Broad beans

Facts about broad beans

We found 20 facts about broad beans

One of the oldest cultivated plants

Broad bean is the common name of an annual plant belonging to the family Fabaceae, to the genus vetch. It no longer occurs in the wild, although it can still be found in North Africa and Iran. It is cultivated for food purposes. Growing it is not difficult, even in home gardens. For many, it is a delicacy awaited at the turn of June and July.

Broad beans
Broad beans were known and cultivated ten thousand years BC in Mesopotamia, Syria, Phoenicia and then in Egypt and Rome.
In Egypt, it was the food of simple, poor people.

Priests could not eat it, a special prohibition applied to the priests of the goddess Isis. However, it was regularly offered to the gods and the dead. Sometimes people would eat raw broad beans and fall ill or die. Egyptians associated it with the underworld and considered it unclean food, which is why It was the main course at wakes.

In Greece, the broad bean had its own god - Kyamites, who watched over the cultivation, and sacrifices were made to him when they prayed for better harvests.

In Greece, broad beans were considered the source of life. Greek athletes ate it before training to improve their performance.

Sometimes broad bean seeds were used in politics as "votes" in elections. Two varieties of broad beans were used during elections by throwing them into the ballot boxes: white (yes) and black (no).

Italians also have their patron saint of broad beans–Saint Joseph.

After the great drought in Sicily, when only broad beans survived and the population had something to feed on, thanks were given to St. Joseph precisely for this. To this day, altars with the saint are decorated with broad bean seeds to honor him.

Pythagoras also had his opinion on broad beans, who believed that the human soul transforms into broad bean seeds after death.

He demanded that the authorities ban the consumption of broad beans because they were believed to cause brain fog and dementia.

Broad beans were also a very popular vegetable in medieval Europe.

It was a great food for poor people, especially during crop failures.

In medieval France, it was very popular, broad beans were used to make flour for bread or nutritious pancakes.
Broad beans are a plant up to 100 cm high, with a naked, tubular stem, four-cornered in cross-section.
The broad bean fruit is a downward hanging pod, up to 12 cm long, containing 2-5 seeds separated by spongy compartments.

The seeds are lens- or kidney-shaped, light green or light yellow, sometimes brown. The seed length is 35 mm.

Broad beans, like other legumes, have many nutritional values.

It contains a large amount of protein, which is an alternative to animal protein (100 g of cooked vegetables contain 7.6 g of protein). It is a valuable source of folic acid.

Broad beans bind bile acids in the large intestine and thus reduce the concentration of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Broad beans have a low sodium content, are rich in potassium and soluble fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol in the blood, thus regulating blood pressure.
Some drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease are made from broad beans because they are a natural source of levodopa (the biologically active form of dopamine).
Boiled broad beans contain as much as 110 kcal per 100 g, the glycemic index GI of cooked broad beans is 80 and of raw broad beans is 40.

However, thanks to its low-fat content and large amount of soluble fiber, it is a desirable ingredient in a slimming diet. It can help control weight because it slows down the digestion process and makes you feel full for a long time.

It is rich in folic acid and B vitamins, substances necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Broad beans may cause allergic reactions in people suffering from favism, i.e. the so-called bean disease.

Favism is an inherited genetic disease caused by a deficiency of the G6PD enzyme.

Broad beans should also be avoided by people who have digestive system problems, as they cause flatulence and excessive fermentation in the intestines.

Bloating and gas are caused by oligosaccharides, which are not digested or broken down by intestinal bacteria.

Broad beans can be eaten both raw and cooked.

Young beans whose skin has not yet hardened can be eaten immediately after being removed from the pod. The skin contains the most vitamins.

However, the most popular are broad beans steamed or traditionally cooked in water.

There should be twice as much water as broad beans with a spoonful of sugar, followed by salt at the end. Young broad beans are cooked for about 15 minutes, and older broad beans for about 30 minutes.

To prevent the eaten broad beans from causing flatulence, soak them in very hot water for an hour, then pour it out and cook the broad beans in fresh water.
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