What are Pea Pods?
Pea pods are botanically fruits as they contain seeds that are the peas.
While buying peas, their pods are thrown away. This way we waste about 50% of the tasty product that is rich in nutrients.
Young pods are tender and crisp enough and can be eaten raw as well, while the older ones add delicate and uplifting flavor to the soup and stock. They can also be boiled, blended, juiced, pureed to the green sauce, or can be stirred through risotto or a soup.
Peapods are nutrient-dense, low in calorie, low-fat, and cholesterol-free. Adding them to the diet can be extremely beneficial for health.
Health Benefits Of Pea Pods
Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in pea pods provide various health benefits.
Rich in Vitamin C
34 grams of 10 fresh pea pods contains 20.4 mg of vitamin C.(1)
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and is well known for numerous impressive health benefits including decreasing the risk of heart diseases and improving blood pressure and immunity.(2,3,4)
It is also rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids and carotene. These help in decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke by preventing cell damage.(5)
A serving of 10 pea pods contains 8.5 mg of vitamin K.(1)
Vitamin K is a nutrient that is involved in numerous body functions including bone metabolism and blood clotting.
Studies suggest vitamin K’s role in increasing bone density and strength.(6) It also improves heart health by preventing calcification of blood vessels.(7)
Studies show that vitamin K can lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels helping the heart to effectively pump blood throughout the body.(8)
10 fresh pea pods provide the body with 370 IU of vitamin A.(1)
Vitamin A is needed by the body to improve the health and functioning of the immune system, trigger the expression of certain genes and improve red blood cell synthesis.(9)
Vitamin A is also a vital component of rhodopsin, protein retinal receptors that allow them to absorb light.(10) Deficiency of vitamin A increases the risk of developing cancer or vision disorders like night blindness.
One cup serving of pea pods contains 1.6 grams of dietary fiber.(1)
The fiber in the diet can improve digestive health by preventing constipation and can also be beneficial for blood sugar control.(11,12)
It promotes the feeling of fullness and aids weight loss.(13)
Downsides of Pea Pods
Peapods are an excellent fiber source. Eating an excess of fiber can lead to stomach distress. It can cause gas, bloating, and abdominal pain.
Fiber should be added to the diet slowly to allow the intestines to adjust, especially those with inflammatory bowel disease.
How To Eat Pea Pods?
Pea pods are available fresh or frozen.
The best way to eat them is to remove the tough strings around them and eat them raw. You can also dip them in hummus to enhance the flavor.
Due to its tender and crispy texture and sweet flavor, it can also be enjoyed as a salad. You can also roast it in olive oil and lightly sautéed with garlic and enjoy it as a side dish.
Pea pods along with peas can be stir-fried and added to pasta to enhance the nutrition intake.
Make sure not to overcook them as they lose their nutrients and become limp and less crisp.
Storage and Food Safety
Always buy pea pods that are bright green in color with no yellowing and speckled areas. Avoid buying ones with loose peas rattling in them.
They can be stored in a perforated plastic bag for up to 2 weeks. If you eat them fresh there will be maximum sweetness. Always rinse them in running water before eating or cutting.
Peas pods are easy to grow and lots of fun to eat. They can be consumed in various ways and are nutrient-rich so extremely beneficial for health. If you are among those who keep the peas and throw away the pods, try them out in a few recipes. You would surely like them.