Fava Beans Help Lifespan, Blood Sugar

You probably don’t think of a longer life when you think of fava beans. In fact, most of us think of Hannibal Lecter, liver and a nice chianti! But they are a staple of the Mediterranean diet that we really should be eating more of!

A study found that the risk of an early death decreases by seven or eight percent for every 20 grams of legumes a person eats. Fava beans are high in fiber, copper, folate, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. Their high fiber content can help keep blood sugar stable. And they have glutathione that may slow cellular aging.  

One cup of fava beans have almost a third of your protein for the day. That is incredibly high for a vegetable. Usually, you have to go with an animal-based protein to get that much protein, so fava beans are a good choice for vegetarians. A cup also has almost half your folate for the day. As folate helps your body make DNA and new cells, it’s vital for staying healthy.    

Fava beans may also help mood and people with Parkinson’s disease. Fava beans contain high amounts of dihydroxyphenylalanine, the precursor to dopamine. Your body turns that into dopamine that can help both your mood and the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

With only 187 calories in a cup, they are low in calories. As that cup of beans also has 13 grams of protein and nine grams of fiber, that’s great “value for money,” and they may aid in weight loss. They can help you feel full faster when eating and keep you feeling full longer after your meal.  

If you buy fava beans in their pod, pick firm ones and don’t bulge. Bulging can be a sign that they are older and more bitter. You shell them like any other peas in a pod. They also come dried, ready to be boiled. You can buy them in a can already cooked and ready to be eaten. And roasted fava beans are sold as a crunchy snack in the health food area at many supermarkets.

Fava bean dip, fava beans added to salads, sauteed fava beans and fava beans added to soup are some delicious options that are easy to try. Adding more beans and legumes can help you widen your diet and aid you live a longer, healthier life!  

Banner image: Amirmasoud via Unsplash

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