An Ode to Peas - Protein for Vegans
Eat your peas! Grandma was right! Many times I am asked "How do you get any protein???" as if I am going to fall over from lack of protein at any moment. First of all, there is a debate as to how much protein we actually need. Where did this obsession with protein come from, it is not as if we are all hunters and gladiators? Second, vegans have plenty of resources for protein in plant based foods- this brings me to peas. When I read about the health benefits of peas I was shocked, especially with the high protein content.
Peas are of the same family that beans are - Legumes. Legumes are high in folate, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, and selenium, and B6. Peas pack a super punch with 8 vitamins, 7 minerals, dietary fiber and protein (lots of it). I had no idea that peas contained fiber OR protein! In one cup of peas you can pick up 35% of your daily fiber and 6.4 grams of protein - that is more protein that 2 tbsp of peanut butter! Many foods high in fiber and protein are also high in calories, peas are a great source of protein and fiber without adding pounds.
There are now studies being done on protein in the diet and in particular too much protein. In the December 2006 Issue, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, findings indicate that those consuming less protein have lower levels of certain hormones that have been linked to cancer. If you are concerned about protein do some research and most important - relax and eat your peas!
- Canned peas are not only gross but they also contain a ton of sodium and most of the nutrients are missing after all the processing - best to eat them raw.
- Dried peas retain their fiber and protein content and are still very nutritious.
- Yellow peas are a must try
- Asian markets are a great source of snap peas all year round
Medical Study on Peas and High Blood Pressure
Too Much Protein Increase Cancer Risk?