Green peas or peas – a vegetable in the form of small green balls, which surprisingly contains tons of nutrients and health benefits. Rich in protein and fiber, which contributes to weight loss and improved digestion, green peas also have a large number of antioxidants and trace elements such as vitamin K, vitamin C and manganese.
Besides the fact that green peas are a very nutritious product, there are many ways to enjoy the taste and benefits of this delicious vegetable. Green peas can be eaten raw, boiled or stewed. Canned green peas will also benefit the body, and sometimes less harm than fresh (if over-consumed).
Due to its versatility and numerous health benefits, there are many reasons to include this vibrant vegetable in your diet. Continue reading to learn more about the nutritional value and nutrients in green peas, the benefits and harms of the body, the calorie content and the proven healing properties of peas for health.
What is a pea (green peas)
Green peas are a legume plant. It has pods in which peas that have green or yellow color ripen. Interestingly, in fact, the city is considered a fruit, not a vegetable, since peas have seeds and they grow from a pea flower.
Despite the fact that botanically green peas are classified as fruit, it is most often used as a vegetable in cooking. Various varieties of peas, such as white peas and sweet peas, are raw or cooked and added to many dishes, from soups to fries and even desserts. With a rich history of culinary uses, green peas are considered a staple in many types of cuisines and can be found in Indian, Chinese, Mediterranean and British dishes.
Filled with antioxidants that help fight diseases, fiber and protein, green peas are beneficial for the body. Adding green peas to your diet can help maintain healthy digestion, keep blood sugar in check, and even help reduce weight.
Nutrition Facts and Nutrients in Green Peas
Look at the nutritional profile of green peas and you will quickly notice that each serving contains a long list of important vitamins and minerals. Green peas have a low calorie content, and at the same time high fiber and protein, as well as many trace elements such as vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C and thiamine.
One cup (150 grams) of cooked green peas contains approximately:
Calories : 84 calories
Carbohydrates : 25 gr.
Protein : 8.6 gr.
Fat : 0.4 gr.
Fiber : 8.8 g
Vitamin K: 41.4 mcg (52%)
Manganese : 0.8 mg (42%)
Vitamin C : 22.7 mg (38%)
Thiamine : 0.4 mg (28%)
Vitamin A : 1.282 IU (26%) )
Folic acid : 101 mcg (25%)
Phosphorus : 187 mg (19%)
Vitamin B6 : 0.3 mg (17%)
Niacin : 3.2 mg (16%)
Magnesium : 62.4 mg (16%)
Riboflavin : 0.2 mg (14%)
Copper : 0.3 mg (14%)
Iron : 2.5 mg (14%)
Zinc : 1.9 mg (13%)
Potassium : 434 mg (12%)
In addition to the nutrients listed above, green peas also contain small amounts of selenium, pantothenic acid, calcium, and vitamin E.
To have a complete picture of the benefits and harms of green peas for the body, we also consider the nutritional profile of canned green peas:
100 grams of canned green peas contains approximately:
Calories : 58 calories
Carbohydrates : 10 gr.
Protein : 3 gr.
Fat : 0.4 gr.
Fiber : 3.3 gr.
Vitamin K: 20.7 mcg (25%)
Vitamin C: 7.8 (18%)
Thiamine : 0.07 mg (5%)
Vitamin A : 76 (2%)
Folic acid : 24 mcg (5%)
Phosphorus : 63 mg (7%)
Vitamin B6 : 0.06 mg (4%)
Niacin : 0.9 mg (4%)
Magnesium : 19 mg (6%)
Riboflavin : 0.02 mg (1%)
Iron : 1.2 mg (7%)
Zinc : 0.7 mg (7%)
Potassium : 106 mg (3%)
The benefits of peas (green peas) for the body
Consider 5 proven by scientists the beneficial properties of green peas for human health. It has been proven that peas are a rich source of vegetable protein, maintains blood sugar levels, promotes healthy digestion, can protect against cancer and promotes weight loss.
1. Green peas are useful in losing weight.
Peas have a low calorie but rich composition of protein and dietary fiber. Therefore, adding a few servings of green peas to your diet can work wonders for your figure. Fiber and protein help to control appetite and prevent cravings for eating excessive amounts of food, which will help you lose weight.
The mechanism is as follows: protein slows down the emptying of the stomach and reduces the level of ghrelin, a hormone that is responsible for stimulating hunger. Meanwhile, dietary fiber is digested very slowly, which prolongs the feeling of fullness, thereby contributing to weight loss.
For best results, eat peas with plenty of other high fiber foods to further reduce your appetite. Such foods include (for example): green beans, lentils , whole grains, nuts and seeds.
2. Green peas are rich in protein
Protein is an essential component of overall health. It not only forms the basis of your hair, skin, muscles and bones, but is also used by the body to create and restore tissues, as well as for the synthesis of important hormones and enzymes. Protein deficiency can be detrimental to health, causing symptoms such as weakened immunity, slow growth, and decreased energy levels.
Green peas are an excellent source of vegetable protein – each cup (about 150 grams) provides a whopping 8.6 grams of protein. This indicator puts green peas on a par with other high-protein plant foods, such as hemp seeds, quinoa , amaranth, and food yeast.
3. Maintains blood sugar
The benefits of green peas for the body are manifested in its ability to influence blood sugar levels. Filled with both protein and fiber, green peas can help regulate blood sugar levels to prevent diabetes symptoms such as fatigue, increased urination, and headaches. Dietary fiber works by slowing down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream to help maintain normal blood sugar levels. Meanwhile, it has been proven that increasing protein intake lowers blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes ( 1 ).
Not only that, but green peas also have a relatively low glycemic index, which is an indicator of how much your blood sugar level increases after eating certain foods. According to a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , eating a lot of foods with a low glycemic index, such as peas, may be associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes ( 2 ).
4. Promotes Healthy Digestion
With 8.8 grams of dietary fiber per serving, one cup of green peas can cover up to 35% of your daily fiber needs. Inclusion of high fiber foods in your diet can have a beneficial effect on several aspects of health, especially when it comes to digestion.
Fiber moves through the gastrointestinal tract in an undigested form, adding mass to the stool to increase the frequency of the stool and to promote regular bowel function. Dietary fiber in green peas and other foods also benefit the body in treating painful conditions of the digestive system, such as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), stomach ulcers, diverticulitis, and hemorrhoids.
5. Can protect against cancer
Green peas are packed with antioxidants that can help fight free radicals to ease inflammation and reduce oxidative damage to cells. Due to the high concentration of antioxidants in green peas, this vegetable even exhibited anti-cancer properties in some in vitro studies.
Saponins, in particular, are an antioxidant found in green peas that can help inhibit tumor growth and kill cancer cells. A 2009 review from Canada reported that saponins found in green peas and other legumes can have a therapeutic effect on several different types of cancer ( 3 ). Another review published in Filoterapia noted that saponins prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells in some in vitro studies ( 4 ).
This antitumor activity is one of the reasons that green peas are in the squeaks of the best cancer control products.
Green Peas in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Like other fruits and vegetables, green peas are widely applied to both Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine.
On an Ayurvedic diet, green peas work especially well for vata and pitta doshas and are believed to improve digestion, reduce appetite, relieve nausea and reduce inflammation. It is said that it also has an alkaline effect, which can help balance the body’s pH.
In traditional Chinese medicine, on the other hand, green peas are used to strengthen the spleen and stomach, improve digestion, lubricate the intestines and help maintain fluid balance. In particular, peas are often used to treat conditions such as dyspepsia, constipation and bloating, due to their powerful healing properties.
Where to look and how to eat green peas
Green peas are easy to find in most supermarkets. It is sold fresh, frozen or canned.
Usually, peas are used more interestingly than just as a side dish. Green peas can really be an incredibly versatile dietary component. It can be added to salad, soup, omelet, pasta or rice, and even in baked goods.
Due to its soft, slightly sweet taste, green peas are sometimes used in desserts. Peas can be added to cookies, cakes, muffins and puddings to balance the sugary-sweet taste of other ingredients.
The history of the cultivation of peas (green peas)
Green peas have been grown for centuries, and it is one of the first vegetable crops, although it was originally grown exclusively for the use of dry seeds. The name “peas” (in English peas) is believed to be associated with the Greek word “pinos,” which later turned into “food.” By 1600, peas began to be called peas – we use this name today.
Archaeologists have found evidence of wild pea consumption dating back to 9750 BC. Written records of green peas can be traced back to the 3rd century BC. when the Greek philosopher Theophrastus mentioned that peas, among other legumes, were sown at the end of winter because of their tenderness. Peas were also an important part of the diet in Rome; in fact, the ancient Roman cookbook Apitsy even included nine recipes for preparing dried peas with herbs, meat and various other vegetables.
In the Middle Ages, peas were an important ingredient that helped prevent hunger. In later years, peas became more luxurious and even considered a delicacy in some parts of Europe. By the 1800s, however, canned vegetables helped make peas even more affordable, which allowed everyone to enjoy the taste and benefits of green peas. Just a century later in the 1920s, the growth of frozen foods, including frozen peas, helped extend the shelf life and further increase the popularity of this nutritious vegetable.
Peas (green peas): possible harm, contraindications and side effects
Allergy. Although peas are generally safe to eat, some people have reported allergic reactions after consuming green peas. For people with allergies, eating peas can cause food allergy symptoms such as hives, swelling, itching, nausea, and skin rashes. If you experience these or other side effects after taking green peas, consult your doctor.
Digestion problems. Since peas are high in fiber, they can also cause gastrointestinal problems in some people. It also contains lectins – types of carbohydrates that are fermented in the intestines, which can further aggravate symptoms. Some of the most common harmful side effects of green peas include bloating, nausea, and flatulence. If you notice any digestive problems after eating green peas, try soaking green peas before eating to reduce the amount of lectins, and remember to keep the intake in moderation.
It interferes with the absorption of viamines. The harm of green peas to the body is manifested in the fact that it contains anti-nutritional substances, which are substances that can interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. Although this should not be a serious problem for most people, it is important to keep this in mind if green peas make up the bulk of your diet. To minimize the amount of anti-nutrients in your diet, choose a fully cooked pea (do not eat it in raw peas). Consume in moderation and try soaking or sprouting peas before use.
So, we examined questions about what constitutes peas (green peas), the benefits and harms of the human body. To summarize:
- From the point of view of botany, green peas are a fruit, although in cooking it is used as a vegetable – boiled or stewed in a side dish or in soups.
- Green peas are rich in fiber and protein, plus vitamin K, manganese and vitamin C. It also contains powerful antioxidants that can protect against chronic diseases. Canned green peas contain nutrients in much smaller quantities.
- The benefits of green peas include improved digestion, improved blood sugar control and increased weight loss.
- It is best to eat green peas in a cooked form to minimize the harm from anti-nutrients and maximize the benefits of vitamins and minerals.