Green peas are highly nutritious to the body. They are grouped in plant-based proteins making themqualify as an essential food in your diet. Adding them to your food programwill allow you to gain many health benefits.
Green peas are common legumes loved by some, though often underestimated by many. Although they’remostly used as a side dish, this type of food deserves more appreciation because of the health benefits they offer to consumers. If you’re among the large number that discriminatesgreen peas, here are reasons why they are healthy.
How do peas look like?
It’s easy to confuse green peas with snow and snap peas because of their alike appearance. There is a difference in their nutritional value and flavor. Green peas originate from legume plants, though often eaten as a starchy vegetable. Peas are small, edible legumes andgrouped in the same family as peanuts, beans, chickpeas, and lentils. Before consumption, they’re grown in pods on a vine, and immediately the pod gets plump and ripe for picking, you can prepare it in your preferred dishes. Fresh peas are usually available in May to October season while the frozen version is an all-year staple.
Nutrition facts of green peas
A cup of green peas has about 134 calories only. You’ll get manganese, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B1, folate, copper, and phosphorus from this portion. From 80 grams of cooked peas you’ll get;
- 5.4g protein
- 1.3g fat
- 1.2mg iron
- 13mg vitamin c
- 104mg phosphorus
- 4.5g fiber
- 8.0g carbohydrates
- 184mg potassium
Which is healthier, frozen, canned, or fresh peas?
After spinach, peas are the most favored frozen vegetables. The frozen type is highly preferred because no one has time to remove the shell from peas using their hands. Other than fresh and frozen versions, you can also purchase canned peas. So, which is the best?
Fresh peas are small, yet so nutritious and full of vitamins and minerals. It may take you a long time to prepare and cook it but the effort is worth it due to its untouched nutritional value. Frozentype is usually briefly dipped in boiling water to remove its skin, and then flash-frozen. Most of the vitaminswill not be lost, but some of their nutrients will be interfered with if it’s blanched for too long. Canned may be the least healthy. It contains fewer nutrients.
What are the health benefits of green peas?
Offers anti-cancer properties
Regular intake of legumes like peas may lower cancer risksbecause of their high levels of antioxidants. Also, they contain saponins, a natural substance that offers protection against some types of cancer.
Promotes healthy bones
It only takes one cup of green peas to get 44% of vitamin K which restores calcium neededinside the bones. It’s also rich in B vitamins which are useful in preventing osteoporosis.
Constipation is a disturbing digestion issue for most individuals. High content of fiber in peas promotes a healthy bowel and peristalsis. Regular consumption of it increases stool frequency thus improving constipation symptoms.
Reduces bad cholesterol
Niacin present in peasassists to reduce production of triglycerides and very-low-density lipoprotein(VLDL) thusreducing bad cholesterol. According to experts, frequent consumption of legumes lowersthe total amount of bad cholesterol.
Prevents heart disease
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in green peaspromotehealthy blood vessels. Plaque formation in the blood vessels walls,inflammation, and extreme oxidative stress leads to chronic illnesses. High amounts of vitamin B6, B3, B2, B1, and folate in green peas lower homocysteine levels, risk factors of healthdiseases. Also, its abilities to reduce total cholesterol and bad cholesterol contribute to a healthier heart. More so, green peas are rich in lutein, which protects cells from harmful oxidation.
Regulates blood sugar levels
High fiber and adequate protein in peas slowdown the rate at which fast sugars get digested and support a healthyblood glucose response to individuals with type 2 diabetes. High fiber slows the sugar absorption into the bloodstream thus maintaining the right blood sugar levels. Also, peas have a low glycemic index making thema great option for those struggling with diabetes.
Helps to manage weight
Although they’re high in everything else, green peas are low in fat. One cup of it contains few calories compared to other plant-based sources of proteins yet it has lots of micro-nutrients, fiber, and protein. Green peas are super sources of plant-based proteins that will make you full longer thus helping you reduce your appetite and control your cravings. Adding them to your breakfast will protect you from snacking on unhealthy foods during the day.
Helps in the prevention of cancer
Peas contain high levels of coumestrol, which is a health-protective polyphenol. According to experts, only 2mg of this phytonutrient per day is enough to protect you from stomach cancer. Acup of green peas containsabout 10 mg of it, which means a regular intake of this legume will give your body enough power to resistmultiplication of cancer cells. Saponins present in peas offer therapeuticeffects todeal with different cancer types.Moreover, these plant proteins arefilled with high-quality antioxidants which helpsto decrease oxidative damages to cells by eliminating free radicals. Such abilities are great forpreventingcancers.
Boosts immune system provides anti-aging effects and high energy
Green peas have high amounts of polyphenols, phenolic acid, carotenoid, and flavonoids. Also, they have high levels of Vitamin C, which is useful in strengthening immune system.
Recipes for peas
Peas can be used in most dishes. Herbs and spicesthatcan go well with them include rosemary, thyme, olive oil, mint, curry, dill, and black pepper. Peasversatility makes them perfect for most meals. Some of the recipes you can try include;
- Creamy pea soup
- Carrots and peas
- Peas with pasta
- Peas salad with bacon
- Mashed peas on breakfast toast
- Peas, potato, and egg salad
- Pea and ham soup
- Pea pakora pockets
- Spiced pea and potato rolls
- Roasted salmon with peas, potatoes, and bacon
- Herbal broccoli and pea soup
- Rice and peas
- Asparagus and lemon spaghetti with peas
- Chicken, pea curry, and sweet potato
By now you know why peas shouldn’t be underestimated. These tiny legumes are nutritious and will benefit you in many ways. Adding them toother meals will boost your body’s nutritional value. More so, you’ll enjoy its yumminess. You can never run short of preparation styles. You can try cooking ideas suggested above and let us know the one you loved the most.