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Flax Seeds vs Broad (Fava) Beans: Difference & Similarities

This article explains the key similarities and differences between flax seeds and broad (fava) beans, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the flax seeds vs broad (fava) beans comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on March 5, 2023.

Although flax seeds and broad (fava) beans belong to different food groups, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

While flax seeds belong to the nuts and seeds group, broad (fava) beans belong to legumes food group.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares flax seeds and broad (fava) beans, their nutritional values, similarities, differences, macronutrients, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, foods from nuts and seeds group are usually higher in healthy fats and lower in carbs than legumes, but both are valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how flax seeds and broad (fava) beans compare specifically.

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum) are small, golden, or brown seeds that have a nutty and slightly earthy flavor.

These seeds have been used for centuries as food and for their medicinal properties and are now gaining popularity as a health food.

Flax seeds are a good source of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, making them a valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

They are also high in lignans, which are plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and estrogen-like effects.

There are many ways to incorporate flax seeds into your diet. They can be eaten raw or ground into a meal and can be added to various dishes, including smoothies, baked goods, and even savory dishes.

Flax seeds are also available in oil form, which can be used as a healthy alternative to vegetable oil in cooking.

It is important to note that flax seeds should be ground before consumption, as the whole seeds may pass through the digestive system undigested.

They should also be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them fresh and prevent them from going rancid.

If you want to add more fiber, protein, and healthy fats to your diet, consider giving flax seeds a try. They are versatile, nutritious, and may have various health benefits.

Flax Seeds is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin K.

Broad (Fava) Beans

Broad beans, also known as fava beans or faba beans (Vicia faba), are a type of legume native to North Africa and the Middle East.

They are a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to their high protein and fiber content, as well as their mild, slightly sweet flavor.

Broad beans are also a good source of several important nutrients, including potassium, iron, and B vitamins.

They can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, such as broad bean soup, dips such as Bigilla, and salads.

In addition to being a nutritious food, broad beans have been shown to have a number of potential health benefits.

They have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved blood sugar control, and may also help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

Broad (Fava) Beans are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin K.

Flax Seeds vs Broad (Fava) Beans Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing flax seeds vs broad (fava) beans.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of flax seeds and broad (fava) beans and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Flax SeedsBroad (Fava) Beans
Energy534 kcal341 kcal
Carbs28.9 g58.3 g
Sugar1.55 g5.7 g
Fiber27.3 g25 g
Protein18.3 g26.1 g
Fat42.2 g1.53 g
Saturated Fat3.66 g0.254 g

Flax Seeds vs Broad (Fava) Beans Calories

Comparing broad (fava) beans vs flax seeds for weight loss, broad (fava) beans are slightly lower in calories, with 341 calories per 100 grams, compared to 534 calories per 100 grams of flax seeds.

However, both flax seeds and broad (fava) beans can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Flax Seeds vs Broad (Fava) Beans Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including flax seeds and broad (fava) beans, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Broad (Fava) Beans offer around 30% more protein than flax seeds.

Broad (Fava) Beans have 26.1 grams of protein per 100 grams, while flax seeds has 18.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Flax Seeds vs Broad (Fava) Beans Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in flax seeds and broad (fava) beans.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 50% higher in broad (fava) beans than in flax seeds. They have 58.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 28.9 grams in flax seeds.

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There’s less sugar in flax seeds than in broad (fava) beans, 75% precisely.

One handful of flax seeds (28 grams) contains 0.4 grams of sugar, while the same amount of broad (fava) beans contains 1.6 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in flax seeds and broad (fava) beans.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 7.6 grams of fiber per portion, flax seeds is a better source of fiber than broad (fava) beans which flax seeds offers 7 grams per portion.

Flax Seeds vs Broad (Fava) Beans Fats

Fats in flax seeds and broad (fava) beans are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in flax seeds and broad (fava) beans:

  • Flax Seeds: 42.2 grams per 100 grams
  • Broad (Fava) Beans: 1.5 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, broad (fava) beans are 92% lower in saturated fats.

Broad (Fava) Beans and flax seeds contain 0.3 grams and 3.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Flax Seeds vs Broad (Fava) Beans Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of flax seeds and broad (fava) beans.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Flax Seeds has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin K.

However, broad (fava) beans have a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin E.

Flax Seeds and broad (fava) beans contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins flax seeds and broad (fava) beans contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Flax SeedsBroad (Fava) Beans
Vitamin A053 IU
Vitamin C0.6 mg1.4 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)1.64 mg0.555 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.161 mg0.333 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)3.08 mg2.83 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.985 mg0.976 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.473 mg0.366 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)87 µg423 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.31 mg0.05 mg
Vitamin K4.3 µg9 µg

Flax Seeds vs Broad (Fava) Beans Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the flax seeds and broad (fava) beans comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Flax Seeds is a better source of fluoride, iron, and potassium than broad (fava) beans.

On the other hand, broad (fava) beans are a higher amount of calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc.

Check out the table below to learn how flax seeds and broad (fava) beans compare when it comes to mineral content.

Flax SeedsBroad (Fava) Beans
Calcium255 mg103 mg
Copper1.22 mg0.824 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron5.73 mg6.7 mg
Magnesium392 mg192 mg
Manganese2.48 mg1.63 mg
Phosphorus642 mg421 mg
Potassium813 mg1060 mg
Selenium25.4 µg8.2 µg
Sodium30 mg13 mg
Zinc4.34 mg3.14 mg

The Final Word

Flax Seeds and broad (fava) beans are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both flax seeds and broad (fava) beans are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Antioxidants found in nuts, seeds and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes, nuts and seeds are a versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.

Sources

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