DUBAI: Learn all about the superfoods that will help you live a longer and healthier life. Devinder Bains, personal trainer and nutrition coach fills you in…
It might be small in size, but the garden pea packs quite a punch when it comes to nutrition. Add them to your meat and two-veg dish, throw some in a pasta, curry or stir fry, or use the mighty green balls in a rice dish to make the perfect accompaniment. They’re not just a deliciously sweet legume, but also super cheap and worthy of superfood status when it comes to health.
High in protein
There’s a reason peas are the backbone of most vegan protein powders — half a cup has a whopping 4 gm of protein, three times the amount in the same quantity of carrots. Amino acids, which make up protein, are the building blocks needed for everything from muscle and bone strength, hormone and enzyme structure, as well as for the make up of skin, blood and cartilage.
Improved eye health
Half a cup of peas has 35 percent of the daily required amount of vitamin A, which is essential for good eyesight. It’s used to keep the cornea (outside covering of the eye) clear and is also a component of rhodopsin, a protein in the eyes that helps you see in darker conditions.
Peas are stacked with fiber that not only helps keep you feel fuller for longer, but also contributes to good bacteria in the gut, keeping bad bacteria at bay. Peas contain insoluble fiber, which can help with constipation by making passing waste easier and quicker. Although peas have been linked to reducing your risk of developing issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, if you already have the condition it’s best to keep intake to a minimum (no more than one-third of a cup).
Reduce risk of cancer
This is mainly due to the high antioxidant content, which fights damaging agents in the body and reduces inflammation. Peas are also rich in vitamin K, which can fight prostate cancer, as well as other plant compounds that can stunt tumor growth.
Preventing and controlling diabetes
Peas are low on the glycemic index (GI), which means they are less like to give you blood sugar spikes compared with high GI foods. They also work in stabilizing blood sugar levels, which is important for controlling diabetes. Peas also contain magnesium, vitamins K, A, C and B vitamins which can help reduce the risk of diabetes.