The nutritional value of pea shoots goes way beyond the vitamins and minerals they contain.
For sure, we will discuss all of the essential nutrients pea shoots have to offer.
But before we talk about pea shoots nutrition, let's discuss other healthy compounds pea shoots contain, such as antioxidants, flavonoids, and their nutritional stability.
I'm sure you know that vitamins and minerals are essential building blocks for your body.
But the benefits of pea shoots not only help build healthy cells but also contribute to the destruction of nasty compounds that harm or tear down your body.
Everyone has heard of antioxidants and knows that they reduce free radicals in your body.
Free radicals damage proteins, DNA, and cell membranes.
At elevated levels in your body, they can cause harm and are linked to many common illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
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The information and material contained on this website are for informational purposes only.
No material on this site is a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek your physicians' or qualified nutritionists' advice before undertaking a new health care regimen or using any information you have read on this website to treat or prevent any condition.
Pea Shoots Nutrition - Flavonoids
What are flavonoids?
Flavonoids are abundant in plants and carry out several functions. These include producing foliage and flower colors that attract pollinating insects.
They are also essential to help the plant filter UV light, fix nitrogen, and act as chemical messengers.
Certain flavonoids are secreted by the roots to form symbiotic relationships with bacteria in exchange for nitrogen compounds.
Why Eat Foods With Flavonoids?
It's excellent that flavonoids improve plant functions, but what do they do for us?
Flavonoids are used commercially as a health-food additive and in the pharmaceutical & medicinal industries and cosmetic applications.
The reason is their proven anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic properties. They also help with crucial cellular enzyme function.
Flavonoids are an important contributor to pea shoot nutrition.
Pea Shoots Nutritional Stability
If you've heard any of my talks about the fresh food industry then you know how long it takes food to reach your table you know that growing your own and consuming or preserving it quickly is important.
Vitamins and minerals degrade quickly after harvest.
It seems that pea shoots are an exception, mostly.
In a food research study, the nutritional value of pea shoots is fairly stable during storage. However, the study does mention that some water soluble vitamins may be lost, but that can be mitigated by proper storage procedures.
Pea Shoots Nutrition - Vitamins
Vitamin A - Carotenoids
Pea shoots contain carotenoids, including beta carotene, which is also known as Vitamin A.
Carotenoids are fat-soluble antioxidants that have anti-cancer properties by preventing damage to cellular structures. Research strongly suggests that consuming carotenoid-rich foods reduces the incidence of cancers and diseases associated with reduced immune function, cardiovascular disease, and other degenerative disorders.
Pea microgreens have high levels of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids help prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts by protecting the eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Pea shoots contain about 15% of the percent daily value (DV) of vitamin A. This is approximately four times more vitamin A than tomatoes.
The Vitamin B Suite
Pea microgreens are also a rich source of folate (B9), which plays a key role in developing and maintaining the body’s cells and protecting against DNA damage. Pea shoots contain approximately eight times more folate than bean sprouts.
This is about 43% of the DV
As far as the other B vitamins, below is a list of the percent of the DV a cup of pea microgreens provides.
- B1 - Thiamin - 23%
- B2 - Riboflavin - 14%
- B3 - Niacin - 23%
- B5 - 25%
- B6 - 19%
- B9 - Foliate - 43%
Vitamin C is a key contributor for the development, growth, and repair of all cells and tissues in the body.
Pea shoots are extremely rich in vitamin C, supplying about 20 % of an adult’s DA. Vitamin C is key in maintaining bones and teeth, proper functioning of the immune system, absorption of iron, wound repair, and many other key bodily functions.
Pea shoots contain the same amount of vitamin C as blueberries. Although some websites report much more.
Pea Shoots Nutrition - Minerals
It is generally understood that calcium ensures strong bones and teeth. However, calcium is also needed for proper muscle movement, blood circulation, and neurological communication between the brain and the body.
Pea shoots are a minor contributor of calcium at only 3% of the DV. But some is better than none, especially since pea shoots provide other essential minerals.
Copper is an essential nutrient and is vital to metabolic processes, it also aids in developing and maintaining strong bones, and ensures proper neurological, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular functioning.
It’s been estimated that up to one-quarter of North Americans may not be consuming sufficient copper in their diets.
Pea Shoots contain a whooping 36% of the DV!
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Iron is an essential nutrient and plays a crucial role in hemoglobin production.
Hemoglobin transports oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the body’s tissues. As you know, red blood cells are made up of 40% hemoglobin.
Millions of red blood cells are produced each day replacing those either lost or damaged by our bodily functions.
Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, poor immune function, poor regulation of body temperature, and cognitive impairment.
When iron deficiency remains untreated, red blood cells may drop to extremely low levels, resulting in anemia, characterized by extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness, hair loss, and extreme confusion.
Yet adding one cup of pea sprouts to your daily diet will deliver 15% of the DV.
Regularly including these pea microgreens as part of a balanced daily diet can help to ensure proper iron levels.
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Magnesium is concentrated in our bones and in soft tissues, muscles, and bodily fluids such as blood.
Therefore magnesium is critical for maintaining strong bones and healthy cardiovascular systems. It is also used for energy production, and helps process in the immune, and nervous systems.
It also serves to counterbalance calcium, serving as a calcium channel blocker by preventing calcium from activating nerve cells, thereby relaxing nerves.
Unfortunately, surveys have consistently shown that nearly half of the U.S. population consumes less than the RDA of magnesium.
Pea shoots contain around 16% of our DV of magnesium.
Manganese is considered an essential nutrient and is crucial for proper nervous system functioning and activating multiple enzymes required for metabolic processes.
Manganese may also play an essential role in proper bone development and maintenance, reducing inflammation and controlling blood sugar levels.
Pea shoots a rich in manganese containing 23% of our DV.
Phosphorus is necessary for many functions, such as filtering waste, producing DNA and RNA, repairing tissues and cells, maintaining nerve conduction, keeping your bones and teeth strong, and more.
Having the right products available for cellular regeneration and replication obviously has an impact on cancer and other malicious cell mutations.
Low phosphorus levels may be associated with diabetes or may be caused by certain medications and alcohol use.
Pea shoots contain a generous amount of phosphorus up to 16% of the DV.
One of the body's most essential minerals and electrolyte.
Potassium regulates nerve signaling, muscle contraction, and fluid balance. As a result, it may play a role in lowering blood pressure, reducing water retention, and helping to prevent stroke.
Pea shoots contain about 10% of the DV. If you are an active person, you know the importance of potassium and magnesium for that matter in stopping leg cramps.
Our bodies use zinc daily to produce new cells, bone development, immune functions, and electrical signaling, digestion, and wound repair.
Pea shoots contain around11% of the DV of zinc.
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Pea Shoots Can Improve Your Overall Health
Simply adding a cup of pea shoots to your diet every day—whether on salads or in sandwiches, wraps, soups, egg dishes, or smoothies—will add a beautiful green splash and a sweet, crunchy flavor to your meals.
Making this simple change to your diet will provide you with a wealth of nutrients for the cost of only a few calories.
In addition, by introducing pea shoots into your daily diet, the benefits will include the effects of the cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory antioxidants as well as the rich levels of vitamin C, iron, folate, and other valuable vitamins and minerals.
You’ll be giving yourself the gift of noticeable, positive, and lifelong health benefits along with a delicious, wonderful flavor to your meals.
Pea Shoots are Nutritious & Easy to Grow!
Pea shoots are easy to grow and the best part is you can get several cuttings off of one planting!
To learn how, check out this article. It is one of many ways to grow and enjoy these wonderful microgreens!
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