- Scientific name: Pisum sativum
- Family: Legume family
- Availability: Green peas are generally available from spring through the beginning of winter. Frozen, canned, and dried peas are available year-round.
Natures pack a lot of goodness into this tiny pea. Green peas, like dried peas, are legumes, except they’re eaten before they mature. Green peas are green rounded pea seeds that are sweet and starchy in taste. Green peas contain twice the protein of most vegetable, so they are a healthier substitute for meat. Three quarters cup of peas provides 6 grams of protein, plus thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and 645 units of vitamin A.
Health Benefits of Green Peas:
- Contain nicotinic acid which reduces cholesterol in the blood.
- Has the ability to dissolve clumps of red blood cells that are destined to become clots eventually. This clot prevention is due to the presence of special plant protein called lectins.
- May help in the prevention of all forms of cancer due to its high Vitamin A and C content.
- Contain insoluble fiber which aids intestinal mobility and may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Have lutein, the carotenoid with a proven record of helping to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Provide nutrients that are important for maintaining bone health.
- An energy and body building food.
- The iron content can help prevent anemia. Iron is a mineral necessary for normal blood cell formation and function, whose deficiency results in anemia, fatigue, decreased immune function, and learning problems.
Nutrient Content of Green Peas: per 100 gm.
- Vitamin A: 680 I.U.
- Vitamin B: Thiamine .34 mg.
- Riboflavin: .16 mg.
- Niacin: 2.7 mg.
- Vitamin C: 26 mg.
- Calcium: 22 mg.
- Iron: 1.9 mg.
- Phosphorus: 122 mg.
- Potassium: 200 mg.
- Fat: 4 gm.
- Carbohydrates: 17.7 gm.
- Protein: 6.7 gm.
- Calories: 98
Note When Buying Green Peas: Peas are sold fresh in the pod, dried (either whole or split), frozen, and canned. Canned peas are a duller green because their chlorophyll is destroyed by the heat of the canning process. Frozen peas are preferable to canned peas as they retain their flavor and have lower sodium content.
When buying fresh green peas; look for ones whose pods are firm, velvety and smooth. Their color should be a lively medium green. The pods should contain peas of sufficient number and size that there is not much empty room in the pod. You can tell this by gently shaking the pod and noticing whether there is a slight rattling sound. All varieties of fresh peas should be displayed in a refrigerated case since heat will hasten the conversion of their sugar content into starch. Choose smaller ones as they tend to be sweeter. Store dried peas in airtight glass or ceramic jars.
Caution: Green peas contain naturally-occurring substances called purines. Purines are commonly found in plants, animals, and humans. Individual who are prone to purine-related problem (like gout and kidney problems) should avoid or limit their intake of green peas.
“This post was originally published on January 9, 2012 @ 23:25″