Peas come in three different varieties: garden, snow, and snap. The history of the pea is unknown, although it is believed that they originated in the Middle East and moved to Central Asia. Centuries of cultivation were required in both Europe and Asia to create the pea varieties we enjoy today. Famously, peas played a major role in Gregor Mendels groundbreaking study of genetics, in which he cross bred peas.
- Compared to other beans, peas are lower in calcium and phosphorous, but provide similar levels of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
- Peas are also a good source of vitamins B, C, and K, as well as minerals including phosphorous, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
- Dried peas are denser in calories and contain less nutrients than fresh peas.
- Dried peas have comparable health benefits to other common beans.
- Green peas provide additional nutrients, such as antioxidants, which are not found in dried peas.
Peas are another easy addition to any green salad. Try making an Asian inspired salad by adding snow peas and mandarin oranges to a simple mix of greens and toss with a sesame-soy marinade. Making a pea puree is another quick and unique way to add more peas to your diet and a great side to any protein. For more information on peas and other foods, check out my book “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods”.