Health Benefits Of Sugar Snap Peas You Should Know About

Crunch your way to improved immunity, reduced fatigue, and better vision.

Reviewed by Shivani Sikri, Functional Nutrition Expert Shivani Sikri Shivani SikriFunctional Nutrition Expert facebook_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BEd, MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition Aparna Mallampalli BEd, MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition Experience: 5 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Moksha Gandhi BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Experience: 2 years
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Sugar snap peas are formed from a cross between the garden peas and snow peas. The many sugar snap peas benefits arise from this unique hybrid nature. In contrast to other varieties of peas, sugar snap peas are sweeter, tastier, and you can eat the whole pod. You can add them to various dishes, including salads and stir-fries. They are also packed with nutrients and health benefits. Let’s find out how you can use them. Read on.
protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Sugar Snap Peas
What Is It? Hybrid, edible-pod peas with rounded pods and thick pod walls What Are Its Benefits? May improve bone and eye health, boost immunity, promote digestive health, prevent fatigue, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Who Can Consume It? Anyone with vision-related issues, a weak immune system, poor gut health, and weak bones can consume them on the recommendation of their doctor. How Often? You can consume them daily. Caution Since sugar snap peas are rich in dietary fiber, their overconsumption may cause bloating and stomach discomfort.

Are Sugar Snap Peas Good for You?

Yes, sugar snap peas are starchy and nutrient-dense vegetables and can be eaten raw, cooked, or steamed. They have a crunchy texture, and you can eat the entire pod. The good part is that the glycemic load of sugar snap peas is 5, so they will not increase your sugar levels. Check out the nutrient profile of sugar snap peas in the next section.

Sugar Snap Peas Nutrition

A hundred grams of sugar snap peas contain (1):

Calories

41 kcal

Protein

2.35 g

Total lipids (fat)

0 g

Carbohydrate

7.06 g

Dietary Fiber

2.4 g

Sugar

3.53 g

Calcium, Ca

44 mg

Iron, Fe

2.35 mg

Potassium

200 mg

Vitamin K

24.5 mcg (31% of daily value)

Vitamin A

1065 IU (21% of daily value)

Vitamin C

58.8 mg (98% of daily value)

These antioxidant-rich green vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals that contribute to their many health benefits. Let’s take a look at them.

Health Benefits Of Sugar Snap Peas

1. Improve Bone Health

Sugar snap peas contain vitamin K, which helps maintain bone health, increases bone mineral density, and reduces fracture rate in people with osteoporosisi  A bone disease that develops when bone mineral density and bone mass decrease making them susceptible to fracture. (2). Pea proteins contain biopeptidesi  A group of biological molecules that are formed by altering the protein fragments chemically. They serve as cell food. , which promote osteoblast proliferation (cells that make the bone) and differentiation and procollageni  A precursor of collagen, a structural protein. It is converted into collagen by an enzyme called peptidase. development to improve bone function in people with osteoporosis (3).

2. Boost Immunity

Sugar snap peas contain vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports various cellular functions and boosts the immune system. It supports epithelial barrier function, which is crucial to protect the body against pathogens (4). Adequate intake of vitamin C can reduce the risk of pneumoniai  An inflammation in your lungs where the air sacs may get filled with pus or fluid due to bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. , malaria, and diarrhea in children (5).

protip_icon Trivia
Calvin Lamborn, a pioneering Idaho botanist, was the first person to invent the original sugar snap pea in 1979.

3. May Boost Gastrointestinal Function And Health

Sugar snap peas contain fiber, which is crucial for improving digestion and gastrointestinal health. They promote overall gut health and functions like nutrient absorption, stool formation, and functions of gut-friendly microbes (6) (7).

4. May Prevent Fatigue

Sugar snap peas prevent fatique
Image: Shutterstock

Animal studies found that pea peptides significantly reduced fatigue. Consuming peas also decreased blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and lactic acid levels in the blood (8). Blood urea nitrogen and lactic acid are produced during ATP metabolism (the energy source for cell function) and cause fatigue (9).

5. May Decrease The Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases

Sugar snap peas are low in calories and do not contain fat, which makes them heart-friendly. Pea fiber can reduce postprandial (post-meal) triglyceridei  A type of fat that your body makes, gives you energy, and is stored in your blood. You can also get it from the foods you eat. buildup in the body, which is one of the major causes of cardiovascular disease, and improve heart health (10), (11).

6. May Help Protect Vision

Lutein and zeaxanthin in sugar snap peas may protect vision
Image: Shutterstock

Peas contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which can protect the eyes from macular degeneration, a condition that affects the macula in the retina and causes vision-related issues. Therefore, peas can be immensely beneficial in improving eye health (12). In addition, much anecdotal evidence suggests that these plant-based low-calorie snacks exhibit anti-inflammatory properties and help in cancer prevention and blood sugar control while also improving skin health. However, limited data is available in this regard. Sugar snap peas are available in spring (April to June). Fresh snap peas are light green and have a sweet aroma. You can consume them raw or cooked. Here is how you can add them to your diet

How To Eat Sugar Snap Peas: Healthy Recipes You May Try

Sugar snap peas stir fry
Image: Shutterstock

You can roast them, pickle the entire pods, and add them to stir-fried dishes. Here are some tasty recipes you may try:

1. Sugar Snap Peas Stir Fry

What You Need

  • 200 g of sugar snap peas
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger
  • 20 mL water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pink salt or iodized salt

Method

  1. Dry roast the sesame seeds on low heat.
  2. Warm olive oil on medium heat and fry chopped garlic and ginger for two minutes.
  3. Add the peas and stir fry them for a minute.
  4. Add the water, cover the pan with a lid, and cook for three minutes.
  5. Sprinkle salt and sesame oil for the finishing touch.

2. Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas And Tofu

Sauteed sugar snap peas and tofu is a healthy recipe
Image: Shutterstock

What You Need

  • 300 g of sugar snap peas
  • 100 g of tofu
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger
  • ½ tablespoon of minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Method

  1. Warm olive oil on medium heat. Add the tofu pieces, chopped ginger, and garlic. Fry for two minutes.
  2. Add the mustard seeds, let them splutter, and then add the snap peas. Sauté for five minutes.
  3. You can also add boiled potatoes to the recipe or serve mashed potatoes on the side to make it one wholesome meal.

3. Honey Glazed Carrots and Sugar Snap Peas

What You Need

  • 200 g of sugar snap peas
  • 1 large carrot (thinly sliced)
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Method

  1. Add butter to a frying pan. Add the carrots and fry for a few minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add the sugar snap peas and fry on medium heat until they are crisp.
  3. Add honey, stir for another minute, and serve hot.

A blogger in her blog post shares a recipe for sugar snap peas in Indian style. She says “I wanted to use the sugarsnap peas in making something very Indian, and that is how this stir-fry came about. It was a delight to cook, this stir-fry – it came together within minutes! It tasted simply lovely – sweet and spicy and slightly tangy – and made for a gorgeous, different-from-the-usual accompaniment to the phulkas I served them with (i)”.

protip_icon Trivia
People from ancient Egypt and Rome used sugar snap peas as a dietary staple.
Here are some additional tips to help you pick the freshest sugar snap peas and store them.

How To Store Sugar Snap Peas

  • Always buy bright green and glossy peas, without any yellowing or speckled areas. Avoid the ones with loose peas rattling inside the pod.
  • For storing, wash them with water, wipe them or air dry, and then put them in perforated plastic bags or glass containers. You can refrigerate them – however, use them within a week.
  • You can also freeze them. Wash the sugar snap peas, pat them dry, and thaw them. Transfer the thawed peas to a plastic bag and seal it tightly. You can use frozen sugar snap peas for a month. Discard them if they turn sticky or give out a foul smell.

Sugar snap peas are possibly safe when consumed in moderation. However, they may cause minor side effects when consumed in excess.

Side Effects Of Sugar Snap Peas

Woman feeling bloated due to sugar snap peas consumption
Image: Shutterstock

1. May Cause Bloating Sugar snap peas are rich sources of dietary fiber, and excess dietary fiber may cause bloating (13). 2. May Worsen Diarrhea Anecdotal evidence suggests that sugar snap peas may worsen diarrhea and cause abdominal cramps and stomach discomfort. 3. May Cause An Itchy Throat If you are allergic to sugar snap peas and legumes, it may cause an itchy throat and coughing. Usually, these symptoms subside on their own once you stop eating sugar snap peas. However, if the symptoms persist after 48 hours, consult your doctor immediately.

Both sugar snap peas and snow peas are nutritional powerhouses. While the two may appear similar, they have key differences. Learn more in the next section.

Sugar Snap Peas Vs. Snow Peas

Sugar snap peas are plumper and contain developed peas inside. They are sweeter and have a slightly crunchy texture.

Snow peas, on the other hand, have flatter pods with very tiny, underdeveloped peas. They are known for their delicate, crisp texture and milder, grassy flavor.

Both can be used in stir-fries, pasta, hummus, and salads. Which of the two you need to use depends on your preferences and the specific culinary dish you want to prepare.

Infographic: 5 Ways Sugar Snap Peas Improve Health

Sugar snap peas are often relished in Chinese cuisines and known for their crisp texture and subtle taste. And while the majority of people enjoy this legume, very few remember its major benefits. Check out the infographic below to read through the different ways they help improve your health. Save and share it with all your friends!

5 ways sugar snap peas improve health (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Sugar snap peas are starchy and nutrient-dense vegetables. The many benefits of sugar snap peas can be attributed to their rich nutrition profile and antioxidants. The intake of this vegetable may improve bone health, boost immune health, promote gastrointestinal function, prevent fatigue, decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and protect vision. You can eat sugar snap peas in many ways. You can roast the peas and add them to stir-fried dishes. However, if you consume them in excess amounts, they may cause bloating, worsen diarrhea, and cause an itchy throat. Hence, eat them in moderation to reap their maximum benefits.

Also, be aware if you are allergic to these.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do sugar snap peas make you gain weight?

No. Many anecdotal studies suggest that sugar snap peas may help with weight loss due to their low calorie and fat content.

Can you eat the shell of snap peas?

Yes. You can eat the shell of snap peas. In general, the whole pod of snap peas is edible. However, strings along the edges are removed before consumption.

What is the difference between snap peas and snow peas?

Sugar snap peas are a cross between garden peas and snow peas. Unlike flatter snow peas, snap peas are slightly tender with a sweet flavor and have a thicker, crunchy pod.

Can I boil sugar snap peas?

Yes. A quick blanching of sugar snap peas in boiling water is needed before eating.

What’s the difference between snap peas and edamame?

Snap peas can be eaten whole and have a slightly sweet taste. Edamame has a bitter taste, and you can eat only the pods.

Key Takeaways

  • Sugar snap peas are nutrient-dense, starchy vegetables that can be consumed raw, cooked or steamed. You may use them in various dishes, such as salads and stir-fries.
  • These peas enhance the immune system, promote digestion and gastrointestinal health, reduce fatigue, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, and protect vision.
  • When eaten in moderation, sugar snap peas may be harmless. However, excess intake may cause minor adverse effects such as bloating, worsening diarrhea, itchy throat, and coughing.
Sugar Snap Peas Benefits

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Unveil the nutritional value and health benefits of sugar snap peas in this insightful video. Explore how this delicious vegetable can enhance your overall health and nutrition.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Sugar Snap Peas https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/509255/nutrients
  2. Vitamin K and bone health https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11684396/
  3. Pea Protein Derived Bioactive Peptides Stimulate Bone Health-Promoting Effects https://era.library.ualberta.ca/items/9cbbc994-c63d-4804-90f3-2547cc73d004/view/cb10a674-7f7c-4165-b7d9-a446c40993fa/Arora_Harshita_202002_MSc.pdf
  4. Vitamin C and Immune Function https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/
  5. Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16373990/
  6. Review of the health benefits of peas (Pisum sativum L.) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22916813/
  7. Dietary fiber in gastrointestinal health and disease https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33208922/
  8. Anti-fatigue effects of pea ( Pisum sativum L.) peptides prepared by compound protease https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33967323/
  9. Muscle fatigue: general understanding and treatment https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5668469/
  10. Postprandial Lipemia as Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/69909
  11. Pea fiber lowers fasting and postprandial blood triglyceride concentrations in humans https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16856319/
  12. The Effect of Lutein on Eye and Extra-Eye Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6164534/
  13. Management Strategies for Abdominal Bloating and Distension https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4991532/
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Shivani Sikri

Shivani SikriPG Diploma in Dietetics & Public Health Nutrition

Shivani Sikri is the founder and chief nutritionist at Nutri4Verve and has more than 10 years of experience. She recommends a well-balanced, holistic lifestyle modification approach, based on combinations, metabolism, and genetic and medical requirements of her clients.   Her forte lies in therapeutic diets for type 2 diabetes, thyroid, cholesterol, PCOD/ PCOS, fatty liver, heart health, and other metabolic...read full bio

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