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Broad Beans Health Benefits

Broad beans or fava beans are an excellent vegetable source of protein and fibre. This may be a winning combination for weight loss. Broad beans are also rich in both folate and B vitamins, which we need for nerve and blood cell development, cognitive function and energy.

 

Most beans, including broad beans, are good sources of iron. One cup of broad beans has 3 milligrams of iron, which is 32 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 14 percent for women.

 

In addition to carrying oxygen throughout the body, iron-dependent enzymes sense when oxygen levels drop and initiate processes that allow the body to compensate.

 

The beans are very rich source of dietary fiber (66% per100g RDA) which acts as a bulk laxative that helps to protect the mucous membrane of the colon by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.

 

Dietary fiber has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing re-absorption of cholesterol binding bile acids in the colon.

 

They also contain good amounts of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamine (vitamin B-1), riboflavin and niacin. These vitamins function as co-enzymes in cellular metabolism of carbohydrate, protein, and fat.

 

Fava beans are great steamed and served with olive oil, salt, and lemon. They can also be added to soups and pastas, ground into purees, grilled, or enjoyed in artichoke risotto.

 

The fresh beans can be found in Italian markets beginning in late May, and they will be tasty through August. Phosphorus is required for the formation of healthy bones and teeth.

 

The good amount of potassium in fava beans helps the body maintain blood pressure and regulate heart function.

 

Despite all the health benefits of fava beans, one reason they might often be passed over in traditional American cuisine is due to the fact they need to be shelled, cooked and then peeled.

 

This process can be time-consuming and daunting, especially to novice cooks, but the rich, buttery flavour and the wide range of nutritional value certainly makes it worth it.

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