Dawn snapped a picture of Henry Warner finishing of a can of tasty French petits pois and posted it on her Facebook account. This generated a surprisingly (to me) large number of derogatory comments!
My retort is that perhaps if more Americans ate more peas and less of whatever they normally eat, we wouldn’t have such a weight and health challenge in the US. So there! Digest that all you pea-haters out there!!
Health benefits of green peas
- Green peas are one of the most nutritious leguminous vegetables rich in health benefiting phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
- Fresh, tender peas are relatively low in calories on comparison to beans, and cowpeas. 100 g of green peas carry just 81 calories, and no cholesterol. Nonetheless, they are good sources of protein, vitamins, and soluble as well as insoluble fiber.
- Fresh pea pods are an excellent sources of folic acid. 100 g provides 65 µg or 16% of recommended daily levels of folates. Folates are one of the B-complex vitamins required for DNA synthesis inside the cell. Studies suggest that adequate folate rich foods when given to expectant mothers would help prevent neural tube defects in their newborn babies.
- Fresh green peas are very good in ascorbic acid (vitamin C). 100 g of fresh pods carry 40 mg or 67% of daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful natural water-soluble anti-oxidant. Vegetables rich in this vitamin would help human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
- Peas contain phytosterols, especially ß-sitosterol. Studies suggest that vegetables like legumes, fruits and cereals rich in plant sterols help lower cholesterol levels inside the human body.
- Garden peas are also good in vitamin K. 100 g of fresh seeds contain about 24.8 µg or about 21% of daily requirement of vitamin K-1 (phylloquinone). Vitamin K has been found to have a potential role in bone mass building function (mineralization) through promotion of osteotrophic activity inside the bone cells. It also has established role in the cure of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage inside the brain.
- Fresh green peas also carry adequate amounts of anti-oxidants flavonoids and anti-inflammatory benefits such as carotenes, lutein and zea-xanthin as well as vitamin-A (provide 765 IU or 25.5% of RDA per 100 g). Vitamin A is an essential nutrient required for maintaining healthy membranes, skin and eye-sight. Additionally, consumption of natural fruits/vegetables rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- In addition to folates, peas are also good in many other essential B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. Furthermore, they are rich source of many minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese.
- Recent research has shown that green peas are a reliable source of omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In one cup of green peas, you can expect to find about 30 milligrams of ALA.