Food – The Magnificent Pea

Good news — peas are good for you! Peas are tasty and they are also very versatile. Here are a few excerpts from The Doctors Book of Food Remedies, Selene Yeager and the Editors of Prevention Health Books, published by Rodale, pages 416, 417.

“The cancer-fighting compound in peas is called chlorophyllin, which is the pigment responsible for giving them their shiny green hue. Chlorophyllin (related to chlorophyll, the substance that allows plants to convert sunlight into food) has a special molecular shape that allows it to grab cancer-causing chemicals in the body. ‘When you eat peas, the chlorophyllin attaches to carcinogens and helps prevent them from being absorbed,’ says Mary Ellen Camire, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Main in Orono.

“Researchers haven’t pinned down exactly how many peas you’d have to eat to get the most benefits from chlorophyllin. You can’t go wrong, however, by including them on your menu as often as possible, along with other bright, green vegetables, After all, the greener the vegetable is, the more chlorophyllin it contains. … Green peas are an excellent source of fiber, with more than 4 grams in each half-cup serving.”

Green peas are so tasty and healthy. They can be added raw to salads or cooked and mashed with potatoes creating a wonderful, tasty, green hot dish. Remember also that peas are high in protein. What a green mine we have in the simple little pea.

Peas eaten right out of the pod have the highest nutrition but the next best is found in the freezer case. They may lack some of the crispness, but freezing keeps most of the nutrients intact. When cooking, it is always best to steam and not boil them. So enjoy those magnificent little peas!