Fava Bean: Nutritional Value and Health Benefits

Fava beans

Fava Bean : Nutritional Value and Health Benefits

The fava bean is a large, flat, green leguminous vegetable, alternatively known as broad bean.

The earliest record of its cultivation dates back to the Neolithic times of Old World Agriculture, some 6000 years ago, probably in Persia and Egypt. In the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, traces of fava beans were also uncovered, indicating that even in that era these legumes enjoyed royal patronage. No wonder then that fava beans subsequently became somewhat of a staple food throughout the region.

Fava beans continue to dominate Mediterranean and North African cuisines along with a wide range of other legumes such as lentils and chickpea.

Fresh fava beans are easily available on the global market today, along with their canned, frozen, dry, salted, and roasted variants. Fava beans that are easy to cook have a mildly sweet and earthy flavor and melt in the mouth like butter. Fava beans make a versatile addition to any diet as part of dips, salads, stews and soups due to this understated texture and taste.

Looking for tender, bright-green pods that have recently matured and are evenly shaped when buying fresh fava beans. Springtime is the best season to buy fresh fava beans, ideally between March and June.

Fava beans can not be consumed along with their thick indigestible peel, unlike regular green beans. Shuck the beans to remove their thick pods for eating. Then, to loosen the tough skin, the beans need to be blanched. Place them in a perforated plastic bag once the seeds have been unshelled and store them in the relatively high humidity refrigerator.

Consuming the refrigerated beans in the next week is best.

Nutritional value of Fava Bean

Like all other beans and legumes, fava beans are a protein source and provide the body with essential amino acids. The nutrient-dense composition of fava beans, which accounts for the different health benefits attributed to these green legumes, is much more important.

Nutritional value of mature, raw fava beans per 100 grams:

  • Water – 10.98 g
  • Energy – 341 kcal
  • Protein – 26.12 g
  • Total lipid – 1.53 g
  • Carbohydrate – 58.29 g
  • Fiber – 25.0 g
  • Sugars – 5.70 g
  • Calcium, Ca – 103 mg
  • Iron, Fe – 6.70 mg
  • Magnesium, Mg – 192 mg
  • Phosphorus, P – 421 mg
  • Potassium, K – 1062 mg
  • Sodium, Na – 13 mg
  • Zinc, Zn – 3.14 mg
  • Vitamin C – 1.4 mg
  • Thiamin – 0.555 mg
  • Riboflavin – 0.333 mg
  • Niacin – 2.832 mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.366 mg
  • Folate, DFE – 423 mcg
  • Vitamin A – 3 mcg
  • Vitamin K – 9.0 mcg

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