Broad Beans (Fava Beans) Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Broad or fava beans are a slightly less known type of legume. However, they are very rich, and micronutrients and protein, and they are worth including in a plant-based diet.
Jyothi Shenoy, MD, MBA

Written by Jyothi Shenoy, MD, MBA. Updated on December 8, 2022.

Broad beans, also known as fava beans, are a type of legume that is high in protein in addition to other important micronutrients.

It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Bigilla, a traditional Maltese dish that reminds of hummus is made of fava beans.

It is the legume type with the highest concentration of dietary fiber compared to other types. It provides 90% of the daily fiber requirement in a single 100-gram serving.

This portion satisfies half of the daily protein requirement.

Although slightly deficient in methionine, all nine essential amino acids are present. This deficiency can be remedied by consuming it with whole-grain rice or bread.

Copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and iron are abundant in this food source.

Broad beans are effective in reducing IBS symptoms and promoting testosterone secretion in men due to their high mineral content.

For pregnant women, the broad bean is beneficial since a single serving (100 grams) provides all of the vitamin B9 needed in a day.

Including fava beans in your diet will enhance the nutritional value of your diet in many ways.

Broad beans (fava beans) Quick Nutrition Facts

Here's a quick nutrition overview for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of broad beans (fava beans):

  • Energy: 341 calories
  • Carbs: 58.3 grams
  • Sugar: 5.7 grams
  • Fiber: 25 grams
  • Protein: 26.1 grams
  • Fat: 1.53 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0.254 grams

Jump to a section where you can learn more about broad beans (fava beans) nutrition value, including macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, protein quality, and more.

Health Benefits of Broad Beans (Fava Beans)

Thanks to a significant amount of specific vitamins and minerals, broad beans (fava beans) could provide several health benefits.

Continue reading to discover the potential benefits of consuming broad beans (fava beans).

They May Help Regulate Blood Pressure

Magnesium is important for maintaining bone health and improving the utilization of glucose for energy. It also supports immune function and regulates blood pressure and lung functions.

It plays a key role in improving the duration and quality of sleep.

Magnesium maintains the chemical balance in the nervous system and creates a sense of calmness and relaxation that is favorable for getting sound sleep.

It can also regulate the secretion of neurotransmitters in the brain, thus stimulating the production of the sleep hormone called melatonin. It can elevate the melatonin levels in the nervous system, thus reducing the time needed to fall asleep.

This mineral also has the ability to stimulate the normal activities of the nervous system and reduce the risk of mood disorders and depression.

Magnesium can fight inflammation and improve digestion, thereby relieving constipation. It can prevent the risk of diseases linked to chronic inflammation, such as diabetes and cancer, and improve general health.

They May Boost Testosterone Levels

Zinc can support the secretion of reproductive enzymes, especially testosterone, thus improving sperm count and sperm motility in men.

It can promote muscle growth, act as an antioxidant, reduce inflammation, and protect against chronic conditions such as cancer, heart attacks, and diabetes.

Zinc is one of the important minerals involved in the growth and development of organs and tissues.

It is also needed for maintaining normal immune functions. Zinc also helps in the production of the active form of vitamin A and the transportation of this nutrient around the body.

Zinc is necessary for the activities of more than 300 enzymes, which take part in the metabolic processes, digestion, and nerve function.

It is fundamental to DNA synthesis, skin health, and protein production.

Zinc is known for its role in the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels and insulin secretion.

These functions of zinc can help in the effective control of diabetes and reduce the risk of related complications.

They May Help Relieve Symptoms of Osteoarthritis and IBS

Manganese can reduce inflammation and hence, can be useful as a potential therapeutic agent for the management of inflammatory disorders such as osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Manganese is a vital nutrient that helps in the formation of connective tissue, blood clotting factors, bones, and reproductive hormones.

It also supports the metabolism of fat and carbohydrate and enhances calcium absorption. It can help with blood sugar regulation, thereby improving glycemic control in patients with diabetes.

Manganese is also needed for normal nerve and brain function. When combined with other nutrients like calcium and zinc, manganese can support the bone formation processes and improve bone mineral density.

This is especially important for postmenopausal women and older men who are at a higher risk of osteoporosis due to the decline in bone mineral density.

Manganese is an integral part of the body’s antioxidant mechanisms. It helps in the synthesis of an enzyme called superoxide dismutase, which acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body and prevents oxidative stress linked to the high risk of cancer, autoimmune disorders, and diabetes.

May Improve Teeth and Bone Health

The primary function of phosphorus is linked to the formation of teeth and bones.

It also plays a role in regulating the utilization of carbohydrates and fats in the body, thus ensuring a steady supply of fuel to the cells.

It can improve glycemic control in patients with diabetes and reduce the risk of complications.

Phosphorus is also needed for the synthesis of proteins, which form the building blocks of the tissues of the body.

This effect of phosphorus can support the growth and development of the body’s organs.

It can also improve the maintenance and repair of the organs by accelerating the healing of the tissues damaged due to free radicals, inflammation, toxic exposure, and age-related degenerative changes.

This can help sustain the normal activities of the body and improve general health.

Phosphorus also helps to remove unwanted waste material from the body, thus reducing the toxic overload and cleansing the blood. This can restore healthy bodily functions and reduce the risk of several diseases.

May Aid Certain Hormones Secretion

The body also needs iron to secrete some hormones. It is needed for the normal growth and development of the body.

It is an important mineral involved in several bodily functions, including the supply of energy to the cells and the transport of oxygen to the tissues through the bloodstream.

Our body uses this mineral to make hemoglobin, a form of protein in red blood cells, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all the organs and tissues of the body.

It also helps in the formation of myoglobin, another protein that carries oxygen to the muscles.

It also helps the immune system function more effectively, thus preventing infections due to bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Iron helps to support energy production at the cellular level. It can ensure the body receives a steady supply of fuel, thus allowing you to feel fresh and energetic and maintain focus.

It can also support digestive processes, thus improving the absorption of nutrients in the gut.

May Improve the Carbohydrate Metabolism

Copper is needed for regulating carbohydrate metabolism. It can help to convert sugar into a usable form of energy, thus ensuring the body receives a steady supply of fuel to perform its critical functions.

It is needed by the body for several functions, including the formation of red blood cells.

Copper can also support nerve functions and improve the transmission of signals between different parts of the body.

It can keep the nerve cells healthy and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Copper is also needed for the optimal functioning of the nervous system. It can improve mood by regulating the balance of hormones in the brain.

It can support the defense mechanisms of the immune system involved in infection prevention.

Copper also helps in the formation of collagen, a protein that makes up our skin, bones, and other tissues. It protects the cells from damage and improves the absorption of iron in the body, thereby increasing the availability of this vital nutrient.

They May Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Vitamin B9 or folate plays a key role in cellular division. It can regulate the processes involved in cell division.

This can reduce the risk of cancer that can occur due to the uninhibited division of cells resulting in the formation of a large number of cells that fail to mature completely.

It also aids in the production of the body’s genetic material, such as DNA and RNA. It is especially important to ensure that the body is not deprived of this nutrient when tissues and organs are growing rapidly, such as during pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence.

Vitamin B9 plays a key role during pregnancy by regulating the replication of DNA and RNA, thereby supporting the proper growth and development of the fetus.

It can also help in the normal growth and development of children.

Vitamin B9 also works closely with other nutrients, especially vitamin B12, and helps the body make red blood cells by improving the availability of iron.

They May Improve the Nervous System Health

Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is important for the normal development of the brain in children and adults. It can also keep the immune system and nervous system healthy and, thus, reduce the risk of several diseases.

It can also help in the formation of red blood cells and, thus, improve the bodily functions involved in the transportation of oxygen in the form of oxyhemoglobin.

Vitamin B6 can help release sugar from the fats stored in the body to meet the need for energy supply in the future.

This action of vitamin B6 can be beneficial in the management of diabetes.

It can regulate the amount of fat that can be converted into a usable form of energy, especially in the absence of a ready supply of carbohydrates from dietary sources.

This can ensure the body receives a steady supply of glucose, which is its primary source of fuel and protect patients against serious complications of diabetes.

May Reduce the Risk of Some Cancers

Potassium is important for the normal functioning of the muscles, nerves, and heart.

It also plays a role in the formation of DNA and RNA, thus reducing the risk of cancer linked to mutations in these genetic materials.

Potassium helps to lower blood pressure by promoting the removal of sodium from the body via urine.

The removal of sodium results in the elimination of water from the body, thus reducing fluid overload.

The reduction in fluid overload and water retention in the body helps to lower the blood pressure and decreases the strain on the heart.

Potassium also helps the muscles contract, thereby supporting our movements. It can keep the bones and teeth strong and aid muscle recovery after strenuous exercise sessions.

Potassium can also help in filtering and removing toxins and waste materials from the kidneys and promote the conduction of nerve impulses throughout the body.

It can improve energy usage and storage in the body, ensuring an adequate supply of glucose to the cells to help them perform their normal functions.

Broad beans (fava beans) Nutrition Facts

Continue reading to find out the following broad beans (fava beans) nutrition information:

  • Macronutrients
  • Vitamin Content
  • Mineral Content
  • Amino Acid Profile
  • Fat Breakdown
  • Carbohydrate Breakdown


Macronutrients, often called macros, are most commonly used term when it comes to eating a healthy diet or losing weight. There are three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Macronutrients provide energy to your body and allows it to function properly. The following table contains the information on broad beans (fava beans) macronutrients, while reading further will give you a better understanding on each of these macronutrients.

Carbohydrate19% DV58.3 g
Protein52% DV26.1 g
Fat2% DV1.53 g

Vitamin Content

Broad beans (fava beans) are 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.

Here's the full broad beans (fava beans) vitamin content per 100g:

Vitamin A2% DV53 IU
Vitamin C2% DV1.4 mg
Vitamin D0% DV0 µg
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)46% DV0.555 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)26% DV0.333 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)18% DV2.83 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)20% DV0.976 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)22% DV0.366 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)106% DV423 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)0% DV0 µg
Vitamin E0% DV0.05 mg
Vitamin K8% DV9 µg

Mineral Content

Broad beans (fava beans) are excellent source of Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, and Zinc.

They also contain a good amount of Potassium, and Selenium and some Calcium.

Here's the full broad beans (fava beans) mineral content per 100g:

Calcium8% DV103 mg
Copper92% DV0.824 mg
Fluoride0% DV0 mg
Iron37% DV6.7 mg
Magnesium46% DV192 mg
Manganese71% DV1.63 mg
Phosphorus34% DV421 mg
Potassium23% DV1060 mg
Selenium15% DV8.2 μg
Sodium1% DV13 mg
Zinc29% DV3.14 mg

Protein and Amino Acid Profile

Broad beans (fava beans) contain 26.1 g of protein per 100 g, or in other words, broad beans (fava beans) provide 7.65 g of protein per 100 kcal.

Similarly to most other plant proteins, protein in broad beans (fava beans) contain all nine essential amino acids, however, they are a little bit low in methionine.

Histidine OK89% DV0.664 g
Isoleucine OK70% DV1.05 g
Leucine OK66% DV1.96 g
Lysine OK74% DV1.67 g
Methionine Low19% DV0.213 g
Phenylalanine OK73% DV1.1 g
Threonine OK81% DV0.928 g
Tryptophan OK82% DV0.247 g
Valine OK59% DV1.16 g

Fat Breakdown

Around 4% of the calories in broad beans (fava beans) are from fat. Broad beans (fava beans) have 1.53 grams or 2% of recommended daily values per 100g.

Saturated fat and trans fat can increase cholesterol levels and increase the heart disease risk.

Broad beans (fava beans) fat content mostly consists of healthy unsaturated fats.

According to FDA, dietary cholesterol should be kept below 300 mg per day. Luckily, broad beans (fava beans) is cholesterol free.

Broad beans (fava beans) do not contain trans fats. Trans fats should be kept as low as possible.

Total Fat2% DV1.53 g
Saturated Fat1% DV0.254 g
Monounsaturated Fatdo not have a %DV0.303 g
Polyunsaturated Fatdo not have a %DV0.627 g
Trans Fatsdo not have a %DV0 g
Cholesterol0% DV0 mg

Carbohydrate Breakdown

68% of the calories in broad beans (fava beans) come from carbohydrates.

Carbs in broad beans (fava beans) are mostly starch (47%), followed by fiber and sugars.

When it comes to sugars, broad beans (fava beans) are relatively low in sugar, containing grams of sugar per 100g.

Total Carbohydrate21% DV58.3 g
Dietary Fiber89% DV25 g
Sugars11% DV5.7 g

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