Peas are the predominant export crop in world trade and represent 40% of the total trade in pulses. The major exporting countries, excluding the EEC, are Australia, Canada and the U.S.A. Peas are among the four most cultivated legumes next to soybean, groundnut and beans. Peas are cultivated for the fresh green seeds, tender green pods, dried seeds, and foliage. Green peas are eaten cooked as a vegetable, canned or frozen while ripe. Dry peas are used whole or made into flour. In some parts of the world, dry peas (green or yellow) are consumed split as dahl.
Dried peas, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fibre. Not only can dried peas help lower cholesterol, they are also of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. Fibre is far from all that dried peas have to offer. Dried peas also provide good to excellent amounts of four important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein all with virtually no fat. As if this weren't enough, dried peas also feature isoflavones (notably daidzein). Isoflavones are phytonutrients that can act like weak estrogens in the body and whose dietary consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of certain health conditions, including breast and prostate cancer.