Sugar Snap Pea Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

sugar snap peas nutrition facts and health benefits
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

The name "sugar snap peas" may sound like a sugary treat, but these plump peapods are actually a non-starchy vegetable. Sugar snap peas are easy to grow, and lots of fun to eat. With a good balance of fiber and protein, sugar snap peas won't cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Sugar snap peas provide several health benefits that shouldn't be underestimated.

Sugar Snap Pea Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (63g) of whole sugar snap peas.

  • Calories: 27
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 3mg
  • Carbohydrates: 4.8g
  • Fiber: 1.6g
  • Sugars: 2.5g
  • Protein: 1.8g

Carbs

A 1-cup serving of whole sugar snap peas has almost 5 grams of carbohydrates, about half of which come from natural sugar, along with just under 2 grams of fiber. Sugar snap peas are classified as a non-starchy vegetable, meaning they don't significantly raise blood sugar.

Fats

Sugar snap peas are considered a fat-free food unless they are prepared with added fats or dipped in high-fat sauce or dressing.

Protein

Sugar snap peas have almost 2 grams of protein per 1 cup serving. Although they don't offer complete protein, sugar snap peas have more protein than many other vegetables.

Vitamins and Minerals

Sugar snap peas provide vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, calcium, and potassium.

Health Benefits

Sugar snap peas are a non-starchy vegetable with a lot to offer. Here are some ways to benefit from sugar snap peas.

Promotes Regularity and Prevents Constipation

Women need about 25 grams of fiber a day, while men need 38 grams. Sugar snap peas contain both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Getting enough fiber promotes regularity by adding bulk to the stool and moving food through the digestive tract. Trading processed snack foods for sugar snap peas is a great way to get more fiber in your meal plan.

Helps Control Blood Sugar

The American Diabetes Association recommends at least three to five servings of vegetables per day. Non-starchy vegetables, including sugar snap peas, are especially beneficial. Due to their high phytonutrient content and fiber (which keeps blood sugar stable), sugar snap peas are a wonderful snack for helping to manage diabetes.

Promotes Heart Health

Sugar snap peas have several nutrients associated with cardiovascular benefits. The vitamin C in sugar snap peas decreases inflammation in blood vessels that can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Sugar snap peas also provide potassium, which is known to reduce blood pressure. Furthermore, the soluble fiber in sugar snap peas lowers cholesterol levels. On many levels, sugar snap peas are good for the heart.

Supports Weight Loss

Sugar snap peas are a non-starchy vegetable that can help with weight loss. To feel full and get adequate nutrition while losing weight, experts suggest loading more than half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables like sugar snap peas. Cooked or fresh, sugar snap peas are useful for healthy weight maintenance.

Aids Eye Health

Sugar snap peas are a modest source of plant-based carotenoids known as lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which act as concentrated antioxidants in a part of the retina known as the macula. In people with macular degeneration, an aging-related disorder that can lead to irreversible vision loss, the increased intake of foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin may help slow the progression of the disease. 

Allergies

Allergies to sugar snap peas may be indicative of an overall legume allergy. Some people are allergic to all legumes (beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts), while others are only sensitive to specific foods. Symptoms of a sugar snap pea allergy can include hives, lip swelling, wheezing, and vomiting. Ask your doctor for a full evaluation if you suspect a sugar snap pea allergy.

Varieties

Sugar snap peas are similar to snow peas. You can eat the pods of both vegetables. The main difference is that sugar snap peas are more plump, while snow peas are flat.

There are several varieties of sugar snap peas, including Sugar Bob, Premium, Super Sugar Snap, Cascadia, Amish Snap, and Sugar Ann. See your farmers market for local varieties, or try going your own at home.

When It's Best

Sugar snap peas can tolerate cold weather and light frosts. They are usually planted in early spring and harvested about 60 days after planting. You can find them at farmers markets in late spring and early summer.

Storage and Food Safety

Always buy pea pods that are bright green without any yellowing or speckled areas. They should be glossy and appear to be near-bursting. Do not buy sugar snap peas that are dull or have loose peas rattling around inside them.

Old snap peas tend to be stringy; you can tell by breaking off the stem. If there are fibrous strings attached to the stem bud, the pods are probably near the end of their shelf life.

Store whole snap peas in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper of the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If you can eat them right away after purchasing, they'll be at maximum sweetness. Always rinse snap peas under running water before eating or cutting into them.

Sugar snap peas can also be frozen for later use. After washing them, remove stems and strings. Blanch whole snap peas for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (larger pods need more time). Cool and dry them. Freeze sugar snap peas 1/2 inch apart and seal.

How to Prepare

You can eat sugar snap peas raw or prepare them by steaming, stir-frying, or blanching. You can tell a snap pea is overcooked when it loses its bright color and turns a pea soup green. You can season them with herbs and spices or simply a dash of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

You can give your snap peas Asian-inspired twists by tossing them into a bowl of soba noodles and dressing them with toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, chopped scallions, and a dash of light soy sauce. 

If eaten raw, you can snap peas as a dipper instead of chips and crackers or cut them into bite-sized chunks for salads and slaws.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Non-Starchy Vegetables. American Diabetes Association. Updated 2020.

  2. Peas, edible-podded, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2019.

  3. McManus K. Should I be eating more fiber? Harvard Health Publishing. Updated 2019.

  4. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin C: Fact sheet for health professionals. Updated February 27, 2020.

  5. Firouzman Y. Nutrition before bariatric surgery. UCLA Health. Updated 2016.

  6. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin A: Fact sheet for health professionals. Updated February 14, 2020.

  7. Forster D. Legume allergy. Nottingham University Hospitals. Updated 2017.

  8. Masabni J. Growing Sugar Snap Peas. Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.

  9. Freezing Edible Pod Peas. National Center for Home Food Preservation. Updated 2014.