It is often said that peas are healthy – but what is in the small legumes and can they be eaten raw? The most important information here.
You probably have some at home right now: since peas are supposed to be healthy, they are often on the menu for many people. However, very few people know what makes them small powerhouses for our diet – here we explain what legumes can do.
Nutrients make peas healthy
Vegetarians and vegans in particular often use legumes as a vegetable protein source. Because even if they contain a lot of carbohydrates, the green balls also have a lot of protein in them. Incidentally, young peas contain fewer carbohydrates than mature ones – this is also noticeable in the taste. The later the harvest, the more starchy they taste. Dried peas contain more protein. Before cooking, however, they must be soaked in water for several hours.
Peas also contain the following nutrients:
- Calcium (strengthens bones)
- Magnesium (important for nerve and muscle function)
- Lecithin (among other things a component of cell membranes in brain and nerve cells)
- Zinc (important for full hair, among other things)
- Flavones and vitamins C and E (have an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect)
- Important B vitamins (e.g. niacin, which can have a cholesterol-lowering effect)
- Vitamin K (supports bone formation)
- Valuable amino acids (e.g. lysine, which is required for collagen formation, among other things)
Peas are ideal for baby food
Peas also contain very little nitrate. That is why they are often used to make baby food. They are very digestible when cooked. However, peas should not be boiled for too long so that the valuable ingredients are preserved.
Above all, the saponins that are also contained play a crucial role in our health: they are said to have an immune-boosting effect, and they are also said to be able to lower cholesterol levels. This in turn can have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. But our brain also benefits from them, as they can give us a helping hand when thinking. The roughage in peas can also do something good for your digestion.
Eating peas: how much is good for the body?
By the way, peas can be eaten raw. Unlike beans or chickpeas, it doesn’t contain the toxic phasing — a lectin found in many legumes that can attack cells in the gut and cause red blood cells to clump when eaten raw. In principle, you can also start snacking in the garden.
But: The contained tannins can lead to flatulence. Therefore, you can be sure that peas are healthy. However, consuming them in large quantities can also have side effects.
Frozen peas are also healthy
The harvest time for peas is between June and September – however, most of the pellets harvested during this time are not sold fresh, but are preserved or chilled. Because fresh peas don’t keep very long. The pods or peeled peas can usually be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of two days before they lose their bite and taste. However, frozen peas are also healthy and therefore a good alternative for those who do not like the taste of canned peas and do not have the opportunity to buy fresh peas due to the season.
The frozen version, which is only briefly blanched after harvest and therefore retains its green color, usually contains more nutrients than canned products. Canned peas, on the other hand, are pre-cooked, which can hurt the vitamin balance. In addition, sugar and salt are often added. The fact that peas are healthy does not necessarily apply to the canned version.