Germinated fava beans

Properties of sprouted fava beans

Fava beans or broad beans can sprout. This process increases the digestibility of the amino acids (such as levodopa) and vitamin content.

It has already been discussed above the properties of sprouts. They are generally known for their high antioxidant effects, besides maintaining faba beansor increasing grain properties, in this case of fava beans, such as proteins, magnesium, iron and folic acid..

What are the benefits of sprouting fava beans?

Sprouting increases the nutritional value of fava beans, not only because sprouts contain more vitamins, but because germination also reduces its content in anti-nutrients and increases their digestibility, that is, the phytate content is reduced as well as other substances that inhibit the absorption of minerals such as iron.

Although boiling significantly reduces their vitamin content, once germinated, before eating, you need to boil the beans to make them digestible. Heat removes more antinutrients as saponins, protease inhibitors and allergenic lecithins.

Once germinated and boiled, fava beans are ready to be added to any recipe (rice, noodles, salads wok, stir fry,…).

How can you germinate your broad beans

To germinate, remove broad beans from their pods, soak them in water for 15 minutes and drain. Place them in a glass container. To create moisture, just add a little water, cover the bowl and wait two days until the seeds germinate.

Once germinated, boil for 15 minutes in salted water. Although boiling significantly reduces their vitamin content, boiling is necessary to make them digestible.

They can be added to salads, pasta, rice, etc.

Properties of sprouted beans

Sprouted beans are rich in vegetable protein, iron, magnesium and potassium. They are highly recommended in any healthy diet and especially in vegetarian diets, diets for heart and sports diets.

They contain very few carbohydrates (compared to other grains, such as beans or grains) and they are high in fiber, so they are well suited to supplement diets for diabetes, for obesity or weight loss diets.

In order fava beans can have higher nutritional value, it is recommended to combine them with foods rich in vitamin C (this vitamin increases iron absorption) or mix them with cereal or seeds (completing proteins beans). Foods rich in vitamin C may be raw peppers, fresh parsley, or just take a fruit for dessert. The combination with cereal or seeds can be: couscous, rice, tahini sauce, etc.

Germination makes fava beans components more bioavailable, thus making them more nutritious. In germinated broad beans, it should be highlighted the high availability of the amino acid levodopa (L-DOPA), an amino acid precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Eating sprouted beans and other foods rich in levodopa increases the levels of this substance in the blood and can be useful against mild symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

In broad beans, it has been found genistein and daidzein, two phytosterols (plant estrogens) that in the body act supplying the lack of hormones that occur during menopause, helping to combat some symptoms such as hot flushes.

More information on fava beans.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

19 May, 2023

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