfume to attract parasitic wasps. The wasps arrive on the scene and lay their eggs inside the caterpillars. When the eggs hatch the larvae eats the caterpillar from the inside out. Talk about fodder for a Hollywood Horror. The caterpillars die, as one might expect, and the lima bean lives for another day.
Lima Beans are an overlooked super food that have yet to achieve cult status.
If Jack’s mother had known then what we know now, she would have thought her son was a genius for trading in the family cow for a handful of beans. Granted, Jack’s beans were magic in more ways than just nutritionally. And yes, what followed was an unfortunate crime spree that no mother should have been too pleased about, but the beans…the beans are ridiculously good for you.
Lima beans are a better source of iron than red meat and contain just as much protein without the fat. They are also loaded with calcium, folate and magnesium, all of which contribute to healthy bones and ward off osteoporosis. They also contribute to cardiovascular health, digestive health and slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream making them a great choice for diabetics.
How much should you eat? A cup of day should keep the doctor away.