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Rye grain vs Broad (Fava) Beans: Which Is Healthier?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between rye grain and broad (fava) beans, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the rye grain vs broad (fava) beans comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on February 8, 2023.

Although rye grain and broad (fava) beans belong to different food groups, while rye grain belong is a grain, and broad (fava) beans belong to legumes food group, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

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

Generally speaking, foods from grains and legume food groups are both high in carbs and protein and valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

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

Rye grain

Rye grain (Secale cereale) is a cereal grain that is closely related to wheat and barley.

It is a good source of dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including B vitamins like niacin and folate, as well as minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium.

The high fiber content of rye grain has been linked to improved digestion, weight management, and lower cholesterol levels. It also contains a unique type of dietary fiber called arabinoxylan, which has been shown to have a prebiotic effect on gut health.

Rye grain is commonly used in bread making and traditional dishes such as rye porridge and crisp bread. It can also be milled into flour and used in baking or cooked and eaten as a side dish.

Rye grain is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin E, and 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.

Rye grain 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 rye grain vs broad (fava) beans.

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

Rye grainBroad (Fava) Beans
Energy338 kcal341 kcal
Carbs75.9 g58.3 g
Sugar0.98 g5.7 g
Fiber15.1 g25 g
Protein10.3 g26.1 g
Fat1.63 g1.53 g
Saturated Fat0.197 g0.254 g

Rye grain vs Broad (Fava) Beans Calories

Most calories in raw grains and legumes come from carbs. Peanuts are an exception here, but they are often considered a nut instead of a legume because of their nutritional profile.

Comparing rye grain vs broad (fava) beans for weight loss, rye grain is slightly lower in calories, with 338 calories per 100 grams, compared to 341 calories per 100 grams of broad (fava) beans.

However, both rye grain 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.

Rye grain vs Broad (Fava) Beans Protein

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

Broad (Fava) Beans offer around 61% more protein than rye grain.

Broad (Fava) Beans have 26.1 grams of protein per 100 grams, while rye grain has 10.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Rye grain 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 rye grain and broad (fava) beans.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 23% higher in rye grain than in broad (fava) beans. It have 75.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 58.3 grams in broad (fava) beans.

There’s less sugar in rye grain than in broad (fava) beans, 81% precisely.

One handful of rye grain (28 grams) contains 0.3 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 rye grain and broad (fava) beans.

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

With 7 grams of fiber per portion, broad (fava) beans are a better source of fiber than rye grain which offer 4.2 grams per portion.

Rye grain vs Broad (Fava) Beans Fats

Like most other grains and legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, rye grain and broad (fava) beans are low in fat.

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

Total fat in rye grain and broad (fava) beans:

  • Rye grain: 1.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Broad (Fava) Beans: 1.5 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, rye grain is 33% lower in saturated fats.

Rye grain and broad (fava) beans contain 0.2 grams and 0.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Rye grain vs Broad (Fava) Beans Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of rye grain 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.

Rye grain has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin K.

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

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

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

Rye grainBroad (Fava) Beans
Vitamin A11 IU53 IU
Vitamin C01.4 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.316 mg0.555 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.251 mg0.333 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)4.27 mg2.83 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.46 mg0.976 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.294 mg0.366 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)38 µg423 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.85 mg0.05 mg
Vitamin K5.9 µg9 µg

Rye grain 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 rye grain and broad (fava) beans comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Rye grain is a better source of calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc than broad (fava) beans.

On the other hand, broad (fava) beans are a higher amount of manganese, and selenium.

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

Rye grainBroad (Fava) Beans
Calcium24 mg103 mg
Copper0.367 mg0.824 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron2.63 mg6.7 mg
Magnesium110 mg192 mg
Manganese2.58 mg1.63 mg
Phosphorus332 mg421 mg
Potassium510 mg1060 mg
Selenium13.9 µg8.2 µg
Sodium2 mg13 mg
Zinc2.65 mg3.14 mg

The Final Word

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

Both rye grain 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 grains 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 and grains 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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