Sugar Snap Peas Nutrition

“They can also add crunch to a salad. They are crispier and tend to have a sweeter taste than snow peas.”

Sugar Snap Peas Nutrition: Benefits, Risks and How to Eat Them

Sugar snap peas are nutritious and delicious to snack on, but you could also say they have somewhat of a double identity.

That’s because, for one, the sugar snap pea is a cross between an English and snow pea, and didn’t become widely available until the 1970s, per the University of Arizona. They were created to provide the sweetness of fresh peas without the need for shelling, which is what makes them so delicious and convenient to munch on. Sugar snap peas have the same nutritional profile as snow peas.

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Secondly, peas are unique because although they’re legumes, they’re considered part of both the protein foods group and the vegetable group, per the USDA. They are fantastic sources of dietary fiber, vitamin C and B vitamins. As a bonus, they’re incredibly versatile and can be used as a stand-alone, low-calorie snack (use them in place of chips for dipping!) or in recipes.

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Sugar Snap Peas Nutrition Facts

One cup of sugar snap peas is equal to a single serving. One cup of raw sugar snap peas or snow peas contains:

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  • Total fat​: One cup of sugar snap peas has 0.1 grams of total fat, which includes 0.05 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.01 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 grams of saturated fat and 0 grams of trans fat.
  • Carbohydrates​: One cup of sugar snap peas has 4.8 grams of carbs, which includes 1.6 grams of fiber and 2.5 grams of naturally occurring sugars.
  • Protein​: One cup of sugar snap peas has 1.8 grams of protein.
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Vitamins, Minerals and Other Micronutrients

The Health Benefits of Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar snap peas offer plenty of nutrients in a small, crunchy package. They can be a convenient part of a nutritious diet that helps you manage a healthy weight, and can also benefit your skin, heart and more.

1. Sugar Snap Peas Are a Low-Calorie and Satisfying Snack

An entire cup of raw sugar snap peas contains just 26 calories, but will help you feel satiated with fiber, protein and water.

Adding more fruits and vegetables like sugar snap peas to your diet is ​a healthy way to lose or maintain weight​, per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The water and fiber in vegetables add volume to your dishes, meaning you can eat the same amount of food with fewer calories than many other foods.

In fact, vegetable intake was correlated with weight loss in a July 2014 study of 120 adults with overweight on diets published in the ​European Journal of Clinical Nutrition​. A healthy low-calorie diet that includes five servings of vegetables per day can lead to sustained weight loss, with associated reductions in cardiovascular disease risk factors, note the researchers.

Sugar snap peas can be one delicious way to vary your vegetable intake. “Any vegetable is a smart dietary choice,” says Mia Syn, RDN. “They are naturally nutrient-dense, meaning they provide a significant amount of vitamins and minerals relative to the calories they contain. They also provide fiber, an important nutrient that many Americans fall short on, as well as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.”

Each cup of sugar snap peas provides 1.6 grams of heart-healthy fiber. It may not sound like a lot, but every little bit helps you reach your daily recommended goal of 25 grams to 38 grams, per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. On average, Americans eat just 10 to 15 grams of total fiber per day, according to Harvard Medical School.

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Enjoying five servings of fruits and vegetables daily is linked to a slightly lower risk of heart attack and stroke, while 10 servings a day is tied to a 28 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 31 percent lower risk of premature death, per a February 2017 review in the ​International Journal of Epidemiology​​.

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Sugar snap peas also provide the crispiness you may crave in crunchy chips, crackers or other processed snacks, but in a whole food form. “I like sugar snap peas for snacking, like dipping them into hummus or guacamole,” Syn says.

“They can also add crunch to a salad. They are crispier and tend to have a sweeter taste than snow peas.”

2. Sugar Snap Peas Are High in Vitamin C

In just 1 cup of sugar snap peas, you’ll get nearly half of your daily value of vitamin C, which provides a wide variety of health benefits.

“Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant important for collagen production, an important structural component of skin,” Syn says. The vitamin C content in your skin naturally decreases as you get older, per the Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute.

Diet is the most common cause of a low level of collagen in the body besides aging, and it can result in wrinkles and crepey skin. Too little collagen also leads to health issues like weakening muscles, joint pain, osteoarthritis or even gastrointestinal problems due to the thinning of the digestive tract lining, per the Cleveland Clinic.

This important antioxidant can also keep your gum tissues healthy and strong. In fact, vitamin C is tied to a lower risk of gum disease, per a July 2019 review in the ​International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health​​.

“Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron from plant foods, making it more bioavailable to the body,” Syn says. With sugar snap peas, you get two benefits in one: In addition to vitamin C, they also provide 7 percent of your daily value of iron.

Iron is essential for creating hemoglobin, a chemical that carries oxygen in your red blood cells, per Harvard Medical School. It also helps to create myoglobin, a protein found in muscle cells. It’s necessary to activate specific enzymes and make collagen, amino acids, hormones and neurotransmitters.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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