Black eyed peas, also known as black eyed beans, are a legume commonly used in Indian and Pakistani cuisines. Black eyed peas are known to mutate easily, giving rise to a number of sub-varieties. The most common commercial variety is known as the California Black eye, a variety which is pale in color which features a noticeable black spot. The first domestication of black eyed peas occurred in West Africa, followed by cultivation in Asia. The peas were introduced to the southern United States during the early part of the 17th century, when African slaves brought them to the New World. Most of the black-eyed pea cultivation in the region, however, can be traced to Florida and the Carolinas during the 18th century. Throughout the South, the black-eyed pea is still a widely used ingredient in southern cooking and soul food.
Black eyed peas provide an excellent source of fiber, folate and protein. Black eyed peas also provide a high degree of iron, manganese, magnesium and calcium. Finally, they are low in fat content, making them an ideal food for heart healthy diets.
Dietary Fiber – Dietary Fiber stimulates digestion and peristalsis, helping to relieve indigestion and constipation problems.
Protein provides the building blocks needed for cellular growth. It also provides the body with an important energy source.
Sodium is an important mineral needed for cellular function, and positively benefits neural function.
Iron –Iron, found in red blood cells, is an integral part of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the cells. Iron is an essential component of many enzymes necessary for various chemical reactions in the body.
Calcium – Calcium is an important mineral for bone and teeth growth and maintenance. It is also an important mineral in terms of cardiovascular function.
Manganese – Manganese aids in the metabolism of food as well as promotes normal functioning of the nervous system. Manganese works as an antioxidant to help prevent cancer and heart disease.
Magnesium – Magnesium helps to keep muscle and nerve tissues functioning normal, as well as promotes a proper heartbeat. It also assists in the support of a healthy immune system and keeps bones strong.
Black eyed peas, while grown during the summer months, can be found dried or canned year round in supermarkets and food retail shops.
Per 1 Cup (145 grams):
Calories (cKal): 130
Protein (grams): 4.28
Total Fat (grams): .51
Carbohydrates (grams): 27.3
Fiber (grams): 7.2
Buying and Storing
When buying black eyed peas, make sure they are free from pebbles and stones. Since they are dried, black eyed peas can store for up to one year.
Best Way to Add to Diet
Black eyed peas pair will with lean chicken and rice. Additionally, add some cooked black eye peas to a salad, soup or stew.