Fava beans (known in UK as broad beans) are large, flat, light green pods usually eaten shelled for their delicious beans; they can also be eaten dry. Unlike in green beans, where whole immature pods can be eaten, broad beans possess thick indigestible peel that is generally shelled to extract their broad, thick, and flat seeds (beans) inside.
Fava bean was one of the earliest crops to be domesticated. The origin of the crop is thought to be in the Near East, and remnant seed dating to the 10th Millennium before present (BP) has been identified in northern Syria. It subsequently spread to Europe, North Africa and China and has been cultivated in each of these regions for millennia. It was introduced to South America by the Spanish and was established as a crop in Australia in the 1980s.
Fava beans are very high in protein, especially lysine and energy like the other beans and lentils, containing plentiful of antioxidants vitamins, minerals, and plant-sterols they are also rich in dietary fibre and in catechins which is found in tea and chocolate. They contain levo-dopa or L-dopa, a precursor of neuro-chemicals in the brain such as dopamine, epinephrine and nor-epinephrine. Are excellent sources of folates. They contain good amounts of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C. Their mineral profile is rich in copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, potassium and useful levels of zinc and iron.
In ancient Greece and Rome, beans were used in voting; a white bean was used to cast a yes vote, and a black bean for no. Pythagoras called on his disciples to abstain from beans. It is, however, uncertain whether they were meant to abstain from eating beans or from involving themselves in politics (Acharya and Shrivastava, 2008). In ancient Greece and Rome, beans were used as a food for the dead, such as during the annual Lemuria festival.
Amazon link: Fava Beans and Beets, it doesn’t get any better!