Black Eyed Peas, commonly known as cowpeas are small, black colored kidney-shaped beans which are from the family of leguminous plants. In the southern states of the United States, it is also referred to as Southern Peas or Field Pea. Black Eyed Pea seeds belong to Fabaceae family and considered under genus name Vigna. The Botanical scientific name of the Cowpea is Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp.
Related to Mung Bean, Black(1) Eyed Peas are cultivated since pre-historic times in India and China for their nutritional benefits. In Southern America, Black Eyed Peas symbolizes as “Coins”. They called it a bit of good luck to eat Cowpea on New Year’s Eve with green Collards, which symbolizes “Money”.
Black Eyed Peas: An Overview
Black Eyed Pea is a drought-tolerant bush, that usually grows in sandy soils with small, purple and white flowers, which ultimately grows into a long cylindrical pod with 5-15 seeds in it. With almost 42 percent of proteins in 100 grams of seeds, Black Eyed Peas contains foods that are very much essential to achieve your daily requirements of the proteins.
It also carries 28 percent of dietary fibers per 100 grams which acts as a strong laxative and also keeps the colon mucosa free from cancer-causing chemicals.
[Also Read: Green Peas Benefits for Health]
Top ‘10’ Health Benefits of Black Eyed Peas
- Almost all the varieties of the Black-Eyed Peas are a real source of vegetarian proteins. Fifty grams of the peas contains 168 calories and approximately 12 grams of proteins.
- Dietary fibers help reduce blood cholesterol levels by reabsorbing bile acids, which binds to cholesterol in the colon. Black Eyed Peas are a rich source of fiber with 10.6 grams of dietary fibers per 100 grams of seeds. These dietary fibers will also help in maintaining a healthy colon.
- Black Eyed Peas are one of the fewer sources of Biochanin-A(2), an O-methylated isoflavone compound, which is plant estrogen. Biochanin-A plays a perfect role in anti-cancer diet programs.
- In celiac disease person or a person with gluten-allergy, Black Eyed Peas act as a good source of the nutritional compound as they are gluten-free food items. Black Eyed Peas are widely used in prepared foods as gluten-free food alternatives.
- Black Eyed Peas are good sources of Vitamin B complex such as Riboflavin, Niacin, Folates, etc. All these vitamins act as enzymes and improve for metabolism.
- 100 grams of the beans contains various essential minerals like Iron-107 percent, Copper-94 percent, Phosphorus-61 percent, etc. carbon and Iron are responsible for the production of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) in the human body. Hence, they are used in the treatment of Anemia treatment regimen in various countries.
- Enrichment of Potassium in Black Eyed Peas is up to 11 grams per 100 grams of the dry seeds which almost 24 percent. Potassium is present in all the body fluids, and it also helps in decreasing the blood pressure which is caused by the Sodium ions on the heart.
- Black Eyed Peas are rich in Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps in maintaining healthy skin and also mucous membrane. It also improves the vision and maintains healthy eye-sight.
- Some of the other vitamins which are found in Black Eyed Peas are folates. They play an important role in the regulation of amino acids in the human nervous system. It would ultimately help in prolonging the major neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases(3).
- Deficiency of Folic acid in a pregnant woman can cause a faulty formation of the neural tube and lead to the development of underweight infants. This deficiency of Folic acid can be treated by the supplements and by using diets including Black Eyed Peas in pregnant women.
Black Eyed Peas Recipes
1. Marinated Black-Eyed Peas Salad:
Along with lots of fresh vegetables and Black-Eyed Peas, this salad tastes better upon longer refrigeration time.
Yellow and Red bell pepper finely chopped, half onion finely chopped, 2 Jalapeno chilis finely chopped, four cans of black-eyed peas (rinsed and drained), Red wine vinegar, Balsamic vinegar, Olive oil, Parsley, Black pepper, Salt, Garlic, Crumbled cooked bacon, etc.
- Mix Red and Yellow bell peppers, Onions, Jalapeno, Black Eyed Peas, Garlic, Parsley, etc. in the large bowl.
- Whip the Red wine vinegar, Balsamic vinegar in the other bowl. Add olive oil, Salt and Black pepper and pour the complete mixture on the vegetables and beans evenly.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours and serve with crumbled bacon.
[Read: White Pepper vs Black Pepper]
2. Curried Vegetarian Black-Eyed Peas:
One can of Black Eyed Beans (rinsed and drained), Cilantro chopped, three green onions chopped, two tomatoes diced, two spoons sugar, Olive oil, Garlic, Salt, Balsamic vinegar, etc.
- Mix Black Eyed Beans, chopped Cilantro, Tomatoes, Green Onions, Olive oil, Sugar, Garlic, Salts Balsamic Vinegar, etc. in the large bowl.
- Add Jalapeno pepper in it if needed.
- Refrigerate for 6 hours before serve.
3. Black Eyed Peas with Pork and Greens:
One-pound Black Eyed Beans, One-pound pork neck bones, three slices bacon, 1 cup each of Diced onions, Celery, Carrot, and Garlic, Thyme, ground cumin, Black pepper, Diced tomatoes, Salts, Diced Smoked ham, and Cold Water.
- Cover the Black-Eyed Beans with cold water and keep it for overnight.
- Cook the pork neck and bacon in the oven for 5 minutes until it turns brown.
- Put Onion, Celery, Garlic, and Carrot and stir for 1 minute.
- Pour cold water and Black-Eyed Beans mix into the pork and maximize the heat.
- Put Thyme, Black pepper and Cumin into the mixture and reduce heat.
- Put Tomatoes and Salt and simmer for 40 minutes.
- Remove the neck bones from the mixture. Add diced ham and cook for 15 minutes before serving it on rice.
[Read: Health Benefits of Green Beans]
Black Eyed Peas Side Effects
Although Black Eyed Peas have various benefits, they also bring along some side effects.
Black Eyed Peas are a great source of dietary fibers and act as a laxative and improve bowel movements and maintain the health of the colon. Upon consumption of the Black Eyed Peas, some people may complain about a large amount of intestinal wind which gets passed from the anus.
This condition is known as Flatulence. Flatulence would include indigestion and intolerance of the food.
Flatulence, a condition was studied in detail in the Arizona State University by their School of Nutrition. The perception of excessive gas generation after consuming the Black-Eyed Peas foods in three separate adults’ groups was examined.
The results of this study were published in the Nutritional Journal. Only 19 percent of the adults from the group complained about the formation of excessive gas after eating Black Eyed Peas. Hence, in conclusion, the concerns about the Flatulence are slightly exaggerated.
There are various benefits of the Black-Eyed Peas which make them mandatory in our diets. Black Eyed Peas food materials do not cause Lectin toxin poisoning (Clumping of RBCs). It also grows in all varieties of the soil and is the annual plant; the supply of Black-Eyed Peas is not the primary concern.
Although they are called peas, they are beans. These peas are essential as they fix the atmospheric nitrogen into the soil and increase the nitrogen content in the ground, making the soil more favorable for different plants.
The Black-eyed peas food benefits for humans include improving digestion, preventing anemia, promoting skin and eye health, lowering blood pressure, etc. They can be cooked quickly and added to salads, soups, and curries. Also, they can be mashed into dips.