What comes in your mind when you hear the word beans? Of course, a pack full of nutrients! All beans are replete with nutrition. But the question is, what makes the Broad Beans an exceptional? Broad beans, also known as Fava Beans, are slightly sweety and carry loads of nutrients. You can add it in your diet – either raw or cooked – to get lean protein. This article covers the nutrition facts and health benefits of our beloved broad beans.
Broad bean is a glabrous herb that is harvested in spring. Basically, it belongs to the Fabaceae Family and Vicia Genus. Fava bean is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the Middle East. Their cultivation tracks back to 6,800 to 6,500 years BC. Now, it is found in Europe, Asian, and the African region. Now, let’s have a look at the nutrition facts of fava beans.
Nutrition Facts of Broad Beans:
Broad beans are part of several diet plans throughout the world because they are rich vital nutrients. The nutrition profile of Broad Beans has made it widely popular. According to the USDA Nutrition Database, 100g serving of fava beans contains 341kcal energy, 26.12g protein, 58.59g Carbohydrates, 25g dietary fibers, and no cholesterol. Coming on to the minerals, they contain 103mg Calcium, 0.824mcg Copper, 6.70mg Iron, 192mg Magnesium, 1.626mg Manganese, 421mg Phosphorus, 8.2mcg Selenium, and 3.14mg Zinc.
Broad beans are an excellent source of vitamins and contain 423mcg folate, 0.555mg Thiamin, 0.336mg Pyridoxine, 53IU Vitamin A, 1.4mg Vitamin C, and 9mcg Vitamin K. Lastly, it contains 0.254g Saturated Fatty Acids, 0.303g Monounsaturated Fatty Acids, and 0.627g Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. The nutrition facts are enough to help you realize the health benefits of Broad Beans. So, let’s have a look at these health benefits.
Health benefits of Broad Beans:
Broad beans are full of vital nutrients that yield several health benefits. Here we are going to discuss the health benefits of Broad Beans in detail.
1- Prevent Parkinson’s Disease:
These beans are rich in L-dopa. Basically, L-dopa is a chemical that improves motor performance. An improved motor functioning makes you stay active in your daily life. Furthermore, this chemical works as a neurotransmitter. The deficiency of L-dopa can cause Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease causes the death of brain cells that produce dopamine. The folate in fava beans deserves the credit of managing Parkinson’s disease. Studies have shown that eating broad beans after 12 hours had a remarkable effect on blood dopamine levels. Dopamine is also associated with a good mood. Hence, it eases the depression too.
2- Prevent Birth Defects:
Again, it’s folate in fava beans that prevent birth defects. Folate helps in the neural development of the fetus. Moreover, it also plays a vital role in the development of tissues and organs of the fetus. Dietitians recommend taking 600mcg of folate on a daily basis during pregnancy. Don’t look around for folate, just add fava beans in your diet. Its adequate amount can prevent neural tube defects. Studies have also shown that the daily intake of broad beans reduces the risk of brain and spinal cord issues by 77% in expecting women. Moreover, folate reduces the risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
3- Lower Blood Cholesterol Level:
Dietary fibers in broad beans reduce blood cholesterol levels. As we know dietary fibers are non-digested carbohydrates. They prevent the re-absorption of cholesterol binding bile acid. Soluble fibers also help to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body. Studies have shown that fiber-rich food decreases LDL cholesterol by 12%. Phytosterols in these beans also help to reduce cholesterol levels.
4- Boosts Immunity:
Regular intake of broad beans boosts our immune system. It also enhances antioxidant activity. Broad beans also enhance the efficiency of glutathione. Basically, glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that reduces cellular aging. Antioxidants are critical parameters to regulate the negative impacts of free radicals.
Another nutrient found in fava beans is copper. It maintains the healthy White Blood Cells – Body’s natural armor. WBCs destroy pathogens and makes us healthy. These beans also have a considerable amount of Maganese. Basically, Manganese utilizes the vitamins in our body. Furthermore, it helps in the proper functioning of the liver. Thus, Manganese support endocrine and immune system.
5- Increase Bone Strength:
Eating broad beans supply adequate manganese and copper. Both of these minerals help to increase bone strength. Moreover, it also has Calcium that helps to increase bone mass. Deficiency of manganese and copper may lead to calcium excretion. It ultimately reduces the bone’s strength. Furthermore, manganese prevents the risk of osteoporosis.
6- Prevent Anemia:
100g broad beans contain 6.70mg Iron. As we know, Iron helps in the formation of Haemoglobin. Hemoglobin helps RBCs to carry oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Thus, deficiency of Iron leads to Anemia. Anemia is characterized by fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Studies have shown that daily intake of iron-rich food reduces the risk of Anemia by 6 times. Hence, broad beans are the best choice in this aspect.
7- Lower Blood Pressure:
Broad beans are a fine source of magnesium and potassium. Both of these minerals relax blood vessels. Potassium is an essential component of body cells. It also suppresses the negative effects of sodium. Food rich in potassium reduces the risk of high blood pressure in our body. In addition to potassium, magnesium also lowers the blood pressure level of the body.
8- Weight Loss:
Broad beans are rich in protein and fibers. Both of these nutrients help you to consume less food. Food rich in protein and fiber reduces appetite and makes you feel full for longer. Therefore, you end up consuming fewer calories than your daily recommended calories. As a basic rule of thumb, you lose weight when you consume fewer calories. It’s because our body needs the energy to perform its regular functions. When it doesn’t get energy from food, it automatically starts looking for an alternative. The first alternative source of energy for our body is fat. This way, consuming these magical beans can significantly aid in the weight loss process.
Despite having all the vital nutrients and health benefits, there are a few precautionary measures you should take before consuming Broad Beans. These precautions include:
- Sadly, you can’t eat beans more than three times a week. Broad beans contain oxalic acid. Oxalic acid may crystallize to form oxalate stones in the urinary tract. Therefore, you should always consume fava beans in an adequate quantity.
- Eating fava beans can cause favism. Favism further leads to a deficiency of G-6PD and hinders the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
- Improperly cooked fava beans have lectin which is not good for you. Fava beans can make you ill because of the lectin. So, make sure to properly cook them before consuming them.
Broad Beans are slightly sweety and have some exceptional Nutrition value. Broad beans are a fine source of nutrients including fibers, minerals, and vitamins. These vital nutrients in broad beans yield some amazing health benefits. Consuming these beans can significantly lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels on top of boosting the immune system. All in all, broad bean is a superfood for vegans. But, consuming these beans in excessive quantity can cause urinary tract infection. Therefore, you should always take them in an adequate quantity.