DID YOU KNOW? Green peas are part of the legume family and contain beneficial nutrients and fiber (which feeds the gut flora), BUT they also contain antinutrients.
Antinutrients are substances found in many foods, including legumes and grains, that may interfere with digestion and mineral absorption.
While these generally aren’t a concern for most healthy people, their health effects are still important to keep in mind. They are more likely to impact those who rely on legumes as a staple food, those with IBS or other gut issues, and individuals at risk of malnutrition.
Here are two antinutrients found in legumes:
PHYTIC ACID: May interfere with the absorption of minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium.
LECTINS: Associated with symptoms such as gas and bloating and may interfere with nutrient absorption.
How to help prevent adverse effects from antinutrients in legumes:
LIMIT CONSUMPTION: It’s best to limit consumption of legumes to 3-4 times a week. Also limit the quantity you consume in one sitting since a larger amount is more likely to cause problems (I recommend 1/3 to 1/2 a cup as a max).
PREPARE PROPERLY: Soaking and/or sprouting may be helpful in reducing the amounts of antinutrients in legumes. At the very least soak your legumes for 18-hours before cooking.
COOK THOROUGHLY: Antinutrient levels are higher in raw legumes, which makes them more likely to cause digestive issues. Cooking legumes helps to reduce antinutrients.
In summary, while legumes do contain beneficial nutrients and fiber, they are not as nutrient-dense as other foods—like meats, fish, shellfish, eggs and vegetables—and, as mentioned above, some of the nutrients they contain are not bioavailable due to antinutrients. For this reason and others mentioned above, legumes are not a staple in my diet and I only consume them once in a blue moon.
If you choose to consume legumes, I recommend that you pay attention to how you feel when you consume them. If they don’t energize you or if they cause digestive problems, it’s best to avoid them for a period of time and try reintroducing them at a later date.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Levels of antinutrients tend to be lower in peas than in other legumes, so they are unlikely to cause problems unless you eat them frequently or in excess.
Now that we got all the important stuff out of the way, it’s time to try my Green Pea Soup. It’s absolutely delicious–and a great side dish for the spring & summer.
Green Pea Soup
INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)
5 cup frozen green peas
350g bag frozen cauliflower (or 1/2 head fresh)
½ yellow onion, chopped
5 cups organic/homemade chicken or vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbsp avocado oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried dill
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Sauté onion and garlic in avocado over medium heat until onion is translucent.
2. Add dill and parsley and sauté for another minute.
3. Add all remaining ingredients, cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, uncover and reduce the heat to low. Let the soup simmer for 15-minutes.
4. Transfer the soup to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
5. Transfer to bowls and serve as desired. Store leftovers in a mason jar in the fridge for up to one week.
Turn your soups into a complete and nutrient-rich meal in one easy step …
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