Either freshly picked or
bought frozen, peas are a rich
source of vitamin C, fiber,
protein, and lutein for eye
Peas are rich in a wide range of useful vitamins and minerals. They are particularly high in antioxidant vitamin C, folate, and vitamin B3, and their very high lutein and zeaxanthin content means that they help protect the eyes from macular degeneration. The B vitamins they contain may also help protect the bones from osteoporosis, and help to decrease the risk of strokes by keeping levels of the amino acid homocysteine low in the blood. Peas, high in protein, are very useful for vegetarians. In addition, their high fiber content partly comprises pectin, a jellylike substance that helps to lower “bad” blood cholesterol and may also help prevent heart and arterial disease.
- Contain several heart-friendly nutrients and chemicals.
- Rich in carotenes to protect eyes and reduce risk of cancers.
- Very high in total and soluble fiber to lower cholesterol.
- Very rich in vitamin C.
When buying peas in the pod choose those that aren’t packed in too tightly. Older peas become almost square, lose their flavor, and become mealy because the sugars have been converted to starches. Young pods can be eaten with the peas inside and young peas can be eaten raw. To cook, steam lightly or boil in minimal water, as the vitamin C content leaches into the water.
DID YOU KNOW?
Frozen peas—usually frozen within hours of harvesting—can often contain more vitamin C and other nutrients than fresh peas in their pods, which may be several days old.