If you haven’t included Peas in your preps you are missing out on their wonderful, nutritious and life changing health benefits. Archaeologists and historians believe the garden pea originated in either Egypt or China, and it has been a part of the human diet for more than 5,000 years. Peas are considered a starchy vegetable, and an excellent source for energy, fiber, protein and essential vitamins. Peas are one of the most nutritious of the leguminous vegetables, again rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
There is a particular Heirloom variety that is easy to grow and at the same time full of nutrition. They are called Sugar Snap Peas. Their flavor is slightly sweet and best when the entire pea, including the pod, is eaten raw or barely cooked. The refreshing crispness and crunch of a sugar snap pea comes from its high water content. Sugar snap peas, sometimes called snap peas or sugar peas, are a cross between English peas and snow peas. They’ll provide you with vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep you healthy. No matter which Heirloom variety you choose know that all peas are loaded with omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These essential fatty acids makes green peas an ideal food for our brain and cardiovascular health and their phytosterols are vital for helping to lower cholesterol levels in the body.
Here are several reasons why you should include them in your food preps, diet and part of your family’s overall meal preparations:
Peas Are High in Fiber:
Like most vegetables, eating peas can help you meet your daily fiber needs. A 1/2-cup serving contains 4.4 grams of fiber, more than 1 cup of oatmeal with 4 grams of fiber and a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli with 2.6 grams of fiber. The fiber in peas can help you better manage your weight by keeping you feeling full longer. Fiber also lowers blood cholesterol levels. Your daily fiber needs vary depending on your age, sex and calorie needs. In general, women need anywhere from 21 to 25 grams of fiber per day and men need 30 to 38 grams per day, according to MayoClinic.com. In a 1-cup serving of raw snap peas, you’ll get 2 grams of dietary fiber.
One serving (1 cup of raw snap peas) contains approximately only 26 calories. The main reason for snap pea’s low calorie content is the high percentage of water they contain. They are made up of roughly 90 percent water. All of this fluid helps to keep you hydrated and which allows you to feel fuller on fewer calories. Snap peas make a great low-calorie snack when trying to lose weight, or try adding them your meals for extra volume without extra calories.
Eating peas also provides you with vitamin C. It’s a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect you from cancer-causing free radicals. Your body uses vitamin C to form collagen, a protein needed for the healing of wounds, and to maintain your immune system. About 63 percent of the vitamin C you need daily is found in 1 cup of raw snap peas. If you cook them, the vitamin C content decreases slightly because it is not heat stable, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Possible Medicinal Effects on Eating Peas:
Type 2 Diabetes (Blood Sugar Regulation):
Green peas have also been found to help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes due to their relatively low glycemic index and blood sugar regulating properties. Try mashing or blending green peas with a little avocado, garlic, and fresh herbs for a delicious and satisfying dip or spread. Green peas are a versatile and nutritious food that can help to increase good health.
Stomach cancer prevention:
Peas contain high amounts of a health-protective polyphenol called coumestrol. A study in Mexico City determined you only need 2 milligrams per day of this phytonutrient to help prevent stomach cancer.
Anti-aging, strong immune system, and high energy:
This comes from the high levels of antioxidants, including- flavinoids: catechin and epicatechin carotenoid: alpha-carotene and beta-carotene phenolic acids: ferulic and caffeic acid polyphenols: coumestrol. Prevention of wrinkles, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, bronchitis, osteoporosis and candida: These come from pea’s strong anti-inflammatory properties. Excess inflammation has also been linked to heart disease, cancer, and aging in general.
So here I’ve highlighted some excellent reasons why you should be eating peas, their medicinal proprieties, and the many benefits of consuming peas in your daily life as well as in a possible survival/prepping environment. Of course as I mentioned we carry this wonderful Heirloom variety Sugar Snap Pea at our website. I hope you will have a different view and add them to your dietary and foods preps as well (if you’ve haven’t already done so).
One last tip: Dry them out (dehydrate them), store them in your preps and you’ve just made a multi-functional prep item. Now you can either re-hydrate them for eating, as well as, plant those same peas in your garden. 4-8 Pea pods will be sufficient for a small to medium size family in any growing season with enough left over for storing and seed savings as well.