Peas: Benefits, Uses and Side effects
Green peas are often regarded as a super food because of its densely packed nutrients. It is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Each of the pods can contain 5-8 peas or seeds. Peas are very beneficial for the body and are rich in nutrients. Common names of peas are matar, sabuj matar, mararsuti, kalyaaih, patana and handa which can be eaten raw or cooked. It has antioxidants, antidiabetic, and laxative properties. You can easily grow peas at home as they require minimal maintenance.
Green peas contains protein, sodium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium.
Flavanols such as catechins and epicatechins, phenolic acids (caffeic and ferulic acids), and saponins are some of the phytonutrients found in peas.
Benefits of Peas
Promotes weight loss-
Dietary fiber is considered as the indigestible part of the food and hence takes more time to digest. This is one of the reasons why peas are so important for weight loss, as they help keep you feeling full longer and protect you from overeating. In addition, high-fiber foods are more difficult to digest. It also makes peas a low-calorie food as it promotes weight loss by burning some calories and increasing metabolism.
Controls blood sugar-
Fiber helps slow down the digestive process that causes slower absorption of glucose by the system. This in turn allows the pancreas enough time to secrete the right amount of insulin (a hormone used to break down glucose molecules into energy) to prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar.
The antioxidants in peas play a key role in boosting your immunity. These antioxidants are responsible for protecting immune cells from free radicals.
Beneficial for eye health-
Peas are very rich in vitamin A, which is a key element for better eyesight. This vitamin protects the surface of the eye from harmful free radicals and helps maintain mucosal health.
Maintains blood pressure-
Minerals like phosphorus in peas helps in widening the inner lining of blood vessels and can prevent it from narrowing, which helps lower blood pressure.
Strengthens the bone density-
Vitamin D is needed for bone formation. Another requirement for maintaining bone structure is vitamin K, which is abundant in peas. Vitamin K works together with calcium to increase the structural density of your bones. This helps repair calcium in the bones, thereby reducing its removal from the body.
Helps in digestion-
Green peas are rich in dietary fiber which helps in better digestion.
Promotes hair growth-
Since green peas are rich in protein, iron and zinc, it helps strengthen hair and promote its growth.
Peas are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties which are useful in treating bronchitis.
Best in pregnancy-
Peas are a rich source of folic acid, which is also considered one of the main nutrients during pregnancy. It can contribute to the healthy development of a child's brain and spinal cord.
Side Effects of Peas
- One of the main side effects associated with heavy consumption of peas is increased levels of vitamin K in your system. Although this vitamin is essential for maintaining healthy bones, high levels of vitamin K can also lead to thinning of the blood and lower platelet counts. This can further lead to slower wound healing and excessive blood loss.
- Pea has a high fiber content which can have a negative impact on health. Fiber is responsible for slowing digestion, so your body needs extra time to fully absorb it. Loading up on too much fiber can lead to excess weight gain, which is the opposite of the weight loss benefits.
- Raw green peas contain substances called lectins, which can cause gas and bloating.
Where is it found?
Green peas flourish best in moist and cool climates. Peas are legumes that originated in the Middle East, particularly in the area around Turkey and Iraq. In India it is found in Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Bihar.