Peas are one vegetable that I've always loved, even as a kid. I know, a kid who loves vegetables? Who would've thought? But, peas are actually not veggies, they're legumes.
But, peas are a great ingredient that you can easily add to recipes to get that extra serving of vital nutrients our bodies need a day. Our bodies are complex and require a bunch of different vitamins and other nutrients to keep us healthy. You may hear people talking about acidic and alkaline foods and how each affects the human body.
People will say that eating acidic foods isn't great for us, but many of the most common foods are acidic and still good for us.
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Are Peas Acidic?
Peas are acidic. You wouldn't immediately cut out peas from your diet solely because they're acidic, right? Even if you have acid reflux disease or suffer from heartburn, these tiny legumes may be acidic, but they're still great to incorporate into your meals. Depending on the type of peas you purchase, their pH will vary.
Here's a quick breakdown of peas and their pH:
- Cooked Peas - 6.2 to 6.8
- Canned Peas - 5.7 to 6.0
- Dried Split Green Peas - 6.45 to 6.8
- Dried Split Yellow Peas - 6.4 to 6.6
- Pureed Peas - 4.9 to 5.85
- Frozen Peas - 6.4 to 6.7
Can You Eat Peas With Acid Reflux Disease?
As with anything, how your body reacts to a particular food may be different than someone else. Since almost peas, regardless if they're canned or frozen, have an almost neutral pH, you shouldn't have any issues eating them with acid reflux disease.
If you have acid reflux and enjoy eating peas, just listen to your body and if you begin to experience any uncomfortable symptoms, stop eating them.
Are Peas Good for You?
Peas are a legume which inherently means they're good for you depending on how you prepare them. One of the best things about eating legumes is that they're generally low in calories, and you can eat more of them for fewer calories. This holds true with peas. A serving of peas is about half a cup and only has 62 calories.
While a lot of people get their protein from animal sources, if you're looking for more plant-based foods to add protein to your diet, peas are a great option. One serving of peas has roughly four grams of protein, which is four times as much as the same amount of carrots.
Keep in mind that if you're adding more peas to your diet as a protein source, they're not a complete protein source, and you'll need other foods to hit any protein goals you may have.
Peas also have four grams of fiber per serving. Fiber is excellent for keeping your digestive system working well, and it can help you feel fuller for longer. Besides protein and fiber, here are some other vitamins and minerals that peas are rich in:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
RELATED: Are Peas Actually a Fruit?!
Are Snow Peas, Garden Peas, and Snap Peas the Same?
Snow, garden, and snap peas are all peas from the same variety, but these are all different legumes. Garden peas are the peas you see in the canned and frozen aisles of your local grocery store. You may hear peas also called sweet or English peas. These peas need to be shelled before eating, which is why you rarely can purchase them in the pods. You can eat them raw or cook them.
Snow peas are what you may find in Chinese dishes. These legumes come from Asia, and farmers harvest them before the peas are fully developed. Unlike garden peas, you can eat the entire pod if you like, but you can eat them raw or cooked like garden peas.
What happens with you combine snow peas and garden peas? Snap peas! Snap peas are a combination of the two but resemble snow peas more. You can eat the entire pod whether they're raw or cooked.
Where Did Peas Originate?
Even though garden peas are sometimes called English peas, these legumes didn't originate in England. It's said that the common garden peas we all know today came from Central Asia and Ethiopia.
One of the reasons for believing that peas originated in this area of the world is because of where the oldest pea was found. The oldest pea ever found was about 3,000 years old. This 3,000-year-old pea was found on the border of Thailand and Burma.
Delicious Ways to Eat More Peas
If you're racking your brain trying to figure out how to add more peas to your weekly meal rotation, look no further. There are many other ways to eat peas than just as a simple side dish to a meal.
One of my favorite ways to add peas to a meal is to make delicious pasta. I prefer to make a pasta dish with a white or cream sauce when adding peas, but you can still add them to the dish if you prefer a red sauce. Peas go great in an alfredo sauce, ricotta sauce, and even a lemon and butter sauce. The peas give an added boost of protein to your pasta dish and give it a unique flavor.
When you're in charge of bringing a dish to the barbeque or potluck, you need to try this pea and bacon salad. This dish is basically a pasta salad, but instead of pasta, you use peas. You'll combine peas, bacon, cheese, seasonings, onion, and a ranch dressing into a bowl and mix.
You can make changes as your taste buds see fit, but this is a different dish that will be a crowd-pleaser. Plus, it's relatively healthier than a traditional pasta salad.
Try this instead if you need a super easy side dish to your meal instead of just heating up peas. Peas and pesto go together so well, and it's insanely easy to make. You can use store-bought pesto or make your own. All you have to do is combine pesto and peas, heat, and serve. Adding a dash of parmesan cheese to the top isn't a bad idea either.