Black-eyed peas

Black-eyed peas are a type of popular legume grown around the world. They get their name from their appearance. They have a cream color with a black spot that resembles an eye. Even though their name contains the term ‘pea,’ they are actually a type of bean. Since they are legumes, black-eyed peas have a very rich nutrition composition. In the United States, black-eyed peas are eaten as stews, part of salads, and fillings for foods such as tacos and pies.

A bowl of cooked black eyed peas

The nutrition composition Black-eyed peas

Like all legumes, black-eyed peas have a nutrition profile of low fat and high fat and carbohydrate. Adding black-eyed peas to anyone’s diet has many benefits but plant-based eaters could particularly see more benefits. This is because they provide nutrients that are often obtained from animal foods. In particular, black-eyed peas provide calcium which most people get from dairy and protein which most get from meat.

Do black-eyed peas match up to other beans’ protein content?

Similar to other legumes, black-eyed peas are rich in protein. However, black-eyed peas do not have complete protein like that present in animal foods like pork tenderloin that is to say they are lacking in some essential amino acids. In the past, this was a concern but there are ways you can make up for the missing essential amino acids. When eating legumes like black-eyed peas, pinto beans, or lima beans, pairing them with a grain such as rice can make up for the missing amino acids. Legumes are lacking the essential amino acid methionine which grains have therefore together, they make a complete protein.

What type of Carbohydrates are present in black-eyed peas?

Legumes are high in carbs but a majority portion of the carbs are complex. About 30% of the carbs in black-eyed peas are in the form of fiber. The other portion contains a special kind of carbohydrates known as oligosaccharides. Oligosaccharides are very important in maintaining the health of the gut. This is because they support the health of the good bacteria in the digestive system by providing them with food. There is very little sugar in black-eyed peas. However, they still do not qualify for low-carb diets because their net carb content is high.

Black-eyed peas are a Fat-free food

Black-eyed peas are a poor source of fat. Indeed, they contain 0g of fat. When making meals with black-eyed peas, cooking with some oil will help improve the fat content of the dish. Of course, remember to use healthy fats like olive oil or butter and avoid unhealthy ones like margarine.

Are there any vitamins and minerals in black-eyed peas?

Black-eyed peas are so rich in vitamins and minerals that they are classified as vegetables. They are placed in a category called pulse vegetables where all legumes are placed. Some of the vitamins and minerals present in black-eyed peas include calcium, iron, folate, vitamin K, copper, and zinc.

NutrientsAmount in 100g of black-eyed peas
Calories114 calories
Iron23% of the daily allowance
Folate88% of the daily allowance
Calcium21% of the daily allowance
Black-eyed peas’ nutrition composition

Health benefits of Black-eyed peas

  • Black-eyed peas are a good source of protein which has many benefits such as energy and muscle building.
  • Black-eyed peas improve digestive health by providing oligosaccharides that support the health of the gut microbiome.
  • Heart health; black-eyed peas have many nutrients that are beneficial to the health of the heart. For example, black-eyed peas contain potassium which is good for the heart muscle, and fiber which lowers blood cholesterol.
  • Weight control; black-eyed peas may support weight loss by providing more protein and fiber. Protein and fiber both provide more satiety to a meal therefore helping you avoid unnecessary snacking.
  • Black-eyed peas contain folate a nutrient very important during pregnancy for the health of the fetus.
  • Bone health; black-eyed peas are a rare case of a plant that is very rich in calcium which boosts bone and teeth strength. This is especially beneficial to plant-based eaters who may have trouble getting these nutrients.
  • Black-eyed peas promote eye health by providing vitamin A.

How can you use black eyed peas in cooking?

Black eyed peas can be used in a number of dishes for example stews, salads, pies, and plant-based burger patties.

As we saw from the nutrient composition, black eyed peas are not very rich in macronutrients except carbohydrates. They contain much lower protein than other types of beans such as pinto beans. Therefore, you can add a second protein source to your meal to boost the protein content. It is also advisable to add a rich fat like avocado or butter to make up for the poor content of the black eyed peas.

A delicious and nutritious black eyed pea salad

Common Questions

Are black-eyed peas healthy?

Yes, black-eyed peas have a very rich nutrient composition

What is the nutritional value of black-eyed peas?

Black-eyed peas are a poor source of all macronutrients making a fair contribution to only protein. The rich micronutrient content of black-eyed peas, however, is a good enough reason to add them to your diet.

Are black-eyed peas a type of peas?

No, black-eyed peas are actually beans.

Are black-eyed peas keto-friendly?

No, black-eyed peas are not keto-friendly because they have a high amount of carbohydrates.

Are black-eyed peas good for diabetic people?

Yes, black-eyed peas have a low glycemic index making them suitable for diabetic individuals.

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