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All about “Dry peas / Split peas”

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Health profile

Dry peas, yellow or green, are a very common legume in our diet, just like soybeans, peanuts and dry beans. It is low in fat, high in carbohydrates, protein and dietary fiber in addition to contributing to the intake of several vitamins and minerals. However, like most other legumes, dry peas are not complete in terms of their protein content. Certain essential amino acids, such as methionine, are found in small quantities, hence the need to combine it with other protein sources.

Active ingredients and properties

A dry pea per day to lower blood cholesterol …
Some people have taken the habit of consuming a dry pea per day, similar to taking a medicine, in order to lower their blood cholesterol. Although legumes can indeed have a beneficial effect on the lipid profile 3 , it is necessary to consume them in sufficient quantity to observe such an effect. Since taking just one dry pea per day is nowhere near a significant portion of a legume, this habit probably doesn’t lower blood cholesterol.

Some studies have linked regular consumption of legumes to various health benefits such as better control of diabetes 1 , reduced risk of cardiovascular disease , 3, and reduced risk of colorectal cancer 4 . These benefits are in part attributable to various compounds present in legumes such as dietary fiber. American dietary recommendations also suggest consuming legumes at least a few times a week 5. Finally, among the major recommendations of the American Institute for Cancer Research for the prevention of cancer, the population is advised to favor a diet composed mainly of plant foods by including a variety of vegetables and fruits, legumes and vegetables. minimally processed grain products 6 .

Dietary fiber . Legumes are all good sources of fiber. Dietary fibers, which are only found in plant products, are substances that are not digested by the body. Pea fiber is found almost entirely in insoluble form (approximately 95% of total fiber) 7,8 . Remember that a diet rich in insoluble fiber mainly helps maintain adequate bowel function 9 . In addition, even if they do not provide calories, dietary fiber would provide greater satiation 9. Note that it is recommended to consume 25 g of fiber per day for women aged 19 to 50, and 38 g per day for men in the same age group 10 . Consuming 125 ml of cooked dry peas helps achieve this goal by providing 3 g of fiber.

Blood lipids . Consuming dry peas, like that of other legumes, may help improve the blood lipid profile. This is what seems to show some results of studies carried out in animals 11-14 . The beneficial effects on the blood lipid profile could partly explain the association observed between the consumption of legumes and the reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, studies in humans should be performed to assess whether the consumption of dry peas in itself improves the lipid profile.

Type 2 diabetes . In type 2 diabetics, as in type 1 diabetics, it is important to achieve blood sugar levels within normal limits after food in order to have better diabetes control. In a study of nine patients with type 2 diabetes, the blood sugar observed after ingesting 36g of carbohydrate from cooked dry peas was approximately one-third of the blood sugar observed with the same amount of carbohydrate from potato. . The effect of cooked dry peas on blood sugar seems to be explained by the presence of different compounds such as dietary fiber , starch, or certain anti-nutritional factors (e.g. polyphenols and phytic acid) 15. As the carbohydrates contained in dry peas seem to have less impact on blood sugar levels than carbohydrates from other foods, such as potatoes, it would be interesting to recommend the integration of this legume in the diet of people with diabetes. type 2 16 .

Other properties

Is dry pea an antioxidant? A little  : dry peas have a TAC of 399 umol per 104g serving.
Is dry pea acidifying? A little  : The PRAL index of 100 g of dry peas is 1.2.
Does dry pea have a high glycemic load? A little  : The glycemic load of 104 g of dry peas is 1.4.

Most important nutrients

See the meaning of the nutrient source classification symbols

 Iron . The pea is a good source of iron for the man and a source for women , their needs are different. Each body cell contains iron. This mineral is essential for the transport of oxygen and the formation of red blood cells in the blood. It also plays a role in the manufacture of new cells, hormones and neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses).

 Manganese . Dry peas are a good source of manganese. Manganese acts as a cofactor of several enzymes that facilitate a dozen different metabolic processes. It also participates in the prevention of damage caused by free radicals .

 Copper . Dry peas are a good source of copper. As a component of several enzymes, copper is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin and collagen (a protein used for the structure and repair of tissues) in the body. Several copper-containing enzymes also help in the body’s defense against free radicals.

 Vitamin B1 . Dry peas are a good source of vitamin B1. Also called thiamine, vitamin B1 is part of a coenzyme necessary for the production of energy mainly from the carbohydrates that we ingest. It also participates in the transmission of nerve impulses and promotes normal growth.

 Folate . Dry peas are a good source of folate. Folate (vitamin B9) is involved in the manufacture of all cells in the body, including red blood cells. This vitamin plays an essential role in the production of genetic material (DNA, RNA), in the functioning of the nervous system and the immune system, as well as in the healing of wounds and wounds. As it is necessary for the production of new cells, adequate consumption is essential during periods of growth and for the development of the fetus.

 Phosphorus . Dried peas are a source of phosphorus (see our Phosphorus nutrient list ). Phosphorus is the body’s second most abundant mineral after calcium. It plays a vital role in building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. In addition, it participates among other things in the growth and regeneration of tissues and helps maintain normal blood pH . Finally, phosphorus is one of the constituents of cell membranes.

 Magnesium . Dry peas are a source of magnesium. Magnesium is involved in bone development, protein building, enzymatic actions, muscle contraction, dental health and the functioning of the immune system. It also plays a role in the metabolism of energy and in the transmission of nerve impulses.

 Potassium . Dry peas are a source of potassium. In the body, potassium is used to balance the pH of the blood and to stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, thus aiding digestion. In addition, it facilitates the contraction of muscles, including the heart, and participates in the transmission of nerve impulses.

 Zinc . Dry peas are a source of zinc. Zinc is involved in particular in immune reactions, in the production of genetic material, in the perception of taste, in the healing of wounds and in the development of the fetus. It also interacts with sex and thyroid hormones. In the pancreas, it participates in the synthesis (manufacture), storage and release of insulin.

 Vitamin B3 . Dry peas are a source of vitamin B3. Also called niacin, this vitamin is involved in many metabolic reactions and particularly contributes to the production of energy from the carbohydrates, fats, proteins and alcohol that we ingest. It also participates in the process of DNA formation , allowing normal growth and development.

 Pantothenic acid . Dry peas are a source of pantothenic acid. Also known as vitamin B5, pantothenic acid is part of a key coenzyme that allows us to adequately utilize the energy found in the foods we eat. It also participates in several stages of the synthesis (manufacture) of steroid hormones, neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses) and hemoglobin. Vitamin K . Dry peas are a source of vitamin K for women. Vitamin K is necessary for the synthesis (manufacture) of proteins which collaborate in the coagulation of the blood (both for the stimulation and the inhibition of blood coagulation). It also plays a role in the formation of bones. In addition to being found in the diet, vitamin K is produced by bacteria present in the intestine, hence the rarity of deficiencies in this vitamin.

What is a “serving” of dry peas worth?
Weight / volume Split peas, boiled, 104 g / 125 ml
Calories 122
Protein 8.6 g
Carbohydrates 21.9 g
Lipids 0.4 g
Dietary fiber 3.0 g

Source  : Health Canada. Canadian Nutrient File , 2005.

Both Harmful and Beneficial Compounds in Legumes

Legumes contain phytochemicals such as lectins or saponins ; these compounds can decrease the bioavailability of certain nutrients. However, researchers agree that, in a North American context, where there is abundance and dietary diversity and where nutritional deficiency is rather marginal, this effect has little impact on health. In recent years, research in vitro and in animals has even associated the consumption of these compounds with certain benefits, such as a decrease in the growth of cancer cells and an improvement in blood lipids 19 , 20 .

The complementarity of proteins: not that complicated!

Unlike animal protein, legumes generally have a low content of methionine (an essential amino acid for the body), which makes their protein incomplete . However, people who eat little or no animal protein can combine legumes with grain products or nuts, resulting in complete protein (which contains all essential amino acids). In adults, it is not necessary to seek this complementarity within the same meal, because obtaining it in the same day is usually sufficient 21. On the other hand, in children, adolescents and pregnant women, it is preferable to achieve protein complementarity in the same meal.


Possible allergy to legumes, including dry peas

Allergic reactions caused by the ingestion of legumes (peanuts, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas and dry peas) can occur and vary by region. In the Mediterranean as well as in Asian countries, lentils, chickpeas and dry peas are legumes for which allergic cross reactions have been observed. However, in the United States, cross-allergies caused by the consumption of legumes are seen more often with soybeans and peanuts. In in vitro studies, researchers have found two potential allergens in dry peas, vicilin and convicilin 17 .

In addition, the allergic activity of dry green peas could be explained by the presence of albumin , glutelin and globulin , which are also important proteins in determining the allergic capacity of green peas 18 .

Dry peas over time

The term ”  pea  ” appeared in the French language in the XII th  century. It is derived from the Latin name for the plant, Pisum . Various origins are attributed to this name: it derives from a Greek verb which means “to persuade” or from the name of a city of ancient Greece, “Pisa”, or from the Sanskrit pesi (which means “pea separated from its pod ”) or finally from the Latin verb pisere which means“ to break ”, no doubt because, traditionally, the grains were crushed before cooking. Anyway, we can see that in both French and English ( pea ) or Italian ( pisello ), it has the same root.

Should we say “  split  ” peas or “ split  ” peas  ? Both forms are possible, according to experts. In France, we generally choose the first; in Quebec, the second.

It could be that the focus of the genus Pisum is not unique, as has long been thought, but multiple. Central Asia (from the northwest of India to Afghanistan) would be its main place of growth, while the Near East, the Mediterranean basin and Ethiopia (plateau and mountains) would be secondary places. It would have been domesticated around 10,000 years ago, along with ancient wheat and lentils, and probably pork, sheep and goats.

Dry first
For a long time, peas ( Pisum sativum ) will only be grown for their dry grain, an important source of protein and carbohydrates for the poor.

From its center in the Middle East, it will spread rapidly to the west (Turkey and Greece), then to the north. In France, we found in the debris, left by those who inhabited what is now Languedoc, pea seeds which would date from 7000 years before our era. Three thousand years later, its cultivation is common in the Rhine Valley. It will then settle everywhere, especially in China in the first century of our era, and in America from the beginnings of colonization.

Culinary uses

To access other recipes, you can go to the cooking recipes site, which offers the following recipes, among others: dry pea soup , dry pea soup and bacon

Culinary preparations

Pea flour
As with all legumes, dry peas can be ground into a flour that will be added to various dishes to increase their protein value, to thicken, etc. On the market, we find green pea flour and yellow pea flour.
  • The pea soup is prepared with yellow peas, salt pork, ham with a bone, butter, garlic, onion and water. The peas are soaked overnight, then all the ingredients are simmered for two or three hours. You can add salted herbs at the beginning or during cooking, or failing that, use savory, parsley and a bay leaf. The traditional French Canadian pea soup was prepared with yellow split peas. At the end of cooking, the ham was removed from the soup, sliced ​​and returned to the pot or served separately.
  • We can pass the preparation in a blender to make a thick cream . Add a carrot and a stalk of celery. You can omit the meat. Cumin and paprika can replace the salted herbs.
  • In Newfoundland , turnips and dumplings are added.
  • In France , we prefer the soup with split green peas.
  • In India, where like all legumes, it takes the name of dhal , the split yellow pea is used to make sambar, a dish with many variations. It is prepared by first soaking the peas for an hour, then cooking them for 45 minutes and mashing them with ginger, cumin, coriander seeds, turmeric, green peppers and walnuts. coconut. At the same time, cook the vegetables of your choice (onion, potato, tomato, squash, etc.) in butter or oil in which you have sautéed mustard seeds, red chili, powder of assa-foetida, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. We reheat together pea puree and vegetable preparation, add a little lemon juice and serve over basmati rice.
  • In this country, a five dhal soup is also made , consisting of green peas and split yellow peas, mung beans, chickpeas, pigeon peas, Indian spices to taste and fresh spinach. The dhals are cooked separately and then mixed. Add the preparation of spices and chopped spinach, which will have cooked for a few minutes.
  • You can also cook split peas directly with the rice, then mix this preparation with spicy Indian vegetables . This is a complete protein dish.
  • Serve the cooked peas in a salad with chunks of red, green and yellow peppers, and elbows or other short pasta.

Organic gardening

Sowing. Round peas are less sweet than wrinkled peas, but more resistant to cold and humidity. Wrinkled peas, on the other hand, stay tender longer, can be harvested larger, and tolerate heat better. Choose varieties according to temperature so as to spread production throughout the summer and fall. Make a first seedling of round seed peas around April 15 (South of Quebec), followed by one or two seedlings of wrinkled seed peas between the 1st and May 30. A final sowing of wrinkled peas can be attempted at the end of July to obtain a harvest in the fall: however, it is a riskier adventure because of powdery mildew and various other fungal diseases that can occur in this time of year; choose resistant varieties and treat with sulfur.

Varieties. All varieties of peas (peas, snow peas, sugar snap ) will yield dry peas if given time, but some varieties have been bred strictly for this purpose. Their seeds are more difficult to find in the retail market, as this type of cultivation is usually done on a large scale by specialized growers. Heirloom varieties, however, which yield unsurpassed quality soup peas, can be found through seed exchange groups (eg, the Heritage Seed Program in Canada). By cultivating climbing varieties (some can go up to 3 or 4 meters), we will save a lot of space compared to dwarf varieties. Count at least 100 days, or even 120, for most of these varieties.

Soil temperature at sowing: 4 to 14 ° C, ideally 10 ° C.

pH: 5.5 to 6.5, ideally the highest measurement. At the bottom of 6, add lime and inoculate with the rhizobium.

Fungal diseases. In conventional agriculture, seeds are treated with fungicides to limit damage caused by Fusarium , root rot and damping-off. In organic farming, it is imperative to choose resistant cultivars, to ensure that the soil is very well drained, to postpone the date of sowing if the temperatures are too cold and too humid and, despite all these measures, to accept a certain loss, even if to be sown again a few days later. We can try to treat the seeds with horsetail, but this is not guaranteed. To control powdery mildew, choose resistant varieties and treat with sulfur.

Slugs and birds. Garlic could be effective against slugs, as researchers recently discovered, but avoid sowing these two plants next to each other, legumes and alliaceae having a profound aversion to each other. Use garlic as a foliar treatment. To prevent birds from snatching the seeds just sown or when the young plant emerges, install a scarecrow, aluminum plates hung on a wire or any other system likely to scare them.

Peas as green manure. Sow 2 to 4 kilos per 100 m 2 of flower bed.

Ecology and environment

Peas, everywhere A
very old crop in Europe, able to adapt to practically all types of soils and climates that prevail there, the pea can be cultivated during the winter in the regions further south and in spring in the others regions. It can be grown in all countries with a temperate climate, including North America.

In Europe and especially in France, peas play a fundamental role for the environment. Following the American embargo on soybeans in the early 1970s, this country set up a protein crop development program which enabled it to develop varieties of peas rich in protein. The improvement in this trait has made it possible to incorporate them in greater proportions in animal feed and to make them competitive with soybeans. We are talking about 35% of the pig ration.

It should be noted that, of all the vegetable proteins, that of the pea is the most concentrated in lysine, an amino acid which is deficient in cereals. The pea-wheat combination therefore makes it possible to meet the needs of pigs and poultry in terms of energy and lysine while providing the minimum necessary protein. In addition, the plant produces abundant vegetation that can be used as fodder for farm animals.

Cultivated in rotation with cereals, rapeseed and beetroot, peas bring diversity to rotations, which reduces the impact of certain pests. In addition, it requires few phytosanitary interventions (pesticides, fungicides). In addition, all the new varieties were obtained by natural selection, without recourse to the GMO technique.

Finally, like all legumes, it requires very little nitrogen fertilizer, which reduces the risk of water and air pollution, and the production of greenhouse gases. In fact, these fertilizers, in addition to being potential polluting agents, require a lot of fossil energy (petroleum) for their manufacture, transport and spreading.

Growing peas for human consumption also has its advantages. The seed dries up and is easily stored. Its natural fungal flora does not secrete mycotoxin, and no insects attack it in the silos, thus avoiding the use of insecticides during storage.

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