Broad beans (Vicia faba) are the seed of an annual plant that is part of the Fabaceae family.
Grown for several millennia, this legume is native to the Middle East and has high protein content. It provides many health benefits to those who eat it.
- Growing: how to grow broad beans
- Cooking: delicious recipes with broad beans as an essential ingredient
Health benefits of broad beans
- Since they boast plant-based protein levels higher than the average in legumes, fresh broad beans are nutritious, restorative and invigorating. It is recommended in many vegetarian and vegan recipes.
- Fresh broad beans have high levels of vitamin C and B group vitamins, as well as potassium, iron and magnesium. They also are replete with polyphenols that have strong antioxidant properties and protect us against free radicals.
- Being fiber-rich, dried or fresh broad beans help fight diabetes and regulate intestinal transit. Also, they are also recommended in weight-loss diets because they let you feel satiated quickly without being calorie-rich.
- Broad bean flowers are used in infusions or in decoctions to soothe renal colic, inflamed prostate and kidney disorders.
- Take care, broad beans can trigger a dangerous anemia called favism when they are eaten raw in great quantities for a long time. This note is only intended for persons who carry a hereditary gene mutation and lack the necessary digestive enzyme that usually degrade hemolytic substances (substances that destroy red-blood cells) contained in these seeds.
Growing broad beans to benefit from their medicinal properties
- Broad bean requires warm and full sun exposure as well as cool, deep, thick and rather chalky soil.
- Don’t plant your broad beans near beans, tomatoes or bell peppers to avoid spread of eventual infections.
- Broad beans do well in pots at least 12 inches (30 cm) deep, but remember to stake your plant.
- Take care! Broad beans are a favorite for aphids! When you are sowing your legumes, add a couple nasturtium or dill seeds in the nearby ground, they will make those little bugs flee.
Use broad beans in your cooking to reap their health benefits
Broad beans can be eaten raw with salt or a dash of olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice, or they can also be fried in a pan, or steamed, or added to soup.
Broad bean nutritional content
46 kcal / 3.5 oz (100 g) for fresh raw broad beans. When cooked, they average 60 kcal / 3.5 oz (100 g). They have high magnesium, potassium, sulfur, protein and fiber levels.
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