One of the ancient cultivated leguminous vegetable, peas is considered a powerhouse of bio available nutrients. A wonderful vegetarian alternative to meat, peas are a popular ingredient in many tasty and nutritious dishes. Packed with vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K), plant sterols, proteins and fiber, the health promoting aspects of peas are explored in this article.
Here are 5 Unique Health Benefits of Peas
Lowers Bad Cholesterol Levels
Eating modest amounts of peas can lower bad or LDL cholesterol levels of the body. The cholesterol lowering property of green peas can be attributed to the presence of B-sitosterol, a phytosterol (plant sterol). Additionally, the cholesterol lowering property of peas can also be credited to their high fiber content. Eating fiber rich foods like peas improves intestinal motility, which in turn can bring down cholesterol and triglyceride levels of the body.
A diet rich in peas can reduce the risk of bone degenerative diseases like osteoporosis. Peas especially green peas contain appreciable amounts of vitamin K (1 cup of peas contain nearly 64 mcg of vitamin K). Vitamin K plays a pivotal role in promoting bone health by reducing bone loss and also by improving bone impact strength.
Reduces Risk of Stomach Cancer
Increasing intake of peas can reduce your risk of suffering from stomach cancer. Peas contain substantial amounts of coumestrol(10mg per cup) – an isoflavone (a polyphenolic compound). Medical research has revealed the fact that the polyphenol coumestrol can reduce the risk of stomach cancer (gastric cancer) significantly.
Chronic inflammation can markedly increase an individual’s risk of suffering from a host of life threatening conditions, like nephritis, stroke, diabetes, cancer, heart ailments and Alzheimer’s disease. Peas contain several powerful antioxidants, including vitamin E, vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids in the form of Alpha linolenic acid or ALA. These potent antioxidants play a proactive role in bringing down chronic inflammation.
Reduces Risk of Diabetes
A diet rich in peas can considerably reduce the risk of Type II diabtes. The rich plant based proteins, along with minerals like iron, potassium and magnesium which is present in peas can help to prevent a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. The high fiber content of peas also aid in normalizing blood sugar levels.