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Lima bean vs. Edamame — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Erna Harutyunyan by Erna Harutyunyan | Last updated on December 25, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Lima bean
vs
Edamame

Summary

Lima beans have more fiber and selenium, while edamame has higher folatemanganesevitamin Kcopperphosphorusvitamin B2, and vitamin C. Edamame has 57% more folate than lima beans. Lima beans, however, offer more selenium than edamame, with 4.5g compared to 0.8g.

Introduction

This article discusses the critical nutritional differences between two legume family members, lima beans and edamame, and their health benefits and risk factors.

Nutrition

The nutritional infographics below are presented for 100-gram servings of prepared frozen edamame and lima beans, boiled without salt.

The average portion size of these dishes is one cup, roughly 155 grams for edamame and 188 grams for lima beans.

Macronutrients and Calories

Lima beans comprise 70% water and 30% nutrients, while edamame comprises 73% water and 27% nutrients.

The primary macronutrient in edamame is protein, followed by carbohydrates and fats; lean beans are carbs, followed by protein and fats.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Carbs +134.3%
Contains more Protein +52.7%
Contains more Fats +1268.4%
Equal in Water - 72.77
Equal in Other - 1.21
8% 21% 70%
Protein: 7.8 g
Fats: 0.38 g
Carbs: 20.88 g
Water: 69.79 g
Other: 1.15 g
12% 5% 9% 73%
Protein: 11.91 g
Fats: 5.2 g
Carbs: 8.91 g
Water: 72.77 g
Other: 1.21 g
Contains more Carbs +134.3%
Contains more Protein +52.7%
Contains more Fats +1268.4%
Equal in Water - 72.77
Equal in Other - 1.21

Calories

They are both high-calorie foods. However, edamame is higher in calories, containing 121 calories per 100g, whereas lima beans have 115 calories in the same serving.

Protein

Edamame is significantly richer in protein, containing 12g in every 100g serving. A 100-gram serving of edamame covers 28% of the daily needed value for this nutrient. The same serving of lima beans covers 16%.

100g of lima beans and 100g of edamame beans provide 7.8 and 12g of protein, respectively. These beans contain some essential amino acids; however, edamame is more prosperous in all of these.

Fats

Edamame is also higher in fat, containing 5g more per 100g serving. In this serving size, edamame provides 5.2 g, while lima beans contain 0.38g of fat. Lima beans have less saturated fat (0.089g) than edamame (0.62g). Edamame has higher monounsaturated fat (1.282g) and polyunsaturated fat (2.156g) compared to lima beans (0.034g and 0.171g, respectively). Like all plant products, lima beans and edamame beans do not contain cholesterol.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -85.6%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +3670.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +1160.8%
30% 12% 58%
Saturated Fat: 0.089 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.034 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.171 g
15% 32% 53%
Saturated Fat: 0.62 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.282 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 2.156 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -85.6%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +3670.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +1160.8%

Carbohydrates

While lima beans contain two times more carbohydrates, these edamame beans are relatively low in carbs: 100g contains 20.88g of total carbs, whereas edamame contains 8.91g

Lima beans contain 6 grams more net carbs than edamame and nearly the same amount of sugar.

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
41% 30% 3% 26%
Starch: 1.51 g
Sucrose: 1.12 g
Glucose: 0 g
Fructose: 0.12 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0.95 g
Galactose: 0 g

Fiber

Lima beans contain 1.8g more dietary fiber: a 100g serving of lima beans contains 7g of dietary fiber, whereas edamame contains 5.2g.

Vitamins

Edamame is a better source of most vitamins, four times richer in folate or vitamin B9 and covering the DV by 78%, and two times richer in vitamin B3.

Edamame beans also contain more vitamins CB1B2, AE, and K.

At the same time, lima beans are richer in vitamins B5 and B6.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
Contains more Vitamin B6 +61%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin E +277.8%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +24.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +181.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +117.3%
Contains more Folate +274.7%
Contains more Choline +73.2%
Contains more Vitamin K +1235%
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.395
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 4% 0% 0% 41% 13% 8% 26% 38% 63% 0% 18% 5%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 18% 14% 0% 21% 50% 36% 18% 24% 24% 234% 0% 31% 67%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +61%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin E +277.8%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +24.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +181.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +117.3%
Contains more Folate +274.7%
Contains more Choline +73.2%
Contains more Vitamin K +1235%
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.395

Minerals

Lima beans contain more potassium and selenium. Edamame is four times higher in calcium, three times higher in sodium, and 1.5 times higher in phosphorus, magnesium, and copper. 

Edamame beans are also somewhat richer in zinc, manganese, and magnesium. Both contain nearly the same amount of iron.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Potassium +16.5%
Contains less Sodium -66.7%
Contains more Selenium +462.5%
Contains more Calcium +270.6%
Contains more Magnesium +48.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +52.3%
Contains more Zinc +44.2%
Contains more Copper +46.8%
Contains more Manganese +98.4%
Equal in Iron - 2.27
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 6% 90% 31% 48% 45% 1% 26% 79% 68% 25%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 19% 86% 46% 73% 39% 1% 38% 115% 134% 5%
Contains more Potassium +16.5%
Contains less Sodium -66.7%
Contains more Selenium +462.5%
Contains more Calcium +270.6%
Contains more Magnesium +48.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +52.3%
Contains more Zinc +44.2%
Contains more Copper +46.8%
Contains more Manganese +98.4%
Equal in Iron - 2.27

Oxalates

The oxalate content of lima beans is 20mg per 100 grams, and the oxalate content of edamame is 44mg per 100 grams. Both are considered to be low in oxalates.

Glycemic Index

Lima beans have an average glycemic index of 32, a deficient glycemic index number.

The glycemic index value of edamame beans is currently unknown. While this score may be higher due to more net carbohydrates and reduced fiber content, it will still be in the low glycemic index group.

Low glycemic index foods may enhance blood sugar levels, glucose utilizationlipid profilefibrinolysis capability (which prevents blood clot formation), and body weight in type 2 diabetes (1, 2).  

Acidity

Lima beans have a PRAL value of -4.1, making them base-producing, whereas the PRAL value of edamame is 0.4, making them acidic-producing.

Weight Loss and Diets

Edamame may be preferred for keto and low-carb diets due to its lower carb content. Both legumes align well with the DASHMediterraneanvegan/vegetarian, and pescetarian diets, providing plant-based protein and fiber. Lima beans, being minimally processed, may be suitable for paleo diets. Edamame might be favored in intermittent fasting due to its nutrient profile. Both are relatively low in fat and calories, making them suitable for low-fatlow-calorie diets. In anti-inflammatory diets, both legumes can contribute to overall health. However, edamame might be considered for its gentle nature during BRAT diets, while lima beans are not a typical choice.

Health Benefits

Cardiovascular Health

Soy protein is high in edamame, and studies indicate that a daily intake of soy protein may modestly reduce LDL cholesterol, a factor linked to heart disease (3, 4). Additionally, edamame provides fiberantioxidants, and vitamin K, which can contribute to heart health (5). Lima beans, on the other hand, excel at providing 9 grams of heart-healthy fiber per cup. The soluble fiber in lima beans has been shown to lower cholesterolinflammation, and blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease (6, 7, 8).

Diabetes

Both lima beans and edamame offer potential benefits for blood sugar levels. The glycemic index of lima beans is low, and they are high in fiber, which helps slow sugar absorption and promote stable blood sugar (9, 10). Studies suggest that including legumes like lima beans in your diet may reduce fasting blood sugar and lessen the incidence of type 2 diabetes (11, 12)Similarly, edamame is low in carbs, making it suitable for people with diabetes. Its low glycemic index indicates it won't cause rapid spikes in blood sugar (13).  

  Cancer

Lima beans stand out as a rich source of fiber, promoting digestive health, reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, and enhancing the gut microbiome (14, 15). The high fiber content aids in bowel movements and lowers the chances of diverticular disease (16). On the other hand, the impact of soy consumption, as seen in edamame, on cancer risk, particularly breast and prostate cancer, is not firmly established. While some studies suggest potential risks, others in Asian populations hint at protective effects (17, 18, 19, 20). Further research, especially long-term studies, is needed to determine the link between soy intake and cancer risk conclusively.

Downsides and Risks

Lima beans may cause allergy reactions in certain people (21). Raw lime beans, similar to other types of beans, contain antinutrients. These compounds can potentially hinder the absorption of minerals in the body (22). Additionally, raw lima beans contain linamarin, a cyanogenic compound some consider toxic to humans (23). However, these can be reduced through proper cooking, soaking, and processing. Rapidly increasing fiber intake in lima beans may lead to digestive side effects (24). There is no available information on specific side effects related to edamame.

Classification

Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) and edamame belong to the Fabaceae family, commonly known as the legume family. Lima beans, also called butter beans, belong to the Phaseolus genus. Edamame, however, comes from young, green soybeans and belongs to the same family but falls under the Glycine genus. The Fabaceae family is extensive and includes various legumes such as soybeans, chickpeas, peanuts, lentils, and alfalfa.

Appearance, taste, and use 

Lima beans, often known as butter beans, are more significantflatter, and have a buttery texture with a mild, somewhat sweet flavor. They are versatile and used in various global cuisines, absorbing the flavors of the dishes they're in. On the other hand, edamame, or vegetable soybeans, are smallplump pods with bright green beans inside, typically served in Japanese cuisine. Edamame has a mildnutty flavor with a hint of sweetness and a slightly crunchy texture when cooked. While both legumes have unique qualities, lima beans are more common in diverse culinary traditions, while edamame is closely associated with Japanese dishes.

Article author photo Erna Harutyunyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: December 25, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian

Infographic

Lima bean vs Edamame infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Lima bean Edamame
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Lima bean Edamame Opinion
Net carbs 13.88g 3.71g Lima bean
Protein 7.8g 11.91g Edamame
Fats 0.38g 5.2g Edamame
Carbs 20.88g 8.91g Lima bean
Calories 115kcal 121kcal Edamame
Starch 1.51g Edamame
Fructose 0.12g Edamame
Sugar 2.9g 2.18g Edamame
Fiber 7g 5.2g Lima bean
Calcium 17mg 63mg Edamame
Iron 2.39mg 2.27mg Lima bean
Magnesium 43mg 64mg Edamame
Phosphorus 111mg 169mg Edamame
Potassium 508mg 436mg Lima bean
Sodium 2mg 6mg Lima bean
Zinc 0.95mg 1.37mg Edamame
Copper 0.235mg 0.345mg Edamame
Manganese 0.516mg 1.024mg Edamame
Selenium 4.5µg 0.8µg Lima bean
Vitamin A 0IU 298IU Edamame
Vitamin A RAE 0µg 15µg Edamame
Vitamin E 0.18mg 0.68mg Edamame
Vitamin C 0mg 6.1mg Edamame
Vitamin B1 0.161mg 0.2mg Edamame
Vitamin B2 0.055mg 0.155mg Edamame
Vitamin B3 0.421mg 0.915mg Edamame
Vitamin B5 0.422mg 0.395mg Lima bean
Vitamin B6 0.161mg 0.1mg Lima bean
Folate 83µg 311µg Edamame
Choline 32.5mg 56.3mg Edamame
Vitamin K 2µg 26.7µg Edamame
Tryptophan 0.092mg 0.126mg Edamame
Threonine 0.337mg 0.331mg Lima bean
Isoleucine 0.411mg 0.3mg Lima bean
Leucine 0.673mg 0.745mg Edamame
Lysine 0.523mg 0.745mg Edamame
Methionine 0.099mg 0.141mg Edamame
Phenylalanine 0.449mg 0.488mg Edamame
Valine 0.469mg 0.324mg Lima bean
Histidine 0.238mg 0.267mg Edamame
Trans Fat 0g 0.009g Lima bean
Saturated Fat 0.089g 0.62g Lima bean
Omega-3 - EPA 0g 0.003g Edamame
Monounsaturated Fat 0.034g 1.282g Edamame
Polyunsaturated fat 0.171g 2.156g Edamame
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.002g Edamame
Omega-6 - Linoleic acid 1.789g Edamame
Omega-3 - ALA 0.358g Edamame

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Lima bean Edamame
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
16%
Lima bean
41%
Edamame
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
41%
Lima bean
55%
Edamame

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Lima bean
Lima bean contains less Sodium (difference - 4mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Lima bean
Lima bean is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.531g)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Edamame
Edamame is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.72g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Edamame
Edamame is lower in glycemic index (difference - 32)
Which food is cheaper?
Edamame
Edamame is cheaper (difference - $1.2)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Edamame
Edamame is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Edamame
Edamame is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Lima bean - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174253/nutrients
  2. Edamame - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168411/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.