Easy PEA-sy: Protein found in peas kills off bacteria

A study published in Idesia concluded that a specific protein found in peas is effective at preventing and/or treating diseases caused by common bacterial strains such as E. coli and S. aureus. The researcher behind the study said this implies the usefulness of peas as a powerful natural medicine.

For the purposes of the study, Lectin V-2 was extracted from the seeds of peas. Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins thought to play an essential role in healthy immune function, cell growth, and body fat regulation. These lectins were further purified using two different types of chromatography in order to determine their true biochemical profile.

The purified lectin was analyzed and measured; its molecular weight and its complete amino acid sequence were likewise identified.

It was found that purified pea lectin has more than 120 amino acids that work together to strengthen the immune system. These compounds show a profound effect in prohibiting the growth of common bacterial strains, particularly E. coli and S. aureus. Concentrations of around 1 mg were found to be most effective at killing these bacterial strains.

The author of the study argues that peas can be used to prevent common bacterial infections.

Peas are a powerful superfood

Peas are quite nutritious and contain a fair amount of various antioxidants. Research such as this shows that peas can be used to protect against some illnesses. Legumes are able to do this because:

  • They’re an excellent source of protein – Peas are one of the best plant-based sources of protein. Protein is essential in hormone regulation and in promoting the feelings of fullness. This makes them crucial to anyone’s weight loss plan. Peas are an excellent food choice for those who do not eat animal products. (Related: Green peas: Surprisingly good souces of phytonutrients and protein.)
  • They support healthy blood sugar levels – Peas have a low glycemic index. Consuming peas is helpful in keeping your blood sugar levels in check.
  • They benefit digestion – Peas are good sources of fiber, which feeds the good bacteria in your intestines and helps prevent a variety of gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease.
  • They contain many nutrients – Peas contain just about every vitamin and mineral you need. A half cup (around 170 grams) serving of peas gives you 34 percent of your RDI of vitamin A, 24 percent of your RDI of vitamin K, 13 percent of your RDI of vitamin C, 15 percent of your RDI of thiamine, 12 percent of your RDI of folate, 11 percent of your RDI of manganese, seven percent of your RDI of iron, and six percent of your RDI of phosphorus.

There is a growing body of evidence that green peas can also prevent a few chronic diseases.

  • Heart disease – Data show that the high fiber content of green peas (and legumes in general) can lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • Cancer – Peas may reduce the risk of cancer due to their high antioxidant content.
  • Diabetes – Peas are considered to be a diabetic-friendly food, since they do not spike blood sugar levels.

Want to try peas but don’t know the best ways to eat them? The easiest way would be to blanch shelled peas in boiling water and make them into a salad with a few sprigs of mint. Use a lemon juice and olive oil dressing and top off with a sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese. They are also an easy addition to pasta salads, green salads and casseroles.

Learn more ways peas can improve your health at Superfoods.news.

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