Let’s admit it, we often underestimate the value of peas. You would often find them in the famous Indian dishes like Matar Paneer or Keema Matar,Aloo Matar or Hara Bhara kebabs, but never walk out praising these green edible pods. It is the flavour of the paneer gravy, or the tender and succulent keema that takes away the cherry. Neither exotic nor rare, peas or matar happens to be one of the most nutrient dense foods one can find on this planet which deserves its due credit. The naturally sweet legume is rich in essential vitamins and antioxidants like vitamin K, C and folate. It is also rich in manganese and fibre. There are several pea pods which are excessively fibrous and tough to eat, but some famous edible varieties such as snow peas, sugar snap peas, and garden peas have been commonly used as ingredients in various curry and stew preparations. Here are 8 benefits of peas which you may not have known.
The high fibre content present in pods helps in maintaining good digestive health. Fibre adds bulk to the stool, thereby enhancing smoother bowel regularity.
(Also Read: 6 Fruits That Help Better Digestion)
2. Good Source of Iron
Peas are a good source of iron. Iron deficiency is the leading cause of anaemia. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells thereby causing haemoglobin deficiency. Iron helps combat fatigue and gives you strength.
Iron in peas helps combat fatigue and gives you strength
Peas are rich in vitamin C, which makes it one of the best immunity building foods. According to the book ‘Healing Foods’, “a single serving of peas or snow peas supplies half your daily needs. Peas, especially pea shoots, also contains phytoalexins, an antioxidant that can inhibit H.Pylori, the bacterium that causes stomach and duodenal ulcers and stomach cancer.
4. Good for eye health
Peas can also do wonders to your eyes. Peas are packed with carotenoid pigment lutein. Lutein is known to reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration or loss of vision in old age. Peas can also boost eyesight.
5. Good for heart
The insoluble fibre content present in peas helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Apart from this, peas also help in ensuring stable blood sugar regulation in the body. Need anymore reason to make it part of your diet already?
6. Weight Loss
The bite-sized peas can help you shed some quick pounds too. Peas are low in fat and also immensely low on calories as compared to heavier legumes like beans and cowpeas. 100 grams of peas contains only 81 calories. The high content of fibre too plays its role in weight reduction. Fibre helps induce the feeling of fullness which keeps you from bingeing into other foods.
7. Good for skin
Peas are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which plays a significant role in in the production of collagen. Collagen helps keep the skin firm and glowing. Vitamin C also protects the cells from damage caused by free radicals. The antioxidants help fight oxidative damage caused by the free radicals. The antioxidants which are present in it such as flavonoids, catechin, epicatechin, carotenoid and alpha carotene helps prevent signs of ageing too.
8. Good for Men’s Health
Peas can help increase the sperm count and motility. According to the book ‘Healing Foods’, “Glycodelin- a substance found in snow peas, can help strengthen sperms and improves their ability to fertilize an egg.
Have them in your soups, stews, gravies or sandwiches, but make sure you don’t miss out on the goodness of these lovely and healthy pods.