The ‘humble’ pea is really not so humble and is packed with peas nutrition, as well as being an environmentally friendly food. These little powerhouses appear on plates in millions of homes every day, but most people don’t really know how good they are for you.
Yes, peas contain sugar, but the other nutritional benefits far outweigh this slight drawback. Given their strong nutritional composition, peas get relatively little publicity as a health-supporting food.
Peas Nutrition Benefits Are:
- Anti-Inflammatory – Heart disease and cancer can be linked to excess inflammation. The range of phytonutrients in peas (almost exclusively) reduces the risk of inflammation and resulting illnesses. There are equally as many antioxidant nutrients which help towards preventing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and arthritis. Both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in peas also have an effect on skin condition, helping to prevent wrinkles. Other benefits include help against developing osteoporosis, Alzheimers’ and fungal infections, such as candida.
- High levels of antioxidants also have anti-ageing properties, promote a strong immune system and produce additional energy for the body.
- Green peas are a reliable source of Omega-3 fat for a healthy heart – the presence of Vitamins B2, B3 and B6 are also
- Excessive inflammation and oxidative stress are key risk factors in developing certain types of cancer. Research has now shown that peas and other green legumes are a contributive factor in reducing stomach cancer.
- Blood Sugar Regulation – there are few foods that provide us with such substantial amounts of protein and fibre as green peas. Both protein and fibre help our bodies regulate the digestion of food and the speed with which it is digested, as well the conversion of carbs into sugar. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents prevent or reverse insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes).
One of the big nutritional debates particularly when it comes to peas and other legumes rather than other traditional vegetables, is whether canning or freezing affects the nutritional value of the vegetable. If you literally pick the pea straight away and consume fresh upon picking, this is the optimum nutritional value.
However, nowadays, the process for freezing is literally completed in super-fast time once the peas have been picked. Although an element of nutritional value is lost, it is relatively small.
Frozen peas have almost as many health benefits as fresh ones. For peas that are canned, it is important that after harvesting, the preservation of the peas is done promptly and efficiently.
Delayed treatment can cause loss of Vitamin C and other nutrients will also decrease in value as time goes on.
Whatever level of legumes you decide to target, and particularly green peas, a very reasonable 4 cups of cooked green legumes on a weekly basis will add more peas nutrition to your diet. Optimum conditions arewhat fresh or frozen peas should be kept at. As any form of heat will hasten the conversion of their natural sugars into starch.
There is only one word of warning about peas that should be taken heed of. Peas contain naturally occurring substances called purines. These can cause certain individuals to produce excess uric acid as a result of purines being broken down. The resultant affect of excess uric acid can result in conditions such as gout or kidney stones. For this reason, intake should be limited for those suffering with kidney problems.