The feeling of lowness, feeling dejected, preferring isolation, and inability to concentrate, all these may point towards depression. Depression is a serious mental disorder affecting over 300 million people globally!1 Depression could occur due to changes in brain chemicals, external environmental factors, personality problems, and even genetics. Although, immediate medical attention in case of depression is highly recommended, you may try foods like fava beans which has antidepressive properties.
Fava beans are nutritious, rich in essential minerals, and you can enjoy it in your salads, in the soup or just the microwaved beans. They are extremely rich in proteins, dietary fibers, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and folates.2 The high levels of levodopa present in fava beans have antidepressive properties and it can be beneficial for people suffering from depression.3
Let’s look at 3 ways fava beans helps fight depression:
1. It Helps Uplift Your Mood
You would be wondering, chocolates help uplift the mood, ice-creams help uplift the mood as well, but fava beans? Yes, the extremely nutritious fava beans are rich in levodopa, also known as L-dopa. These levodopa’s are converted into dopamine by the body.4 Dopamines are neurotransmitters that can help uplift your mood and give you relief from depression.5
2. It Gives You Lots Of Energy
When depressed you feel extremely low and lack energy, your diet low in folate content might be responsible for depression.6
The rich folate content in fava beans could give your energy level the much-needed boost. These extremely useful folates can improve your metabolism, it is also beneficial for blood and the nervous system.
3. It Improves Your Motor Function
Depression also brings with it impaired motor function but you need not worry as the nutritious fava beans can help.7
Fava beans can improve your motor function by increasing the levels of L-dopa and C-dopa in your blood.8 Now you have another reason to munch on these yummy beans.
How Much Fava Benas Is Good For You
Consumption of fava beans will vary from one individual to another. However, an ideal serving would be one cup (170 g) of boiled and matured fava beans. A cup of boiled fava beans contains about 187 calories, 33.4 g carbohydrates, 12.9 g protein, 9.2 g fiber, and several other minerals useful for the body.9
How To Cook Fava Beans
Unpeel the pods and collect the fava beans in a cup. Boil the beans for 1-2 mins in salted water. After that collect the seeds and put them in cold water. Now, it will be easy to remove their skin. Once you have unskinned the fava beans, add them to the recipe of your choice.
- If the symptoms of depression exist for more than 1-2 weeks then seek professional medical attention immediately.
- Avoid fava beans if you are on any type of medication.
- Fava beans may cause allergy, consult a doctor before consuming fava beans.
- Fava beans may cause vitamin B6 deficiency, avoid consuming it in excess.
|↑1||Depression. World Health Organization.|
|↑2, ↑9||Basic Report: 16053, Broadbeans (fava beans), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑3||Depression. The New York Times Company.|
|↑4||Parkinson’s Disease. National Institutes Of Health.|
|↑5||Yanofski, Jason. “The dopamine dilemma: using stimulants and antipsychotics concurrently.” Psychiatry (Edgmont) 7, no. 6 (2010): 18.|
|↑6||Young, Simon N. “Folate and depression—a neglected problem.” Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience 32, no. 2 (2007): 80.|
|↑7||Buyukdura, Jeylan S., Shawn M. McClintock, and Paul E. Croarkin. “Psychomotor retardation in depression: biological underpinnings, measurement, and treatment.” Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry35, no. 2 (2011): 395-409.|
|↑8||Mohseni Mehran, S. M., and B. Golshani. “Simultaneous determination of levodopa and carbidopa from fava bean, green peas and green beans by high performance liquid gas chromatography.” Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR 7, no. 6 (2013): 1004.|