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Peas: The Unlikely Superfood

Scott Laidler by: Scott Laidler
Peas: The Unlikely Superfood

The humble pea, a staple fridge and freezer favorite that can be added to numerous meals and recipes adding a sweet and delicious flavor. But are we underestimating how wonderful these tiny vegetables are and neglecting to see the good that they can do for our nutrition and at such a reasonable cost?

 

  • Peas absolutely are jam-packed full of vitamins and minerals. In fact, just 100g of fresh peas contains about 90% of your daily vitamin C requirement which helps keep our immune system fighting fit. They contain a wealth of vitamin K and manganese, which can contribute to maintaining strong bones and Vitamin E which is key for strong immunity and healthy skin and eyes. Peas can also help increase our folic acid levels which is absolutely crucial for fetal development – so great for expecting mothers!
  • Like a lot of other vegetables in our diet, peas contain high levels of fiber, this keeps us feeling fuller for longer helping us to better control what we eat throughout the day and not being tempted by other snacks in between meals. Combined with the fact that they are very low in fat, they become a great addition to any meal for those that are trying to lose weight.
  • Peas are a good source of plant proteins making a great addition to any diet, but especially those following a vegetarian or vegan diet. A relatively high level of protein also means that peas have much more of a satisfying, helping to keep us feeling fuller for longer, which again helps us to resist temptations in between meals.
  • Peas are also a reliable source of iron. Iron helps in the formation of hemoglobin to carry oxygen around the body and the formation of myoglobin which is essential for muscular growth and health.
  • The antioxidants within peas have been said to have great anti-inflammatory properties as well as being used to support a healthy immune system and give added energy. It has been suggested that these anti-inflammatory antioxidants could have aged defying effects such as the prevention of wrinkles, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and osteoporosis. An antioxidant called Lutein that is also contained within peas looks after our eye health by preventing cataracts and degeneration. When combined with the fiber in peas Lutein also helps protect heart health by lowering cholesterol and preventing the buildup of plaque along your artery walls.
  • Peas are environmentally friendly, belonging to a category of crops called nitrogen-fixing crops. These types of plants, with the help of bacteria that is found in soil, are able to take nitrogen gas from the air and convert it into a more usable form that gets stored in the soil and acts as a great fertilizer for crops.
  • On top of all that peas are widely accessible for everyone being sold at reasonable cost with the choice of buying fresh or frozen. Either way, you buy them or prefer them, make sure you steam your vegetables when you cooking to make sure you don’t lose any of their nutritional value before tucking in.

 

Despite their modest appearance and size, peas protect, assist and support our body functions and health from head to toe. They truly are small but mighty! So why not start giving credit where credit is due, stop overlooking these little guys on your weekly shopping list and start reaping the benefits.

Scott Laidler is a leading personal trainer and nutritional expert. For more information, visit www.scottlaidler.com

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