About Cow peas - The Black Eyed Wonder!
The picturesque white peas with the little black dot that looks like an eye are what are known as cowpeas. Being a common part of the diet in South America they get the names field peas and black eyed peas from that part of the world as well. Not only that, but these cowpeas make up an important component of the crops gone in the arid regions of Asia and Africa due to the fact that they are tough little plants which can flourish even in poor soil and drought like conditions. Apart from the fact that these cowpeas are easily available and affordable, it has recently been discovered that incorporating black eyed peas into ones diet has lots of healthy effects on the body.
Cow peas Nutritional Value
In about one cup of field cowpeas, there are 200 calories, 8 of which are from fats. However they contain no traces of cholesterol. Field cowpeas have one gram of fat most of which is Trans fat and seven milligrams of sodium. They have 36 grams of carbohydrates most of which are dietary fiber, and cowpeas are rich sources of protein containing about 13 grams. The cowpeas are also a source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron.
Cow pea Health Benefits
Black eyed peas are low in fat and have a large amount of healthy protein therefore they are automatically a good contribution to your diet. However, due to the presence of soluble fiber, they also contain disease preventing characteristics. This soluble fiber dissolves in water ensuring that bile acids are trapped in its solution. This causes the damaging LDL component of cholesterol in the blood to be lowered whereas the protective HDL component remains protected and intact.
Although the soluble fiber is very useful, we must not neglect to mention that the large amounts of insoluble fiber provided by the beans is very useful. This is because the soluble fiber ensures protection against constipation, colon cancer and other afflictions that may attack your digestive system.
Anti – Disease!
The benefits don’t end there. Black eyed peas are known to have many varieties of phytochemicals. Due to the fact that these have a lot of lignans they protect the body from osteoporosis and various kinds of heart diseases as well as cancers.
The beans are also rich in flavonoids which help to reduce the occurrence of heart diseases and cancers and chemicals which help to lower the blood pressure of the body.
Another advantageous component of black eyed peas is potassium. Half a cup of dry and cooked peas contains about 239 milligrams of potassium. This is a nutrient that is essential to keeping a body healthy and well maintained. Potassium ensures that a person’s blood pressure is maintained at healthy and normal rates at all times. Not only that but it also strengthens bone and muscles and so is an essential requirement to keeping the body structure fit and healthy.
A Versatile Vegetable!
Apart from being rich in all these nutrients, field peas can easily be combined into lots of delicious recipes. They are especially beneficial to vegetarians because they can be added to meatless dishes as a source of iron and protein. Therefore, no matter how they are incorporated into the eating plan, black eyed peas are a step in the right direction for healthy eating habits.
Other Cow pea Health Benefits
These cowpeas also have a generous amount of what are known as resistant starches. These are digested in the small intestine and are used to provide the body with energy. When they aren’t being used to provide energy, resistant starches work as fibers and therefore provide similar benefits like lowering of cholesterol and protection from various heart diseases.