6 Health Benefits Of Peas You Should Know Of

Health benefits of peas

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“That said, they are not a complete source of protein since they lack the amino acid methionine. So be sure to pair them with another source of protein to make up for the deficit.”

The star of most soups, the perfect accompaniment to meat, and a vital addition to several curries – the humble pea finds its way in most cooks’ refrigerators. The Chinese were the first to cultivate and consume peas as far back as 2000 BC. While today we often consume only the seeds of pea, the Chinese chose to eat both the seed and the pods.[ref]Peas. University Of Arizona.[/ref] And they aren’t just delicious, they’re packed with nutrition that offer several health benefits. Here’s a reckoner of these.

1. Strengthen Muscles

If you’ve been keeping up with your workout routine, you’d need protein to supplement all that muscle growth. In fact, for muscles to grow, they need to undergo a process called protein synthesis. This occurs when the muscles experience a stimulus, such as the load taken on during training. Consuming adequate amounts of protein maintains muscle mass and keeps them working well. Green peas offer 7.86 g of protein per cup, making them ideal for muscle building.[ref]Basic Report: 11304, Peas, green, raw.

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United States Department Of Agriculture.[/ref] And since peas are plant-based, vegans and vegetarians particularly find this form of protein ideal for them.[ref]Pedersen, Agnes N., Jens Kondrup, and Elisabet Børsheim. “Health effects of protein intake in healthy adults: a systematic literature review.” Food & nutrition research 57, no. 1 (2013): 21245.[/ref] [ref]

That said, they are not a complete source of protein since they lack the amino acid methionine. So be sure to pair them with another source of protein to make up for the deficit.[ref]Increasing muscle growth with protein. University of Minnesota.[/ref]

2. Reduce Appetite

If you tend to over-eat or are on a diet, peas will turn out to be your best friend. The protein in them increases the levels of certain hormones in the body that reduce appetite. In addition to this protein-rich foods take longer to digest, making you feel fuller for longer. So, eating adequate amounts of the macronutrient may reduce the amount of calories you consume throughout the day.[ref]Wilde, Peter J. “Eating for life: designing foods for appetite control.” Journal of diabetes science and

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technology 3, no. 2 (2009): 366-370.[/ref] [ref]Pesta, Dominik H., and Varman T. Samuel. “A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats.” Nutrition & metabolism 11, no. 1 (2014): 53.[/ref] [ref]Paddon-Jones, Douglas, Eric Westman, Richard D. Mattes, Robert R. Wolfe, Arne Astrup, and Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga. “Protein, weight management, and satiety–.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87, no. 5 (2008): 1558S-1561S.[/ref] [ref]Lattimer, James M., and Mark D. Haub. “Effects of dietary fiber and its components on metabolic health.” Nutrients 2, no. 12 (2010): 1266-1289.[/ref] [ref]Slavin, Joanne L. “Dietary fiber and body weight.” Nutrition 21, no. 3 (2005): 411-418.[/ref]

3. Promote Blood Sugar Control

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or are trying to manage your blood sugar levels, peas might be of interest to you. For starters, they have a relatively low glycemic index (GI), which indicates how quickly your blood sugar rises after you’ve eaten a particular food.[ref]Dahl, Wendy J., Lauren M. Foster, and Robert T. Tyler. “Review of the health benefits of peas (Pisum sativum L.).” British Journal of Nutrition 108, no. S1 (2012): S3-S10.[/ref] [ref]Jenkins, David

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JA, Cyril WC Kendall, Livia SA Augustin, Silvia Franceschi, Maryam Hamidi, Augustine Marchie, Alexandra L. Jenkins, and Mette Axelsen. “Glycemic index: overview of implications in health and disease.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 76, no. 1 (2002): 266S-273S.[/ref] In addition to this, green peas are rich in fiber, with 8.3 g of the macronutrient per cup, which slows down the rate at which carbs are absorbed, promoting slower, more stable rise in blood sugar levels.[ref]Basic Report: 11304, Peas, green, raw. United States Department Of Agriculture.[/ref] Besides, protein, which is found abundantly in peas, has been found to stabilize blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.[ref]Lattimer, James M., and Mark D. Haub. “Effects of dietary fiber and its components on metabolic health.” Nutrients 2, no. 12 (2010): 1266-1289.[/ref] [ref]Anderson, James W., Pat Baird, Richard H. Davis, Stefanie Ferreri, Mary Knudtson, Ashraf Koraym, Valerie Waters, and Christine L. Williams. “Health benefits of dietary fiber.” Nutrition reviews 67, no. 4 (2009): 188-205.[/ref] [ref]Promintzer, Miriam, and Michael Krebs. “Effects of dietary protein on glucose homeostasis.” Current Opinion
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in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care 9, no. 4 (2006): 463-468.[/ref] [ref]Laakso, Markku. “Hyperglycemia and cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes.” Diabetes 48, no. 5 (1999): 937-942.[/ref]

4. Lower High Blood Pressure And Prevents Heart Disease

Consuming peas regularly can prevent heart disease.[ref]Peas. University Of Arizona.[/ref] They contain heart-healthy minerals such as magnesium (16% RDA), potassium (22.125% RDA), and calcium (3.6% RDA).[ref]Basic Report: 11304, Peas, green, raw. United States Department Of Agriculture.[/ref] [ref]Bo, Simona, and Elisabetta Pisu. “Role of dietary magnesium in cardiovascular disease prevention, insulin sensitivity and diabetes.” Current opinion in lipidology 19, no. 1 (2008): 50-56.[/ref] [ref]Haddy, Francis J., Paul M. Vanhoutte, and Michel Feletou. “Role of potassium in regulating blood flow and blood pressure.” American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 290, no. 3 (2006): R546-R552.[/ref] [ref]Eilat-Adar, Sigal, Tali Sinai, Chaim Yosefy, and Yaakov Henkin. “Nutritional recommendations for cardiovascular disease prevention.” Nutrients 5, no. 9 (2013): 3646-3683.[/ref] Diets high in these nutrients have been found to lower high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease.

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The high fiber content in them may also lower total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol, both of which increase the risk of heart disease. In addition to this, green peas also pack in lavonols, carotenoids and vitamin C, antioxidants which reduce the likelihood of heart disease and stroke due to their ability to prevent damage to cells.[ref]Bazzano, Lydia A., Angela M. Thompson, Michael T. Tees, Cuong H. Nguyen, and Donna M. Winham. “Non-soy legume consumption lowers cholesterol levels: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Nutrition, metabolism and cardiovascular diseases 21, no. 2 (2011): 94-103.[/ref] [ref]Trinidad, Trinidad P., Aida C. Mallillin, Anacleta S. Loyola, Rosario S. Sagum, and Rosario R. Encabo. “The potential health benefits of legumes as a good source of dietary fibre.” British Journal of Nutrition 103, no. 4 (2010): 569-574.[/ref] [ref]Moser, Melissa A., and Ock K. Chun. “Vitamin C and heart health: a review based on findings from epidemiologic studies.” International journal of molecular sciences 17, no. 8 (2016): 1328.[/ref] [ref]Voutilainen, Sari, Tarja Nurmi, Jaakko Mursu, and Tiina H. Rissanen. “Carotenoids and cardiovascular health–.” The American journal of clinical
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nutrition 83, no. 6 (2006): 1265-1271.[/ref]

5. Promote Digestion

If you have a weak digestive system, include peas in your diet. They contain fiber which feeds the good bacteria in your intestines, keeping them healthy while preventing unhealthy bacteria from overpopulating.[ref]Dahl, Wendy J., Lauren M. Foster, and Robert T. Tyler. “Review of the health benefits of peas (Pisum sativum L.).” British Journal of Nutrition 108, no. S1 (2012): S3-S10.[/ref] [ref]Lattimer, James M., and Mark D. Haub. “Effects of dietary fiber and its components on metabolic health.” Nutrients 2, no. 12 (2010): 1266-1289.[/ref] In turn, this reduces your risk of developing common gastrointestinal disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and colon cancer. In addition to this, most of the fiber in green peas doesn’t blend with water (insoluble) and adds bulk to stool instead, which makes it easier for food and waste to pass through the digestive system.[ref]Guinane, Caitriona M., and Paul D. Cotter. “Role of the gut microbiota in health and chronic gastrointestinal disease: understanding a hidden metabolic organ.” Therapeutic advances in gastroenterology 6, no. 4 (2013): 295-308.[/ref]

6. Prevent
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Cancer

A few studies have found that green peas may reduce the risk of cancer owing to their antioxidant content which reduce free radical damage that’s at the root of cancer. In addition to this they may reduce inflammation to the body.[ref]Mudryj, Adriana N., Nancy Yu, and Harold M. Aukema. “Nutritional and health benefits of pulses.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 39, no. 11 (2014): 1197-1204.[/ref] [ref]Raju, Jayadev, and Rekha Mehta. “Cancer chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of diosgenin, a food saponin.” Nutrition and cancer 61, no. 1 (2008): 27-35.[/ref]  In addition to this, green peas also pack in saponins which are plant compounds known for anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects. The vitamin K in peas also reduces the risk of prostate cancer.[ref]Podolak, Irma, Agnieszka Galanty, and Danuta Sobolewska. “Saponins as cytotoxic agents: a review.” Phytochemistry Reviews 9, no. 3 (2010): 425-474.[/ref] [ref]Shi, John, Konesh Arunasalam, David Yeung, Yukio Kakuda, Gauri Mittal, and Yueming Jiang. “Saponins from edible legumes: chemistry, processing, and health benefits.” Journal of medicinal food 7, no. 1 (2004): 67-78.[/ref]