FoodFrom garnish to superfood: The surprising power of pea shoots

From garnish to superfood: The surprising power of pea shoots

Pea shoots - why should you eat them?
Pea shoots - why should you eat them?
Images source: © Adobe Stock | ninelutsk

9:49 AM EDT, April 26, 2024

Not so long ago, this vibrant green plant was used solely by chefs as a decorative touch for their dishes. Today, we've realized that pea shoots are much more than a mere garnish. They're a compact health powerhouse packed with vitamins, minerals, and more.

Pea shoots offer a unique taste and significant nutritional value. Unlike some other sprouts on the market, pea shoots have a delightful juiciness, leading many chefs to use them for more than just plate decoration. Importantly, these sprouts have been shown to significantly benefit human health. But what exactly do they offer? Let's delve into the details.

Characteristics of pea shoots

Pea shoots, which sprout from pea seeds and feature charming "whiskers," are a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals. They boast an abundance of vitamin C and vitamins B, K, and A, and they don't skimp on magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium either. Notably, they achieve this nutritional profile while remaining low in calories, containing about 93 calories per 3.5 ounces.

Moreover, pea shoots are distinguished by their low glycemic index and high protein content, offering the body plenty of fiber (making them an excellent choice for weight loss diets) and antioxidants. These antioxidants, including carotenoids and flavonoids, help slow skin aging, reduce inflammation, and may even play a role in cancer prevention.

How to use pea shoots

Pea shoots are now widely available in grocery stores, supermarkets, greengrocers, and organic food outlets.

Pea shoots exhibit antioxidant activity.
Pea shoots exhibit antioxidant activity.© Pexels | cottonbro studio

They make an excellent addition to various salads, enhancing flavor and nutritional value. Thanks to their high protein content, pea shoots are a robust support in a vegetarian diet. They can be added to sandwiches, serve as an intriguing ingredient in dumpling fillings, or pâté. And, of course, they can be enjoyed raw. Try munching on pea shoots for a healthier option instead of reaching for salty snacks or fries while watching a movie!

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