Have you ever thought about plant based protein?
Well, protein is just one of the many health benefits of green peas. They can also help you lose weight, they’re good for your heart, and great for your digestive tract.
Fun Fact: Peas are actually a fruit. Botanically speaking, because they are seeds produced by the ovary of a flower, they are a fruit.
Peas are annual plants that thrive in cooler regions, so they’re best grown in the spring or early summer.
While you eat both the pod and seeds of snow peas and snap peas, the seeds are removed from the pods of garden peas. The pods are discarded (because they are hard, more fibrous pods that are difficult to eat), and the seeds are cooked and eaten, or eaten raw.
Historically green peas have been grown for their seeds, which were dried, and were saved for times of famine. It wasn’t until the 17th century that people started eating green peas fresh from the garden, which is why green peas are often referred to as garden peas. At this point the pods were still eaten. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the garden pea pod became too tough to digest and started being discarded.
Peas can be a nuisance to eat. They’re small and will roll all of you plate and fall off your fork, but these rogue green balls are filled with nutrients that will help you grow up big and strong.
Health Benefits of Green Peas
Peas are a good source of copper, folate, niacin, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin B6. They’re also a great source of dietary fibre, manganese, thiamin, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
One cup of green peas (145g) has 16% of your daily-recommended protein intake. That same portion size also supplies you with 30% of your daily fibre, 45% of your vitamin K, and almost all of your vitamin C.
One big mistake made by people trying to lose weight is cutting protein out of their diet. Protein is needed to build muscle, and can boost your fat burning metabolism. Pea protein also has a great weight loss effect, it helps lower ghrelin (the hunger hormone). It’s more than just eating the peas that will fill your stomach and shut off the hunger hormone, this protein will lower the secretion of ghrelin for longer, keeping you from experiencing needless cravings!
Pea flour may also hold many health benefits. By using peas instead of wheat to make flour, there is a much higher fibre level that has shown to have a far smaller glycaemic response, causing less insulin to be released. This can reduce weight gain and help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
High In Dietary Fibre
Fibre rich foods are also good for your heart. High fibre foods like peas can reduce blood pressure, improve serum lipid levels, and reduce inflammation. Heart health is so important, as it is one of the leading causes of death in western society. Most of the foods in the standard diet are inflammatory and cause serious stress on the cardiovascular system. Choosing smart foods like peas to help combat this stress is a simple change that you can make to promote a healthier you.
One of the biggest benefits you’ll see from high fibre foods like peas is on your gastrointestinal function. Not only does the fibre increase bowel movements, reducing the chance of foods festering in the gut, but the fibre in peas is also great for healthy gut bacteria.
Good Source of Antioxidants?
There are also antioxidants found in the coat of peas. These antioxidants are generally known to reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of developing many diseases. However, the amount of antioxidants decreases with the length they are cooked, and there is currently insufficient research to show the level of antioxidants in the coat of peas to have any real effect on human health.
However, the main substance of the pea is filled with vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant that will help fight inflammation and prevent illness. Most people don’t get enough of this important vitamin. While you might be able to reach the daily-recommended intake, you’re going to need far higher levels of vitamin C if you’re sick or stressed. Stress will deplete your vitamin C levels, making you more prone to illness and infection.
It’s amazing how many nutrients are in such a small package. Add some peas to your dinner tonight and feed your gut and heart, all while shrinking your waistline!