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The Benefits of Fava or Broad Beans for Diabetics

Fava beans, as they are called in America, or beans, as they are more commonly called in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, have been part of the diet in the eastern Mediterranean since about 6,000 BC.

They grow in broad, leathery pods, like greatly enlarged pea pods. Each pod contains three to eight oval beans.

The term broad bean refers to the larger-seeded varieties grown for human consumption, while broad bean or field bean refers to the smaller, harder-seeded varieties primarily (but not exclusively) used for animal feed.

The fava bean is a hardy plant. Withstands harsh and cold climates.

Preparation of fava beans

Preparing fresh fava beans can be a bit of a chore.

When buying beans, choose green pods that are firm and not puffy. Swollen pods may be old and often have a bitter taste.

To remove the beans from the pods, simply run a thumb tack along the seam of the pod to open it. Remove the beans. They are wrapped in a thick white skin that must be removed.

You can get rid of the skin by using a sharp knife to make a small slit along the edge of the bean. This will allow the raw bean to come right out. But this is very hard work… bean to bean!

You can treat this by putting the beans in boiling salted water and boiling them for about a minute and a half. After that, put the beans in ice water to stop them from cooking. Now you can squeeze the beans directly from their skins. Still… preparing beans is hard work. It takes about 3 pounds or 1.5 kilograms of fava beans to get a full cup of beans.

Culinary uses

Beans are usually eaten when they are young and tender. If planted in early winter, they can be harvested in mid-spring. If sown in early spring they will be ready by mid-summer.

Beans, on the other hand, are allowed to fully ripen. They are harvested in late autumn and can be eaten by humans as a legume, although they are more commonly used as animal feed.

Beans were an important food in ancient Mediterranean cultures. They were especially popular with the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. They eventually spread along the Nile Valley to Ethiopia, northern India and China.

Fava beans can be eaten in a variety of ways. For example, you can steam them until soft and then toss them in fresh lemon juice. They are great in a mixed green salad. Mashed fava beans can be used as a spread on bread or crackers. They are at their best as fúl medammes, which is very popular as a breakfast dish in Arabia. Makes a great lunch.

Making full madams is very easy. Fry chopped garlic and onion in a pan using an extremely small amount of extra virgin olive oil. Once the garlic is soft, add the fava beans and a little water. Bring to a boil and mash the beans with a wooden spatula. Once hot, ladle into a bowl and serve with oatcakes (thin, sugar-free cookies made from oats).

In parts of Latin America, mashed fava beans are used as a filling in corn-based snacks. They are also used whole in vegetable soups.

Beans can also be dry fried, causing them to open. You can then season them to create a salty, crunchy snack that is popular in northern Iran, Malaysia, Thailand, China and Latin America.

The unripe pods can also be cooked and eaten. In addition, the young leaves of the plant can be eaten either raw or cooked in the same way as spinach.

How nutritious are fava beans or kidney beans?

The simple answer is… very nutritious.

Here’s what you get in 100 grams of raw ripe seeds:


Energy… 1,425 kJ (341 kcal)

Carbohydrates… 58.29 g

Dietary fiber… 25 g

Fat… 1.53g

Protein… 26.12 g


Thiamine (B1)… 0.555 mg… 48%

Riboflavin (B2)… 0.333 mg… 28%

Niacin (B3)… 2,832 mg… 19%

Vitamin B6… 0 366 mg… 28%

Folic acid (B9)… 423 µg… 106%

Vitamin C… 1.4 mg… 2%

Vitamin K… 9 μg… 9%


Calcium… 103 mg… 10%

Iron… 6.7 mg… 52%

Magnesium… 192 mg… 54%

Manganese… 1,626 mg… 77%

Phosphorus… 421 mg… 60%

Potassium… 1,062 mg… 23%

Sodium… 13 mg… 1%

Zinc… 3.14 mg… 33%

μg = micrograms… mg = milligrams… IU = International Units

The percentages refer to the recommended daily amounts for an adult.

As you can see from the above, dietary fiber makes up 25% of fava beans. Another 26% is made up of protein.

In addition, fava beans are particularly rich in micronutrients such as B vitamins, especially folate and thiamine. Kidney beans are also full of phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and iron.

Fava beans are one of the top foods high in folic acid (vitamin B9). Folic acid helps your energy metabolism, supports your nervous system and keeps your red blood cells healthy. It is also essential for pregnant women.

Benefits of eating fava beans or beans

Fava beans do not directly help diabetics control their blood glucose. But they do help prevent or slow the development of certain adverse medical conditions, many of which are due to diabetes, such as:

  • hypertension

  • risk of heart disease and stroke

  • weak immune system

  • reduced energy

  • development of osteoporosis

  • engine malfunction

  • risk of birth defects

Hypertension… 85% of diabetics suffer from hypertension. Studies show that magnesium can lower blood pressure. Beans are full of magnesium.

According to a meta-analysis of 12 clinical trials involving a total of 545 participants, magnesium supplements taken for up to 26 weeks resulted in a small reduction in diastolic blood pressure. But another study showed that better results are achieved when magnesium supplements are combined with magnesium-rich vegetables and fruits.

Heart disease and stroke… hypertension and diabetes increase the risk of heart disease and stroke at least three times compared to the risk in the general population. Thus, improvements in your blood pressure will reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Weak immune system… is another consequence of diabetes. Healthy white blood cells are essential for supporting a strong immune system because without them your body is very susceptible to disease and infection. White blood cells destroy disease-causing pathogens and help eliminate free radicals in your body.

Copper helps maintain healthy blood cells, and kidney beans contain significant amounts of copper, helping to boost your immune system.

Reduced energy… many diabetics experience a feeling of sluggishness. This continued fatigue may be due to a lack of iron needed for hemoglobin production. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to cells throughout your body. Broad beans contain significant amounts of iron, and eating them can help put a pep in your step.

Development of osteoporosis… can be prevented to a degree with manganese. Manganese helps increase bone mass and helps reduce calcium deficiency. Fava beans contain significant amounts of manganese. The US National Library of Medicine suggests that consuming forms of manganese along with calcium, zinc and copper may help reduce spinal bone loss in older women.

Risk of birth defects… can be reduced with folic acid (vitamin B9). Beans contain very significant amounts of folic acid, which, in addition to being great for providing energy, has long been associated with reducing birth defects.

A meta-analysis of research on folic acid supplementation, published in Scientific Reports from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health in 2015, found a positive relationship between folic acid supplementation and reduced risk of congenital heart defects.

Birth defects often occur during the first few weeks of pregnancy at a time when many women may not know they are pregnant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Public Health Service recommend that all women between the ages of 15 and 45 (of childbearing age) consume 0.4 mg (400 µg) of folic acid each day to help reduce the risk of birth defects , spina bifida and anencephaly.

Engine malfunction… due to Parkinson’s disease can be helped by regular consumption of beans, according to some studies. Research published in the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research looked at the effects of eating fresh fava beans with their outer shell, fava beans dissolved in alcohol and water, and dried sprouted fava beans.

The researchers found that increasing the levels of the amino acids L-dopa and C-dopa in the bloodstream from fava beans caused a significant improvement in the motor performance of Parkinson’s patients, with no side effects.

Side effects of eating fava beans or beans

Fava beans are not the most delicious food on the planet. But season them a little and they are a pleasure to eat. Most people tolerate it very well.

Some people are allergic to fava beans. However, cooking beans thoroughly can help reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.

Eating beans can be extremely harmful if you have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. G6PDD is an inherent problem with your metabolism that predisposes you to the breakdown of your red blood cells. It’s very rare.

This breakdown can be caused by various infections, medications, stress and some foods such as fava beans. Therefore, if you have G6PDD, you should avoid eating kidney beans.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are a class of drugs that have a long history of use in the treatment of depression. These medications interact adversely with other medications and certain foods, so if you are using these medications you should avoid fava beans.

The takeaway

Still, it’s a good idea to add kidney beans to your diet unless you have a medical condition that may be adversely affected by beans or are taking medications that may cause you to have an adverse reaction to beans.

But if you can handle them without health problems, you should take advantage of their potential to reduce your diabetic’s risk of heart disease and stroke, boost your energy levels and immune system, help your motor function, and more. etc., consuming beans. on a regular basis.

I enjoy a bowl of fava beans with garlic and onions for lunch at least once a week in full madam form.

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