Wednesday, September 24, 2014
A Recipe for Health - Peas Please
Did you know that peas are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, thiamine (B1), iron and phosphorus? They are rich in protein, carbohydrate and fiber and low in fat which is mostly of the unsaturated kind. Half a cup of frozen peas has only 5% of the daily value for sodium. Foods low in sodium are good for your heart. An 85 gram serving of peas, cooked, provides 50 calories, 4 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbohydrate (of which 3.5 grams are sugars), 3.8 grams of fibre, 17mg of vitamin C (28% of the recommended daily allowance) and 0.2mg Thiamine (B1) (15% of the recommended daily allowance).
Thiamine or B1 plays an important role in regulating the metabolism of carbohydrates in the body. Thiamine is also necessary for the growth and maintenance of healthy skin. The cells of the nervous system are extremely sensitive to carbohydrate metabolism. This may be why the brain and the nerves are the first to show thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is needed as a catalyst for the metabolism of carbohydrates so it should come as no surprise that the more carbohydrates we eat the more thiamine we need.
There was a preliminary study that indicates thiamin levels drop significantly after surgery, during a fever, over active muscular activity and during physical and emotional stress. Some of the symptoms of thiamin deficiency include loss of memory, nervous disorder, leg cramping, fatigue and irritability.
Fortunately, many foods including organ meats, soybeans, wholes grains, brown rice, egg yolks and peas supply us with thiamin. In our over active and over stressed world getting adequate nutrition is essential. So pass the peas please.
Freshly frozen garden peas and petits pois are frozen within just two and a half-hours of being picked. This locks in all the nutrients, which can be lost at room temperature. Peas are just about the most versatile vegetable in the world. They taste great in risotto, omelets, pizzas, pastas, soups, salads, casseroles and curries.
The UK grows the largest supply of the world’s peas. However, peas are widely used in just about every culture and in many native dishes to many different countries including all of Europe, India, Asia and the Americas.
Here’s some pea facts for you: A monk by the name of Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884), worked with peas to lay the foundation for modern day genetics. A 16th century treatise of the art of love says that peas boiled with onions and a dash of cinnamon is an aphrodisiac. Birds Eye frozen peas advertisement was the first color add on TV. If you threaded every frozen pea produced each year in the UK onto a piece of string you would need 3,900,000 kms of string, which would stretch from the earth to the moon and back more than five times And did you know that there is an etiquette to eating peas? The British love their peas but eating them properly is a must. Most people shovel or spear peas; the Brits smash them on the back of their forks and eat them. So smash away and enjoy these little green pills of natural health.