Peas are grown for either their edible seeds or pods. Garden or English peas, grown for their seeds, are harvested as soon as the pods are well-filled but the seeds are still tender and sweet. When small and tender, these peas can be eaten raw in salads. For cooking, shell them just before using and cook immediately. Some suggested garden pea cultivars are Little Marvel, Thomas Laxton, Wando, Freezonian, Frosty, Knight, Alderman (tall-growing), Sparkle and Green Arrow. Snow peas or sugar peas have edible flat pods and very small seeds. They should be picked when very young, just as the seeds start to form. If not picked at this stage, they can be shelled and eaten as garden peas, but are more starchy and not as sweet. Commonly grown cultivars of snow peas include Mammoth Melting Sugar, Dwarf Grey Sugar, and Oregon Sugar Pod. Green garden peas are a valuable source of protein, iron and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps to reduce serum cholesterol thus reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Sugar snap peas and the like, contain much less protein, but they are an excellent source of iron and vitamin C that work to keep your immune system functioning properly.