Have you ever seen or tasted cowpeas, black-eyed peas? Its name may sound a bit weird, sure, but it’s actually a type of pea that has an oval structure and a black dot on it. Read this article if you want to learn more, not only about the seed itself but also about its myriad of health benefits. What are you waiting for? Sit back, relax and enjoy the read!
What are Cowpeas?
As stated earlier, cowpeas (or black-eyed peas) are a kind of bean noticable by their oval shape and black dot. Scientifically, they are referred to as Phaseolus Aureus. Cowpeas range in colour from brown to black, red, creamy white and more. Although widely famous for their pleasing taste, their nutritional value should not be ignored. You will learn more about the nutritional content later!
Cowpeas are one of the most important legume crops in various parts of Africa, Asia and other arid areas of the world. having been cultivated for over 4,000 years. These hardy and versatile peas, wich come from the genus Vigna, are capable of growing in unforgiving and harsh climates, providing people with a denser form of nutrients. They have demonstrated many health benefits, as they are high in various essential nutrients.
Even though the beans are the main focus of the plant, the pea pods, green peas and leaves are also edible, capable of delivering a strong burst of minerals and nutrients to the body. In the culinary field, cowpeas are very important, protein-rich complementary dietary items to traditional grain-based meals. They are easy to prepare, and they are capable of providing more nutrition than any other species of legumes!
Nutritional Value of Cowpeas
Cowpeas contain almost all of the essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins 1, B6, B5, B1, B2, B3, vitamin C, phosphorus, copper, zinc, sodium, selenium, magnesium, calcium, potassium and more. Moreover, they also have a lot of essential overall health benefits. We will discuss these later, but for now, look at the table below to learn more about the nutritional value of cowpeas:
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||1.26 grams||6%|
|Dietary Fiber||10.6 grams||28%|
|Pantothenic acid||1.496 milligrams||30%|
Health Benefits of Cowpeas
Here are some of the health benefits of cowpeas:
- Helps with losing weight. Cowpeas are low in cholesterol and calories, which is good for weight loss. Not only that, the dietary fiber in them is also beneficial in weight loss, as well as other important ways.
- Helps circulatory health. Cowpeas have been beneficial in treating anemia, or iron deficiency. As we know, anemia may result in poor overall metabolic function, fatigue, stomach aches, cognitive confusion and weakness. The high levels of iron in the cowpeas are beneficial in countering the effects of the condition.
- Helps manage diabetes. The magnesium present in cowpeas is beneficial for better bone health as well as sleep patterns. We know that magnesium plays a huge role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and is beneficial in the body’s maintenance of a balanced blood sugar level. This is one of the best health benefits of cowpeas.
- Beneficial for sleep problems. The significant levels of tryptophan in cowpeas are beneficial in relaxing the body and easing it into much better sleeping patterns. If you often experience insomnia, you might consider eating a spoonful of cowpeas before sleeping. This will help you wake up feeling more refreshed.
- Helps detoxify. The antioxidant properties of the cowpeas are essential for the body, as they lower levels of chronic illnesses like cancer. This is because the antioxidant properties of legumes are able to neutralize the effects of free radicals in the body, which may cause cellular mutation and chronic illness.