Health benefits of green peas
- Green peas are one of the most nutritious leguminous vegetables rich in health promoting phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
- Fresh, tender peas are relatively low in calories in 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 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 healthy sources of 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 antioxidant. Vegetables rich in this vitamin would help the 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 the promotion of osteoblastic activity inside the bone cells. It also has an established role in the cure of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
- Fresh green peas also carry adequate amounts of antioxidants flavonoids such as carotenes, lutein, and zeaxanthin 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 eyesight. 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 a rich source of many minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese.
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