Black-eyed peas are a type of legume that contains many nutrients, including vitamin A, folate, and manganese. They also contain high amounts of fiber, which can aid digestion and feed beneficial gut bacteria.

This article will explain what black-eyed peas are, their nutritional profile, the health benefits of eating them, how to prepare them, and how to incorporate them into recipes.

Black-eyed peas are a type of legume. They are actually a bean, not a pea. They are related to cowpea, or goat peas. Historically, they are native to West Africa, but they grow in warm regions around the world.

Black-eyed peas get their name from their appearance. They are cream in color with a small black spot that looks like an eye in the center, outlining where they once attached to the pods. As with other types of beans, people can buy them canned or dried.

This legume is a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and many essential vitamins and minerals. 1 cup of cooked black-eyed peas, or 165 grams (g), contains:

  • 160 calories
  • 0.6 g of fat
  • 33.5 g of carbohydrates
  • 5.2 g of protein
  • 8.3 g of fiber
  • 5.3 g sugar
  • 10% of the daily value (DV) for iron
  • 16% of the DV for calcium
  • 15% DV for potassium
  • 20% of the DV for magnesium
  • 24% of the DV for copper
  • 15% of the DV for zinc
  • 52% of the DV for folate
  • 44% DV for vitamin A
  • 37% of the DV for vitamin K
  • 41% of the DV for manganese

Besides being a source of important nutrients, black-eyed peas may also have specific health benefits. They include:

Helps digestion

Black-eyed peas may help improve digestion in some people due to their fiber content, which can help promote regular bowel movements.

This can be especially helpful for those who suffer from occasional constipation. According to a Meta-analysis 2012, a higher intake of dietary fiber may help people with constipation have more frequent bowel movements.

Black-eyed peas also contain prebiotic fibers, which feed the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.

However, it should be noted that for some people with digestive disorders, the high amount of fiber in black-eyed peas can be problematic.

May lower blood pressure and inflammation

According to a 2018 review, the close relative of the black-eyed pea, cowpea, may reduce the risk of diabetes, reduce levels of inflammation, and stabilize or lower blood pressure.

However, the authors note that while some studies have found cowpea to reduce these conditions or the risk of developing them, high-quality, long-term studies are needed to confirm the results.

May help maintain a healthy weight

A 2015 study found that people who ate pulses regularly were less likely to be obese than people who did not.

Black-eyed peas are a rich source of complex carbohydrates, which take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates. As a result, people who eat them may feel fuller for longer, which can help achieve moderate weight.

May help lower cholesterol

There is proof that eating legumes regularly can help reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. Lowering high cholesterol can lower your risk of heart disease.

In addition, a 2017 review have found that a diet that is generally high in fiber may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

People can eat black-eyed peas as part of a Mediterranean diet, which can also drop LDL cholesterol.

Learn more about the Mediterranean diet here.

Support eye and skin health

Black-eyed peas contain an impressive amount of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. In just one serving, black-eyed peas meet a quarter of an adult’s daily vitamin A requirement.

Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin and eyes by protecting and lubricating the mucous membranes around them.

One of the downsides to regular consumption of beans is that it can cause a buildup of intestinal gas. If people are going through this, there are a few things they can do.

First, it is better to gradually introduce high-fiber foods into the diet, especially if a person is not used to eating them. Another tactic is to soak the dried beans before cooking them, as this makes them easier to digest.

People can try taking digestive enzymes before or during meals that are high in fiber. There are also many over-the-counter remedies for bloating, indigestion, and gas.

Consult a doctor before taking any new supplements, such as digestive enzymes, as they may not be suitable for everyone.

Learn 20 different ways to relieve trapped gas.

People can cook canned black-eyed peas right from the can. However, if a person uses dried black-eyed peas, they may wish to soak them first. This reduces their overall cooking time.

To soak dried black-eyed peas, first remove unwanted particles, such as rocks or stones. Then follow one of these two methods:

  1. Place the dried beans in a large pot and cover them with about 3 to 4 inches of cold water. Let the beans soak overnight. The next day, drain, rinse and cook.
  2. Soak quickly by placing the beans in a pot, covering them with water and bringing the water to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes before removing the pan from the heat source. Cover the pot and let the beans soak for 1 hour before draining and rinsing the peas.

After either soaking option, it’s time to cook the peas. Cover the peas in a large pot filled with just enough fresh water. Bring the mixture to a boil then simmer until the peas are tender, which takes about 40 minutes.

People can easily incorporate black-eyed peas into their diet. Here are some ideas:

  • Hummus: Add mashed black-eyed peas cooked to the homemade hummus. People can mix them with chickpeas or use them instead of chickpeas as the main ingredient.
  • Burritos: People can add black-eyed peas to burritos and wraps by taking mashed hot beans and spreading them on top, adding other toppings on top. A wrap with eggs and vegetables would make a healthy, high protein breakfast.
  • Salads: Black-eyed peas can add flavor and texture to salads. Add them to a salad with a dressing such as olive oil, mustard, vinegar, fresh lemon juice or garlic.
  • Burgers: People can replace the meat in burgers with crushed black-eyed peas or mix the meat with black-eyed peas to reduce saturated fat. People can also add them to Sloppy Joes beans placed on a hamburger bun, veggie chili, or tacos.
  • Curries and Stews: Pairing black-eyed peas with hot spices such as cinnamon, turmeric or cumin, and sautéed herbs such as onions, garlic, or ginger can make a good base for a curry or stew.
  • Pilaf: Black-eyed peas are a staple in many traditional African American dishes, including Hoppin ‘John, which is pilau rice containing black-eyed peas and smoked, salted pork.
  • Vegetable soup: A hearty soup can be a hearty meal, especially with croutons or bread on the side. Adding a can of crushed or whole black-eyed peas can be an easy way to go a step further in soups.

Black-eyed peas have a number of health benefits. They can help some people reach a moderate weight, get enough fiber, or eat a balanced diet. Black-eyed peas are also versatile for cooking and can be part of many main dishes or side dishes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.