Green peas are a great addition to any diet. They are high in dietary fiber, starch, protein, vitamins, and beneficial phytochemicals.
“Green peas are a great source of protein for vegetarians or vegans. Food manufacturers now use pea protein to make a variety of plant-based products such as non-dairy drinks, meatless hamburgers, and pea powder,” states Vandana Gujadhur RD. She also said that green peas, like any other legumes, are low in the essential fatty acid methionine. You can compensate by adding a variety of grains to your diet.
This article will discuss green peas’ health benefits and potential side effects. Have a look.
What are green peas?
The seed of the green pea, or garden pea (Pisum Sativum), is the one that grows in hard pods. It is a type of legume that originates from Southeast Asia. It is a vital food legume and ranks fourth in the world for legume production.
Many cuisines use green peas. You can eat them raw, boiled or steamed. Or you can stir-fry their pods. These legume seeds are mildly sweet due to their starch content.
Peas, like most legumes, are healthy and nutritious. Find out more about the nutritional value of green peas.
Green Peas Nutrition Facts
- 100g of peas has 79 calories and 13g of carbohydrates. There are approximately 4g of dietary fiber and 4.5g of protein in a serving.
- Peas are a great source of vitamin A (765IU), vitamin C (40.5 mg), vitamin E (0.133) and vitamin K (24.8ug).
- They are high in minerals like selenium (1.24 mg) and zinc (1.8 ug), as well as phytonutrients like carotene (449 Ug) and lutein zeaxanthin (2477 Ug).
- Peas’ phytonutrients include flavanols such as epicatechin and catechin, phenolic acid (caffeic and ferulic), and saponins.
We will discuss green beans’ health benefits in the next section.
Green Peas Have Many Health Benefits
1. May help manage blood sugar and diabetes
Vandana Gujadhur RD, says that green peas are low on the Glycemic index scale because they contain dietary fiber which slows down the metabolism of carbohydrates in your blood.
Low-GI foods can be beneficial in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes.
Also, read 10 Interesting Facts About Hatshepsut
Pea extracts from raw peas were shown to inhibit the activity of an enzyme involved in carbohydrate metabolism in mice. This could explain the hypoglycemic effects of pea extracts on mice. To understand the anti-diabetic properties of green peas, more research is needed.
2. May Improve Digestion
Prebiotic sugars and fiber may help with digestion. Galactose Oligosaccharides found in peas have been shown to aid in digestion in the large intestine.
Prebiotic sugars are used as food for probiotic bacteria in digestion. This allows the probiotic bacteria to convert sugars into beneficial products for our bodies.
Fiber aids in food movement through the digestive tract. This is vital for proper digestion and the elimination of toxic substances.
Pea sprouts have antimicrobial properties. The growth of Helicobacter Pylori, a bacteria that causes ulcers, was inhibited by the phenolic extracts from sprouted peas. Green peas can be beneficial for the overall function of the gastrointestinal tract.
3. May Lower Blood Cholesterol Levels
Controlling cholesterol can prevent heart disease. A high level of low-density lipoprotein (or LDL) can be harmful to the body. It can clog the arteries and lead to heart disease. Peas were found to lower pigs’ plasma levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in studies. Green peas’ soluble fiber may lower your risk of developing heart disease.
4. May Help Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation and oxidative strain can cause neurological disorders, cardiovascular problems, and even cancer. To manage inflammation, it is important to include anti-inflammatory foods in our diets. Green peas’ powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities may reduce the risk of developing cancer. These antioxidants reduce the harmful effects of free radicals by binding to them.
In animal studies, extracts from peas showed anti-inflammatory properties.
5. May help reduce the risk of developing cancer
The legume family is well-known for its high levels of anti-cancer compounds. Certain inhibitors have been shown to lower the risk of colon carcinoma.
Other compounds found in green peas, such as saponins and lectins have also been shown to be anti-cancer. Studies have shown that green peas contain phenolic and isoflavone compounds, which have anticancer properties on the liver, colon, lung and breast cancer cells.
6. Excellent Source For Antioxidants
The antioxidant power of green peas is evident in the form of phenolic compounds. They are rich in tannins, which have been shown to have high antioxidant activity. These compounds are beneficial and protect cells against damage and premature cell death. Antioxidants are able to reduce chronic health complications and prevent the formation of free radicals.
Green peas are a good choice because of their health benefits. Peas are easy to incorporate into your meals and easily available for purchase. Or you can grow them yourself. Peas might not be for everyone and may have side effects.