Tasty, flavorful Fava Beans

Fava beans are similar to edamame – small green legumes that come it their own pod. Rich in nutrients and a good source of dietary fiber and protein, low-fat, low-calorie Fava beans are a great addition to your regular meals, or delicious as a stand-alone snack. Fava beans are packed with micronutrients – vitamins, minerals – that your body needs to function properly. They also offer many different health benefits, when incorporated into a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. If your only experience with Fava beans is with a rich Chianti, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how delicious they actually are.

Heart healthy

Food that is rich in dietary fiber, like Fava beans, are good for the heart. With 36 grams of fiber per serving, Fava beans can help your body naturally regulate itself for a healthier cardiovascular system. A high-fiber diet helps your digestive system process food more slowly. This leads to energy from food being released on a slow and steady basis and helps keep your blood sugar levels even, without spikes or crashes that can affect your mood and blood pressure. Eating the appropriate amount of fiber also helps regulate the cholesterol in your body, both the “good” and”bad” kinds. Consuming fiber also helps in lowering the levels of low-density lipoprotein or the bad cholesterol, and thus shield your heart.

Aids weight loss

Fava beans, rich in fiber, can help you achieve weight loss goals. Dietary fiber helps you feel fuller and regulates your blood sugar, reducing food cravings. Adding a serving of Fava beans to your lunch or dinner will help tide you over until your next meal, reducing between meal snacking. Not only are Fava beans a good source of fiber, but they’re also a good source of plant protein. This is especially good for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. The protein in Fava beans is satiating, meaning that it helps you feel full and satisfied. This helps those who are counting calories for weight loss to stay within their goals.

Plenty of vital nutrients

Fava beans are packed with essential vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy body. They contain magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, phosphorous, vitamin B1, and thiamin – between 10 and 20 percent of your daily allowance in just one quarter cup serving. Copper, manganese, and phosphorous are difficult to find in most foods. Copper helps your immune system work better, as well as improving the quality of your bloodstream, and keeps your bones balanced and healthy. Both phosphorous and manganese are essential for healthy bones and teeth.

Contain essential minerals

Manganese helps your digestive system function, as well as absorb nutrients from the food you eat. Fava beans are a great natural source of Manganese, and incorporating them into your diet can lessen the need for a vitamin supplement. Your gut functions best when it’s able to maximize protein and carbohydrate metabolism, thus nourishing your body. The mineral folate has many helpful benefits to your body. It is required for good cardiac health, a robust immune system, and synthesis of red blood cells. Pregnant women, especially require healthy amounts of folate to help their developing baby’s skeletal system grow correctly.

May help manage depression

Clinical depression can cause a lack of dopamine – the “happy hormone” production in the brain. Although this is naturally produced in the body, fava beans are a surprising food source of the chemical, as well. Fava beans contain amino acids that create dopamine. Adding this to your diet can help naturally boost the levels of dopamine in your body, thereby lifting your mood. Although fava beans, and other food sources of dopamine, are not intended to cure clinical depression, the effect of eating them can help manage your everyday moods.

Especially nutritious for pregnant women

Growing a baby requires a lot of extra vitamins and nutrients. Iron, calcium, and folate are all necessary to help the fetus grow and develop. Adding Fava beans to your diet is a good way to naturally increase the amounts of these vital nutrients in your system. The fiber also helps a mother feel fuller longer, which can help with nausea associated with pregnancy. These beans meet about 14% of RDA of iron and are also known to render the appropriate amount of calcium. Constipation experienced during pregnancy is also kept at bay as these beans are laden with soluble fiber.

Ease symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

Fave beans contain a compound called Levodopa. This is an ingredient in medicine used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Although the amount of Levodopa varies with each type of fava bean, 3 ounces of fresh, green fava beans roughly yield 50 mg to 100 mg of this chemical. Although studies have demonstrated in the lab that the pods could offer relief from the symptoms of this condition in a better way than traditional drugs, adding Fava beans to your diet isn’t a substitute for your physician’s recommendations. People who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s can include about 4 ounces of these beans a day for better coping up with the condition.

Natural source of Vitamin C

During cold and flu season, taking generous amounts of Vitamin C can help boost your immune system and reduce your risk of becoming ill. Although citrus fruits are well known to contain plenty of Vitamin C, Fava beans are also an excellent course of this virus-fighting vitamin. The antioxidant nature of the vitamin C in Fava beans helps eliminate free radicals, which cause damage to your cells, including premature aging and degeneration. Excessive free radical damage causes aging signs such as fine lines and wrinkles, various types of cancers, and a weakened immune system. 100 grams of the raw beans provide you with about 1.4 mg of vitamin C.

Balance your fluid levels

Maintaining the proper balance of electrolytes in your body, as well as remaining within healthy pH levels can be difficult to achieve. Proper nutrition, including nutrient-rich Fava beans, can help you maintain homeostasis. Rich in potassium, Fava beans help your body maintain your body’s pH levels. Adequate levels of potassium are essential for the normal functioning of body cells, rhythmic heartbeat, and muscle functioning. One serving of Fava beans per day can help your body feel and function better.

Adding Fava beans to your diet

Fava beans are a flexible legume and can be prepared in many different ways. If you haven’t eaten them before, substituting them for chickpeas, lentils, or other legumes in your favorite recipe is a great way to add extra protein and fiber to your diet. For a twist on Fava bean preparation, you can create a tasty Fava bean dip, with a hint of Tahini, minced garlic, and lemon juice. Or, add Fava beans to minestrone instead of navy or white beans. Finally, Fava beans can be mixed with Orzo pasta and wild mushrooms for a tasty vegetarian entree.