Fun fact: A 100-calorie serving of peas (three quarters of a cup) contains more protein than a whole egg or tablespoon of peanut butter
Peas are the tiny spherical seeds that rest inside the green seed-pod. It is widely cultivated in semi-tropical regions around the world. Peas or green peas, scientifically called as Pisum sativum, are sweet and versatile since you can eat them as side dish or to complement other vegetables in your favorite dishes. But aside from its delicious taste, peas are grown for its enormous benefits to the body.
A powerhouse of healthy components, peas also come with low calories. One hundred grams of peas only contain 81 calories with zero cholesterol as provided by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Peas are also rich in carbohydrates and protein at 11% and 10% of the daily-recommended intake, respectively. Both protein and carbohydrates are very important as they provide fuel or energy to keep body organs such as the kidney, brain and muscles to function properly.
This vegetable is particularly abundant with vitamins C, A, K, and B complex. All these vitamins contribute to a healthy and sound body. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that functions as an antioxidant and improves the immune system of the person. Another water-soluble vitamin is the B complex. Peas are specifically high in Thiamine, Folates, Niacin and Pyridoxine. The vitamin B complex components play significant role in the metabolism of energy. Thiamine is important to ensure proper functioning of the nerves, while Folates or folic acid helps produce red blood cells. Vitamins A and K, on the other hand, are both fat-soluble vitamins. The former is essential to keep the skin, mucous membrane and especially the vision healthy, while the latter helps in proper blood clotting.
The peas contains a significant amount of lutein- zeaxanthin that is converted by the body into vitamin A. These carotenoids, which are very common in many green leafy vegetables, function for a healthy vision. As an antioxidant, it fights harmful free radicals that destroy cells and even yields diseases.
Among the many minerals present in peas, copper (20% DRI), iron (18% DRI), manganese (18% DRI), and zinc (11% DRI) have the largest amount. Copper is essential for iron metabolism. Copper is usually found red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout the body. Manganese helps form strong bones and regulates blood sugar. Zinc is important in the production of protein that results to normal growth. Zinc likewise protects the immune system.
The Health Benefits of Peas
Improves Heart Condition
Peas are great sources of fiber, lutein, and lycopene that all works together for the maximum functional condition of the heart. Lycopene is a strong antioxidant that prevents damage in the cells. This mineral maintains the wellness of your cells and prevents them from damages that can lead to sickness. The compounds that peas have stabilize the cholesterol levels in the body decreasing LDL cholesterol and boosting development of HDL cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol causes plaque build-up in the walls of the arteries that makes it unable to perform its role for the heart to function normally. If these walls are damaged, heart ailments come next.
Regulates Blood sugar
Because pea is rich in fiber and protein, it is able to maintain normal blood sugar levels in the body. Fiber and protein aid the pacing of digestion which regulates appropriate starch breakdown to sugar. The properties also support proper passing of carbohydrates throughout the digestive process. If carbs is properly regulated, body’s blood sugar level is stabilized. Regular consumption of peas will regulate your blood sugar permanently.
Good for the Eyes
On top of Lutein, peas are also concentrated with vitamin A which works together for the greatest benefit of the eyes. Lutein protects the eyes on a cellular level through prevention of oxidation that can lead to ARMD and cataracts. Vitamin A maintains the condition of the eyes’ surface to keep your vision clear through time. If you wish to have healthy eyes as you grow older, associating peas in your diet will be of great help.
Boosts your Energy
Eating peas will increase your energy levels because of its richness in Iron. A cup of pea provides 3 milligram of Iron that works positively in transporting oxygen to the entirety of the body. Loss of iron in the body causes tiredness and inability to focus. If you eat foods rich in iron, you will be able to increase your energy levels and protect yourself from risks of infection. It is much important that we eat foods rich in iron on a daily basis.
Helps in Weight Management
Weight management is very difficult to observe nowadays because of the diversity of foods and beverages available. Despite this challenge, it is important that we keep our weight in check for the utmost condition of our body. Weight management will not only help us getting fit and strong but healthy from the inside as well. Peas are great sources of fiber which helps in losing weight. It regulates digestion plus curbs appetite and boosts satiety. Eating peas will keep you full for hours to reduce further food intake. Fiber effectively lowers cholesterol in the blood that can cause various more diseases. Obesity is the stepping stone to serious illnesses like cancer and heart ailments.
Prevents Stomach Cancer
One very special mineral that peas contain is Coumestrol which is a special and rare type of powerful polyphenol that specifically avoids stomach cancer. Research concluded that in order to prevent stomach cancer, your body needs at least 2 milligram of this polyphenol and a cup of peas contain 10.
Peas also have Vitamin K which is very essential to keep the bones healthy and strong. A cup of peas provide up to 50% Vitamin K requirement. Vitamin K is important in calcium retention of the bones. Calcium is the primary element that keeps the bone strong and healthy. The more calcium is retained the better your bone condition and the lesser chances of having bone related issues. As we age, our bones become dull and become more exposed to age-related bone issues such as osteoporosis. Peas also contain Vitamin B that helps in preventing problems with the bones.
Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Inflammation damages the body in so many ways. Because of the antioxidants present in peas, it is able to stop inflammation and its bad effects. Peas contain flavanoids, carotenoids, phenolic acids, and polyphenols which are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Inflammation is the primary cause of diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer.
Healthy for Pregnant Women
In order to give birth to a healthy child, it is vital to eat plenty of nutritious foods during pregnancy. During pregnancy, there is another living being inside the mother’s body which give rise to higher amount of body’ nutrient and mineral requirements. Peas have folic acid which stimulates cell DNA synthesis. During pregnancy, eating peas is essential to avoid defects in the neural tube of the baby.
Optimize Brain Functions
This vegetable is found to be very essential for the brain to function accordingly. As we age, brain functions tend to deteriorate causing memory loss and possibility to have Alzheimer’s disease. Eating peas regularly is found to limit brain neuronal damage. It protects the you from age-related dysfunction in the brain.