The healing power of broad beans

Broad beans are legumes and do very well in the vegetable garden. Broad beans from the vegetable garden taste a lot better than broad beans from a jar. Moreover, you can also simply eat the skin of broad beans; they are never in the jar. In countries such as Greece and Turkey, people simply eat the peel. You don’t have to cook the fresh broad bean for long; between five and ten minutes. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Flower of the broad bean plant / Source: Daniel Feliciano, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

Contents:

  • Naming broad bean
  • Vitamin B in broad beans
  • Minerals broad beans
  • History of broad bean
  • The shell of broad beans
  • Broad beans in the vegetable garden
  • Medicinal broad beans
  • Eating tips for fresh broad beans

 

Naming broad bean

The Latin name for the broad bean is Vicia Faba . Faba is the Latin name for bean. The name broad bean, and in German Akherbohn, suggests that there is also such a thing as a wild broad bean. However, this was never found.

Vitamin B in broad beans

The broad bean contains many nutrients. What is particularly striking is that 100 grams of broad beans provide 108% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of folic acid or vitamin B11. In addition, it contains a lot of vitamin B. B1 contains the broad bean with 49% of the RDA per ounce. It contains 28% of the RDA of B6. B2 contains 25% of the RDA. B5 is also in the broad bean; 100 grams contains 20% of the RDA. Furthermore, it contains B3; 18% of the RDA. It also contains vitamin K (8% RDA). Other vitamins are present at 5% of the RDA or less.

Minerals broad beans

In addition to high percentages of B-complex vitamins, the broad bean is rich in minerals. Copper is the most abundant; 100 grams of broad beans contain 91% of the RDA of copper. It also contains iron in large quantities; no less than 84% of the RDA. This means that you can eat broad beans if you are going to do heavy work or suffer from anemia. Other minerals in 100 grams of broad beans are: manganese (71% DV), phosphorus (60% DV), potassium (23% DV), magnesium (18% DV), selenium (15% DV), calcium (10% DV). and zinc (9% RDA).

History of broad bean

Broad beans have been found during excavations in Nazareth. These were a lot smaller than the current broad bean. The broad bean has been eaten since at least 6,000 years BC. It is not known from which plant species the broad bean was cultivated; it only occurs as a cultivated plant. In Europe, the broad bean was increasingly eaten from the beginning of the common era to the 17th century. The ancient Romans loved to eat broad beans. The bean spread throughout the European continent. After the start of European travels around the world, the broad bean was often exchanged for regular beans and runner beans, which originally come from South America. However, the broad bean is still eaten regularly.

Broad beans with sleeves / Source: Rasbak, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

The shell of broad beans

Broad beans have a large shell that can be eaten while still green. In the Netherlands we are not used to eating broad bean pods, but it is actually a waste of money to throw away the green pod. If the shell is too old and starts to turn dark to black, it is no longer edible.

In the Netherlands, broad beans are eaten with savory. Savory prevents flatulence that can occur as a result of eating legumes.

 

Broad beans in the vegetable garden

Broad beans are among the easiest bean varieties to grow in the vegetable garden. You can put the broad bean in the ground when it is frost-free, from February/March. You can also grow a plant in pots indoors or in a greenhouse in February, which you can later plant in the vegetable garden. They need some space; about 40 centimeters. If you plant them in rows you can give them 15 centimeters and 60 centimeters between the rows. You can then plant lettuce in the remaining row, so that you make good use of the vegetable garden surface. After all, head lettuce is ready for harvest much faster than broad beans. Broad beans sometimes suffer from black aphids. It is therefore a good idea to plant broad beans next to dill; then the louse won’t get in.

Medicinal broad beans

You can rub the skin of broad beans over warts to make them disappear faster. This is a method from Dutch folk medicine. Other medicinal properties of the broad bean are:

  • There is a precursor of dopamine in the broad bean which works as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Broad beans are therefore good for the brain. A precursor is a substance that ensures the production of another substance.
  • Because broad beans contain a lot of fiber, they are a suitable food to stimulate digestion. Diabetics benefit extra from eating fiber because digestion is more gradual; This results in fewer peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels.
  • Broad beans contain a lot of phosphorus, which is necessary for building bones and teeth. In addition, phosphorus helps the body to use vitamins.
  • Potassium in broad beans ensures that blood pressure remains constant and it also regulates heart function.
  • Because broad beans are rich in carotene, they help maintain healthy skin, maintain vision and contribute to bone growth.
  • Thiamine or vitamin B1 in broad beans plays an important role in the nervous system. As a thiamine supplier, broad beans ensure that the nervous system can continue to function properly.

 

Eating tips for fresh broad beans

You can fry fresh broad beans. You don’t have to cook them first. To do this, you remove the beans from the shell. You can cook the peel for a soup; You cannot eat these raw. Baked broad beans can be seasoned with salt and pepper and served as a snack; this is often done in South American countries. In Italy, a puree is made from cooked broad beans and chicory. In Egypt and Morocco, broad bean puree with parsley is served for breakfast with bread. it is a variant of humus which is made with the legume chickpeas.

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