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Pea, Pisum sativum / Leguminosae (Fabaceae)
Benefits for the health
Peas have almost the same proteins as eggs. The proteins of peas (and the proteins of legumes) are an excellent source of the amino acid lysin, that balances the deficiency of this amino acid in cereals. However, the volume of the amino acids methionine and cystein, occurring in large amounts in the cereals’ proteins, is quite moderate.

A combination of peas and cereal-based food could provide proteins of better quality than if they are consumed isolated. Peas contain pro-vitamin A carotenoids although they are particularly rich in the non pro-vitamin A carotenoid lutein. Lutein occurs in a specific region of the eye (the macular), so it may protect against degenerative processes of ageing in this organ. Lutein is also an efficient antioxidant. As many other green vegetables, peas are an excellent source of folate. Traditionally, folate has a relation with the normal development of cells, although some other functions have been given to it recently. It has been recently stated that a higher consumption of folate is important for a healthy pregnancy, and at the same time it protects against cardiovascular diseases and cancer, specially colon and uterus cancer.

Fresh peas are a good source of vitamin C, as opposed to dried peas. Dried or fresh, peas are also a good source of iron and potassium. The iron occurring in peas (as in other vegetables) is better absorbed by the organism if it is eaten along with other fruit rich in vitamin C. Zinc is found in peas and, along with iron, they help to maintain the health of the immunological system.
Popular tradition
What makes peas so beneficial for our health is their proportion of magnesium and nucleic acids, as well as their rich content in fibre. Nucleic acids are the best natural rejuvenators, since our own cells need them. The nucleotides are the components of these acids and they can only be caught by magnesium, that occurs in high concentrations in peas. This combination makes of peas an ideal food for all type of people.

Germinated peas are rich in vitamin C. Their high content in fibre have a detoxifying action, it diminishes cholesterolaemia and lipaemia, and relieves constipation. Up to the Middles Ages, peas were consumed to get rid of bad spirits and, at present, they are a remedy for sterility.

It is recommended to eat peas in fresh state, since they are highly digestive and they clean the intestines. When dried, they must be eaten in moderation.

Some other benefits of the consumption of peas: they have an anabolitic action (muscular growth); they revitalize, since they increase the proteinic conditions; they fortify the nerves and they improve the mood; they activate the cellular metabolism; they strengthen the hair and the connective tissues; they improve sight and they relieve constipation.
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