Faba Bean As A Protein Source
Are faba beans a good source of protein?
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food And Rural Affairs has produced a fact sheet that explains why the humble faba bean is an excellent source of protein for livestock.
Not only is it good for livestock and can lead, for example, to better milk production in cows, it can be grown and processed on the farm. A twist on the farm to plate philosophy we humans value so highly and a very sustainable endeavour.
Presuming you’re not a cow, sheep or other livestock reading this post, you may be wondering if faba beans are also a good source of protein for you. So, let’s move from the farm to the science lab to see if we can find some answers.
The push for additional sources of protein
Before we look at whether faba beans are a good source of protein, it’s worth looking at why more and more people are turning to plant sources for their protein requirements.
In many parts of the world, in the past we’ve predominantly relied on animals as protein sources. However, over the years this has been slowly changing.
The National Library of Medicine sums the reasons for the shift in their article Faba Bean: An Untapped Source of Quality Plant Proteins and Bioactives. The three main reasons are:
- Livestock are significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Excessive animal-based protein consumption has been proven to be associated with several diseases and disorders.
- Legumes, such as the faba bean, have been shown to be an economical, environmental and medically-sound alternative protein sources.
Science shows that faba beans are a good source of protein
The faba bean is not the only legume we can turn to for protein. For example, soy, peas, lentils and chickpeas are other alternatives. So, why is the faba bean touted as one of the best sources of protein?
10 reasons the faba bean is a good source of protein
- While the faba bean has been grown for centuries in the Asia, Africa and Mediterranean regions, it adapts well to various conditions, including colder climates. Therefore, it can be grown in many parts of the world.
- It has a high ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, which reduces the need to add nitrogen fertiliser to the soil. There are other advantages for farmers in growing faba beans, including its ability to be grown alongside crops such as barley and wheat to increase their yield.
- Faba beans are not genetically modified and not a regulated allergen.
- Most importantly, the faba bean has a higher protein content than many alternatives. This includes peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans. Faba beans are considered a complete source of protein.
- It’s a rich source of vitamins and minerals. New improved faba beans varieties have been recently developed to increase their nutritional qualities.
- Faba beans are low in fat and has no saturated fats.
- They are high in fibre. Eating foods high in fibre can improve digestion, reduce cholesterol and helps maintain healthy glucose levels.
- It has a well-balanced amino-acid profile.
- Faba beans are rich sources of bioactive compounds, such as phenolic compounds, non-protein amino acids and bioactive peptides.
- They are rich in antioxidants and will help keep your immune system healthy.
How do you use faba bean protein in your diet?
Another advantage of faba bean protein over other plant-based proteins is that it is easier to use in your diet. Powders are readily available that are less gritty than many other plant-based powders, making them nicer to drink or eat.
Here are few suggestions for adding faba bean protein to your diet:
- Faba bean protein is heat stable, which means you can add it to hot dishes such as soups, casseroles, curries and risottos.
- Add faba bean protein to sweet dishes. It can make a sweet treat a little less naughty! Simply add to water for a quick protein boost.
- Mix with milk or your favourite milk alternative, fruit and a little honey for a quick afternoon pickup or after workout boost.
Not all faba bean proteins are created equal
For the best faba bean proteins on the market, look no further than Pure Plant Protein. We make a range of premium plant proteins that include faba bean proteins.
All our faba bean proteins are grown and processed in Australia, which ensures the highest quality standards are maintained and local farmers and communities are supported. It also helps to make our faba bean proteins some of the most sustainable on the market.
Experience the difference yourself. Shop our range online today.