Broccoli and peas are two nutritious vegetables that should form part of any balanced diet. They provide a plethora of vitamins, macro-nutrients, and minerals that your body needs. But which is better for your diet? Broccoli or Peas?
Broccoli contains far more nutrients than peas in terms of macros, vitamins, and mineral density. Broccoli, most notably, is denser in protein, fiber, and iron. Peas are a popular dietary choice due to their high concentration of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
Understanding what you’re putting into your body and which foods are best suited for a specific diet is essential. And because broccoli and peas are almost sure to be a part of your meal plan on a healthy balanced diet, knowing precisely what they’re bringing to the table is important.
This way, you can make the most out of every nutrient that both vegetables have to offer.
The nutritional facts for raw broccoli and peas for a single serving can be broken up into three nutrient groups: basic macronutrients (adjusted to 200 calories), vitamin density, and mineral density, indicated by red, green, and yellow cells, respectively, on the following table:
Broccoli is most notably rich in Iron, Vitamins B6, K, C, protein, and fiber. For this reason, it is prevalent among vegetarians who may struggle to find iron and protein-rich foods that can adequately replace meat in their diets.
As for peas, they are rich in copper, phosphorus, manganese, Vitamin B1, and fiber. Copper, in particular, is perfect for enabling the body to form red blood cells, which aids in maintaining healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and your immune system. The presence of high concentrations of copper in your diet may also help prevent heart disease.
Broccoli has been part of our diets since being farmed in the Mediterranean by the Romans around 600BCE. However, it only spread across Europe by the 18th Century, after which it was imported to North America by Italian immigrants.
Broccoli only became a staple in our diets during the Second World War when the United States and Japan cultivated hybrid crops that would yield far greater quantities. Today, more than 1.2 million tonnes of broccoli and cauliflower are produced in the United States every year.
Peas have been a part of our diets for millennia, with the earliest archeological evidence of its cultivation being found as far back as the late Neolithic era between 4800 and 4400BCE in the Nile Delta area in Egypt. “Field” peas and “garden peas” became popular in England in the early 17th Century.
In North America, it was Thomas Jefferson who imported peas by creating 30 cultivars on his estate. However, peas only truly hit the height of their popularity once refrigeration and canning methods advanced so that peas could be eaten year-round, rather than being a mere spring vegetable.
Today, more than 300,000 tons of peas are produced in the United States every year.
An often underrated source of Vitamin C, Brocolli has higher concentrations of this crucial vitamin than an orange! This antioxidant helps protect your body from cell damage and promotes healing, which allows it to have an incredibly positive effect on your health.
However, a sulfur compound in broccoli called sulforaphane is perhaps the most beneficial nutrient in broccoli. It can aid your body in staving off health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, and even schizophrenia.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are also known to protect your heart and reduce the risk of heart disease due to reducing the damage done to arteries that can be a precursor to strokes and heart attacks.
The nutrients such as Vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium, in addition to copper, iron, zinc, Vitamins A and C, and B, also all work in conjunction to promote bone mass and strength.
Peas provide a range of health benefits due to the high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Lutein and zeaxanthin, the carotenoids found in peas, can help protect your eyes from common diseases like cataracts and the thinning of the macular, which can lead to blurry or reduced vision.
Furthermore, peas and other legumes can reduce stomach cancer risk by as much as 50% if peas. This is due to peas’ coumestrol content, a nutrient protecting your body against cancers present in your digestive system. Your digestive system will also benefit from peas’ high fiber content.
Beyond this, peas are also packed with natural antioxidants like Zinc, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C, which have anti-inflammatory properties and aid in strengthening your immune system.
If you’re looking to incorporate broccoli and peas into your diet with one tasty, nutritional recipe, this vibrant broccoli, and pea soup have everything! It’s rich in iron, folate, and Vitamin C is freezable, plant-based, and low-fat.
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
400g broccoli, chopped into small florets
300g frozen peas
200g chard, chopped
1l low-salt veg stock
½ small bunch of basil, chopped
small bunch of dill, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
After heating the oil in a large saucepan, fry the onions for eight minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the broccoli, peas, and chard. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduced heat to a simmer and cook for a further 25 minutes.
Stirring through the herbs and lemon zest, use a handheld food processor to create a smooth, lump-free mixture. Dish the soup up with a spoon into bowls for serving and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top.
Broccoli and peas are filled with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, such as protein, iron, Vitamin C, and copper. Both vegetables have health benefits that include reducing cancer risk, improving your immune system, protecting your eyes, and even safeguarding you from mental illnesses.
It is, therefore, no surprise that they’ve both been part of our diets for thousands of years. By adding more peas and broccoli to your diet, you’ll have more energy. You’ll be stronger, your immune and digestive systems will be more resilient, and you will be able to reduce your risk of contracting several chronic illnesses.
And the best news is that, with countless delicious recipes out there, you don’t have to compromise on taste to get your daily dose.
Web MD: Health Benefits of Broccoli
Versus: Broccoli vs. Green Peas
Web MD: Health Benefits of Peas
World Mapper: Green Peas Production
BBC Food: Herby broccoli & pea soup