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Split Peas: The Nutrient-Rich Legume

Split peas are a type of processed peas where the seed is cut in half, peeled and dried. It is the same as green peas. Only the processing of this type makes the ingredient unique. Both split peas and green peas belong to the same Pisum Sativum plant. Split peas come in green and yellow varieties, both of which are rich in nutrients. 

It has a high protein and low-fat content, making them an excellent ingredient for healthy meals. Split peas also offer some unique health benefits. People who consume split peas can benefit a lot from this ingredient. 

For ages, split pea has been a staple ingredient in many dishes across the globe. Today, split peas are emerging as a healthy ingredient with high nutrient content. One can use split peas to make a wide variety of healthy dishes. It allows people to experiment with the legume and create dishes that would suit their specific diets.

Split Peas Nutrition Content

Split peas, like other legumes, provide a variety of nutrients:

As per USDA, 100g of split peas have the following nutrient profile:

Energy: 118 kcalProtein: 8.34 gTotal lipid (fat): 0.39 gCarbohydrate: 21.1 gFibre: 8.3 g

Additionally, the vitamin and mineral content of 100 g of split peas as per USDA is:

Vitamin A, IU: 7 IUVitamin K (phylloquinone): 5 µgCholine, total: 32.8 mgCalcium, Ca: 14 mgIron, Fe: 1.29 mgMagnesium, Mg: 36 mgPhosphorus, P: 99 mgPotassium, K: 362 mg

The HealthifyMe Note

Split peas are fibrous and nutrient-rich legumes which can be pretty healthy for people. The nutrient profile of split peas is quite impressive since it contains a lot of good vitamins and minerals as well. Split peas also have low zinc, manganese, and sodium concentrations, which are beneficial for health.

Top Health Benefits of Split Peas

Let’s take a look at all of the health benefits that come with eating split peas:

Lowers Blood Pressure

Research shows that split beans benefit hypertension and high blood pressure patients. Split peas contain potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure. Due to their potassium-rich nutritional composition, beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils help lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, and promote overall heart health.

Hypertension, often known as high blood pressure, contributes to the development of heart disease. Split peans also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that contributes to creating serotonin, which regulates sleep and improves mood. Furthermore, split peas are beneficial for your heart because they help prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering plaque buildup in your blood vessels.

Regulates Cholesterol Levels

Countless studies prove that legumes, especially split peas, are excellent ingredients for regulating blood cholesterol levels. 

Split peas are high in soluble fibre. Fibre can aid in the reduction of blood cholesterol levels. A cup of split peas in your everyday diet can provide up to 65% of your daily fibre requirements. Split pea fibre forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. As a result, it binds to and excretes cholesterol-containing bile from the body.

Improves Digestion and Cures Constipation

Studies show split peas have high soluble fibre content, improving gastrointestinal health. Fibre helps with the easy digestion of food and the regular passage of stool. In addition, the fibre in the legume split peas can help people suffering from constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. 

Fibre also helps feed beneficial gut bacteria, keeping them healthy and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria. As a result, it helps regulate inflammation, which medical professionals associate with gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

Split Peas Lowers Cancer Risks

A new and highly acclaimed study has proved that consuming split peas can help in reducing cancer risks. Due to its high fibre content and rich nutrient properties, the legume can prevent rectal and colon cancer risks. Therefore, daily or even periodical intake of split peas can significantly lower cancer risks and help people combat this life-threatening disease.

Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant

Split peas have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the body. Therefore, consuming split peas can significantly benefit the body in case of diseases like diabetes, fatty liver, inflammatory bowel syndrome, obesity, etc.

Regulates Blood Sugar

The high fibre content of split peas helps control blood sugar levels while lowering cholesterol. Moreover, the soluble fibre in this low glycemic food inhibits carbohydrate absorption, allowing glucose to be delivered slowly and evenly, preventing a blood sugar increase. It does, however, provide a sufficient and steady supply of energy. 

Split peas can be a lifesaver for people suffering from diabetes and blood sugar problems. Split peas have a low glycemic index (GI) which makes them perfect for consumption by people with diabetes. Additionally, studies show that split peas’ protein content also helps regulate blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients. 

Split Peas Improves Bone Health

Split peas contain a good amount of calcium necessary for maintaining bone health. Therefore, split peas are a must in the diet of growing teens and toddlers. They can develop strong bones by deriving calcium from the legume. People who have osteoporosis must consume split peas regularly as a part of their calcium supplement diet.

The numerous nutrients and trace minerals in split peas are crucial for bone health and strength. For example, magnesium promotes bone health by avoiding osteoporosis and increasing bone density. Potassium, on the other hand, lowers calcium loss and neutralises acidity in the bones, resulting in better bone mineral density. In one study, postmenopausal women and older men who consumed more potassium had increased bone mineral density.

A recent study has shown that women with polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS can significantly improve their cardio and metabolic health by including split peas in their diet. In addition, the study shows that having a diet containing pulse and legumes, especially split peas, can help lower the risks of many diseases related to PCOS.

Gluten-Free Option For People With Celiac Disease

Celiac disease hinders people from indulging in many kinds of food because most contain gluten. Since legumes are gluten-free, people with Celiac disease can consume split peas. They can make split peas their primary source of protein and carbohydrates.

The HealthifyMe Note

Split peas contain a wealth of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. Split peas have a high nutritional content, making them a superior legume to others. The high protein and carbohydrate content aids in the maintenance of a healthy body. Split peas, in particular, have several advantages over other legumes.

Easy Split Peas Recipes to Try at Home

Since split peas are a versatile ingredient to work with, you can incorporate them into many dishes like soups, salads, curries, dal, cutlets, and so on. Below are a few exciting split peas recipes that can make your meal even more delicious.

Vegetarian Split Pea Comfort Soup

Split pea soup is a popular dish featured in several cookbooks across the globe. Everyone can enjoy this vegetarian version. It is ideal for chilly winter evenings and nights when a warm bowl of healthy and filling soup is required.

Prep: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 1½ hours

Serving Size: 7 servings

Ingredients

Vegetable broth: 1.5 lDried green split peas, rinsed: 400 gOnion: 1 (chopped)Carrots: 3 (chopped)Celery ribs with leaves: 2 (chopped)Garlic cloves: 2 (minced)Dried basil: 15 gGround cumin: 10gSalt: As per tastePepper: As per taste

Steps to Make Vegetarian Split Peas Soup

Take a large and deep utensil and put it on the stove. Add the vegetable broth and stir for some time.After heating the vegetable broth, add split peas, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, fried basil, and cumin into the utensil. Bring the mix to a boil.Reduce the heat once the broth starts boiling. Cover and simmer the mixture until all the split peas are soft. Keep it this way for an hour.Add salt and pepper to your taste and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the mix and let it cool for some time. Then, you can blend it in a blender to make it smoother and heat it again on the stove.Your soup is ready to serve now.

Potato Stir-Fry With Split Peas

Who doesn’t love a good stir-fry with healthy ingredients? The potato stir-fry with split peas is the perfect combination of healthy and tasty snacks or meals.

Preparation time: 5 mins 

Cooking time: 30 mins

Serving Size: 1 serving

Ingredients

Vegetable broth (or water): 500 mlDry split peas: 200 gChilli infused or plain olive oil: 2 tbspShallots: 2 (minced)Baby potatoes: 5-6 (halved)Crushed red pepper: 2-3 gSalt: As per tastePepper: As per tasteRosemary: 2 g (minced)Arugula: 4-5 leavesTake a pan and boil the vegetable broth or water. Add split peas when the water or broth is boiling. Simmer the peas till they soften slightly.Take a pan and heat the oil to fry the shallots. Cook the shallots for 5 minutes.Now add the potatoes into the shallots. Stir fry these ingredients along with salt and pepper.Continue cooking the potatoes and add the split peas. Cook for 20-25 minutes and take it off the stove. Sprinkle the Rosemary and arugula on the mix to complete the salad.

Precautions and Things to Keep in Mind:

Allergies

Split peas can be an excellent product for consumption. However, not everyone can consume split peas due to allergies. For example, people allergic to legumes and pulses cannot eat split peas as it might harm their bodies. Sometimes, people may develop a particular allergy to split peas only. In this case, too, they must avoid consuming the product at all costs. Since split peas do not have gluten, people with gluten allergies can safely consume them, provided they are not allergic to legumes and split peas. 

Bloating

Some foods, particularly pulses, might cause the body’s average gas production to rise. For example, beans and lentils are high in oligosaccharides, a type of sugar that the body can’t digest because it lacks the enzyme needed to break them down in the small intestine. Excessive split peas can also cause gas buildup in the stomach, so avoiding excessive consumption is better.

Summary

Split peas are a popular name among legumes. In addition, their incredible health benefits place them at the top of healthy cooking ingredients. Split peas, when added to one’s diet, can help relieve diseases and reduce the risks of developing others in the long run.

People who want to follow a strictly gluten-free and vegan diet should be looking at this product since it’s the ultimate source of protein, carbohydrates, and fibre. The nutritional value will help the body to become fit and energetic. In addition, people suffering from diabetes and heart problems can eat split peas to reduce all symptoms and side effects of the disease.

Although eating too many split peas can cause gastric problems, they are not that harmful, and one can quickly rectify them by taking regulated servings of the ingredient. Furthermore, people can cook this product in multiple ways to suit their dietary needs and avail all of its unique benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Are split peas good for you?

A. Split pea is an excellent legume rich in protein and carbohydrates. These nutrients help replenish the body and maintain its healthy state. They are also gluten-free and vegan, which means almost everyone can eat them.  

Q. Which is healthier: split peas or lentils?

A. Split peas and lentils contain more or less similar quantities of nutrients and health benefits. However, lentils have a slightly higher concentration of fibre and protein than split peas.

Q. Are split peas inflammatory?

A. Split peas do have some anti-inflammatory properties. This anti-inflammatory property of split peas makes it a perfect product to combat obesity, diabetes, stomach problems, etc.

Q. Are split peas a carb or protein?

A. Split peas contain both carbs and proteins. However, the quantity of carbohydrates in split peas is much more than their protein content. According to USDA, 100g of split peas contain around 8g of protein and 21g of carbohydrates.

Q. Do split peas cause gas?

A. While green peas do not cause many problems, dried peas which are split peas, have these side effects. Too many split peas can cause gas buildup in the stomach and cause discomfort. However, taking split peas in regulated quantities can help avoid gastric problems.

Q. Is split pea soup good for your liver?

A. Split peas are a low-fat legume high in fibre, three B vitamins, and protein. All of this is beneficial to liver health. You can also add other vegetables to the split pea soup-like celery, carrots, etc., to make it healthier.

Q. Which is better: green or yellow split peas?

A. Green and yellow split peas are more or less equally beneficial for the body. Also, they contain similar amounts of nutrients and help improve body health. The only difference is that green split peas are slightly sweeter than yellow split peas.

Q. Are split peas high in iron?

A. Split peas do contain some iron traces in their nutrients. However, it does not have very high amounts of iron compared to many other vegan and gluten-free products.

Q. Do split peas contain lectins?

A. Split peas do contain some traces of lectin. However, the lectin in split peas is significantly lower than in other legumes and almost negligible amounts. Therefore, people who consume split peas daily need not be wary about any possible effects of this lectin content.

Q. Are split peas good for digestion?

A. Split peas contain high amounts of soluble fibre. Fibre, as we all know, helps in digestion and increases metabolism. Therefore, eating split peas in a small quantity regularly as a meal can help improve one’s digestive powers.

Q. Are split peas keto?

A. Split pea is not at all keto-friendly. Split peas contain high amounts of carbohydrates, a strict no for keto diets. Therefore people who follow keto cannot consume split peas in their meals.

Q. Can split peas lower blood pressure?

A. Split peas can significantly improve heart health and lower blood pressure levels. Legumes like split peas prevent the rise of cholesterol levels, which can affect the heart and cause fluctuations in blood pressure.

Q. Do split peas lower cholesterol?

A. Recent studies have found that split peas have the power to lower cholesterol levels. In addition, people who have included split peas in their regular diet have seen a considerable improvement in their blood cholesterol and sugar levels.

Q. Is split pea soup good for IBS?

A. Split peas can provide relief from IBS. The high fibre content helps in the easy digestion of food and passage of stool. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with symptoms of IBS.

Q. Are split peas good for diabetes?

A. Split peas have a low glycemic index which is ideal for people with diabetes. In addition, the high protein content is also beneficial in treating diabetes as studies have found protein-rich diets helpful for them.

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