Have you discovered the tasty health benefits of sugar snap peas? Here’s why you’ll want them on the dinner table.
Are you getting your five servings of fruits and vegetables a day? Unfortunately, when polled, most Americans cited potatoes and corn as their vegetables of choice which means they’re not getting the many health benefits of green, orange, and red vegetables with their colorful array of disease fighting phytonutrients. The key to maximizing nutrition is to enjoy a wide variety of vegetables of all types which also helps to prevent boredom.
One vegetable that often gets overlooked is the sugar snap pea – a veggie that’s often confused with the snow pea so often used in Chinese stir fries. The major difference is that snow peas have flat pods, while sugar snap peas pods are rounded in appearance. What are the health benefits of sugar snap peas and are they a good choice for the dinner table?
Health Benefits of Sugar Snap Peas: They’re Heart Healthy
Sugar snap peas are a natural when it comes to heart health. Not only are they fat-free, but a whole cup has four grams of heart-healthy fiber to help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Snap peas are also a good source of folate – a vitamin that’s important for heart health. Diets low in folate raise levels of homocysteine – an amino acid associated with a higher risk of heart disease. It’s not clear whether higher homocysteine levels actually increase the risk of heart disease or whether it’s simply a marker for people already at risk; but most experts agree that people should eat more folate rich foods for better heart health.
Health Benefits of Sugar Snap Peas: They’re Good for the Waistline
Sugar snap peas are so low in calories you can munch on them without a second’s guilt. A single cup of these green beauties has only sixty-seven calories and the fiber makes them quite filling and satisfying. For a low-calorie snack, enjoy them with low-fat French onion dip as a guilt-free substitute for potato chips while watching your favorite television show. It’s a healthier alternative to non-nutritional, high calorie snacks.
Health Benefits of Sugar Snap Peas: Better Immune Health
Did you know that a cup of sugar-snap peas has almost as much vitamin C has a medium-sized orange? Vitamin C is important for keeping the immune system primed to fight off infection and plays an important role in wound healing. It also keeps skin and joints in great shape. Peas contain carotenoids such as beta-carotene which may help to protect against certain types of cancer. Vitamin C and the carotenoids found in sugar snap peas are a powerful antioxidant combination.
Health Benefits of Sugar Snap Peas: Other Health Benefits
Sugar snap peas are an excellent source of vitamin K to maintain strong bones and ensure that the blood clots properly when the body is injured. It’s also a good source of iron to build healthy, red blood cells.
Enjoy sugar snap peas raw with your favorite dip or sautee them in olive oil and a little garlic for a tasty and nutritious side dish. Don’t forget to add them to salads and Chinese stir fries. Sugar snap peas – they’re what’s for dinner!