Peas have long been a part of our diet. In the early times, this vegetable was cultivated for its seeds which were dried for extended storage. It was not until the seventeenth century that the French harvested peas young, specifically the sweet-tasting snow peas variety, and then eaten whole, pods and all, often immediately after harvest. Peas are readily available in the market in fresh, frozen, dried, or canned form, making it easy to integrate into one’s diet. However, reasonable consumption of this vegetable is still recommended.
Continue reading and discover more about the pros and cons of peas and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends moderate use of this vegetable.
Peas are long known for its potent protein content. But this isn’t the only nutrient this vegetable is abundant in. Peas are also very rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as four types of B vitamins. Peas have a low glycemic index and this vegetable contains slowly digestible carbohydrates and fiber as well. These properties of peas have been found to play a role in longer term glycemic control making peas one of the suitable vegetables for individuals with diabetes. Its high fiber content is attributed as the one responsible for its cholesterol-lowering ability as well.
Peas are also a good source of phytonutrients. Specifically, this vegetable has measurable amounts of coumestrol, a type of polyphenol. According to a 2009 Mexico-based study, a diet high in coumestrol from eating peas, pinto and broad beans helps in the prevention of stomach cancer.
Peas are a good source of bioavailable iron as well. This mineral has manifold roles and is crucial for the optimal function of the body. Higher iron intake is advised in pregnant women as well and peas may just provide a suitable alternative as peas’ high fiber content won’t cause constipation, which is often the result of pharmaceutical iron supplementation.
In a Malaysian study, peas, specifically the snow peas variety, were compared with three types of beans namely winged, French, and string beans. As it turns out, snow peas contained the highest amount of vitamin C, a conventional antioxidant vitamin, and beta-carotene, which is converted by the body into vitamin A to guard against macular degeneration.
Peas contain measurable amounts of purines, which when broken down by the body turn into uric acid. Individuals with impaired kidney function or have the condition called gout must consult with their physicians prior to incorporating peas in their diet.
Peas, particularly snap peas, were found to have high pesticide residue by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) as well. Imported snap peas ranked fifteenth, and domestic peas ranked thirtieth, among the fifty fruits and vegetables tested.
Peas’ Practical Uses:
Vitamin C, which is quite abundant in peas, is water-soluble. Opt for steaming or sautéing whenever possible to maximize this nutrient. Also, always use stainless steel utensils and stainless steel or glass cookware as the phytochemicals in peas react with carbon steel.
When shopping, keep in mind that canned legumes had the least vitamin C as compared to fresh and ready-to-eat frozen peas as well, according to a University of California study. It’s been found in the same study that B vitamins, which are again quite profuse in peas, significantly decreased in the thermal process which is normally conducted prior to canning. This is why it’s always best to opt for fresh or frozen peas whenever you can.
Though snap peas have been found to have high pesticide residue, there’s some good news. The EWG lists frozen sweet peas as among the fifteen fruits and vegetables with the least pesticide residue. If your recipe calls for snap peas though, make sure to purchase only organic.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of carrot and how to moderately use said vegetable in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the vegetables on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• Bok Choy
Also avoid if autoimmune disease or nightshade sensitivity:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of peas, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the pros and cons of peas.