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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

HEALTH BENEFITS OF GREEN PEAS



1) Green peas are one of the most nutritious leguminous vegetables, rich in health benefiting phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. 

2) Peas are relatively low in calories on comparison with beans, and cow peas. 100 g of green peas provide only 81 calories, and no cholesterol. Nonetheless, the legumes are a good source of proteins, and soluble as well as insoluble fiber.

3) Fresh pea pods are excellent source of folic acid. 100 g provides 65 µg or 16% of recommended daily levels of folates. Folates are B-complex vitamins required for DNA synthesis inside the cell. Well established research studies suggest that adequate folate rich foods in expectant mothers would help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.

4) Fresh green peas are very good in ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Contain 40 mg/100 g or 67% of daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful natural water-soluble anti-oxidant. Vegetables rich in this vitamin helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.

5) Peas contain phytosterols especially ß-sitosterol. Studies suggest that vegetables like legumes, fruits and cereals rich in plant sterols help lower cholesterol levels in the body.

6) Garden peas are also good in vitamin K. 100 g of fresh leaves contains about 24.8 µg or about 21% of daily requirement of vitamin K-1 (phylloquinone). Vitamin K has found to have a potential role in bone mass building function by promoting osteo-trophic activity in the bone. It also has established role in Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.

7) Fresh green peas also contain adequate amounts of anti-oxidants flavonoids such as carotenes, lutein and zea-xanthin as well as vitamin-A (provide 765 IU or 25.5% of RDA per 100 g). Vitamin A is an essential nutrient required for maintaining health of mucus membranes, skin and eye-sight. Further, consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

8) In addition to folates, peas are also good in many other essential B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. Furthermore, they are rich source of many minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese.

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