Faba Beans – Nutritional Profile
Faba beans are very high in soluble fibre, protein and provide a a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
A single 100g serving provides 110 calories (5% recommended daily allowance – rda) and 20g of carbohydrate (6% rda) and 8g of protein n (15% rda). They are low in fats having 0.4g per 100g giving 15% of rda.
The same serving provides 14.7mg (1% rda) of vitamin A, 0.3mg (1% ) of vitamin C and 2.9mg (4%) of vitamin K. B group vitamins are also present with Thiamine 01.mg (6% rda), Riboflavin 0.1mg (5%), Niacin 0.7mg (4%rda), vitamin B6 0.1mg (4%) and folate 104.1mg (26% rda).
Faba Beans – Health Benefits
Faba beans are a very good source of dietary fibre which acts as a laxative. The laxative effect protects the lining of the colon by ensuring that food moves through the colon fast enough to absorb the necessary nutrients but to also avoid the cancer causing oxidisation agents having an effect on the lining of the colon. Fibre in these quantities will also create colloidal gel in the colon which absorbs LDL (undesirable) cholesterol but does not absorb HDL (desirable) cholesterol and allows it to progress through to the blood stream. This ensures that risk of arteriosclerosis, heart disease and stroke are minimised.
Faba beans also provide high levels of l insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre absorbs water in the colon to regulate the speed of digestive transit and will also help combat constipation, colon cancer, and other conditions that afflict your digestive tract.
Faba beans also contain a compound called levo dopa which is used as part of a dopamine process to manage and co-ordinate smooth body movements and to help with other important body functions such as sleeping, learning and mood swings. Research is currently examining the link between Levo-Dopa and Parkinson disease. Levo dopa is also thought to encourage the release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland.
Folate is present in significant quantities and is important in the mitochondria of new cells. It is thought to be particularly important around the time of conception and is thought to play a major role in the prevention of congenital defects.
Faba beans are also rich in phyto-nutrients and plant sterols which are known to reduce cholesterol and to have a beneficial impact on free radicals that are linked with the early stages of breast cancer.
Faba beans also contain high levels of antioxidants that are excellent as an anti-inflammatory that will reduce the likelihood of some of the most common cancers such as colon and breast cancer.
A diet high in fava beans will be high in protein and calories and yet low in fat and so is of particular use when weight gain is a requirement following illness or surgery
Faba Beans – Product History
Faba beans are farmed in many places in the world from northern and Southern Europe, turkey, eastern Africa and China. They are recognised by a variety of names including broad, field, bell or tic beans. The species is very hardy and can exist in a wider variety of soil types and climates than any other legume which probably explains how the crop has become as universal as it is.
They have long been associated with agriculture and evidence has been found of them in the Mediterranean diet around 6000BC or earlier.
In the English speaking world the crop of broad beans refers to a larger seeded version f the plant whilst a smaller, stronger flavoured crop is called the horse bean and usually reserved for animal fodder other than when it is used in the traditional dish falafel where its stronger flavour is appreciated.