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Green Peas

Sweet, delicious green peas or garden peas are one of the ancient cultivated vegetables grown for their succulent nutritious green-pods. Peas are probably originated in the sub-himalayan plains of north-west india. Now, this versatile legume is one of the major commercial crops grown all over the temperate, and semi-tropical regions.
Botanically, pea plant is an herbaceous vine.
Pea is a quick growing, annual herbaceous vine that requires trellis to support its growth. It flourishes well in well-drained, sandy soil supplemented with adequate moisture and cool weather conditions. Short stalked green pods appear during late winter or spring. The pods measure about 2-3 inches long, swollen or compressed, straight or slightly curved, filled with single row of 2-10 light-green, smooth edible seeds.
In general, the pods harvested while just short of reaching maturity, at the point when their seeds are green, soft, sweet and edible as raw. Allowing the pods to mature further would make seeds less sugary, starchy, bitter and turn light-green to yellow.
Pea tendrils are also edible. They are delicate, tender top shoots of young pea plants, having flavor akin to peas. The tendrils and leafy-shoots are favored in cooking as well in salads.
Snow peas or sugar snap peas are different species of peas wherein the whole immature green pod, including its outer peel eaten like a vegetable.
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Health benefits
Green peas are one of the most nutritious leguminous vegetables, rich in health benefiting phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Fresh, tender peas are relatively low in calories on comparison with beans, and cowpeas. 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.
Fresh pea pods are an excellent source of folic acid. 100 g provides 65 ag or 16% of recommended daily levels of folates. Folates are one of the b-complex vitamins required for dna synthesis inside the cell. Studies suggest that adequate folate rich foods when given in expectant mothers would help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
Fresh green peas are very good in ascorbic acid (vitamin c). 100 g of fresh pods carry 40 mg or 67% of daily requirement of vitamin c. Vitamin c is a powerful natural water-soluble anti-oxidant. Vegetables rich in this vitamin help human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
Peas contain phytosterols especially b-sitosterol. Studies suggest that vegetables like legumes, fruits and cereals rich in plant sterols help lower cholesterol levels in the body.
Garden peas are also good in vitamin k. 100 g of fresh pods contains about 24.8 ag or about 21% of daily requirement of vitamin k-1 (phylloquinone). Vitamin k has found to have potential role in bone mass building function by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has established role in alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
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 healthy membranes, skin and eye-sight. Additionally, consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
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.


Notice
The information and reference guides on this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications