There is Aloo Matar, Jeera Matar, Matar Paneer, Matar Masala…but have you ever given the due attention to Matar, that eye pleasingly green coloured legume found common in all these recipes? You might have never realised the bigger role these small green pods play,by being a nutrient dense storehouse to your body. Just have a closer look at the health promoting aspects of Green Peas and you'll know why you should start promoting them from playing the supporting role to the main lead in your diet. This article takes a detailed look at Green Peas and some lesser known facts about their nutrient benefits.
A Green Legume High in Essential Nutrients
Commonly known as Garden Peas or Matar; Green Peas are actually not even a vegetable, but a part of large legume family. Legumes are plants that produce pods with seeds, or beans, inside and Green Peas grow inside the pods produced by Pisum Sativum. Each pod containsseveral peas that look spherical in shape, mostly green and occasionally yellow in colour. However, theyare commonly cooked and sold as a vegetable itself. When added to curries and gravies its texture turns soft and succulent. But in Pulaos and Rice it adds a tasty fresh crunch. Earlier, Peas were mostly grown for their dried seeds, but now they are also boiled or steamed which breaks its cell wall and increases the bio-availability as well. Now let’s tell you about the Nutrient profile and the health boosting properties of this sweet and starchy Peas.
- Small in Size & Big in Nutrition:This green legume is loaded with A, B-1, B-6, C, and osteoporosis-fighting Vitamin-K. Peas contain just about every vitamin and mineral you need, in addition to a significant amount of fibre and protein.
- For Strong Bones:One cup of boiled green peas has 46% of your RDA of vitamin K-1, which is essential for maintaining bone health and helping blood to clot to prevent bleeding. Vitamin K prevents the loss of bone density. It also contains fare amounts of bone health enhancing mineral-Phosphorous.
- Good Source of Protein for Vegetarians: Pulses or Legumes like Green Peas are also referred to as Poor Man’s Poor Man’s Meat as they offer a good source of proteins. So, it is highly beneficial for vegetarians who want to have a plant-based protein source.
- Relieves Constipation: The insoluble fibre content in Green Peas in easing the bowel movements. This kind of fibre absorbs water and hence aids in easy expulsion of stools form the guts.
- Helps in Controlling Cholesterol: The presence of Fibre in Green Peas has cholesterol lowering properties and are helpful for people following cholesterol-free diet.
- Low Glycaemic Index Helps in Diabetes Control: Thefibre and protein content of Green Peas prevent your blood sugar levels from rising too quickly, that means it has a low GI and hence can be ranked as a Diabetic friendly food.
- Abundance of Anti-Oxidants: Green Peas are a good source of phytochemicals that are supposed to have antioxidant properties that boost your immune system. And the Anti-inflammatory nutrients like Vitamic C, E, Zinc, etc., in peas have been associated with lowering the risk of inflammatory conditions.