In this article, I take you through all the details you need to know about are peas paleo friendly or not. For some, you may already know this but if you’re seeking more information then hopefully this article explains everything.
Peas are legumes, and legumes, as you may or may not know, aren’t included in the Paleo diet. So you would think peas aren’t allowed to be consumed on the Paleo diet, but you’re welcome to eat them in small quantities.
The answer may surprise you. Peas are ok in small quantities for the Paleo diet even though they are legumes. Let’s answer a few questions to explain why this is the case.
What are Legumes?
Merriam Webster defines legumes as a type of plant with seeds that grow in long cases (also known as pods). We typically eat the seeds, and these are the legumes. Beans, garbanzo beans, peas, green beans, and peanuts are all classified as legumes.
Why are Legumes not Included in the Paleo Diet?
Legumes are high in three different nutritional areas that are not considered part of the Paleo diet.
You will find that legumes contain a high level of phytates, or phytic acid, that prevent our bodies from absorbing minerals. You want to eat food to get minerals, and you don’t want to eat food that removes and doesn’t allow your body to intake useful minerals.
They also are high in lectins which can intensify digestive issues if not treated and soaked correctly. The intestine is damaged because lectins can cause holes in the intestinal lining by destroying cells. This health issue is known as “leaky gut.”
The last thing legumes contain a lot of is carbs, which can be a problem with insulin resistance and can prevent weight loss.
But Why Are Peas Ok For The Paleo Diet?
The issues described above are not issues in peas because they are immature and can be eaten fresh. Immature means they have not fully grown on the pod and allowed to dry. When the pod stays on the vine for a more extended period, the seeds inside begin to dry and gather additional energy from the plant. This extra time causes the plant to let go of toxins such as lectins. Other legumes are not eaten fresh and are dried.
Peas are also fresh and can be picked straight from the garden. They are harvested before any drying and releasing of lectins can intrude into the peas from the plant. If the peas contain lectins, they have a lower chance of attaching to your intestinal walls, which causes digestive issues. Another point to remember is that the greener plant often contains less phytic acid and lectins.
Peas also have fewer phytates than legumes since they are consumed fresh. Research shows they contain around 384 mg of phytates, which decreases to around 158 mg when cooked. To compare, Paleo-forbidden kidney beans contain 600+mg of phytates.
Nutrition is another key factor why peas are allowed. They contain protein and other good vitamins and minerals.
You may find some experts say that peas should not be part of Paleo, but everyone does agree that they are much better for you than other legumes. Peas should be consumed in small amounts because they could contain small traces of phytates, lectins, and carbs.
So Are Peas Paleo?
It’s safe to say you can eat small amounts of peas on the paleo diet. However, I would avoid including too much of it. However, this is really up to you and your take on paleo.
I hope this article has answered everything there is known on are peas paleo friendly. If you have any questions or any extra information that you would like to add, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.