Peas belong to the legume family, plants that bear fruit in the form of pods containing seeds we refer to as beans, and are loaded with health benefits including essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Peas are one of the best known sources of saponins, a group of phytonutrients that help lower cholesterol, reduce the growth of cancer cells, boost immunity, and function as an antioxidant. Although they are often grouped with vegetables one thing that sets them apart nutritionally is their high protein content, similar to other plants in the legume family. Pea protein is a great protein alternative for vegetarians and vegans who avoid or limit their consumption of animal products. In particular, it is high in the amino acid lysine which contributes to some of the benefits above and also is a precursor to carnitine, a compound playing a critical role in energy production including the conversion of fatty acids into usable energy for the body.