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7 Health Benefits Of Black-Eyed Peas

Last updated June 4, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD MPH

Ton Rulkens

The black-eyed pea (Vigna unguiculata subsp. unguiculata) or cowpea is a pale-colored legume with a firm black-colored, eye-shaped spot on it.


The black-eyed pea (Vigna unguiculata subsp. unguiculata) or cowpea is a pale-colored legume with a firm black-colored, eye-shaped spot on it. Black-eyed peas are extremely drought tolerant, so excessive watering should be avoided. It has been suspected that the black-eyed pea was first domesticated in West Africa, and was later introduced in Asia and the Southern United States in the 1600s. Now, the pea is an integral food in soul food cuisine.

Here are the 7 health benefits of Black-Eyed Peas:

1.     Black-Eyed Peas are a great source of protein for Vegans.

Finding alternate sources of protein is not a hassle. One cup of black-eyed peas contains 13 grams of protein. This is essential for muscle building and the body’s daily functioning.

2.     Black-Eyed Peas contain a valuable amount of dietary fiber.

Black-eyed peas are a great source of fiber. A one-cup serving of black-eyed peas contains 11 grams of dietary fiber. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively. Dietary fiber can help prevent constipation, making one’s bowel movement more regular.

3.     Black-Eyed Peas can help empower your nervous system.

Vitamins, such as folate, play an important role in the regulation of specific amino acids that the nervous system requires. Studies have shown that a deficient amount of dietary folate can increase the homocysteine levels, which can be a dangerous precursor to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. One cup of black-eyed peas contains 89 percent of the recommended value of folate. Also, one cup of black-eyed peas contains 23 percent of thiamin. Thiamin ensures smooth functioning of the brain and helps improve memory and concentration. Thiamin also helps relieve stress and helps strengthen the nerves.

4.     Black-Eyed Peas can help prenatal babies.

Black-Eyed Peas are a good source of Vitamin B-complex, such as folate or folic acid. Folate has shown to help in neural tube formation and red blood cell formation in prenatal babies. A deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women can lead to the birth of underweight infants and may also result in neural tube defects in newborns.

5.     Black-Eyed Peas are low the glycemic index.

The glycemic index (GI) ranks food and drinks based on their blood sugar increase potential. Foods high on the glycemic index (such as white rice and white bread) will break down easily and cause blood sugar and insulin level spikes after meals, which is followed by rapidly dropping blood sugar levels. Black-eyed peas are slowly absorbed into the bloodstream, which prevents sugar crashes, sugar cravings, and mood swings.

6.     Black-Eyed Peas are great for blood pressure.

Black-Eyed Peas are high in potassium and low in sodium, which lowers blood pressure, especially for those with hypertension. Also, the fiber content in black-eyed peas is helpful in lowering cholesterol and improves performance of insulin in the body, which aids in the lowering of blood pressure. One cup of black-eyed peas contains 478 milligrams of potassium compared to 6.9 milligrams of sodium.

7.     Black-Eyed Peas can assist in red blood cell formation.

Copper and iron are essential for the new blood cell formation. One cup of black-eyed peas contains 24 percent of the recommended value for both iron and copper. A deficiency in iron can lead to anemia.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Aug. 7, 2014
Last updated: June 4, 2018