Vegetables and Vegetables

Benefits of Fava for health

You’ve certainly heard of broad beans before, but do you know how important it is to eat them? Also known as beans or fava beans, they are quite surprising given the amount of nutrition they contain. In addition to being a lean protein choice with lots of fiber, fava beans contain vitamin K, vitamin B6, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium and more.

If that’s still not enough, be aware that they are also some of the top foods high in folic acid. You get 177 micrograms of folate (folic acid) in just one cup of cooked beans. Folate is useful for energy metabolism, maintenance of the nervous system and healthy red blood cells.

And that’s not all. Some studies show a decreased risk of heart disease, cancer and depression for those who consume foods with such nutrient intensity as found in broad beans.

WHAT IS FAVA

Beans, also known as broad beans, originate from the regions of North Africa and South Asia. It has been part of the Mediterranean and Asian diet since ancient times, along with other vegetables like lentils and peas. The beans are cooked, scrambled, baked, soaked and prepared in a variety of traditional dishes from Greece to Nepal.

This is really not unusual, as these beans offer a lot of protein and minerals. For example, every 100 grams of beans contains 26 grams of protein. The same serving can also provide 50% of your body’s daily iron and magnesium requirement.

Unfortunately, some individuals with a particular genetic deficiency and those taking a certain type of medication will not be able to take advantage of this nutritious vegetable.

The favism , Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is a rare medical condition, where to eat beans acute hemolytic anemia causes. What basically happens here is that the red blood cells are destroyed at a rate that the body cannot easily replace. It’s a genetic disease. The body does not have the normal ability to deal with the substances in beans that cause anemia.

BEAN PROPERTIES

The species of flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae , scientifically named as Vicia faba , the bean is very rich in vitamins, minerals and other phytothermal products.

The high concentration of nutrients found in broad beans is responsible for its impressive properties and health benefits. They are similar to any type of bean, it is a small, long pod containing 4 to 10 tiny, slightly round beans, usually bright green in color.

When ripe, the pods are brownish in color, with the beans being the same color. They are really easy to grow, sprouting anywhere.

Broad bean is found in its natural state as a rigid plant raised 0.5-1.8 meters in height, supporting stout stalks. The leaves are 10 to 25 centimeters long and gray-green in color. The flowers contain five petals with a black dot. There are flowering beans, which have been saved from extinction. These flowers contain a sweet aroma that attracts bees.

The plant can reach heights of up to 6 meters, and generates its first flowers about 5 months after being sown. When green, the beans are softer, but dry and also make amazing dishes.

As stated before, they are rich in fiber that promote regular bowel movements, thus providing a natural and easy remedy against constipation. In addition, foods rich in fiber such as walnuts, almonds, white beans, peas, beans, broad beans and other legumes help to reduce cholesterol levels, preventing the absorption of fat in the intestine, and also promoting weight loss.

Bean beans are very beneficial due to the unique content of plant sterols, natural compounds found in plants.

Fresh bean is an incredibly rich source of folate (vitamin B9), indicated during conception and pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects in newborns.

TYPES OF BEANS

Black Beans  Rich in magnesium, this vegetable has a velvety texture and a subtly mild flavor that goes well with strong flavors like bacon or jerky. Add brightly colored vegetables and fruits to shiny black beans for festive salads.

Fradinho Beans – Small, greasy and spotted, these beans are an excellent source of folate (important for pregnant women). It complements salty meats like bacon and jerky.

Cannellini Beans – These large, pink beans (also known as white beans) are creamy and flavorful.

Chickpeas  Also known as garbanzos, chickpeas are consumed more than other beans in the world. Round and firm, with a nutty flavor, they are the basis of humus.

Large Northern Beans – These small, white, kidney-shaped beans are an especially good source of calcium. They are smooth and easily absorb spices, they work well in stews and soups.

Brown Beans – This popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine, known for its reddened skin and white interior, carries heart-healthy proteins, fatty acids and Omega-3s, as well as iron and nearly the same amount of cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Lima Beans – Lime beans (also called butter beans) are green, flat, oval-shaped, hold a lot of potassium, have a buttery flavor and an interior that resembles starch that can become soft, so it’s better prepare them by giving quick sautes. They are often sold cooked or already frozen.

Carioca Beans – These streaked beans have substantial amounts of fiber and protein. Its earthy flavor and smooth texture work well in broths and stews or as Mexican fried beans.

There are many other types of fava beans with variations in flavor, price and species. However, these are the most common consumed by the population that loves these grains and does not exchange them for anything. They are also generally the easiest to find anywhere in the world.

BEAN BENEFITS

  • May Reduce Risk of Birth Defects – While folate is great for providing energy, it has also long been known as an  important  nutrient for pregnant women . Folate has a property that helps to reduce birth defects. All women ages 15 to 45 should consume (400 micrograms) of  folic acid  every day to help reduce the risk of birth defects, spina bifida and anencephaly. This is important because, most of the time, problems occur in the first few weeks of pregnancy, a period when many do not even know they are pregnant.
  • Helping to prevent osteoporosis – In just one cup of beans is 36% of the recommended daily intake of manganese. It helps to increase bone mass. It also helps to reduce  calcium deficiency . With about 99% of our calcium stored in bones and teeth, this makes manganese a shield to keep bones strong, which is effective in preventing osteoporosis.
  • It can eliminate high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease – Magnesium plays an important role in heart health. Hypertension is an important risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Studies show that magnesium can  lower blood pressure . An analysis of 12 clinical trials demonstrated that magnesium supplementation for a period of 8 to 26 weeks in 545 hypertensive participants resulted in a small reduction in diastolic blood pressure.
  • Supporting a Strong Immune System – Broad beans contain a good amount of copper, which helps maintain healthy blood cells. White blood cells are important because they destroy disease-causing pathogens, helping to scavenge free radicals found in the body. Copper plays a role in ensuring that these white blood cells function properly, but the body cannot produce enough on its own. Therefore, supplementation through foods such as beans can help. Also, it’s vital, since without healthy white blood cells, your body is very susceptible to illness and infection, which is why  copper deficiency is so dangerous.
  • Provide energy  Beans provide the energy needed due to the iron they contain, with a cup providing about 14% of the daily recommendation. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen around the body and to your cells. If you are  low on iron , this will be a challenge and can make you tired and sluggish. Anemia could be the result. Eating iron-rich broad beans can eliminate fatigue and, ultimately,  anemic symptoms .
  • It can improve motor function – Some studies suggest that fava beans can help control  the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease . In a research carried out with fresh beans with the outer husk, broad beans dissolved in alcohol and water, as well as dry germinated broad beans. Due to the increased levels of L-dopa and C-dopa in the blood, a marked improvement in motor performance was observed in patients with Parkinson’s disease without side effects.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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