We often think of green peas as a last-minute addition to stews, rice dishes, and warm salads. So, you may be surprised to hear that the green pea is one of the most sustainable food crops offering many health benefits. This member of the legume family contains essential vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate. It is also rich in fiber, particularly the varieties that have edible pea pods, such as snow pea, sugar snap pea, and garden peas.
The fiber in peas supports digestive health by adding bulk to the stool and promoting regular bowel movements. The tiny pea is also a good source of iron, which is vital to the oxygen-carrying red blood cells. The antioxidant vitamins in peas help support immunity and protect the body’s cells from free radical damage.
As far as the environment is concerned, peas are good for Mother Earth. They are grouped with other vegetables known as “nitrogen fixers.” This means they take inert gases from the environment and convert them to useful ammonium, which nourishes the soil. In the right quantities relative to garden or crop size, peas, along with lentils and peanuts, can significantly reduce the need for fossil fuel fertilizers.
While we always advocate for organic, fresh produce, don’t overlook frozen peas; they retain their texture and nutrient content better than canned peas and can still be bought organic even if frozen. Overall, for adding color, mildly sweet flavor, and high quality nutrients to any meal, you can’t go wrong with green peas.
More shopping and cooking tips for green peas.