Let’s admit it, we often underestimate the value of peas. Whether they are shoved aside on plates or thrown away after dinner, most people avoid eating them. However, green peas have many health benefits.
The next time they are on your plate, consider giving them a chance. But before we get down to the benefits, let’s discuss a little about green peas.
Also called garden peas, they are spherical and have been a part of the human diet for generations. For the uninitiated, they are not vegetables, but a part of the legume family.
But even then, some consider it a starchy vegetable, since they contain complex carbs. So, why must you make green peas a part of your diet?
Well, there are various reasons and below corporate nutritionist for KOO, Arthur Ramoroka outlines those benefits.
The humble fresh garden pea doesn’t get enough credit as a low-fat source of dietary fibre and antioxidants. Peas, along with other legumes and vegetables, are the best go-to for a healthy gut microbiome.
The fibre they contain promotes the growth of ‘good bacteria’ in the gut microbiome to improve digestive wellness, which is essential for the body’s optimal functioning.
Peas also help to reduce the likelihood of inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and colon cancer.
A 2009 study found that eating legumes, such as peas, daily lowered the risk of stomach cancer and other cancers by up to 50%.
The immune and health-boosting qualities of peas
Incorporating vegetables and legumes into our daily meals have the potential to protect us against various illnesses.
Due to their high levels of magnesium, potassium, calcium and folate, garden peas are good for heart health, for example. Folate is a type of Vitamin B that aids the body in producing blood cells, DNA and RNA.
A healthy gut also positively impacts our immune system and metabolic function. Research shows that around 70% of our immune system function is housed in our gut.
Peas promote positive mental health
Our eating behaviours are closely linked to our mental health and emotional wellbeing. A diverse gut microbiome from eating a healthy and balanced fibre-rich diet positively affects brain behaviour and function and may help improve mental wellness, according to findings by the Eat Well Live Well State of Nutrition in South Africa report.
Being aware of which foods impact your moods, and how they do so, may be one of the many ways in which you can help to manage the symptoms of very mild depression, according to research by Very Well Mind – that’s not to say that you shouldn’t consult a medical doctor.
Legumes, such as peas, regulate blood sugar levels
Peas are low-calorie, fibre and protein-rich complex carbohydrates that have a low glycaemic index, and hence help to regulate blood sugar levels by preventing sugar spikes and dips, which may, in turn, impact your moods. Overall, this also lowers bad cholesterol. And, here’s a recipe Ramoroka suggests you try using peas.
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