10 Impressive Health Benefits of Fava Beans

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Fava Beans

Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are legumes that grow in pods on Vicia fabas plants and have a green colour. Fava beans and broad beans belong to the same species, but they have slight differences. Fava beans are smaller in size and are harvested when fully mature and dry. Broad beans, on the other hand, are larger and are harvested fresh. These beans have a long history, dating back to around 6000 BCE, and were enjoyed by ancient civilizations like the Greeks, Romans, and settlers in the eastern Mediterranean. In today’s world, Fava beans are included in various cuisines like Middle Eastern, Asian, South American, European, and African. They are very versatile, which allows them to be used in stews, salads, sauces, fillings, snacks and many other dishes. 

10 Health Benefits of Fava Beans

1. Immune-boosting nutrients

Consuming Fava beans regularly might strengthen the immune system. It also contains compounds that can improve antioxidant activity. Antioxidants play a significant role in defending the body’s immune system by fighting harmful free radicals that cause cell damage and diseases. Fava beans also contain compounds that help in slowing down the ageing process. It is also important to note that Fava beans have to be consumed regularly to attain these results. 

2. Lessens high blood pressure

The magnesium and potassium in Fava beans are known to enhance heart health. These elements reduce the risk of high blood pressure as they have the ability to relax blood vessels. Hence, incorporating Fava beans and other foods high in these essential minerals into one’s diet regularly may lead to a decrease in blood pressure and improve general health.

3. Might help improve anemia

Consuming Fava beans, which are abundant in iron, can help alleviate symptoms associated with anaemia. Iron is important in the production of haemoglobin, a protein that aids the red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body. Anaemia is the result of iron deficiency. Including Fava beans and other plant-based foods that are high in iron content in your diet can help with anaemia. It is also notable that the iron that is present in Fava beans is better absorbed when they are taken with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits or bell peppers. People with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, a genetic disorder, should avoid consuming Fava beans as it might lead to hemolytic anaemia, a different type of blood disorder.

4. Aids in preventing birth defects

Fresh Fava beans are a rich source of folates. Folates, along with vitamin B-12, play a major role in DNA synthesis and cell division. Having enough folate during conception and pregnancy can potentially reduce the risk of neural tube defects in newborns. 

5. Nutrient-rich

Despite their compact size, Fava beans are abundant in essential nutrients. They contain high levels of folate, plant protein, and various vitamins and minerals. They also help in reducing cholesterol and promote digestion as they contain a significant amount of soluble fibre. They also contain smaller quantities of almost all other B vitamins, selenium, and calcium. 

6. May improve Parkinson’s symptoms

Fava beans are abundant in Levo-dopamine, otherwise called L-dopa, which is a precursor to neurochemicals like epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain. Dopamine ensures smooth and coordinated body movements. By eating sufficient Fava beans on a daily basis, one can potentially prevent the chances of  Parkinson’s disease and dopamine-responsive dystonia disorders. 

7. Improves bone health

Fava beans have an abundance of manganese and copper, which prevent bone loss. They help maintain strong and healthy bones. A study conducted in post-menopausal women with weak bones showed that consumption of supplements containing manganese, copper, calcium and vitamin D significantly improved bone mass. 

8. May help in reducing cholesterol

Fava beans serve as a bulk laxative as they provide a high amount of dietary fibre. Fibre is important to safeguard the colon mucosa by limiting its contact with harmful substances and attaching itself to carcinogenic chemicals in the colon. Dietary fibre has also been seen to be lowering blood cholesterol levels.

9. May help in weight loss

For maintaining a healthy weight, Fava beans are the right choice of food as they contain very few calories and are rich in protein and fibre. Including protein and fibre will provide the feeling of fullness, leading to consuming less food, which in turn leads to less calorie intake and weight loss. 

10. Effortless to add to the diet

Fava beans can be added to your diet in many innovative and easy ways. As to restore their authentic flavour of the refrigerated beans should be soaked in room-temperature water for short time. When cooked properly these beans give out delightful flavours which melts in the mouth. Dried beans are also recommended to soak in water to soften them and to remove any anti-nutritional elements. 


Fava beans are versatile and rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. They have very little cholesterol and no saturated fat. They are also a great source of soluble plant fibre. Fava beans can complement your home-cooked dinner in a healthy way. 


1. What are fava beans called in India?

There are various names for Fava beans in India in different languages. In Hindi, fava beans is called Baakala.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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