It also supplies 9 grams of protein and about a third of the daily value for fiber and vitamin K. (The daily value is a measurement used on food labels and represents an average level of a nutrient someone eating 2,000 calories a day should consume.) And a cup of peas has 25 percent of the daily value for the B vitamins folate and thiamine, along with decent amounts of niacin, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Plus, peas contain phytochemicals that help support the body’s antioxidant defenses, says Karen Collins, RDN, nutrition advisor for the American Institute for Cancer Research. Antioxidants disarm free radicals, compounds that may cause the kind of cell damage that contributes to inflammation in the body and an increased risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer. The antioxidants in peas include polyphenols, vitamin C, and lutein and zeaxanthin (important for eye health).
Fresh peas also come in edible podded forms, such as sugar snaps and snow peas. These are less starchy, so they’re lower in calories and carbs than green peas you pop out of the pod, but also lower in protein and fiber. One way they stand out from green peas is in their vitamin C content. While cooked garden peas have 25 percent of the daily value in a cup, a cup of cooked edible podded peas has 85 percent.