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Dried peas
Dried peas

When fresh peas are not available or when you want to enjoy a starchier, hardier flavored legume, dried peas are the perfect choice; they are available any time of the year.

Although they belong to the same family as beans and lentils, they are usually distinguished as a separate group because of the ways in which they are prepared. The different types of peas are all spherical, a feature that also sets them apart from beans and lentils. Dried peas are produced by harvesting the peapods when they are fully mature and then drying them. Once they are dried and the skins removed, they split naturally.

Dried Peas, split, cooked
1.00 cup
(196.00 grams)
Calories: 231
GI: low

NutrientDRI/DV


 fiber65%


 copper39%

 protein33%

 folate32%






This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Dried peas provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Dried peas can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Dried peas, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

Health Benefits

Dried peas, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only can dried peas help lower cholesterol, they are also of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.

Fiber is far from all that dried peas have to offer. Dried peas also provide good to excellent amounts of five important minerals, three B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. As if this weren't enough, dried peas also feature isoflavones (notably daidzein). Isoflavones are phytonutrients that can act like weak estrogens in the body and whose dietary consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of certain health conditions, including breast and prostate cancer.

Dried Peas are Packed with Fiber

Check a chart of the fiber content in foods and you'll see legumes leading the pack. Dried peas, like other legumes, are rich in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that binds bile (which contains cholesterol) and carries it out of the body. Research studies have shown that insoluble fiber not only helps to increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, but also helps prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. According to our rating system, dried peas are a very good source of dietary fiber.

Dried Peas Provide Energy to Burn While Stabilizing Blood Sugar

In addition to its beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels. If you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, legumes like dried peas can really help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Studies of high fiber diets and blood sugar levels have shown the dramatic benefits provided by these high fiber foods. Researchers compared two groups of people with type 2 diabetes who were fed different amounts of high fiber foods. One group ate the standard American Diabetic diet, which contains 24 grams of fiber/day, while the other group ate a diet containing 50 grams of fiber/day. Those who ate the diet higher in fiber had lower levels of both plasma glucose (blood sugar) and insulin (the hormone that helps blood sugar get into cells). The high fiber group also reduced their total cholesterol by nearly 7%, their triglyceride levels by 10.2% and their VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein--the most dangerous form of cholesterol) by 12.5%.

Take Dried Peas to Heart

In a study that examined food intake patterns and risk of death from coronary heart disease, researchers followed more than 16,000 middle-aged men in the U.S., Finland, The Netherlands, Italy, former Yugoslavia, Greece and Japan for 25 years. Typical food patterns were: higher consumption of dairy products in Northern Europe; higher consumption of meat in the U.S.; higher consumption of vegetables, legumes, fish, and wine in Southern Europe; and higher consumption of cereals, soy products, and fish in Japan. When researchers analyzed this data in relation to the risk of death from heart disease, they found that legumes were associated with an 82% reduction in risk!

In addition to their stellar fiber content, dried peas also feature other heart healthy nutrients. They are a good source of potassium, which may decrease the growth and development of blood vessel plaques and is also good for lowering high blood pressure.

Sensitive to Sulfites? Dried Peas May Help

Dried peas are an excellent source of the trace mineral, molybdenum, an integral component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulfites. Sulfites are a type of preservative commonly added to prepared foods like delicatessen salads and salad bars. Persons who are sensitive to sulfites in these foods may experience rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation if sulfites are unwittingly consumed. If you have ever reacted to sulfites, it may be because your molybdenum stores are insufficient to detoxify them. A cup of cooked dried peas provides 196.0% of the daily value for molybdenum.

Description

When fresh peas are not available or when you want to enjoy a starchier, hardier flavored legume, dried peas are perfect. They are available either whole or split, the latter being appropriately called "split peas." While we generally associate dried peas with a deep green color, they are also available in a yellow color, which offers a more delicate flavor and is the type generally preferred in northern European countries. Dried peas are produced by harvesting the peapods when they are fully mature and then drying them. Peas are known scientifically as Pisum sativum.

History

The modern-day garden pea, from which dried peas are made, is thought to have originated from the field pea that was native to central Asia and Europe. Dried peas have been consumed since prehistoric times with fossilized remains being found at archeological sites in Swiss lake villages. Peas are mentioned in the Bible and were prized by the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome.

For millennia, dried peas were the main way that people consumed this legume. It was not until the 16th century when cultivation techniques created more tender varieties of garden peas that people began to consume peas in their fresh state as opposed to just eating dried peas. It seems that the Chinese, a culture that had consumed this legume as far back as 2,000 BC, were the first ones to consume both the seeds and the pods as a vegetable. Peas were introduced into United States soon after the colonists first settled in this country.

In the 19th century during the early developments of the study of genetics, peas played an important role. The monk and botanist, Gregor Mendel used peas in his plant breeding experiments.

Today the largest commercial producers of dried peas are Russia, France, China and Denmark.

How to Select and Store

Dried peas are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. They are available as whole peas or split peas. Regardless of packaging, check the peas as best as possible to ensure that they are not cracked and that they are free of debris. Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the dried peas are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure its maximal freshness.

Dried peas will keep for several months if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. If you need to store them for longer, you can keep them in the refrigerator.

Tips for Preparing and Cooking

Tips for Preparing Dried Peas

Before preparing dried peas, whether whole or split, inspect and remove any debris or dirt. Whole peas need to be soaked in cold water for at least eight hours before cooking, while split peas do not need this extra preparation. To prepare peas, place the legumes in a saucepan using three cups of fresh water for each cup of peas. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover. Whole peas generally take about an hour to become tender while split peas only take about 30 minutes. Foam may form during the first 15 minutes of cooking, which can simply be skimmed off.

How to Enjoy

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
  • Use split peas to make dahl, the classic Indian dish.
  • Split pea soup, whether homemade or from a container, is a delicious way to enjoy this nutritious legume.
  • Purée cooked peas with your favorite herbs and spices and serve as a side dish.
  • Add whole peas to vegetable soups.

For some of our favorite recipes, click Recipes.

Nutritional Profile

Dried peas are an excellent source of molybdenum. They are also a very good source of dietary fiber and a good source of manganese, copper, protein, folate, vitamin B1, phosphorus, vitamin B5 and potassium.

Introduction to Food Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food's in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients - not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good - please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food's nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling." Read more background information and details of our rating system.

Dried Peas, split, cooked
1.00 cup
196.00 grams
Calories: 231
GI: low
NutrientAmountDRI/DV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
molybdenum147.00 mcg32725.4excellent
fiber16.27 g655.1very good
manganese0.78 mg393.0good
copper0.35 mg393.0good
protein16.35 g332.5good
folate127.40 mcg322.5good
vitamin B10.37 mg312.4good
phosphorus194.04 mg282.2good
pantothenic acid1.17 mg231.8good
potassium709.52 mg201.6good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
Rule
excellent DRI/DV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DRI/DV>=10%
very good DRI/DV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DRI/DV>=5%
good DRI/DV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DRI/DV>=2.5%

In-Depth Nutritional Profile

In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, here is an in-depth nutritional profile for Dried peas. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Dried Peas, split, cooked
(Note: "--" indicates data unavailable)
1.00 cup
(196.00 g)
GI: low
BASIC MACRONUTRIENTS AND CALORIES
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Protein16.35 g33
Carbohydrates41.36 g18
Fat - total0.76 g--
Dietary Fiber16.27 g65
Calories231.2813
MACRONUTRIENT AND CALORIE DETAIL
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Carbohydrate:
Starch-- g
Total Sugars5.68 g
Monosaccharides-- g
Fructose-- g
Glucose-- g
Galactose-- g
Disaccharides-- g
Lactose-- g
Maltose-- g
Sucrose-- g
Soluble Fiber5.04 g
Insoluble Fiber11.23 g
Other Carbohydrates19.40 g
Fat:
Monounsaturated Fat0.16 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.32 g
Saturated Fat0.11 g
Trans Fat0.00 g
Calories from Fat6.88
Calories from Saturated Fat0.95
Calories from Trans Fat0.00
Cholesterol0.00 mg
Water136.20 g
MICRONUTRIENTS
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Vitamins
Water-Soluble Vitamins
B-Complex Vitamins
Vitamin B10.37 mg31
Vitamin B20.11 mg8
Vitamin B31.74 mg11
Vitamin B3 (Niacin Equivalents)4.78 mg
Vitamin B60.09 mg5
Vitamin B120.00 mcg0
Biotin-- mcg--
Choline64.29 mg15
Folate127.40 mcg32
Folate (DFE)127.40 mcg
Folate (food)127.40 mcg
Pantothenic Acid1.17 mg23
Vitamin C0.78 mg1
Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin A (Retinoids and Carotenoids)
Vitamin A International Units (IU)13.72 IU
Vitamin A mcg Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE)0.69 mcg (RAE)0
Vitamin A mcg Retinol Equivalents (RE)1.37 mcg (RE)
Retinol mcg Retinol Equivalents (RE)0.00 mcg (RE)
Carotenoid mcg Retinol Equivalents (RE)1.37 mcg (RE)
Alpha-Carotene0.00 mcg
Beta-Carotene7.84 mcg
Beta-Carotene Equivalents7.84 mcg
Cryptoxanthin0.00 mcg
Lutein and Zeaxanthin0.00 mcg
Lycopene0.00 mcg
Vitamin D
Vitamin D International Units (IU)0.00 IU0
Vitamin D mcg0.00 mcg
Vitamin E
Vitamin E mg Alpha-Tocopherol Equivalents (ATE)0.06 mg (ATE)0
Vitamin E International Units (IU)0.09 IU
Vitamin E mg0.06 mg
Vitamin K9.80 mcg11
Minerals
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Boron-- mcg
Calcium27.44 mg3
Chloride-- mg
Chromium-- mcg--
Copper0.35 mg39
Fluoride-- mg--
Iodine-- mcg--
Iron2.53 mg14
Magnesium70.56 mg18
Manganese0.78 mg39
Molybdenum147.00 mcg327
Phosphorus194.04 mg28
Potassium709.52 mg20
Selenium1.18 mcg2
Sodium3.92 mg0
Zinc1.96 mg18
INDIVIDUAL FATTY ACIDS
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids0.05 g2
Omega-6 Fatty Acids0.27 g
Monounsaturated Fats
14:1 Myristoleic-- g
15:1 Pentadecenoic-- g
16:1 Palmitol-- g
17:1 Heptadecenoic-- g
18:1 Oleic0.15 g
20:1 Eicosenoic0.01 g
22:1 Erucic-- g
24:1 Nervonic-- g
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
18:2 Linoleic0.27 g
18:2 Conjugated Linoleic (CLA)-- g
18:3 Linolenic0.05 g
18:4 Stearidonic0.00 g
20:3 Eicosatrienoic0.00 g
20:4 Arachidonic0.00 g
20:5 Eicosapentaenoic (EPA)0.00 g
22:5 Docosapentaenoic (DPA)0.00 g
22:6 Docosahexaenoic (DHA)0.00 g
Saturated Fatty Acids
4:0 Butyric0.00 g
6:0 Caproic0.00 g
8:0 Caprylic0.00 g
10:0 Capric0.00 g
12:0 Lauric0.00 g
14:0 Myristic0.00 g
15:0 Pentadecanoic0.00 g
16:0 Palmitic0.08 g
17:0 Margaric0.00 g
18:0 Stearic0.02 g
20:0 Arachidic0.00 g
22:0 Behenate0.00 g
24:0 Lignoceric0.00 g
INDIVIDUAL AMINO ACIDS
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Alanine0.72 g
Arginine1.46 g
Aspartic Acid1.93 g
Cysteine0.25 g
Glutamic Acid2.79 g
Glycine0.73 g
Histidine0.40 g
Isoleucine0.67 g
Leucine1.17 g
Lysine1.18 g
Methionine0.17 g
Phenylalanine0.75 g
Proline0.67 g
Serine0.72 g
Threonine0.58 g
Tryptophan0.18 g
Tyrosine0.47 g
Valine0.77 g
OTHER COMPONENTS
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Ash1.33 g
Organic Acids (Total)-- g
Acetic Acid-- g
Citric Acid-- g
Lactic Acid-- g
Malic Acid-- g
Taurine-- g
Sugar Alcohols (Total)-- g
Glycerol-- g
Inositol-- g
Mannitol-- g
Sorbitol-- g
Xylitol-- g
Artificial Sweeteners (Total)-- mg
Aspartame-- mg
Saccharin-- mg
Alcohol0.00 g
Caffeine0.00 mg

Note:

The nutrient profiles provided in this website are derived from The Food Processor, Version 10.12.0, ESHA Research, Salem, Oregon, USA. Among the 50,000+ food items in the master database and 163 nutritional components per item, specific nutrient values were frequently missing from any particular food item. We chose the designation "--" to represent those nutrients for which no value was included in this version of the database.

References

  • Ensminger AH, Ensminger, ME, Kondale JE, Robson JRK. Foods & Nutriton Encyclopedia. Pegus Press, Clovis, California. 1983.
  • Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986. 1986. PMID:15210.
  • Fortin, Francois, Editorial Director. The Visual Foods Encyclopedia. Macmillan, New York. 1996.
  • Touyz RM. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Mol Aspects Med 2003 Feb 6;24(1-3):107-36. 2003.
  • Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.

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