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What are Vicia Faba L Dopa Beans

What are Vicia faba L Dopa Beans

 

Vicia faba (L-Dopa), also known as faba bean, fava bean, field bean, horse bean and tic bean, is a native plant of Southwest Asia and North Africa. However, it can also be found and cultivated in many parts of the world like the United States and Europe. This plant belongs to Fabaceae (leguminosae) family and usually thrives in cold weather. It is commonly used as a cover crop to prevent soil erosion. Most importantly, vicia faba is edible.

 

Vicia faba (L-Dopa) is rich in tyramine, hence, it should not be taken by patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors. It contains vicine and convicine that can induce hemolytic anemia in patients with Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD). G6PD is a disorder in which the body lacks an enzyme that normally protects red blood cells from toxic chemicals.

 

This broad bean, Vicia faba is a rich source also of L-dopa, a substance used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is believed to be caused by a deficiency of dopamine. It is characterized by muscular rigidity, resting tremor, difficulty with movement initiation called bradykinesia, slowness of voluntary movement and difficulty with balance and walking. Vicia faba (L-dopa), once consumed would enter the central nervous system and is converted into dopamine. Dopamine is a brain neurotransmitter and helps the body function smoothly. 

 

Vicia faba (L-Dopa) beans are eaten by poor and rich people. It can be fried with salt or spices and serve as a savory crunchy snack. This type of serving is very popular in China, Peru, Mexico and Thailand. In Egypt and in most Arab countries, fava beans are cooked and served as a breakfast meal called ful medames. Also, in ancient times, it is said that these beans kept the people of Sicily from famine due to inadequate harvest of crops during that time except for fava beans. 


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