A pea is a small round seed that comes from the legume plant, and although culinary-wise, it is considered a vegetable. Different varieties ofpeas are grown worldwide, including green peas, yellow peas and sugar peas. Theycan be purchased fresh, canned or frozen and are used in various dishes. Richin nutrients, they present a welcome addition to everyday diet. Plus, they havea pleasant, sweet taste and are enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Peas are an excellent source of energy, due to the highcontent of carbohydrates, a good source of dietary fiber and protein, and virtually fat free. Peas are abundant in vitamins and minerals, and they containconsiderable amounts of B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, C ,and K. One cup of boiledpeas can cover 40% of recommended daily value for vitamin C, and 51% for vitaminK. Another vitamin found in peas is folate, but in addition, they contain minerals like magnesium,potassium, zinc, iron, copper, and phosphorus. Another valuable compound presented in peas is lutein, whichis famous for its ability to reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Being very rich in vitamin C, peas can protect the cells inthe human body from the damage done by free radicals. High content of this nutrientalso makes peas a potent immunity booster. Peas have proven to be effective in the reduction of cholesteroland maintaining the normal levels of blood sugar. They also provide the body withthe plenty of energy, at the same time making sure the energy levels remain consistent. Thanks to their mineral content, they are good for bones andcardiovascular health.
Studies performed on rats with polycystic kidney disease,showed that, as a result of hydrolysate intake, which is a pea protein, the rats’urine production was increased by one third, which in turn reduced their bloodpressure by 20%. These findings are significant for people suffering fromcomplications of malfunctioning kidneys. Other enzymes are necessary to activate this pea protein, which can then prevent complications related to kidneys, such as high bloodpressure, which can lead to heart disease.
Due to the presence of purines, peas are not recommended forpeople suffering from gout. Purines are substances that increase theproduction of uric acid. In people with malfunctioning kidneys, uric acid canbuild up in the body and turn into crystals which are then stored in joints, tendons,kidneys and other organs, leading to the development of gout.