Cowpeas or black-eyed peas are edible legumes of the Fabaceae family. The name of these legumes is peas, but it is a bean. The crop of cowpeas is mainly native to Africa, but now it is popular in most of Asia, Europe, and American countries.
The dried seeds of the cowpeas pods are the most common edible form, but their leaves, green seeds, and immature pods are also eatable. The dried seeds are pale in color with an eye-like black, brown, or red color spot. We can use them as stir-fried, sauté, soups, curries, and puree. Cowpeas seeds are poor men’s meat. They are rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Let’s find out more about black-eyed peas’ benefits.
Cowpeas contain numerous vitamins, proteins, and minerals. They are also rich in antinutrients, such as phytic acid and protease inhibitors. To increase cowpeas nutrient availability and combat the antinutrient properties, numerous treatment methods, such as soaking, germination, fermentation, or debranning, can be helpful. The following are the few health benefits of cowpeas:
- Cowpeas are rich in fibers, plant-based proteins, vitamins (A, C, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, and B6), iron, selenium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper, which have countless health benefits.
- The high fiber content and plant proteins in black-eyed peas reduce hunger hormones and enhance weight loss. The soluble fibers enhance beneficial gut bacteria and improve digestion.
- Regular consumption of cowpeas reduces LDL and total cholesterol levels and improves blood circulation and heart health.
- Cowpeas have a low glycaemic index, thus reducing sudden spikes of blood sugar levels after eating. Therefore, including them in the diet is beneficial for diabetic people.
- Vitamin A and C and polyphenols in cowpeas have antioxidant properties, which reduce inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and certain cancers. They also encourage collagen synthesis, which improves skin repair, reduces age-related signs, and enhances the glow.
- Black-eyed peas have a copious amount of folate vitamin, beneficial for pregnant women and fetus development in the womb.
- Cowpeas contain enormous amounts of hair-friendly nutrients, which enhance hair growth and prevent hair loss.
These nutritious and delicious beans are easy to add to various culinary dishes. They have a rich, creamy taste and give a mild nutty aroma to the food. Adding cowpeas to dishes makes a wholesome diet.