Super Food of the Week:
If you’re not a fan of green peas you might want to rethink your stance. These little bright green legumes possess an exceptionally strong nutrient composition. In one cup of green peas you’ll find vitamin K, manganese, vitamin c, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, folate, vitamin A, tryptophan, phosphorus, vitamin B6, protein, vitamin B3, magnesium vitamin B2, copper, iron, zinc and potassium. Talk about a mouthful! Unfortunately, with all the nutrients green peas possess, there is not much research specifically focused on green peas as a health supporting food as of yet. However, because green peas are considered a legume much of its health supporting benefits are derived from research on legumes in general, but what little I was able find certainly doesn’t take away from the awesome nutrient content of green peas.
In the past, green peas are often thought as a “starchy vegetable” thought to not provide very much in the way of phytonutrients or body systems support. Recently green peas have been found to be loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients including vitamins C and E. Also in recent studies have shown that omega-3 fat to be present in green peas as well. Although researchers cannot say specifically that green peas can assist with chronic health problems, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis, but there is a strong association with a lowered risk of these diseases by regular ingestion of legumes in general. Researchers tend to believe that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients in green peas play an equally important role in lowering risks of these chronic health problems. Like other legumes, the fiber found in green peas is believed to help regulate blood levels by regulating the rate of break down of starches into sugars thereby giving aid to those with diabetes. Also, with regular ingestion of legumes there is an associated lowered risk of heart disease and certain cancers. This is impart due to the antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and other nutrients found in peas.
Peas are one of the few members of the legume family that are commonly sold and cooked as fresh vegetables, with three types generally sold, garden or green peas, snow peas, and snap peas. Peas have been cultivated for thousands of years and can be easily grown in your very own organic garden. It’s nutrients help support your body from your heart to your hair and can be served in a variety of ways by simply adding them to a salad or in a chicken salad.
Fit Tip of the Week:
What’s on MyPlate??
If you haven’t already heard (and I’m sure many of you have), earlier this month the USDA started serving up healthy eating advice and it’s not in the form of a pyramid. Instead the USDA and their team of registered dietitians came up with the image of something we use several times a day, a plate. The icon is called MyPlate has been unveiled as the USDA’s new teaching tool to help promote proper nutrition. It is basically a plate divided into four sections (or a five if you count the dairy which is off to the side)- fruits, vegetables and protein. It replaces the food pyramid which has been in use since 1992 and it’s revision in 2005. Some believe that the food pyramid became too complicated to easily understand. The MyPlate icon is being used in hopes to simplify things while still using the Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Americans 2010. This is a huge step in the world of nutrition, health, and fitness. USDA has changed their mypyramid.gov website to choosemyplate.gov. Plus, you have to love that the message with the icon begins with: “Enjoy your food, but eat less”. So the next question is, what’s on your plate??
To get more information on MyPlate head over to www.choosemyplate.gov.
Until next week…