5 Powerful Health Benefits of Black-Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas, also known as black-eyed beans, are among the most nourishing in the legume family. Their name, of course, comes from the prominent black spot on their creamy skin.
Growing up, my family always cooked black-eyed peas exactly the way we prepared kidney bean curry, and ate them with steamed rice. Lately, I’ve started tossing up colorful black-eyed pea salad and blending up a delicious spread for toast, too.
Whichever way you like them, one thing is for sure: black-eyed peas are loaded with health benefits.
1. Black-eyed peas contain Vitamin A: This vitamin, as we know, is essential for eye health. It also strengthens skin and skeletal tissue. In a cup of cooked black-eyed peas, you get nearly 70 milligrams of Vitamin A. Add to this some broccoli, carrot or spinach, and you gift yourself a meal that’s not only delicious, but also rich in vision-boosting nutrients.
2. They are rich in B Vitamins: In fact, this particular variety of beans tops the list of Vitamin B9 or folate-rich foods. One cup of cooked black-eyed peas contains about 210 milligrams of folate, which is half the daily recommended intake of this nutrient for both genders. Studies show that folate sourced from food can cut your risk of pancreatic cancer by as much as 60 percent. Folate, which helps with cell formation, is especially important during pregnancy. Black-eyed peas also contain about 12 percent of your daily amount of thiamin, one of the B vitamins.
3. They contain digestion-friendly fiber: Eat black-eyed peas and you get soluble fiber, which keeps blood sugar balanced and helps prevent type 2 diabetes. Soluble fiber also binds to cholesterol and carries it out of the body. It protects you from several intestinal disorders as well. One cup of black-eyed beans supplies 21 percent of daily intake of fiber to men, and 32 percent to women.
4. They endow you with potassium: The third most abundant mineral in the human body, potassium, brings relief from stroke, blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders, anxiety and stress. It also enhances muscle strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions and nurtures the nervous system. This is one essential mineral that we all must get in adequate amounts. Just one cup of cooked black-eyed peas gives you 18 percent of your daily potassium intake.
5. Black-eyed peas are a good source of protein: Especially if you follow a vegetarian diet, consider including black-eyed peas in your diet. Just half a cup of dry and cooked black-eyed beans gives you 6.7 grams of protein, which supports most of the parts of your body, including muscles, skin, hair and nails. In addition, protein helps cells grow and repair and provides energy to your body.
- Dry black-eyed peas contain more nutrients than the canned variety. Soak them in clean water for a few hours before cooking.
- If using dry black-eyed peas, look for ones that have healthy looking skin with some shine.
- If buying canned peas, choose those with no added salt.
- If you do buy canned peas with salt added to them, get rid of any excess salt by rinsing them under running water.