Peas are seeds that grow in pods on green vines. They grow on creepers that have pods growing on them. Each of these pods can contain 5-8 peas or seeds. Peas are extremely beneficial for the body and are rich in a lot of nutrients. A number knows it of names such as Matar, Sabuj Matar, Mararsuti, Kalyaayh, Patana, Khanda, etc., it can be consumed both raw and cooked. It has anti-diabetic, antioxidant, and laxative properties. It is widely available in the Indian Subcontinent. You can easily grow peas at home as they need a minimum amount of care. The highly nutritious value of peas makes it a common dietary ingredient that can be substituted in place of unhealthy ones.
Nutritional and Curative Properties of Peas
Ayurveda and Science both acknowledge the nutritional value of peas.
1. The qualities of Peas as recognized by Science are:-
● Anti-diabetic properties
● Antioxidant properties
● Rich in vitamins Vitamin-C
● Laxative Properties
● Anti-inflammatory properties
● Rich in fiber and protein
● Contains Selenium and Folate
● Antifungal properties
● Antibacterial properties
● Low-Calorie content
2. Ayurvedic views on qualities of peas:-
● Rechana or laxative properties
● Madhur or sweet properties
● Laghu or light properties
● Sita or cooling properties
● Kashaya or astringent properties
● Grahi or absorbent properties
● Deepan or appetizing properties
● Kapha or balancing properties
Varieties Of Peas
There are different varieties of peas. However, three of them are commonly known to us. They are:-
1. Snow Peas or Sugar Peas Variety
Flat pods with small seeds.
2. Garden Peas Variety
They have pods that cannot be consumed. The seeds can be eaten separately.
3. Snap Peas Variety
Round and thick pods. Pods can be consumed. The seeds are sweet to taste.
Different Ways to Eat Peas
Peas can be generally consumed both raw or cooked. The most common ways to eat peas are:-
● Raw Peas
Most varieties of peas can be eaten raw. It is generally eaten as an appetizer and as a natural laxative.
● Frozen Peas
Frozen peas are also commonly eaten. It is said that freezing peas help in retaining its Vitamin-C and minerals.
● Dried Peas
Dried Peas has high fiber content and is eaten as a natural laxative. It is also rich in nutrients and can prevent the risk of breast and prostate cancers.
● Boiled Peas
Boiled peas are also very nutritious and can be consumed directly or added to various dishes.
● Mushy Peas
Mushy peas are made by boiling and mashing them with other condiments. Mushy peas can be a side dish to meals as a dietary supplement.
Curative Abilities of Peas Against Various Diseases
Peas are endowed with multiple properties, which makes it good for curing many diseases or health conditions. The consumption of peas also helps to keep the body healthy. Here are some diseases or problems that can be cured with the consumption of peas:-
● Increasing Appetite
Peas can stimulate the movement of bowels due to its fibrous qualities. This helps in clearing the stomach and increasing appetite. According to Ayurveda, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Doshas which hampers digestion. Peas help in improving digestion and secreting gastric juices to increase appetite.
● Heart Health
Peas can help regulate blood pressure levels. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities of peas prevent lipid peroxidation of blood vessels, which can cause heart problems. Peas also help in regulating blood sugar levels. Black-eyed Peas can help in preventing cardiovascular disease by regulating cholesterol or LDL.
Peas have high fibrous content, which assists in bowel movement. Peas also have laxative properties, which help in emptying the stomach. This helps in curing constipation.
In Ayurveda, constipation is caused by poor diets, stress, bad lifestyle choices, etc. This can be cured by Peas' Rechana(laxative) abilities, which facilitate the movement of the bowel. However, excess consumption of peas can cause constipation problems.
● Weight Loss
Peas are known to contain very low-calorie content. Having peas as a part of a dietary meal can help in weight loss. In Ayurveda, weight gain is a result of a poor diet, which in turn causes digestive problems. Indigestion leads to the accumulation of Amu, which results in the Medha Dhatu imbalance. Peas, balancing nature called Kapha, can help restore Medha Dhatu and improve digestive fire to reduce Ama's accumulation.
Peas are rich in alpha-lipoic acids, which increases glucose utilization of the body. This, in turn, helps the body secrete more insulin. Peas also have good antioxidant properties. This helps in protecting the beta cells of the pancreas. Thus it regulates blood-sugar levels and protects the body from the risk of diabetic complications.
● Cancer Prevention
Dried peas are said to have the ability to prevent cancer. There are phytonutrients present in Peas, which can have an estrogenic effect. This helps reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer.
● Skin Problems
Many face products are made from peas. The presence of protein and lecithin in Peas makes it good for the skin. It helps prevent acne and wrinkles. Sita or cooling properties of Peas also make them good for the skin. Anti-inflammatory properties of Peas can remove puffiness and redness from the skin and keep it free from wrinkles.
Instructions Of Use
The recommended method of using Peas for various illnesses are:-
You need to use ¼ or ½ cups of Peas with twice the amount of water and bring it to boil. Drain and eat directly later or add it to a dish of your choice. Raw green Peas can also be eaten directly without cooking. Just make sure to wash them properly before eating.
● Appetite Improved
Raw Peas can be consumed directly for improved appetite. You can also boil them with chosen condiments to make them tastier. Just take ¼ or ½ cups of Peas with twice the amount of water and put it to boil. Add condiments like salt and pepper to add flavor.
● Weight Loss
Eating Mushy peas can help in weight loss. Boil some water and add frozen peas to it. Cook till it's tender enough to mash. Remove it from the stove and drain and pour it into a bowl. Mash the Peas with condiments like salt, pepper, butter, etc. Have it as a side dish with meals. Continue eating them as a substitute for unhealthy food.
● Cancer Prevention
Dried peas can be consumed for the prevention of cancer.
● Skin Concerns
Homemade face packs made from mashed Peas can help reduce acne and wrinkles. It will also cool irritated skin.
Side Effects of Eating Peas
There are not many side effects of taking peas. However, some precautions must be kept in mind while consuming peas:-
● Pregnant Women
Some studies have shown that peas can contain contraceptive properties. Hence, pregnant women should avoid eating peas.
● Excess Consumption of Peas
Eating too many Peas can end up having side effects of constipation due to its astringent properties.
● Formation of Gas
There are some sugars present in peas that are difficult to digest. These get fermented by bacteria to form a gas.
Scientific and Ayurvedic Views on Benefits of Peas
Both Science and Ayurveda agree that Peas are beneficial for the body. Here are some scientific and Ayurvedic viewpoints about the power of Peas.
● Health benefits for the stomach
Peas are rich in fibers, vitamins, and minerals. Fibers especially are good for the stomach. It helps in digestion and allows smooth passage of stool.
Peas contain Rechana or laxative properties, which can help in improving bowel movement. It also has appetizing properties called Deepan, which help in increasing appetite.
● Weight Loss
Peas contain a very low amount of calories. It is also highly nutritious, which makes it good for weight loss.
Weight gain, according to Ayurveda, is caused by bad lifestyle choices, which cause low metabolism. This leads to excess accumulation of Ama to cause an imbalance in Medha Dhatu. The Kapha or balancing nature of Peas help to restore Medha Dhatu. Deepan(Appetitising) properties of Peas help to fuel the digestive fire to reduce Ama.
● Skin Problems
Peas are rich in protein and lecithins, which can resolve acne and wrinkles. The anti-inflammatory properties of Peas can help bring down swelling and redness.
The aggravation of Pitta Dosha causes wrinkles. Kashaya or astringent elements of Peas can help in balancing this and cure wrinkles. Sita or cooling properties of Peas can help to keep skin fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are Peas nutritious?
Peas are rich in many minerals, vitamins, protein, and fibers. They contain polyphenols and saponins along with manganese, copper, and phosphorus. They are also very low in calorie content.
Q. Can you eat dried Peas?
Yes, dried peas actually contain a high amount of fiber, vitamins, and protein that help your body. It keeps cholesterol in check and regulates sugar level. Phytonutrients that are contained in peas can help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Q. What is the difference between fresh and frozen peas?
Both frozen and fresh peas are beneficial to one's health. However, fresh peas contain more Vitamin B while frozen peas contain more Vitamin C. Both are better than canned peas.
Q. What is the calorie content of peas?
Peas have very low-calorie content. One gram of peas contains one calorie only.
Q. Do peas cause constipation?
Excess intake of peas can cause constipation due to its astringent properties.
Q. Do peas cause gas?
Yes. Sometimes peas may cause gas. There are certain sugars present in peas, which makes it difficult to break. Bacteria can ferment this and produce gas.
Q. Can peas benefit the skin?
Peas are rich in protein and lecithin, which can cure acne and wrinkles. The anti-inflammatory abilities of Peas can heal swollen and irritated skin. Sita or cooling abilities of Peas can help alleviate pain and redness. It can also make skin look fresh and hydrated.
Q. Are Snow Peas beneficial for health?
Snow peas also contain a very low amount of calories. It has 42 calories in 100 grams. Hence, it can help regulate weight. It also contains vitamins, minerals, fibers, thiamine, and folate—these help in keeping the body healthy.
Q. How can eating black-eyed Peas be good for us?
Black-eyed Peas help immensely in reducing cardiovascular disease. Black-eyed peas help reduce bad cholesterol or LDL( Low-density lipoprotein Cholesterol) and keep the body healthy. It helps to protect patients from the risk of coronary attack.
Q. Is eating Raw peas good for health?
Raw peas are high in fiber content. It can help to regulate the digestive system by accelerating digestion and clearing the bowel. Raw peas also have antioxidant properties that can help in reducing diabetic problems. It is also anti-inflammatory and helps bring down swelling and pain. Raw peas are also very rich in vitamins.
Q. Can peas affect intestinal health?
Peas can clear constipation due to its astringent property. Peas help in the growth of intestinal bacteria. This helps in developing intestinal health. It also has laxative properties, which help to clear the digestive system.