Helps to prevent birth defects, contain immune boosting nutrients, improve symptoms of anemia, aid weight management, promote heart health and helps lower cholesterol are some of the health benefits of fava beans in your diet.
Fava beans — or broad beans — are green legumes that come in pods. They have a slightly sweet, earthy flavor and are eaten by people all over the world. Fava beans are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. They provide impressive health benefits, such as improved motor function, prevention of birth defects, boost immunity, aid weight management, promote heart health,etc. to name a few
11 Surprising Health Benefits of Fava Beans for You
Folate belongs to the b family of vitamins and is vital for energy metabolism. It also supports the function of the nervous system and aids in the synthesis of dna, rna and red blood cells. People who eat folate-rich foods like fava beans regularly may have a decreased risk of heart disease, cancer and depression. Pregnant women who have a high intake of folate may be less likely to have a child with birth defects.
Fava beans are a nutrient-dense food, meaning they provide lots of nutrients essential for proper body function without being rich in calories. These beans are a good food source of vitamin b1 or thiamine, iron, copper, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Folate supports immune system function, cardiovascular health and helps form red blood cells. Manganese is needed for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and cholesterol.
Eating iron-rich fava beans may help with symptoms of anemia. Iron is needed to produce hemoglobin, the protein that enables your red blood cells to carry oxygen through your body. An iron deficiency can lead to anemia, characterized by fatigue, weakness, dizziness and shortness of breath. The iron in fava beans is in the non-heme form. Non-heme iron is not as easily absorbed as the heme form of iron found in meat, fish and poultry.
Aid weight management
Fava beans are also high in protein, offering 10 g per 1/4-cup serving. According to a study published in 2010 in the “european journal of clinical nutrition,” overweight or obese individuals who followed a calorie-controlled, high-protein, high-fiber diet lost more weight than those on a standard calorie-controlled, high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.
Promote heart health and help lower cholesterol
In addition to being an excellent source of nutrients that support cardiovascular health, fava beans are high in dietary fiber. Consuming soluble, fiber-rich foods may help improve your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber is particularly effective at lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol. Soluble fiber may promote healthy bowel movements by absorbing water in your gut, forming a gel-like substance and softening your stool.
The bottom line
Fava beans are loaded with nutrients and may offer impressive health benefits. Eating these beans regularly may have benefits for symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, help prevent birth defects, boost immunity, aid weight loss and lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. However, research is limited and more studies on the effects of fava beans on human health are needed. Nevertheless, they’re an excellent and versatile addition to a healthy, balanced diet.
Fava Bean Recipes You Need to Try
Summer bean salad
A beautiful and bright combination beans, it’s a fresh side that’s perfect for picnics and elegant dinners.
- 6 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- ¼ cups sugar
- 1 bouquet garni (5 black peppercorns,1 bay leaf,1 bunch thyme, and 1 smashed clove of garlic, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with kitchen twine)
- ½ cups thinly sliced red onion
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cups fava beans, shelled, germ removed
- ½ cups fresh garbanzo beans, shelled
- ½ cups green wax beans, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
- ½ cups romano beans, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
- ½ cups yellow wax beans, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
- ½ cups fresh cranberry beans
- ½ cups peeled and thinly sliced celery
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Heat 4 tbsp. vinegar, sugar, and ¼ cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan over high heat; stir until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add bouquet garni; pour over red onions and allow to cool before straining, discarding bouquet garni. Set red onions aside.
Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, cook favas, garbanzos, wax beans, and romano beans until brightly colored and slightly tender, about 1-2 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Cook cranberry beans until tender, about 10 minutes; drain and transfer to ice water. Drain beans and spread on paper towels to dry. Transfer to a bowl with remaining vinegar, reserved red onions, celery, oil, basil, lovage, salt, and pepper; toss gently to combine and serve.
Fava bean herb and pomegranate fattoush
- 1 (8″) pita bread
- Olive oil for brushing, plus ¼ cup
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 cup fresh or frozen fava beans
- 1 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 3⁄4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 4 red radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1⁄2 tsp. sumac
- sea salt to taste
- Plain full-fat Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)
Heat oven to 375°. Place bread on a baking sheet and brush lightly with water; bake until slightly crisp, about 10 minutes. Brush with oil and sprinkle with cumin; let cool and tear into 1″ pieces.
Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of water to a boil. Cook beans for 2 minutes; drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water until cold. Drain and pop beans from skins; roughly chop beans and transfer to a bowl. Stir in remaining ¼ cup oil, the mint, parsley, pomegranate seeds, radishes, onion, and lemon juice. Add reserved bread, the sumac, and salt; toss to combine. Serve with yogurt on the side, if you like.