Green peas have been cultivated for thousands of years. In Europe this leguminous vegetable became popular in the 16th century, and now it is grown all over the world. Green peas are unique even among such exceptionally rich nutrient content plants as legumes. They are a rich source of phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins, especially those of the group B. Therefore, it`s not surprising that many public health organizations recommend them as a key food for improving health.
- Cardiovascular system protection.
Potent health benefits of green peas are accounted by certain phytonutrients with high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, some of which can be found only in this plant. It is believed that many diseases, including those of the heart and blood vessels, start due to chronic oxidative stress and inflammation. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients together with the group B vitamins prevent the formation of plaques on the blood vessel walls. Additionally, green peas are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of Alfa-linoleic acid and Omega-6 fatty acids in the form of linoleic acid (30 mg and 130 mg per one cup respectively). All these factors make this vegetable a powerful weapon in the struggle against cardiovascular diseases.
- Lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Scientists explain the link between green pea consumption and blood sugar regulation by their low glycemic index and high content of soluble and insoluble fiber. The fiber regulates the pace at which the food is digested and the breakdown of starches into sugar. This promotes stabilization of blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of diabetes.
- Cancer prevention.
One of the phytonutrients – coumestrol – is believed to have anti-cancer properties. According to studies, the daily 2 mg intake of it with green peas lowers the risk of stomach cancer. 100 g of green peas contain about 7 mg of this substance.
- Healthy digestive system and weight management.
This comes from the high content of fiber, which improves peristalsis and cleanses the intestine. Moreover, green peas are low in calories (81 calories per 100 g).