Black-eyed peas are one of the most powerful legumes and their consumption should not just be limited to the Holidays. Loaded with protein and fiber, black eyed peas have countless health benefits that are under advertised. If you learn how to cook black-eyed peas like a pro, you literally hit the jackpot.
1. Powerful Protein Source
For those seeking plant-based options to meat for different reasons such as transitioning to a vegetarian diet, intolerance to meat or ending animal cruelty, black-eyed peas are incredible sources of protein. Many body builders who went vegan at one point in their lives never go back to eating meat, because legumes such as black-eyed peas build the same muscle mass any animal protein does. Let’s not forget about gorillas that are typically vegan and the body building champions of the earth.
2. Fights Obesity
Dietary fiber is one of your most essential nutritional needs in order to have a healthy digestive system, and a healthy body weight. When you look at the nutrition facts of legumes in general, you see that you can meet your 20% of daily suggested amount of fiber. Black-eyed peas are also low in fat, and have zero cholesterol.
3. Treats Anemia
Iron deficiency is one of the most common health problems today. Building your iron levels back up depends on your diet to which you must add plenty of legumes. Black-eyed peas are loaded with iron and will treat anemia even faster when consumed with vitamin C. See my recipe below for an excellent combination of iron and vitamin C.
4. Prevents Cancer
According to an article released by American Institute for Cancer Research legumes in general fight cancer. Especially black-eyed peas prevent colorectal, breast, lung, and prostate cancers.
5. Prevents Diabetes
Black-eyed peas contain complex-carbohydrates and a lot of fiber. The glycemic index of black-eyed peas is very low. This means your blood sugar will not spike when you eat them. For this reason, black-eyed peas are some of the most recommended foods for diabetics.
Smaller in size, black-eyed peas are not only faster to cook compared to beans, but also cause less gas and discomfort after eating. The best thing about them is they are incredibly affordable. How can a bag of dry black-eyed peas be cheaper than a bag of chips? I will never understand. Well, for us health enthusiasts, it is definitely a blessing.
A common mistake many people make is buying pre-cooked and canned black-eyed peas, so they don’t have to go through the hustle of overnight soaking and boiling. Although I can understand you work hard like everyone and have no time even for yourself, you must make the effort to eat your legumes the right way for your own good. I firmly believe that canned foods cannot compete with traditionally cooked foods in terms of nutritional value. Because canned foods lack the nutrients that a traditionally cooked food would still have. Not to mention canned foods are contaminated with additives and other chemicals that help them last a long time. The rule of thumb never changes: the longer the shelf life, the shorter your shelf life. So, I encourage you to always and always cook your black-eyed peas from scratch and stay away from canned foods in general.
Where I come from, black-eyed peas are purchased dry, soaked in water overnight, and boiled the next day. One of the most popular uses of them in the region is the delicious black-eyed pea salad. When plant-based protein and fresh vegetables come together with some nutritious home-made dressing, magic happens.
Although this recipe is Mediterranean, after having spent almost three years in the United States, I can easily say that you will absolutely love this salad. If you want to double the protein intake, boiled and shredded chicken breast could be a good option. Here is the recipe: