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Peas

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Peas Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 78.9 g
Calories: 81 kcal
Protein: 5.4 g
Carbohydrate: 14.5 g
Dietary fiber: 5.1 g
Sugars: 5.7 g
Fat: 0.4 g
Saturated fat: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2 g
Vitamin C: 40 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3: 2.1 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B9: 65 μg
Vitamin A: 38 μg
Vitamin E: 0.1 mg
Vitamin K: 24.8 μg
Calcium: 25 mg
Iron: 1.5 mg
Magnesium: 33 mg
Phosphorus: 108 mg
Potassium: 244 mg
Sodium: 5 mg
Zinc: 1.2 mg

The pea is a common vegetable (although it’s actually a fruit in the botanical sense) that is ubiquitous in the west in the form of frozen peas. Generally eaten boiled or steamed, in order to sweeten the taste and unlock the nutrients available, the pea is fantastic in soups, salads, and a host of other savoury dishes. Plus, with incredibly high nutrient density and a whole host of health benefits, yet to be researched fully, including cancer fighting and cholesterol lowering properties, the pea is another great green vegetable to add to your meals.

Peas, like many green vegetables, are incredibly nutrient dense and a great way to avoid a range of deficiencies. While 100g of peas is a mere 81 calories, it contains a wide variety of essential vitamins and minerals: 66% of your Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C, 20% DV of dietary fibre, 15% DV of vitamin A, 10% DV of vitamin B6, 8% DV of iron, and 8% DV of magnesium. On top of that, 100g of peas contains 10% of your DV of protein at only 4% DV of calories.

What does all that mean? Well, to begin with, being a low-calorie and protein dense food makes peas a great weight loss food, because protein increases the feeling of fullness; and also makes them a great way to keep a balanced macronutrient profile. Beyond that, the large amounts of vitamin C will help with cardiovascular health, in addition to helping iron absorption. The other nutrients help to ensure good digestion, eye health, heart health, athletic performance, and prevent tiredness and poor cognition. Nutrient deficiencies are a serious business, and it’s significant how much the humble garden pea can help.

On top of all that, the garden pea benefits from being rich in phytonutrients (non-essential but beneficial nutrients) with a wide variety of health effects.

A review of the health benefits of peas pointed out all the ways the research is going: peas contain polyphenolics ‘which may have antioxidant and anticarcinogenic activity’, saponins ‘which may exhibit hypocholesterolaemic [cholesterol lowering] and anticarcinogenic activity’, and oligosaccharides ‘which may exert beneficial probiotic effects in the large intestine’. That’s anti-cancer, antioxidant, cholesterol lowering and digestive effects, all from one food!

Beyond this, there is evidence that saponins from peas specifically may help the immune system, decrease fat, lower cancer risk, and lower blood sugar. With all these health benefits, it’s no wonder the research can’t keep track!