Peas are not a poor man’s meat or a cheap restaurant side-dish that puts ‘green’ on your plate! Peas not only add flavour to food but are also used in various dishes and salads. Actually these are little powerhouses of nutrition and a boon to your health. It’s a starchy vegetable, which is a good source of energy, protein, essential vitamins, fibre, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Including peas as one of your vegetable choices adds a number of benefits. Let’s have a look.
Good for your eyes
Lutein and Vitamin A present in peas protect your eyes. Lutein is a natural plant pigment that’s concentrated in the eye, and its antioxidant activity protects you from both cataracts and macular degeneration by preventing oxidation. Vitamin A helps to keep the surface of your eyes healthy.
Prevents heart disease
The formation of plaque along your blood vessel walls starts with chronic, excessive oxidative stress and inflammation. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds support healthy blood vessels. The generous amounts of vitamin B1 and folate, B2, B3, and B6 reduce homocysteine levels which are the risk factors for heart disease.
Prevents stomach cancer
Peas contain high amounts of a polyphenol called coumestrol. A study says that consuming 2 milligrams per day of this phytonutrient prevents stomach cancer and a cup of peas has at least 10. So, you see how healthy it is!
Avert constipation and bad cholesterol
The high fibre content in peas improves bowel health and peristalsis. The niacin in peas helps to reduce the production of triglycerides and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein, which results in less bad cholesterol, increased HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and lowered triglycerides.
Antioxidants work like magic
As mentioned earlier, peas contain high levels of anti-oxidants. They include flavonoids like catechin and epicatechin, carotenoids like alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, phenolic acids like ferulic and caffeic acid, and polyphenols like coumestrol. These boost your energy level and immunity and also helps to fight ageing signs.
Needed for healthy bones
One cup of peas contains 44% of Vitamin K which helps to anchor calcium inside the bones. Its B vitamins also help to prevent osteoporosis and promote healthy bones.
Benefits of anti-inflammatory elements
Peas have strong anti-inflammatory properties. These properties include anti-inflammatory phytonutrients like Pisumsaponins I and II and pisomosides A and B, Vitamins C and E, zinc and omega-3 fat in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These prevent wrinkles, arthritis, bronchitis, candida, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s.
Manage your weight
A cup of peas has less than 100 calories but lots of protein, fibre and micronutrients. This keeps you full for a longer time and helps you to manage your weight.
Peas provide you iron
The iron you consume can be found in haemoglobin, the protein responsible for carrying oxygen throughout your body. Inadequate intakes of iron decrease oxygen delivery, which makes you feel tired, decreases your ability to concentrate and increases your risk of infection. A 1/2-cup serving of peas contains 1.2 milligrams of iron which can solve the problem of iron deficiency.
Regulates blood sugar
All carbohydrates are natural sugars and starches with no white sugars or chemicals to worry about. High fibre and protein slow down the digestion of sugars. The anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties prevent or reverse insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes).