A diet rich in protein and fiber may improve feelings of fullness, which may result in a lower calorie intake and weight loss (36, 37).
One small study in 19 adults found that a diet with 30% of calories from protein increased feelings of fullness and decreased daily calorie intake by 441 calories on average, compared to a diet with the same number of calories but only 15% from protein (38).
Another four-year study in 522 people observed that those who ate a high-fiber diet with more than 15 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories lost over five pounds (2.4 kg) more than those who ate a diet with less fiber (39).
Thus, adding protein- and fiber-rich fava beans to your diet may help you reach your weight loss goals.
Summary Eatings foods that are rich in protein and fiber — such as fava beans — may help you lose weight and consume fewer calories overall.
Soluble fiber may promote healthy bowel movements by absorbing water in your gut, forming a gel-like substance and softening your stool (40).
It can also bind to and remove cholesterol from your body. In fact, several studies have shown that soluble fiber may help lower blood cholesterol levels in both healthy adults and those with elevated levels (1, 41).
A three-month study in 53 healthy adults found that those who ate two additional grams of soluble fiber per day experienced a 12.8% decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol, while the group that ate less fiber did not have any significant changes in their LDL levels (1).
Additionally, a review of 10 studies focussing on the effect of fiber-rich legumes on cholesterol levels found that diets that included this type of food were associated with modest decreases in total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels (42).
If you’re trying to improve your cholesterol levels, adding fava beans to your diet may be beneficial.
Summary Fava beans are high in soluble fiber that can bind to and remove cholesterol from your body. This type of fiber has also been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels.
Fava beans can be a delicious addition to meals and snacks.
To prepare them, start by removing their inedible green pods. Next, boil the beans for 30 seconds before transferring them to a bowl with ice water. This will soften the waxy outer coating, making it easier to peel off.
Peeled fava beans can be steamed and tossed in olive oil and seasonings to be eaten whole, or smashed to be eaten on top of bread or in other dishes.
To roast fava beans, boil them for 30 minutes, drain them and then add olive oil and seasonings. Spread the beans on a baking sheet and roast for another 30 minutes at 375℉ (190℃).
Cooked fava beans can be added to salads, rice dishes, risottos, pastas, soups and pizzas.
Summary Fava beans should be removed from their pods and outer coatings before eating. Steamed or roasted fava beans can be added to a variety of meals and snacks.
Fava beans are loaded with nutrients and may offer impressive health benefits.
Eating these beans regularly may have benefits for symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, help prevent birth defects, boost immunity, aid weight loss and lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
However, research is limited and more studies on the effects of fava beans on human health are needed.
Nevertheless, they’re an excellent and versatile addition to a healthy, balanced diet.