Fava beans (foul) and green peas (bazella) are one of the favorites Lebanese treats during this time of year, other than green almonds nuts of course!
Green raw peas and fava beans contain significant amounts of carbohydrates and thus they are considered to be primarily constituted of starch. Their protein content is greater than that of potatoes and is actually close to that of rice even though both rice and peas have different types of amino acids (protein building blocks). So a smart way to go around cooked peas is to have them with rice, this way both their protein content will complement each other.
Peas are also rich in vitamin C, in fact, they have 40 mg for each 100 g, almost as much as lemon while fava beans contain about half of that of lemon.
Moreover, green peas and fava beans supply your body with vitamin A, E, B1, B2, B6, folates, iron and zinc and best of all, they supply you with lots of fiber!
|Fresh Green Peas|
Now apart from all the benefits listed about green peas and fava beans, can these green treats be considered as veggies and thus it's Ok to nibble on them "freely"?
Well, not really! The issue we have in Lebanon is that during this time of year, everyone buys kilograms of these fresh greens and enjoy them - mindlessly if I might add - with lunches, dinners, picnics or simply with alcohol! So a very important nutritious advice concerning foul and bazella is to enjoy them in small amounts because to start with, they are high in fibers and might not be well tolerated in large amounts causing digestive disturbances and gases and most importantly because they are considered as starch - just like potatoes/pasta/breads/rice and not as green vegetables! This is why it is best to replace them with green munchies such as carrot, cucumber and bell pepper sticks or if you decide to have green peas and fava beans, make sure not eat them as a surplus to other starches in your diet!