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Food of the month - Sugarsnap Peas

January 2016

SNAP TO IT FOR THE NEW YEAR!

January is the time of New Year resolutions, a month when many of us decide to eat more healthily, to try and reduce our alcohol intake and often to start a new fitness campaign after the excesses of Christmas celebrations.

But a new healthier regime doesn't have to be all about uninteresting salads- there are lots of foods out there that are surprisingly good for us and nice to eat as well.

Sugarsnap peas, for example, are often ignored in special diets, but in fact they are a great way to add colour and flavour to food and also bring good nutrition into your meal plans.

Previous Health Foods of the Month...

Turkey

Brussels Sprouts

Duck


 

Diet & Supplements Index

Waitrose Recipes

These peas are not a natural plant, but come from Idaho in America after Chinese snow peas were crossed with a mutant shell pea plant. Interesting they are botanically a fruit as they contain seeds and develop from the ovary, but here in the UK we usually use them as a vegetable.

Sugarsnaps, like other peas, are pod fruits, but with sugar snap peas the pod is less fibrous and edible when young. They do not have a membrane and the pods do not open when they are ripe. Sometimes people become confused between sugarsnap peas and mangetout; and technically the name mangetout can cover sugarsnap peas as well; although here in the UK they usually refer to the very flat pods while sugarsnaps are more rounded and often contain three to eight small peas.

One of the health benefits of sugarsnap peas is their high level of vitamin C. Sugarsnap peas contain around 60 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 gram serving, a useful amount to help with all the benefits this vitamin brings, including boosting immunity levels, helping wound healing and aiding the production of collagen.

Sugarsnaps also contain vitamin A, that essential antioxidant vitamin which helps to keep connective strong and helps eyesight among its benefits. The peas also contain moderate amount of multiple B vitamins including pantothenic acid and thiamine.

They even contain 25 micrograms of vitamin K in a 100 gram serving; an essential vitamin known for its ability to promote blood clotting.

But there is more in these simple looking peas, sugarsnaps contain useful levels of both iron and manganese minerals; for instance a 100 gram serving offers 26 per cent of the daily recommended value of iron.

Plus sugarsnaps offer useful levels of fibre.

All round these innocuous little green pods can actually be a fabulous addition to any diet and can be eaten raw as a snack which gives them even greater appeal to those of us who feel we need to cut down after rather overdoing the Christmas eating!!

 


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