Naturally occurring gene mutation makes peas with health benefits
The seeds on the left are regular dried peas, while the wrinkled versions on the right have a hidden superpower. Inside their wrinkly exterior they’re packed with ‘resistant starch’, a type of carbohydrate that’s harder for our digestive systems to break down into sugar than the starch found in normal peas. As a result, the wrinkly peas cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels after eating them compared with smooth peas, which can trigger unhealthy ‘sugar spikes’. Repeated unhealthy blood sugar responses over time is thought to increase the risk of diet-linked conditions such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. Although the wrinkly peas are a naturally-occurring variation, they’ve been overlooked for use in foods in favour of their smooth-skinned cousins. Eating these super-peas or using flour made from them in food products could be an easy-peasy way to improve health by helping to control blood sugar levels.
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