Green peas have a starchy, slightly sweet taste, and these tiny vegetables are extremely popular. They are routinely served on the side of meat dishes (often along with carrots and broccoli), and some people like to season a bowl of green peas to make a healthy snack. However, many of the most exciting and important health benefits of green peas remain underpublicized, and as a result, you may not realize just why you could benefit from adding more of these peas to your diet. Read on to discover the nine most surprising and significant ways in which eating green peas can help to improve your quality of life by boosting your health.
1) They have a powerful ability to protect you against stomach cancer:
Green peas contain a polyphenol called coumestrol, and coumestrol has been the subject of some exciting new cancer research. More specifically, scientists in Mexico have discovered that eating at least one serving of green peas each day can dramatically reduce your risk of developing stomach cancer. A cup of green peas provides you with more than ten milligrams of coumestrol, and the study indicated that an intake of any more than 2 milligrams per day affords you some protection against stomach cancer.
2) They promote cardiovascular health:
One serving of green peas provides your body with around 45% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, and this has profoundly important implications for your heart. Vitamin K promotes something called carboxylation, and this process helps to stop calcium from forming inside your soft tissues. As a result, a high intake of vitamin K is directly linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. In addition, the fact that green peas are high in fiber means that they can help to lower your cholesterol levels.
3) They help to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes:
Research shows that regular consumption of green peas is linked to a reduced risk of diabetes, and it is suspected that this is the result of several different factors. Green peas have a low glycemic index, they are a good source of protein, and (as mentioned above) they contain lots of fiber. In addition, a serving of green peas contains more than 13% of your recommended daily intake of magnesium, and studies have proven that every 100g of magnesium ingested decreases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by around 15%.
4) They can help to improve your immune system:
Green peas contain a large amount of vitamin A, with just one cup providing you with around 22% of your recommended daily intake. A diet that is high in vitamin A strengthens your mucous membranes, making it harder for bacteria and viruses to infect your body. Some studies on immunity show a particularly strong link between vitamin A consumption and protection against respiratory infections. Further, peas contain even more vitamin C, with one serving containing more than 32% of your recommended daily intake, and vitamin C will also improve your resistance to disease.
5) They can help to protect you against unwanted blood clots:
Green peas are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, and your body uses omega-3s to help produced hormones called prostaglandins. The particular types of prostaglandins that result from consumption of omega-3s are linked to better circulation and to a lower risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (i.e. DVT). DVT is a potentially dangerous condition in which blood clots form in the large blood vessels of your limbs, and it can be fatal when these clots move to smaller blood vessels in the lungs.
6) They help to keep your digestive system healthy:
Eating plenty of green peas can be good for your bowels, as the high fiber content in these peas helps to promote regular bowel movements and prevents constipation.
7) They can help to improve your metabolism:
A serving of green peas provides you with around 10% of your recommended daily intake of zinc. As a result, eating plenty of green peas could help you to lose weight. This is because zinc helps to regulate your metabolism, encouraging your body to burn more calories at a faster rate. Those who are deficient in zinc tend to gain unwanted weight more easily.
8. They promote healthy skin and hair:
Studies on the link between diet and the visible signs of aging have revealed that the omega-3 fatty acids in green peas helps you to develop thicker, less brittle hair and promotes younger looking skin.
9) They help to maintain bone health:
The B vitamins and vitamin K found in green peas help to make you less likely to develop osteoporosis (i.e. brittle bones). If you are less likely to develop osteoporosis, then you are less likely to suffer from bone fractures.
As is obvious from the above health benefits, green peas are an excellent choice if you want to improve your intake of fruits and vegetables. Experts advise that frozen peas are generally better at retaining a fresh flavor when compared to canned peas, and it is also worth noting that both frozen and canned peas tend to contain a lot of sodium. If you are restricting your sodium intake, buy peas that are marked as having reduced levels of sodium, and remember that you can get rid of some of the excess sodium by rinsing the peas before use.