Health benefits of split peas
Split peas are low-fat legumes rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, minerals, vitamins, and an excellent source of protein. In today’s article, let’s dive further into the health benefits of split peas.
The nutrients in split peas have been linked to numerous health benefits, including improving the digestive system and promoting cardiovascular health.
They are most commonly used to make split pea soup. Split peas can also be made into split pea hummus, curry, as a side dish, split pea salad, and split pea tortillas.
Keep in mind that they should not be confused with split chickpeas or split pigeon peas, although they belong to the same family of legumes.
What are split peas?
Split peas refer to yellow or green peas that have been dried and their skin removed, which will naturally lead to split peas. Both varieties carry the same nutritional benefits but vary in taste. Yellow split peas are mild, while the green ones are sweet.
Split peas are often starchy due to their high levels of complex carbohydrates.
The main advantage of split peas over their whole form is that they cook quickly and don’t require pre-soaking.
Split peas nutrition
Like other legumes, split peas offer a wide range of beneficial nutrients, with a cup of cooked split peas (196g) providing:
- Calories: 231
- Fat: 8 gram
- Carbohydrates: 4 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Manganese: 8 mg or 39 percent of the daily requirement
- Folate: 127 micrograms, or 32 percent of the daily requirement
- Thiamin: 4 milligram, or 25 percent of the daily requirement
- Potassium: 710 milligrams, or 20 percent of the daily requirement
- Phosphorus: 194 milligrams, or 19 percent of the daily requirements
- Magnesium: 6 milligrams, or 18 percent of the daily requirements
- Copper: 4 milligram, or 18 percent of the daily requirement
- Iron: 5 milligrams, or 14 percent of the daily requirement
- Zinc: 0 milligram, or 13 percent of the daily requirement
- Vitamin K: 8 micrograms, or 12 percent of the daily requirement
- Pantothenic acid: 2 miligrams, or 12 percent of the daily requirement
- Niacin: 7 milligrams, or 9 percent of the daily requirement
- Riboflavin: 1 milligrams, or 6 percent of the daily requirement
- Vitamin B6: 1 milligrams, or 5 percent of the daily requirement
Split peas are also rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which are responsible for most of their health benefits, including activating the immune system to fight off infections, promoting good gut bacteria, fighting cancer, and protecting against chronic conditions.
Health benefits of split peas
Learn more about the health benefits of split peas below:
1. They promote cardiovascular health
Regular consumption of legumes such as beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils has been shown to lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, and generally maintain a healthy heart.
Split beans are high in soluble fiber, which is excellent at lowering cholesterol, one of the culprits for increased blood pressure, heart disease, and other cardiovascular symptoms like heart attack.
Split beans are also rich in minerals and other nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and antioxidants, which may support cardiovascular health.
2. They regulate blood sugar levels
Peas are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which slows the release of glucose into the blood and its absorption into the cells.
This helps maintain a steady flow of glucose, making it beneficial for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
3. They may support weight loss and healthy weight maintenance
Split peas are high in protein which promotes early satiety. This facilitates a low-calorie intake and prevents overeating, thus facilitating weight loss.
The high fiber content also keeps your stomach full, preventing you from snacking, which will increase your calorie intake, causing weight gain.
In addition to weight loss, regular consumption of split peas and other legumes is a wonderful way to ensure you maintain your weight within normal ranges.
4. Support the digestive system
The fiber in split peas may benefit digestion by improving bowel movements and preventing constipation. The fiber also helps feed the good gut bacteria, keeping them healthy and preventing the overgrowth of bad ones.
As a result, it helps control inflammation that often leads to various gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
5. They may strengthen and maintain healthy bones
Various minerals and trace minerals in split beans have an essential role to play as far as bone health and strength are concerned.
Magnesium, for instance, promotes bone health by increasing bone density and preventing osteoporosis.
On the other hand, potassium neutralizes acidity within the bones and prevents calcium loss, thus increasing bone mineral density.
In one study, dietary potassium intake was associated with increased bone mineral density in postmenopausal women and older men.
6. May lower the risk of cancer
Split beans are rich in isoflavone, particularly daidzein, a significant flavonoid antioxidant in legumes that has been shown to fight against cancer, including breast and prostate cancers.
Also, isoflavones are phytoestrogen, meaning they have estrogen-like effects. This helps boost the estrogen hormone, which may reduce hot flashes and other symptoms associated with menopause.
According to studies, dietary fiber can also lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
In one meta-analysis, a daily intake of 10 grams of dietary fiber was associated with a 10% reduction in colorectal cancer, while 3 servings of fiber (90 grams) a day were associated with a 20% reduction and further reductions with increased fiber intake.
In another study, increased dietary intake after a colorectal cancer diagnosis was shown to reduce specific cancer-related mortality and overall mortality.
Final thoughts on the benefits of split peas:
Split peas are peas that have been peeled off their skin and left to dry, causing them to naturally split.
They are high in nutrients, such as fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help promote health and wellbeing.
Regular consumption of split peas may lower cholesterol, promote cardiovascular health, promote blood sugar regulation, maintain a healthy weight, fight against cancer, improve the digestive system, and strengthen bones.
Split peas are commonly used to prepare split pea soup, but they are very versatile and can be included in various recipes.
More about legumes:
Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.
Fortunately, because of the Ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.