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Green peas nutrition facts

Starchy, and sweet green peas or garden peas are one of the ancient cultivated vegetables grown for their succulent nutritious green-pods. Peas are probably originated in the sub-Himalayan plains of north-west India. Now, this versatile legume is one of the major commercial crops grown all over the temperate and semi-tropical regions. Botanically, pea plant is an herbaceous vine. It belongs to the family of Fabaceae of the genus, Pisum. Scientific name: Pisum sativum. Some of the common names include english peas, sweet peas, garden peas, pease,...etc. Pea is a quick growing, an annual herbaceous vine that requires the trellis to support growth. It flourishes well in well-drained, sandy soil supplemented with adequate moisture and cool weather conditions. Short stalked green pods appear during late winter or spring. The pods measure about 2-3 inches long, swollen or compressed, straight or slightly curved, filled with single row of 2-10 lightgreen colored, smooth edible seeds. In general, the pods harvested while they are just short of reaching maturity, at the point when their seeds are green, soft, sweet and edible as raw. Allowing the pods to mature further would make the seeds less sugary and turn color to light-green to yellow. Pea tendrils are also edible. They are delicate, tender top shoots of young pea plants, featuring flavor akin to peas. The tendrils and leafy-shoots are favored in cooking as well in salads. Snow peas or sugar snap peas are different species of peas where the whole immature green pods are eaten.

Health benefits of green peas

Green peas are one of the most nutritious leguminous vegetables, rich in health benefiting phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. Peas are relatively low in calories on comparison with beans, and cowpeas. 100 g of green peas provide only 81 calories, and no cholesterol. Nonetheless, the legumes are a good source of proteins, and soluble as well as insoluble fiber. Fresh pea pods are excellent source of folic acid. 100 g provides 65 g or 16% of recommended daily levels of folates. Folates are B-complex vitamins required for DNA synthesis inside the cell. Well established research studies suggest that adequate folate rich foods in expectant mothers would help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies. Fresh green peas are very good in ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Contain 40 mg/100 g or 67% of daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful natural water-soluble anti-oxidant. Vegetables rich in this vitamin helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body. Peas contain phytosterols especially -sitosterol. Studies suggest that vegetables like legumes, fruits and cereals rich in plant sterols help lower cholesterol levels in the body. Garden peas are also good in vitamin K. 100 g of fresh leaves contains about 24.8 g or about 21% of daily requirement of vitamin K-1 (phylloquinone). Vitamin K has found to have a potential role in bone mass building function by promoting osteo-trophic activity in the bone. It also has established role in Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain. Fresh green peas also contain adequate amounts of anti-oxidants flavonoids such as carotenes, lutein and zea-xanthin as well as vitamin-A (provide 765 IU or 25.5% of RDA per 100 g). Vitamin A is an essential nutrient required for maintaining health of mucus

membranes, skin and eye-sight. Further, consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. In addition to folates, peas are also good in many other essential B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. Furthermore, they are rich source of many minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese.

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients: Green peas (Pisum sativum), fresh, raw, Nutrition value per 100 g (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base) Nutrient Value
81 Kcal


Percentage of RDA



14.45 g



5.42 g


Total Fat

0.40 g



0 mg


Dietary Fiber

5.1 g


Folates 65 g 16%


2.090 mg


Pantothenic acid

0.104 mg



0.169 mg



0.132 mg



0.266 mg


Vitamin A

765 IU


Vitamin C

40 mg


Vitamin E

0.13 mg


Vitamin K

24.8 g


Sodium 5 mg <1%


244 mg


Calcium 25 mg 2.5%


0.176 mg



1.47 mg



33 mg



0.410 mg



1.8 g



1.24 mg


Carotene- 449 g --


0 g



2477 g


Selection and storage

Fresh green peas in a market.

Green peas are winter crops. Fresh peas are readily sold from December until April in the market. However, dry, mature seeds, and split peas, flour...etc., are made available in the markets all around the year. While shopping for green peas look for fresh pods that are full, heavy in hands and brimming with seeds. Avoid those with wrinkled surface or over-matured, yellow colored pods. Green-peas are at their best soon after their harvest since much of sugar content in the seeds rapidly converts to starch. If you have to store at all, place them in the vegetable compartment inside the home refrigerator, set with high relative humidity where they keep fresh for 2-3 days. Frozen seeds can be used for several months.

Preparation and serving methods

Trim away the stalk and thin fiber along the suture line. Split open the outer coat to release round to oval, green seeds. Here are some serving tips:

Peas mix well with other complementing vegetables like potato, carrot, beets, onion, artichokes,etc in the preparation of a wide variety of dishes. Pea soup is a flavorful side-dish. Green peas are one of the common ingredients in winter season dishes in Indian-subcontinent. Fresh peas are added to variety of mouth-watering recipes like Aaloo- mutter, mutter-paneer, mutter-gajjar...etc with added spices, garlic, coriander leaves, onions, and tomato.