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6 Health Benefits of Pea Shoots

Last updated on August 2, 2012

pea shootsPea shoots are the young leaves of the pea plant, harvested as microgreens at just a few weeks of growth. Any variety of pea can be used for growing pea shoots. They taste like peas and are great tossed in salads, in sandwiches, or cooked by themselves or with other greens in stir fries.

Though the research in regards to pea shoots remains low compared to that of the green pea itself, they provide exceptional nutritional value.

Here are 6 health benefits of pea shoots:

Cancer Prevention
Pea shoots are a great source of three chemoprotective agents: folate, antioxidants and carotene. Folate helps produce and maintain cells and protects against DNA damage.

Antioxidants help the body fight free radical damage, commonly associated with high cancer risk. Carotenes help inhibit antioxidant activity and are commonly associated with increased cancer prevention.

High In Antioxidants
One cup of pea shoots provides about 35% the daily value of vitamin C and 15% the DV of vitamin A. In comparison, this is seven times as much vitamin C as blueberries and four times as much vitamin A as tomatoes. They are also an excellent source of vitamin K, providing 66% the DV from a one cup serving.

Pea shoots are dense with the antioxidants and phytonutrients needed to support the body’s complex inflammation system.

While many studies point to the many benefits green peas can have for people suffering from diabetes, there is less research to conclude that pea shoots provide as much protection. However, pea shoots contain many of the nutrients that can help keep blood sugar levels low as well as great antioxidant support, which is considered essential in supporting people with type two diabetes and lowering the risk of developing diabetes.

Heart Health
Though large-scale research on the relationship between pea shoots and cardiovascular health remains unavailable, the support these leaf greens provide the inflammation system and immune system of the body, as well as the high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients they offer indicate that pea shoots may lend a wide range of cardiovascular benefits. Inflammation and antioxidants alone help protect against heart disease.

Weight Loss
Pea shoots have an outstanding nutrient to calorie ratio and offer a good amount of dietary fiber, which helps control body weight and regulate the metabolism. Though they may not directly induce weight loss, they remain a great addition to an effective weight loss program.

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