Nutritional Value:
Fava beans provide more protein than any other plant-derived food. They're a good source of starch, provide B-complex vitamins like B1/thiamine, B2/riboflavin, B3/niacin, B5/pantothenic acid, B6/pyridoxine, B12/cobalamins, biotin, and folate. They provide iron, potassium, zinc, and other essential minerals. They also provide isoflavones, saponins, and phytosterols, high in soluble fiber, low in calories and fat.
Fava Beans

Nutritional Serving:
  • Category and serving: 1/2 cup cooked = 1 Dense Carbohydrate and 1/3 Protein
  • Carbohydrate: 15g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Fat: 0-3g
  • Calories: 125 calories

Fava beans provide a good balance of complex carbohydrates and proteins. They provide a slow, steady source of glucose making it a good food for diabetics.

Fava beans provide a high-dose of:

Soluble fiber that makes you feel full which may reduce your appetite. Also, it lowers LDL cholesterol reducing the risk of heart disease, regulates blood sugar which may reduce the onset risk or symptoms of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, and help manage diarrhea.

Fava beans provide a good-dose of:

Protein, necessary for the building and repair of body tissues, produces enzymes, hormones, and other substances the body uses. Regulates body processes, such as water balancing, transporting nutrients, and making muscles contract, keeps the body healthy by resisting diseases, and prevents one from becoming easily fatigued by producing stamina and energy.

Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, vitamin that plays a role in energy metabolism, helps maintain normal digestion, appetite, and proper nerve function.

Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, which plays a key role in energy metabolism, and for the metabolism of fats, ketone bodies, carbohydrates, and proteins. It is essential for energy metabolism and aids adrenal functions.

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, involved in DNA repair, and the production of steroid hormones in the adrenal gland. Niacin helps protect against pellagra, characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea, and mental disturbance. It is needed to metabolize energy, promote normal growth, and in large doses lowers cholesterol.

Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, aids in energy metabolism, normalizing blood sugar levels, and synthesizing antibodies, cholesterol, hemoglobin, and some hormones.

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, vitamin that promotes protein metabolism, metabolism of carbohydrates and release of energy, proper nerve function, and synthesis of red blood cells.

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamins, needed to make red blood cells, DNA, RNA, and myelin for nerve fibers.

Biotin, vitamin for energy metabolism.

Folate, needed to make DNA, RNA, and red blood cells, and to synthesize certain amino acids. Folate helps prevent congenital neurological defects in pregnant or woman who are planning pregnancy.

Potassium, which gives a positive effect in lowering blood pressure. Also helps maintain fluid balance, promotes proper metabolism and muscle functions.

Iron, needed to produce hemoglobin which transports oxygen throughout the body.

Zinc, instrumental in metabolic action of enzymes, essential for growth and reproduction, support immune function.

Fava beans provide some:

Isoflavones, phytoestrogens, protect against heart disease and cancer.

Phytosterols, which have anticancer and cholesterol-lowering properties.

Saponins, a flavonoid, may bind to cholesterol in the digestive tract lowering the risk for heart disease.
  • Fava beans can be toxic to people lacking the enzyme to protect red blood cells from damage by vicine, a toxic substance that causes a type of anemia.
  • Some people carry a gene susceptible to favism, a severe type of anemia contracted from eating fava beans.
  • People taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors to treat depression should avoid fava beans since the combination may increase blood pressure.
  • May cause bloating and intestinal gas which can be reduced by pre-soaking before cooking, and cooking with herbs such as lemon balm, fennel, and caraway.
  • Must be cooked to destroy toxic substances.
  • Lack a certain amino acid that would make it a complete protein.
  • Contain a number of toxic substances or compounds that interfere with the absorption of vitamins.
  • High purine content, which may precipitate an attack of gout.
  • May trigger an allergic reaction or migraine headaches in some people.