Fava beans, also known as broad beans, have great benefits for weight loss. They control energy intake with only a few calories. Fiber, protein, water, B vitamins, and many essential minerals in fava beans regulate appetite, preserve muscle mass, increase metabolism, and burn belly fat.
Fava beans have a few calories
Above all, fava beans are good for weight loss because they have only 110 calories per 100g. A cup of cooked fava beans has only 190 calories!
So, people who want to lose weight could eat them regularly.
Actually, fava beans are the beans with the lowest calorie content. All beans are good for weight loss, though.
Fava beans reduce appetite
Most noteworthy, fava beans can regulate total energy intake! They have a high filling effect, as they’re particularly high in protein, fiber, and water. Foods rich in these macronutrients can keep us full for hours!
First, fava beans hydrate the body. A cup of cooked fava beans has about 120 grams of water. Proper hydration is key for burning belly fat. Water is involved in fat metabolism and promotes satiety.
Furthermore, a serving of fava beans contains about 33 grams of carbs, of which 9 grams are fiber.
Just a cup of fava beans provides 33% of the recommended daily intake of fiber! A diet rich in fiber helps us burn belly fat, as fiber regulates appetite, improves insulin sensitivity, and controls glucose responses. On the contrary, low intakes of fiber have been linked to an increased risk of obesity.[3,4]
Actually, beans are the richest foods in fiber. Fava beans have the lowest fiber content as compared to other common beans, though. Lentils, soybeans, and chickpeas contain significantly higher concentrations of fiber, providing even more than 50% of the Daily Value per serving. They can skyrocket your daily fiber intake!
High protein intake also has beneficial effects on a hypocaloric diet for weight loss. It reduces cravings for fattening food.
Moreover, protein increases energy expenditure. It has the highest thermic effect. Up to 30% of protein is lost during digestion!
In addition, protein protects muscle mass while dieting, which is necessary for a better metabolism that burns belly fat.
Fava beans are an excellent source of protein. Cooked fava beans have 7.6 grams of protein per 100g, or 13 grams of protein per serving.
May reduce the risk of obesity
Fava beans are nutrient-dense foods. They can boost your daily intake of many key micronutrients that promote weight loss with only a few calories. They’re packed with various beneficial compounds that help burn belly fat and maintain a lean body.
Fava beans are particularly rich in B vitamins that are involved in protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism:
- folate, 44% DV. This B vitamin is crucial for weight loss. Among others, it’s implicated in the synthesis of many hormones, including serotonin!
- thiamine, 14% DV. It’s estimated that about 30% of obese people are deficient in thiamine! Low levels of thiamine may be a key reason why you can’t lose weight while following a hypocaloric diet.
- riboflavin, 12% DV. Obese people on a diet have higher daily needs!
- niacin, 7% DV.
- vitamin B6, 7% DV.
- pantothenic acid, 5% DV.
Also, they’re high in many essential minerals:
- copper, 49% DV. Fava beans are among the richest foods in copper. Copper misbalance has been linked to fat accumulation and higher Body Mass Index (BMI).
- manganese, 31% DV. Obese people tend to have significantly lower levels of manganese.
- phosphorus, 30% DV. A diet high in phosphorus supports weight loss because it controls total energy intake.
- magnesium, 17% DV. You should be very mindful of your magnesium intake while dieting, as it modulates glucose concentrations.
- zinc, 15% DV. It controls appetite and improves insulin resistance.
- iron, 14% DV. It’s the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide and has been highly linked with an increased risk of obesity.
- potassium, 10% DV.
- selenium, 8% DV.
- calcium, 6% DV.
How should I eat fava beans?
Fava beans aren’t a complete protein, though. Although fava beans have 16 amino acids, they lack certain essential amino acids.
The protein in fava beans is high in amino acids glutamic, arginine, lysine, glycine, or leucine. But, fava beans don’t have adequate amounts of sulfur-containing amino acids, such as cysteine and methionine.
So, we should eat fava beans with other protein-rich foods, preferably with rice, bread, or foods with complete protein.
Vegetarians could eat fava beans with plant-based foods high in protein, like mushrooms, rice, quinoa, chia seeds, hemp seeds, buckwheat, or whole wheat bread to get all 9 essential amino acids.
People who eat meat shouldn’t worry about their protein intake. All animal-derived foods are a complete protein. Fava dishes with meat, cheese, or eggs contain high amounts of highly bioavailable protein.
Vegan diet ideas
To make the most of their nutritional benefits and ensure you get a complete protein, you can incorporate them into your diet in various ways. Here are some ideas:
Fava bean Burgers:
- Blend cooked fava beans with breadcrumbs, spices, and chopped vegetables to make patties.
- Pan-fry or bake them to create flavorful and protein-packed fava bean burgers.
Fava bean Tacos:
- Use mashed fava beans as a filling for vegan tacos.
- Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, and avocado for a tasty and protein-rich taco.
Fava bean Salad:
- Combine cooked and cooled fava beans with chopped vegetables.
- Add fresh herbs like mint or parsley.
- Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Season with salt and pepper for a refreshing salad.
Fava bean Soup:
- Prepare a hearty fava bean soup with vegetables and spices.
- Include other legumes or grains to enhance the protein content and create a balanced meal.
Fava bean and quinoa Bowl:
- Combine cooked fava beans with quinoa, roasted vegetables, and a drizzle of tahini dressing.
- This creates a well-rounded and protein-packed bowl.
Fava beans taste great with meat
- Fava beans and bacon risotto: Enhance a classic risotto by incorporating fava beans along with crispy bacon for a rich and satisfying dish.
- Fava beans and chicken curry: Create a flavorful curry by simmering fava beans with chicken, coconut milk, and a blend of curry spices.
- Fava beans and chorizo casserole: Mix fava beans with spicy chorizo sausage, tomatoes, and bell peppers in a savory casserole.
- Fava beans and beef: Stir-fry fava beans with thinly sliced beef, broccoli, and soy sauce for a protein-rich and flavorful dish.
Can fava beans make me fat?
Practically, no. You can’t possibly gain weight by eating reasonable amounts of fava beans as part of a balanced diet. However, it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes and how fava beans are prepared.
While plain or minimally processed fava beans are a nutritious addition to meals, certain preparations that add excess calories, such as frying or heavy sauces, can contribute to weight gain.
Also, pairing fava beans with high-calorie accompaniments such as rice, pasta, or bread can contribute to a calorie surplus, leading to weight gain.
When is the best time to eat them for weight loss?
The timing of when you eat fava beans isn’t the primary factor influencing weight loss. Weight loss is primarily influenced by the total number of calories consumed versus the number of calories expended.
That being said, including fava beans in your diet can contribute to a healthy and balanced eating pattern.
While there’s no specific “best time” to eat fava beans for weight loss, spreading your meals throughout the day and including fava beans in meals and snacks can help maintain steady energy levels. High energy levels throughout the day could help you burn more calories, as you’ll feel more energized.
Choose the time that works best for your schedule and personal preferences. Some people prefer having fava beans as part of lunch or dinner, while others may enjoy them as a snack or side dish.
Does bloating affect my weight loss journey?
Bloating is a temporary sensation of fullness and swelling in the abdomen, and it is not directly linked to permanent changes in body weight. While bloating might make your stomach feel distended, it doesn’t contribute to fat gain or loss.
Fava beans, like many legumes, contain certain complex carbohydrates called oligosaccharides that can be difficult for some individuals to digest.
These carbohydrates can lead to the production of gas in the digestive system, potentially causing bloating. Tolerance to these compounds varies among individuals, though.
If you’re not accustomed to consuming legumes, introduce them gradually into your diet to allow your digestive system to adjust.
You can try to minimize bloating and other adverse effects by soaking dried fava beans before cooking them. It can help reduce the oligosaccharide content.
You can add 1–3 tablespoons of baking soda to the boiling water. Baking soda can help soften the texture of fava beans and reduce the overall cooking time. In fact, small doses of baking soda have beneficial effects on many people.
Thorough cooking can further break down these compounds as well.