Beneficial properties of fava beans

Exploring the health benefits of fava beans

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By Rachel Maniquis

fava beans

A favorite of health food enthusiasts, fava beans are appreciated for both their versatility in cooking and their nutritional content.

Fava beans (vicia faba), also known as broad beans, have been consumed since ancient times by the Greeks and Romans. Inexpensive and easy to find, they grow in pods and can be eaten both cooked and raw.

Originating in North Africa and South Asia, they are now cultivated and enjoyed all over the world.

Explore the health benefits of fava beans

From a nutritional standpoint, fava beans have an impressive profile. They contain protein, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins C and K, and many B-group vitamins. Their remaining composition contains a high percentage of water, and a low percentage of fat.

fava beans
Fava beans are bursting with nutritional benefits

Their most noteworthy aspect is perhaps their rich mineral content.

They contain Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, and Phosphorus, and Zinc. Thanks to their high level of iron, fava beans can be particularly useful for those who have anemia, while dried fava plant leaves can aid in diuresis.

Fava beans, excellent for cooking

Fava beans are a popular ingredient in organic cooking, and are versatile legumes, which can be eaten cooked, raw, mashed, in soups, and as side dishes. Some popular dishes around the world that use fava beans include: ful medames in Egypt (cooked, mashed fava beans with oil, salt, and cumin), bessara in Morocco (fava bean dip), and Judd mat Gaardebounen in Luxembourg (smoked pork collar with fava beans).

You can also use them to prepare Falafel, those yummy vegetarian patties that have become a popular street food in recent years.

fava beans in cooking
Fava beans are versatile AND delicious!

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