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 grams
- 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 milligrams, 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 milligrams, or 18 percent of the daily requirement
- Iron: 5 milligrams, or 14 percent of the daily requirement
- Zinc: 0 milligrams, or 13 percent of the daily requirement
- Vitamin K: 8 micrograms, or 12 percent of the daily requirement
- Pantothenic acid: 2 milligrams, or 12 percent of the daily requirement
- Niacin: 7 milligrams, or 9 percent of the daily requirement
- Riboflavin: 1 milligram, or 6 percent of the daily requirement
- Vitamin B6: 1 milligram, 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 a 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 have 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.
10 tasty ways to enjoy split peas!
Put them in soups
Not only are soups great for warming up on chilly days, but they’re also a great way to get a healthy dose of whole foods into your diet. Split peas provide fiber, protein, magnesium, and zinc—all things we need more of in our diets. They are also low in calories but highly feeling, making them an ideal ingredient if you’re trying to lose weight.
Add them to pasta dishes
One great way to add a new flavor twist to your pasta dishes is to incorporate split peas. The resulting dish has a wonderfully creamy texture and is sure to have everyone coming back for seconds. These tiny legumes are a great source of protein and are also high in fiber, which can help to keep you feeling full longer.
To prepare this dish, simply start by boiling the split peas until they are soft. Then, add them to a pan with some olive oil and garlic, and cook until the peas are heated through.
Finally, stir in some Italian seasoning and salt to taste before serving over your favorite type of pasta. This dish is versatile enough that you could also try it with rice. If you want to make it extra special, top it off with some fresh parsley or basil leaves before serving.
Add them to vegetable sauces
Split peas are a versatile ingredient to add to sauces because they have a rich, thick texture. They can also be used as an organic thickener in soups like cream soups or hot potato soup.
Split peas are a great addition to vegetable sauces. They can add texture and richness that other vegetables cannot. Here are four easy ways to add split peas to your sauce recipe.
- In a skillet over medium heat, cook the split peas until they are soft.
- Add the split peas to a blender with some of the sauce that you are using and blend until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until warmed through.
- Serve hot, topped with additional sauce if desired.
Use them as a dip for veggies
If you’re looking for an interesting way to enjoy your leftover split peas, look no further than a split pea dip. Split pea dip is a popular appetizer that can be made with just a few simple ingredients. It is easy to make, and it can be customized to fit your tastes.
The base of this dip is split peas, which are cooked until they are soft. The mixture is then blended with some seasonings and creamy ingredients, such as cheese and sour cream. This dip can be served warm or cold, and it is perfect for parties or gatherings.
Cook them into casseroles
A casserole is a one-pot meal baked in the oven. It can be made with just about anything and can be as simple or complex as you like. Casseroles are a great way to use up leftovers and are perfect for feeding a large crowd.
If you’re looking for a hearty and delicious casserole to satisfy your hunger, you need to try a split pea casserole. This dish is sure to fill you up and will be a hit at any dinner party.
All you need is some simple ingredients and a few minutes of your time to make this dish.
To make this casserole:
- Start by cooking the split peas in a pot on the stove.
- Once they are cooked, add in the onion, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste
- Cook until the onions are soft.
- Add in the tomato sauce and simmer until everything is heated through.
Once everything is cooked through, put the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!
Make split pea curry
If you’re looking for a delicious and easy Indian split pea curry recipe, you’ll want to start by gathering your ingredients. You’ll need split peas, tomato sauce, vegetable broth, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, curry, and salt. Once you have all your ingredients gathered, it’s time to cook!
To make the curry, you’ll first need to cook the split peas. Add them to a pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Start by heating up some oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- Next, add the cooked split peas and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the peas cook through
- Stir in the tomato paste, curry, and other spices, and continue to cook for an additional minute.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Serve hot with rice or naan bread on the side!
Stir fry them with beans
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to enjoy a healthy, hearty meal, look no further than stir-frying split peas and beans.
When you stir-fry split peas and beans together, you get a delicious and healthy meal. The health benefits of stir-frying split peas and beans are many and varied; they may include:
- Adding important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet.
- Boosting the immune system.
- Helping to lower blood pressure.
- Reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Supplying satiating fiber
Start by simmering these two ingredients until they are soft and cooked through, then proceed to stir-fry them.
Whether you want to make a simple version using just olive oil and garlic or take things up a notch by adding chili or other spices, making a stir fry is one of the most delicious ways to enjoy these two ingredients.
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:
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