There are many ways to stay healthy. Whether it be regular exercise, quality sleep, or a balanced diet, it's crucial to maintain your health.
However, having a healthy lifestyle is easier said than done. Sure, you can get a good amount of sleep or go to the gym regularly, but it's sometimes difficult to eat healthily.
Luckily, there are plenty of tasty foods packed with nutrients. Fruits and vegetables are examples. Another healthy food is yellow split peas.
Read on to find out about this power food!
What are yellow split peas?
Yellow split peas come from field peas or Pisum Sativum. The peas that we know are the seeds found inside the peapod. Producers harvest, dry, then peel the seed's outer skin layer.
The peas have a natural-occurring split in their cotyledon, and then the producers split the seeds into two. The whole process turns the seeds yellow or green, depending on the color of the original pea. That's why they're called yellow split peas or green split peas.
Yellow split peas are legumes, so they're filled with protein, fiber, and plenty of other vitamins and minerals.
What are the health benefits of yellow split peas?
1. Good source of carbohydrates
Rice, bread, pasta, that's what you might think of when you hear the word carbs. While carbohydrates may sound like a bad thing, they're beneficial when taken in the right amount.
However, where do you find these "healthy" carbohydrates? Well, one great option is in yellow split peas.
You can find slow carbohydrates in yellow split peas. Experts call them slow carbohydrates because they're rich in fiber and they have a low glycemic index. Thanks to this combination, slow carbohydrates take some time before the body fully digests them.
Since yellow split peas are also high in fiber, they have a good amount of complex carbohydrates. What does this mean? Complex carbohydrates like fiber can help your body maintain its energy levels.
Its low glycemic index also means that your body's blood sugar levels won't suddenly go up if you eat yellow split peas, as they can help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level. If you are living with diabetes, yellow split peas are an excellent option for you.
Yellow split peas are an excellent option for those who want to take in some healthy carbohydrates. Eating these peas will leave you feeling satisfied and full of energy.
2. Helps with weight control
Aside from being a great source of carbohydrates, yellow split peas are also suitable for weight control. That's why if you're trying to lose weight, or you're trying to maintain your weight, then you should consider adding yellow split peas to your diet.
As mentioned earlier, legumes like yellow split peas are known for their high fiber content and low glycemic index. It is also helpful for weight management since it makes you feel full for a longer time.
If you eat white rice, white bread, or pasta as your carbohydrate source, you might consume more calories than recommended per meal. If you want to avoid taking in too many calories in a meal, then yellow split beans are for you.
Yellow split beans have about 229 calories, which is a good amount for a regular meal. Trading your white bread for yellow split beans is a great way to regulate caloric intake. Coupled with exercise, adding yellow split beans to your diet is a great way to lose or maintain weight.
3. Keeps your heart healthy
Another health benefit of yellow split peas is that it keeps your cardiovascular system healthy. How exactly do yellow split peas help your heart?
Yellow split peas have soluble fiber in them, which helps keep your cholesterol levels in check. When you consume this type of fiber, it sticks to the cholesterol particles in your bloodstream and takes them out.
Your body should have a healthy amount of cholesterol in it to perform different bodily functions. However, if you have high cholesterol levels in your body, you might be at risk for cardiovascular diseases.
The high levels of cholesterol in your body act like a plaque present in your bloodstream. It can hinder blood flow and give your circulatory system a hard time.
Yellow split peas also have potassium in them. Potassium lowers blood pressure since it can help regulate sodium in your body. Sodium can make your blood pressure go up. The potassium in yellow split peas reduces the sodium levels of your body and relaxes your blood vessels. It lowers your blood pressure.
That's why if you have high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure, eating yellow split peas can help improve your condition.
4. Reduces the risk of developing cancer
Not only can yellow split peas reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, but they also can reduce the risk of developing cancer. Several studies show that certain foods are good for cancer prevention.
Included in the list are legumes like yellow split peas. However, what makes this food a cancer-preventing one?
Yellow split beans have isoflavones like genistein and daidzein. Isoflavones are said to reduce the risk of breast cancer and endometrial cancer in women. Although soybeans are most known for their phytoestrogens, other beans and peas are also rich in this plant-based estrogen.
You can also find coumestrol in yellow split peas. According to studies, coumestrol can help reduce the risk of stomach cancer.
Peas, beans, and other legumes are a good source of isoflavones and other significant nutrients that can help prevent cancer. Since yellow split peas are part of the legume family, they possess these benefits, too.
Not only that but a legume-rich diet is also said to encourage antioxidants in the body. That's why including yellow split beans in your diet can boost your immune system and further improve your health.
5. Maintains gut health
Yellow split peas’ health benefits also include improving your gut health. They're legumes, which are known for their high-fiber content. Since yellow split peas are rich in soluble fiber, they can help with your digestive system.
Soluble fiber, aside from regulating your cholesterol levels, also helps with bowel movements. When you consume soluble fibers from yellow split peas, the fibers absorb water in your body. The entire process builds up your stool.
That's why most of the time, individuals suffering from conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, or diarrhea, take fiber supplements. Physicians also recommend eating foods rich in soluble fibers, like yellow split peas, to normalize your bowel movement.
If you experience these, you might want to consider adding yellow split peas to your diet. A fair warning, though: dried peas, like yellow split peas, are known to cause gas. If you're particularly sensitive to peas, it's best to look for another source of soluble fiber.
A regular bowel movement is a significant factor in digestive health. Make sure to get enough fibers to keep your digestive processes stable.
6. Provides plant-based protein
When you think about protein, what usually comes to mind is meat. It can be from pork, beef or chicken. Did you know that there's also protein from plants?
Some studies even suggest that getting your protein from plants rather than meat is more beneficial for your health. For vegetarians, you can get your daily protein requirements from yellow split peas and other legumes. Yellow split peas are full of plant-based protein.
What are plant-based proteins, though? Protein, along with other nutrients, keeps all your body parts healthy. Protein also helps boost your immune system. Most of the time, people get their protein from meat.
That's when plant-based protein enters the picture. To minimize the environmental footprint of meat production, many people are switching to plant-based protein. It's also important to note that protein that comes from plants is abundant.
There's also the issue of what other things you consume when you eat meat. Sometimes, meat can contain increased levels of fat or sodium. Plant-based proteins, on the other hand, usually don't have saturated fat or sodium in them.
7. Rich in vitamins and minerals
Yellow split peas have a variety of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your health. Some vitamins and minerals in legumes, like yellow split peas, are vitamin B1, zinc, magnesium, and iron.
Vitamin B1 aids you in keeping your body tissues healthy. Not only that, but it can also help your body convert food into energy. You'll need this to keep your body functioning.
Since your body can't produce zinc on its own, you need to obtain it through foods like yellow split peas. Zinc improves the immune system and helps your body grow and develop. If you have any wounds, zinc can help with the healing process.
Magnesium is essential for your bones, along with calcium. It's also a mineral that helps with cardiovascular health. It may be surprising, but some experts suggest that magnesium also helps with headaches and anxiety.
Lastly, a serving of yellow split peas also contains iron, which helps with the growth and development of your body, much like zinc. It also helps with the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin, which distributes oxygen in the body.
How can you include yellow split peas in your diet?
Yellow split peas benefits seem untrue, but they're just that healthy for you! Now, if you want to add them to your diet, here's how.
The recommended amount of yellow split peas in a regular meal is about a cup. A cup is enough to provide you with vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy.
They're affordable, too. A serving of yellow split peas costs about one dollar, so you don't have to worry about its cost.
How do you prepare yellow split peas?
Unlike most dried peas or beans, you don't have to soak yellow split beans before cooking them. Because they're small, they cook quickly.
However, you can still soak them if you want to. Soaking the peas in water speeds up the cooking time even more. The process can range anywhere from a few hours to the whole night before cooking.
Before cooking the yellow split peas, you need to wash them first. Washing them removes any dirt, debris, and other particles that are on the peas.
To prepare yellow split peas, you'll need to boil them for about one to two hours, depending on how firm you want the peas to be.
You can eat the cooked peas on their own or season them with salt, pepper, or other seasonings. You can also add yellow split peas to soups, sauces, and even pudding.
Yellow split peas’ health benefits are abundant. This power food is an affordable and versatile choice if you want to improve your diet. Even if it comes in small amounts, yellow split peas pack a big healthy punch!
Partner this food with other sources of nutrients to get a balanced diet. Your health will be at one hundred percent with regular exercise, quality sleep, and good lifestyle habits.