The pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas. Peapods are botanically a fruit, since they contain seeds developed from the ovary of a (pea) flower.
NUTRITION AND HEALTH BENEFITS
1. ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BENEFITS:
If you have traditionally thought about green peas as a "starchy vegetable" that cannot provide you with very much in the way of phytonutrients or body systems support, it's time that you change your thinking. Green peas are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and these health-supportive nutrients are provided in a wide range of nutrient categories. Antioxidant vitamins provided by green peas include vitamin C and vitamin E, and a good amount of the antioxidant mineral zinc is also found in this amazing food.
2. SUPPORT FOR BLOOD SUGAR REGULATION:
Few foods provide us with such substantial amounts of protein or fiber (about 8-10 grams per cup for each of these macronutrients) as green peas. These outstanding fiber and protein amounts directly regulate the pace at which we digest our food. By helping to regulate the pace of digestion, protein and fiber also help regulate the breakdown of starches into sugars and the general passage of carbs throughout digestive tract. With better regulation of carbs, our blood sugar levels can stay steadier.
3. HEART HEALTH PROMOTION:
We know that strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection is needed for healthy functioning of our blood vessels. The formation of plaque along our blood vessel walls starts with chronic, excessive oxidative stress and inflammation. Few foods are better equipped to provide us with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients than green peas. Second, we know that intake of omega-3 fat lowers our risk of cardiovascular problems. Green peas are a reliable source of omega-3 fat in the form of alpha-linoleic acid, or ALA. One cup of green peas provides us with ALA in an amount of approximately 30 milligrams. Third, we know that high levels of homocysteine raise our risk ofcardiovascular disease, and that ample amounts of B vitamins are required to help keep our homocysteine levels in check.
4. PROTECTION AGAINST STOMACH CANCER:
Excessive inflammation and oxidative stress are risk factors not only for the development of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, but also for the development of cancers. A recent research study has begun to examine the benefits of green peas with respect to one particular type of cancer—stomach cancer. Stomach cancer (also called gastric cancer) is a disease that occurs more commonly in persons who have very low intake of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, including key nutrients called polyphenols. A recent study based in Mexico City has shown that daily consumption of green peas along with other legumes is associated with decreased risk of stomach cancer. In particular, decreased risk of stomach cancer in this study was associated with average daily intake of a polyphenol called coumestrol at a level of 2 milligrams or higher.