Fava beans are bursting with nutritional benefits. Excellent sources of fiber, folate, and low-fat protein, these pale green beans have long been popular in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
Nutrition of Boiled Fava Beans
A 1-cup serving of fava beans boiled without salt provides 187 calories, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of fiber, 13 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat and no cholesterol. Additionally, this serving offers the benefit of 177 micrograms of folate, or 44 percent of the daily value, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Potassium, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus are also key nutrients present in fava beans.
Canned Fava Beans
Canned fava beans provide similar nutrition to fresh, boiled beans except a 1-cup serving of canned beans provides 1,160 milligrams of sodium, while the same size serving of raw beans boiled without salt provides only 8 milligrams of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day, noting that over-consumption of sodium is strongly linked to the development of high blood pressure.
In recommending foods that can help decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 suggests protein sources that are low in total and saturated fat, as well as foods high in fiber. Fava beans meet both these measures, and rank as a nutrient-dense food, meaning one that offers considerable vitamins and minerals for the amount of calories it provides.
Cecily Dawson was first published in 1995 in "Health Counselor Magazine." She is a registered dietitian and teaches high school health and physical education, with 17 years of previous experience in collegiate sports medicine. Her degrees include a Master of Science in community human services from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a Bachelor of Science in health education from Northern Michigan University.