Pisum sativum

Herbs gallery - Pea

There is enough evidence that shows that the pea, which is a small sphere-shaped seed of the pod fruit Pisum sativum, has been used by humans since the primeval times. While the origin of the pea is yet to be ascertained, most possibly it is indigenous to Central Asia or Central Europe. It is also likely that peas were carried by the Aryans from Greece or Italy some 2,000 years prior to Christ.

During medieval England, people considered pea-pods as well as other similar things as superior spring medication. Initially, peas were cultivated just for their dehydrated seeds and, till this day, a number of varieties are widely cultivated for split pea soup. Until after the Normans conquered England there was no mention regarding the green pea in historical texts, while the garden pea had not become widespread till the 18th century.

It may be noted that the green pea is a normal soluble mixture of protein and starch. Unsullied peas develop an alkaline substance, while the dehydrated peas have a propensity to cause allergic responses and also result in formation of gas, especially when consumed along with excessive protein or strong starch.

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The superior quality peas are those that are tender, fresh, young and have a sweet flavor. It is advisable that you always use young peas in order to get the maximum food value as well as taste. The best quality of peas ought to essentially be soft like velvet to touch as well as fresh in appearance. In addition, they should have a vivid green hue. At the same time, the pea pods ought to be filled and the peas properly developed, but never swelled. The big ripened pea is actually a seed and ought not to be regarded as a vegetable.

In fact, freshly obtained peas are inclined to give up their sugar content if they are not stored in a refrigerator and in temperatures of approximately 32°F soon after they are collected. In addition, they ought to be cooked immediately after they are harvested because they also lose their tenderness and sugariness as they mature further. Remove the pods or casing of the peas immediately prior to cooking, while keeping hold of a small number of the pods to cook with the peas for more flavors. It is advisable that you cook the peas and pea pods in the minimum amount of water possible, in a manner that no water would be surplus after cooking is complete. In case some liquid remains in the pot even after cooking, use it in any soup or in the form of any watery vegetable beverage.

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It is advisable that you never ought to cook peas in bicarbonate of soda water, as doing so will make the peas lose their fresh and green look. In fact, cooking peas employing this method is not only completely unwanted, but also obliterates the food value as well as makes it difficult to digest the pea. Peas retain their flavor, freshness as well as vitamins best when they are cooked in vessels having tight lids or those that are vapor sealed or when they are steamed in parchment paper using very minimum quantity of water. When peas are mixed with turnips or carrots, they are especially tasty and if you add a little amount of onion to peas, it is not necessary to season them. In case you want to season the peas, you may add some amount of dehydrated broth powder when the cooking is complete and serve the peas with butter.

It may be noted that the pea contains a reasonably rich amount of incomplete protein. In the form of an alkaline ash vegetable, the pea is extremely nourishing when it is consumed raw or uncooked, and compared to beans, can be digested without any trouble. Nevertheless, one needs to have a very strong alimentary tract to properly digest uncooked peas. When you want to consume raw peas, you need to soften them and also mix with additional vegetables, starches and/ or proteins to assist in digesting them easily. However, here is a word of caution - never combine peas with any fruit.

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Health benefits of peas

The pea is an alkaline-reacting vegetable that is an exceptional natural resource of several nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin B1 and vitamin C. In addition, the pea pods are rich in iron and chlorophyll content and, at the same time, possess calcium-regulating attributes. In effect, when you discard the pea pods, you are actually throwing away vitamins as well as helpful minerals.

Several studies have shown that consumption of only one cup of stewed green peas supplies the body with more than 51 per cent of the entire required amount of vitamin K, 42 per cent of your every day manganese requirement, 40 per cent of the every day need for vitamin C as well as more than 25 per cent of the body's daily need of vitamin B1 (also known as thiamine). In addition, peas also enclose anything between 12 per cent and 25 per cent of the body's daily need of vitamin A, folate, tryptophan, vitamin B6, phosphorus, niacin, protein, copper, magnesium, zinc, riboflavin and potassium. If you are consuming boiled peas, you do not require taking any additional dietary fiber since only one cup of the peas supplies the body with more than 33 per cent of its every day need for fiber. However, the best thing about the pea is that it has a wonderful taste. The pea is a naturally sweet legume that is well accepted by children and adults alike. The green pea also encloses carotenoid, which is basically lutein - very familiar for its aptitude to lessen the perils of macular degeneration and cataracts.

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It may be noted that freshly picked garden peas possess fairly diuretic properties and they are also helpful in easing ulcer pains in the stomach, as they assist in expend the acids produced in the stomach. Nevertheless, if any one is enduring stomach ulcers, he or she should consume peas in the form of purees.

On the other hand, individuals who are deficient in vitamin A ought to eat the peas in their raw or uncooked, softened or in juice form. Moreover, such people should consume peas along with vegetables that are not high in starch content with a view to obtain the utmost value of vitamin A enclosed by them.

It is interesting to note that the green pea is not the solitary star of its family. In fact, the sugar or snap pea too is held in high esteem by dieticians as well as all those engaged in the world of diet. The sugar pea possesses rich amounts of sugar, which prompts the gardeners across the globe to pick a pod and consume it directly while in their gardens. In fact, the high sugar content of sugar pea makes this variety of pea an excellent lunchbox delight or a mid-morning nibble for both children and adults. However, when you cook the sugar or snap pea, they taste all the more sweet. Although this variety of pea does not enclose very many nutrients compared to the green pea, they do enclose lots of vitamin C and iron.

Include a few steamed peas in your fresh salad and take delight in the added nutrients as well as flavour. Several researches on peas have confirmed that they facilitate in bringing down the blood cholesterol levels, fortifying the immune system, promoting the health of bones, regulating the blood glucose levels with a view to maintain constant energy levels as well as supporting the cardiovascular health. Since all peas contain high levels of vitamin C, they are an excellent innate antioxidant that shields our body from destruction of cells.

However, it is really unfortunate that not everyone is able to enjoy the flavour and nourishments of the peas. As peas enclose a chemicals known as purines that break down into uric acid, people enduring high levels of uric acid ought to stay away from this legume. It may be noted that our body also makes uric acid from purines released by the cells when they die. While uric acid is not a harmful substance, in effect it is beneficial for most people, and works in the form of an antioxidant in the blood stream. However, when the kidneys are not working as they should be to maintain a balance in the levels of uric acid or when there is a surplus of uric acid, it builds up in the body and turns into crystals. These crystals then set down in the kidneys, tendons, joints as well as other different organs, resulting in a painful condition called gout. For people who are enduring gout, the pea is indeed a great treat, but they have to pay a price for consuming it.

Nonetheless, in case you are not having any uric acid problem, it is advisable that you include lots of peas in your meals. Remember, the peas enhance the energy levels without any abrupt decline in your vigour and stamina, which most other forms of sugar cause.

The green peas are also very good natural resource of phytonutrients having antioxidant actions. It may be noted that antioxidants like vitamin C have a vital function in lessening damages to the cardiovascular system. All such helpful amalgams counteract against free radicals produced by our body. In effect, the free radicals directly damage the blood vessels and have the aptitude to lead to cholesterol build up in the walls of the artery. Hence, antioxidants may prove to be beneficial in avoiding the development as well as advancement of atherosclerosis, arthritis, heart ailments and stroke.

As mentioned above, eating green peas facilitates in lowering the perils of atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke. In effect, green peas are also a wonderful natural resource of vitamins A, C and K. As is known, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that assists in getting rid of free radicals from our system and, hence, it lowers the hazards of heart ailments and stroke. In addition, green peas are also a superior source of vitamin K that is vital for the health of our bones as well as suitable for clotting of blood.

Vitamin B6 and folate present in green pea encourage the suitable performance of our cardiovascular system. Findings of several researches have demonstrated that people who are deficient in folate, which results in the build up of amino acid homocysteine in our body, enhances the perils of heart ailments considerably. In effect, homocysteine also encourages the development of atherosclerosis by promoting the corrosion of the cells on the walls of the arteries and also enhances the formation of blood clotting. Green peas also enclose dietary fiber that also helps in lowering the hazards of stroke and other heart ailments.

As afore mentioned, green peas are also rich in folate content and, hence, it facilitates in lessening the hazards of neural flaws at birth and, simultaneously, assists in avoiding heart ailments. Additionally, green peas are also a major natural source of the magnesium, a vital mineral that has the aptitude to lessen hypertension or high blood pressure and also provide protection against heart ailments. Besides magnesium, green peas are also a wonderful natural resource of iron. Iron is an extremely helpful mineral for our system as it facilitates transporting oxygen from the lungs to the different parts of the body. Consumption of iron on a regular basis is essential for appropriate formation of blood cells and also to prevent one from suffering from anemia.

Green peas are also an excellent natural source of dietary fiber. Fiber is possibly effective in reducing weight, in addition to keeping the health of your digestive system in check. In addition, fiber also works to avoid constipation, facilitate in lessening the levels of cholesterol, diminish the risks of cancer and also provide relief from additional gastro-intestinal problems.

The green pea has extremely low calorie content, but is rich in nourishments. As a result of this, green peas are wonderful in the form of snacks, provided you are endeavouring to lose weight or sustain a fit body weight. In fact, green peas have been prescribed to enhance the energy utility in the body. In addition, green peas are known to be helpful in maintaining good eye sight and also to fortify the immune system.


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