Benefits of Sugar Snap Peas

Written by kaye wagner
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Benefits of Sugar Snap Peas
Sugar snap peas are low in calories and high in nutrients. (Fresh green sugar snap peas in the pod. image by William Berry from Fotolia.com)

Sugar snap peas were developed in the 1970s and are a cross between a garden pea and mangetout. Many people confuse sugar snap peas with mangetout, but the former are rounded while the latter are flat. Sugar snaps are the sweetest and most tender of all peas and can be purchased in the produce section of most grocery stores. They should be bright green, firm and plump.

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Fibre Content

Sugar snap peas are a good source of dietary fibre. Consuming a large quantity of fibre helps keep your digestive system functioning properly. Sugar snap peas also have a high soluble fibre content, which means they are digested slowly and can help you maintain healthy blood glucose levels. This is especially important for diabetes patients.

Calorie Content

Sugar snap peas are low in calories and make a great midday snack. One cup of peas contains 67 calories, and because they are rich in fibre, they will make you feel more full longer. Dietitians have shown that those who eat more small meals a day have higher metabolisms and burn more calories. Consequently, eating 1 cup of sugar snap peas as a midafternoon snack is a good way to keep your metabolism high and ward off hunger.

Heart Health

Sugar snap peas are good for heart health because they are fat-free. They also contain a large amount of folate, which lowers amino acid levels in the body. High levels of amino acids may cause heart attacks and heart disease. Because the sugar snap pea is also rich in fibre it helps lower cholesterol. Those with high cholesterol levels have a higher risk of having a heart attack.

Immune System Health

One cup of sugar snap peas contains as much vitamin C as a medium-sized orange. Vitamin C helps strengthen the immune system and helps prevent colds and flu. Sugar snap peas also contain a large amount of carotenoids, which have been linked to the prevention of cancer. This carotenoid and vitamin C combination creates a powerful antioxidant that will help you stay healthy during flu season. Carotenoids also help build healthier eyes and can reduce the risk of developing cataracts.

Bone Health

Sugar snap peas are also a good source of iron and vitamin K. This is especially important for women who are trying to build strong bones. The iron is also useful for anaemic women who need to introduce more iron into their bloodstream to create healthy red blood cells.

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