A very commonly used ingredient in Indian cuisine, peas are known for their versatility and ease of cooking. Every once in a while, you will find yourself gobbling down a few raw pods just for the sake of their texture and sweetness. However, convincing your kids to eat them could be a tough challenge.
Peas are the seed pods of a pod fruit known as Pisum Sativum. It is an annual plant and it is available all-round the year. Peas were first discovered in the Mediterranean basin but they were initially cultivated for their dry seed. It was only in the 3rd century when the Romans began using peas as rations in their fully grown form. Over the years, there were several different species of peas discovered and are currently loved all over the world. The most common among these species are green peas.
The green peas plant produces long, slim, and lumpy fruits that resemble beans. The fruit is called the pea pod and it holds three to ten peas each, depending on the size. The peas resemble a small sphere sized between three to eight millimetres. They are connected to the peapod with small stems that can be easily broken. Each pea roughly weighs between 0.1 to 0.36 grams.
Green peas are commonly included in the modern cuisine of cultures all over the world.
100 grams of chopped Peas contains:
- 81 calories
- 14.45 grams of carbohydrates
- 0.40 grams of fat
- 5.42 grams of protein
- 48% of Vitamin C
- 13% of Vitamin B6
- 23% of Thiamine (B1)
- 24% of Vitamin K
- 16% of Folate
- 11% of Riboflavin (B2)
- 14% of Niacin (B3)
- 5% of Vitamin A
- 1% of Vitamin E
- 244 milligrams of Potassium
- 25 milligrams of Calcium
- 108 milligrams of Phosphorus
- 33 milligrams of Magnesium
- 5 milligrams of Sodium
- 1.47 milligrams of Iron
- 1.24 milligrams of Zinc
- 0.41 milligrams of Manganese
Health Benefits of Peas for Kids and Adults
- Green peas are packed to brim with antioxidants and other nutrients, making them excellent immunity boosters.
- The vitamin C in green peas plays a huge part in boosting your immunity as just half a cup of peas can provide up to 13% of the required daily intake of the vitamin.
- Aside from Vitamin C, green peas are also abundant in Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Niacin. All of these are also incredible immunity boosters.
- Green peas also contain fairly low calories making them an excellent choice during your weight loss journey. It is packed with fibre which is bound to make you feel full sooner and will help you not feel hungry for a longer period.
- The Glycemic Index rank of green peas is 22. It is really low, thus making peas an ideal meal inclusion for those with diabetes as it does not cause their blood sugar levels to spike. It will help in keeping diabetes in check and it also helps them in maintaining their body weight.
- The Vitamin K found in peas is said to improve the health of the bones and strengthen the skeletal system. It improves the metabolism of the bone enabling it to consistently replace old and matured bone tissue with new tissue. It also allows the bones to have a higher resistance to fractures and other bone-related injuries.
- Green peas contain fibre which is a great nutrient that will help in regulating bowel movements. It is a good food to clear up constipation by setting a good frequency and consistency for stool passage.
- The intake of green peas may help in the reduction of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body while promoting the increase of HDL (good) cholesterol. This is the effect of having high fibre content.
- It is a really good source of protein which is important to maintain a balanced diet. It is a great way to boost the metabolism of the body which improves the fat burning capacity of the body while simultaneously strengthening the muscles and bones.
- Peas are a wonderful source of antioxidants that are great in flushing the free radicals out of the body. These free radicals are negative elements that enter the body and are capable of causing severe cell damage. Antioxidants are great to fight against these radicals and decrease oxidative stress.
Benefits of Consuming Peas During Pregnancy
- Peas contain a lot of nutrients that help in the reduction of LDL cholesterol levels while promoting healthy HDL cholesterol levels. This helps in maintaining the health of the heart and keeps it functioning at its optimum capacity to pump out blood. This is necessary during pregnancy as a lot of the blood will be directed towards the abdomen.
- Folate is necessary to make sure that there will be no complications that may arise during pregnancy and it also helps in preventing any kind of genetic defects that might arise in the neural tube of the child. Folic Acid is found in abundance in green peas.
- Vitamin B9 is also said to decrease the chances of genetic defects in the child and keeps away any conditions that may arise from the deficiency of the said vitamin.
- The nutrients found in green peas are said to greatly aid in the development of the fetus's cognitive ability.
- The abundance of nutrients and antioxidants that are found in green peas help in improving the immunity of both the mother and the baby which is highly necessary during pregnancy.
Risks of Consuming Peas During pregnancy
- Excessive eating of peas may lead to an overload of fibre in the system which may solve the constipation problem but you might get diarrhoea in return instead.
- Ensure that the peas are completely washed and cooked before consumption to avoid contracting any kind of infection caused by bacteria and viruses. Uncooked food can also upset your stomach during pregnancy.
The Tasty Way of Including Peas in Your Diet
Make sure that the greens are properly cooked before adding them to any dish. Some of the popular dishes that they can be added to are:
- Fresh green pea soup. An effective way to fully obtain the nutritional benefits of peas. It can be cooked even with meat as per your preferences.
- You can add them to pulao or vegetable biryani.
- The most popular dish with peas is probably Matar Paneer. It is a prominent dish in the north of India but has now made its way to the south as well.
- Green pea parathas and rotis are also great ways to add these nutrient-packed legumes into your meal.
Green peas have immense nutritional value and a ton of health benefits despite their small size. They are delicious and easy to add to any kind of food. They are safe to eat during pregnancy as well. But if you are uncertain, make sure to check with your doctor before consuming them.