Vicia faba, the Broad Bean, Fava Bean, Field Bean, Bell Bean or Tic Bean is a species of bean (Fabaceae) native to north Africa and southwest Asia, and extensively cultivated elsewhere.
Food features:The fruit is a broad leathery pod, green maturing to blackish-brown, with a densely downy surface; in the wild species, the pods are 5-10 cm long and 1 cm diameter, but many modern cultivars developed for food use have pods 15-25 cm long and 2-3 cm thick. Each pod contains 3-8 seeds; round to oval and 5-10 mm diameter in the wild plant, usually flattened and up to 20-25 mm long, 15 mm broad and 5-10 mm thick in food cultivars. Vicia faba has a diploid (2n) chromosome number of 12 (6 homologous pairs). Five pairs are acrocentric chromosomes and 1 pair is metacentric.
Dietotherapy function:Broad beans are rich in L-dopa, a substance used medically in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. L-dopa is also a natriuretic agent, which might help in controlling hypertension.