HEALTH BENEFITS OF BLACK EYED PEAS
Just 1 cup of black eyed peas delivers 20 percent of the daily value of magnesium, calcium and iron, and that’s just the beginning of the nutrition black-eyed peas provide.
One cup of cooked black-eyed peas, or cowpeas, has 160 calories and negligible fat. Their 5 grams of protein represents 9 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 11 percent for women. As with all legumes, black-eyed peas are especially good sources of soluble fiber, which helps prevent type 2 diabetes by keeping blood sugar balanced after you eat. Soluble fiber also binds to cholesterol and carries it out of the body. Men get 21 percent of their daily intake of fiber, while women get 32 percent from 1 cup of black-eyed peas.
Folate has the vital role of helping to create genetic material and build cells. Consuming an adequate amount of folate is essential during periods of growth, from pregnancy through adolescence. Women who get enough folate before becoming pregnant, and during the early months of pregnancy, lower the risk of birth defects of the spinal cord and brain. At all ages, everyone needs folate to produce enough red blood cells to avoid developing anemia. Folate is so important that cereals, breads and grains are fortified with it in the form of folic acid. After enriched grain products, the best natural sources are leafy greens and legumes. One cup of black-eyed peas provides 52 percent of the recommended daily intake of folate.
Manganese is a trace element, meaning you don’t need large amounts, but it’s still essential and must be obtained through your diet. Several enzymes need manganese to fulfil their jobs forming cartilage and metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Manganese is also an antioxidant with one important function: It protects mitochondria, the structures inside cells that produce energy. The Institute of Medicine determined that 2.3 milligrams daily is an adequate intake for men and 1.8 milligrams is sufficient for women. One cup of black-eyed peas has .94 milligrams or 40 percent of the daily intake for men and 52 percent for women.
The vitamin A in black-eyed peas comes in the form of beta-carotene. This gives you two health benefits because beta-carotene can be converted into the form of vitamin A needed for vision and the immune system, but it also functions as an antioxidant. Your first defence against bacteria and pathogens is to block them from entering the body. That’s the job of your skin, as well as the mucous membranes that line your respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Vitamin A must be available to produce mucus and to synthesize the proteins that maintain skin’s integrity. When the immune system responds to germs or infections, it uses white blood cells to kill pathogens and degrade bacteria. These specialized cells depend on vitamin A to function properly. You get 43 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A in 1 cup of black-eyed peas.
The information given here is for educational purposes only. It is meant to be used as a guide towards health and does not replace the evaluation by and advice of a qualified licensed health care professional. For detailed interpretation of your health and specific conditions, consult with your physician.