It is undeniable that the plants around us offer countless health benefits. Not only are there specialized plants used for medicinal purposes, but there also nutrients found in everyday plants from which we get our herbs, fruits, vegetables, legumes and more. One strong example is snow peas. Not only are they delicious, but they are one of the healthiest and most nutritious vegetables you can eat. If you want to learn more about why they are so good for you, keep reading this article.
If you’ve ever been served a plate of snow peas, you may have been confused about how to eat them or how to differentiate them from other peas. Snow peas are surprisingly flavourful and nutritous vegetables, utilized in preparing various cuisines. Therefore, it’s important to know what they really are and what health benefits they offer.
What are Snow Peas?
A snow pea is a type of pea that is consumed in its whole form, meaning with the peas still in their pod. Unlike regular peas, snow pea pods don’t actually contain any inedible fiber. Because of this, they taste better (and you don’t have to throw away the pod and waste good food!). The pods themselves also carry a lot of nutrients.
Scientifically, snow peas are identified as Pisum sativum var. saccharatum. Each of the seed pods contains up to seven peas, which are edible both cooked or raw. A lot of people grow them at home, sometimes picking them even before they’ve ripened because that’s when they are at their most tender and crunchy to eat.
Snow peas require very little time and effort to prepare and are a great addition to various types of meals or simply as a protein-rich snack to munch on. They are primarily used in Chinese cuisine, but are also consumed all over the world, so they are very easy to find in most grocery stores or corner shops.
Nutrition of Snow Peas
When it comes to the nutritional content of the snow peas, you’ll find them rich in Vitamins A and C. There is also an ample amount of folic acid, magnesium, dietary fiber, potassium and iron. Their fat content is low, containing just a small amount of healthy fats, and there is no cholestoral content whatsoever. At just above 1 calorie per pod, snow peas make a filling and nutritious addition to any diet plan.
Precautions for Eating Snow Peas
There have been various reported cases of people having allergic reactions to snow peas. However, they are generally very safe to eat in meals, as a side, as a salad topping or on their own as a snack. Providing you are not allergic, you can never go wrong with snow peas!
Staggering Health Benefits of Snow Peas
Here are some of the most amazing health benefits snow peas offer:
- Helps strengthen eye health: this is one of the greatest health benefits of snow peas. Their vitamin A content helps lower the risk of macular degeneration and slows down the development of cataracts.
- Helps improve the immune system: the vitamin C content of snow peas is beneficial in stimulating the production of white blood cells in the body. White blood cells serve as the first line of defense in the body to illness.
- Helps digestion: snow peas are high in fiber, which is an important part of digestive health.
- Helps treat and prevent heart disease: both the potassium and vitamin C content helps protect the heart.
- Helps prevent the onset of cancer: high levels of vitamin C, as found in snow peas, helps neutralize free radicals in the body, thus reducing the risk of cancer.
- Helps control diabetes: as well as helping with digestion, the high amount of fiber helps control the blood sugar levels in the body. Athough fiber is a carbohydrate, it still helps regulate your body’s insulin and glucose levels.