Health Benefits of Black Eyed Peas

15 Amazing Health Benefits of Black Eyed Peas – You Should Know


Every year as January approaches, a familiar culinary conversation sparks in the Southern parts of the United States – how to prepare Black Eyed Peas for New Year’s Day. Traditional lore touts that eating these small yet power-packed legumes can bring good luck and prosperity. But beyond tradition, science has uncovered many health benefits associated with Black Eyed Peas, making them an everyday superfood beyond New Year’s Day. Today, let’s embark on a journey to discover the nutritional goldmine of the 15 amazing health benefits of Black Eyed Peas.

What are Black Eyed Peas?

Health Benefits of Black Eyed PeasNamed for the distinctive black “eye” at their inner curve, Black Eyed Peas, also known as cowpeas, have been a staple legume nourishing civilizations for centuries. Originating in West Africa, these peas have found their way into global cuisines thanks to their creamy texture and versatile flavor. From the succulent curries of India to the traditional Hoppin’ John of the Southern United States, Black Eyed Peas are a key ingredient celebrated for their delicious taste and health-promoting properties.

Nutrition Facts: Black Eyed Peas (Cooked, Boiled, Without Salt)

Serving Size: 1 cup (170 grams)

  • Calories: ~160 kcal
  • Total Fat: ~0.5 grams
    • Saturated Fat: ~0.1 grams
    • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: ~5 mg (This can vary significantly based on preparation methods; this value represents peas boiled without salt.)
  • Total Carbohydrates: ~36 grams
    • Dietary Fiber: ~8 grams
    • Sugars: ~5 grams
  • Protein: ~8 grams
  • Vitamin D: 0 IU
  • Calcium: ~40 mg
  • Iron: ~2.2 mg
  • Potassium: ~600 mg
  • Folate (Vitamin B9): ~210 mcg
  • Vitamin A: ~25 IU
  • Vitamin C: ~2 mg

Top 15 Health Benefits of Black Eyed Peas

  • Packed with Fiber: One of the primary health benefits of Black Eyed Peas is their high fiber content. A single cup provides approximately 11 grams of dietary fiber. Consuming a fiber-rich diet promotes healthy digestion by adding bulk to your stools, which aids in smoother bowel movements, thus relieving constipation. A fiber-rich diet can also reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • Rich in Protein: Protein is an essential building block for your body. It supports the growth and repair of body tissues, including muscles and skin. Black Eyed Peas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, with around 13 grams per cooked cup, making them an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Heart Health: Black Eyed Peas are a heart-friendly food. The soluble fiber they contain can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, these legumes are low in sodium, which, when consumed in excess, can be a factor in high blood pressure. These characteristics make Black Eyed Peas a smart choice for heart health.
  • Eye Health: Black Eyed Peas contain several essential nutrients, including vitamin A, necessary for maintaining healthy eyes. Consuming foods rich in vitamin A can help protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Bone Health: The high calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus levels in Black Eyed Peas contribute to maintaining strong and healthy bones. Regular consumption of these legumes can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, especially in older adults.
  • Lower Blood Pressure: These small beans pack a punch of potassium. This essential mineral helps lower blood pressure by countering the effects of sodium and aiding in the relaxation of blood vessels. This process helps maintain a healthy and consistent blood flow, reducing the risk of hypertension.
  • Antioxidant-Rich: Black Eyed Peas are an excellent source of antioxidants, substances that help protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to harmful environmental factors like tobacco smoke or radiation. A diet rich in antioxidants can help prevent several health problems, including heart disease and cancer.
  • Helps Digestion: As mentioned earlier, the high fiber content in Black Eyed Peas helps support a healthy digestive system. Fiber adds bulk to your stool and helps food move through your digestive system more quickly, reducing symptoms of bloating and constipation.
  • Skin Health: Black Eyed Peas are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and zinc, which support skin health. Vitamin A is necessary for new cell growth, skin repair, and protection against UV radiation. On the other hand, zinc aids in wound healing and protects against damaging inflammation and UV radiation.
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: Thanks to their fiber content and low glycemic index, Black Eyed Peas are an excellent food choice for people with diabetes or those at risk. The fiber slows down the rate at which sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream, helping to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
  • Boosts Immunity: Vitamin C and zinc, found in Black Eyed Peas, play a significant role in immune function. Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells, which fight off infections. Meanwhile, zinc is essential for wound healing and supports the body’s immune response.
  • Weight Loss: If you’re trying to lose weight, incorporating Black Eyed Peas into your diet could be beneficial. Their high protein and fiber content can increase feelings of fullness, helping to curb overeating and snacking between meals.
  • Prevents Anemia: Iron-deficiency anemia is a common nutritional disorder. Since Black Eyed Peas are rich in iron, they can help prevent this condition. Iron is necessary for producing hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that allows them to carry oxygen throughout the body.
  • Hair Health: The rich array of nutrients in Black Eyed Peas, including vitamins A and C, protein, and zinc, promote healthy hair growth and protect against hair loss. They aid in producing collagen, a protein that strengthens the hair, and help keep it looking vibrant and healthy.
  • Prenatal Health: For expecting mothers, Black Eyed Peas are a great food to incorporate into your diet. They’re rich in folate, a B vitamin vital for the fetus’s healthy development. Folate helps form the neural tube and can reduce the risk of certain congenital disabilities.

Delicious Black Eyed Peas Dishes

Black eyed peas are not only nutritious but incredibly versatile. Whether you’re in the mood for a comforting stew or a refreshing salad, there’s a recipe with black eyed peas waiting to tantalize your taste buds. Here are three recipes to get you started:

1. Black Eyed Peas and Vegetable Stew


  • 1 cup black eyed peas (soaked overnight)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent.
  2. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
  3. Introduce bell pepper and carrots, cooking until slightly tender.
  4. Mix in the spices – cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  5. Add the soaked black eyed peas, diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about 45 minutes or until the peas are tender.
  7. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro before serving.

2. Spicy Black Eyed Peas Hummus


  • 1 cup cooked black eyed peas
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Paprika for garnish


  1. In a food processor, combine black eyed peas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  2. Process until smooth, drizzling in olive oil as it blends.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  4. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with a bit more olive oil, and sprinkle with paprika. Serve with vegetable sticks or pita bread.

3. Black Eyed Peas Salad with Lime Vinaigrette


  • 2 cups cooked black eyed peas
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

For the Vinaigrette:

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the black eyed peas, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and mint.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, mixing well to ensure everything is well-coated.
  4. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld. Serve chilled.

4. Black Eyed Peas and Spinach Bake


  • 1 cup black eyed peas (soaked overnight)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for topping


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a pot, boil the soaked black eyed peas until tender, then drain and set aside.
  3. In a skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Mix in the cooked black eyed peas and season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and crumbled feta cheese.
  6. Combine the egg mixture with the pea and spinach mixture, ensuring everything is well incorporated.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve warm.

5. Crispy Black Eyed Peas Fritters


  • 1 cup black eyed peas (soaked overnight)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green chili (optional), chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying


  1. In a food processor, combine the soaked black eyed peas, onion, green chili (if using), garlic, cilantro, cumin seeds, and salt.
  2. Pulse until you achieve a coarse paste. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little water.
  3. Heat oil in a deep frying pan.
  4. Once the oil is hot, scoop out small portions of the black eyed pea mixture and drop them into the oil. Be cautious not to overcrowd the pan.
  5. Fry the fritters until they are golden brown, then remove and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  6. Serve the fritters hot with a side of chutney or dipping sauce.

FAQs: Black Eyed Peas

Are black-eyed peas and cowpeas the same thing? 

Yes, black-eyed peas are also known as cowpeas. They belong to the legume family and are known for their distinctive appearance, with a black “eye” on a creamy background.

Do black-eyed peas need to be soaked before cooking?

Soaking black-eyed peas can reduce cooking time and improve their texture. However, they cook relatively quickly compared to other beans, so soaking is optional. A few hours or overnight in cold water should suffice if you soak them.

Are black-eyed peas good for weight loss?

Black-eyed peas are low in calories and fat but rich in fiber and protein, which can help you feel full for longer. Thus, they can be a beneficial part of a weight loss diet when consumed as a balanced meal.

Can you eat black-eyed peas raw?

No, black-eyed peas should be cooked before consumption. Eating raw or undercooked beans can lead to stomach discomfort due to the presence of natural compounds called lectins.

Are black-eyed peas gluten-free?

Yes, black-eyed peas are naturally gluten-free. However, when purchasing canned or pre-packaged products, always check the label for potential gluten-containing additives or cross-contamination warnings.

Why are black-eyed peas considered lucky?

In some Southern U.S. traditions, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings good luck and prosperity for the year ahead. This belief may stem from ancient agrarian societies valuing these beans as a symbol of fertility and abundance.

How should I store cooked black-eyed peas?

Cooked black-eyed peas can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. If you wish to keep them longer, you can freeze them for up to six months.

Can black-eyed peas cause gas?

Health Benefits of Black Eyed PeasLike other beans and legumes, black-eyed peas contain complex carbohydrates that can produce gas during digestion in some people. To minimize this, you can soak the beans before cooking and add herbs like epazote or cumin to the cooking water.

Are black-eyed peas a good source of iron?

Yes, black-eyed peas are a decent source of plant-based iron. They can be essential to a vegetarian or vegan diet to help meet iron needs.

Can I grow black-eyed peas in my garden?

Absolutely! Black-eyed peas are warm-season crops and can be grown in various climates. Just ensure they get ample sunlight and well-drained soil.


Health Benefits of Black Eyed PeasIn conclusion, the humble Black Eyed Peas offer many benefits, making them more than traditional New Year’s Day food. Each bite of these tasty legumes provides a nutritious package of fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. So whether you are planning a health-focused diet or simply looking to add variety to your meals, don’t forget to include Black Eyed Peas. After all, good health and prosperity should be a daily pursuit, not just a once-a-year event!


  • General Information Only: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not serve as medical or nutritional advice. Always consult with a healthcare or nutritional professional for specific recommendations.
  • Varied Effects: While many people may experience health benefits from consuming black-eyed peas, results can vary from person to person.
  • Allergies and Sensitivities: Some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to ingredients in black-eyed peas or dishes made from them. It’s always important to be aware of your personal health conditions and reactions.
  • Not a Cure: The health benefits discussed in this article should not be interpreted as cures or direct treatments for specific health conditions.
  • Sources: All information provided in this article is based on existing research up to the date of publication. Future studies may yield different results or insights.
  • Whole Diet Perspective: While black-eyed peas can offer health benefits, it’s essential to consider one’s entire diet and lifestyle for overall health. No single food should be solely relied upon for health benefits.
  • Preparation Matters: The way black-eyed peas are prepared can influence their nutritional value. For example, frying or pairing them with unhealthy ingredients can diminish their health benefits.
  • Not for Everyone: Certain individuals, especially those with specific medical conditions or dietary restrictions, may need to limit or avoid consumption of black-eyed peas. Always consult with a healthcare professional if unsure.
  • Potential Drug Interactions: Some nutrients in black-eyed peas could interact with medications. If you are on medication, please discuss potential food interactions with your pharmacist or doctor.
  • Organic vs. Non-Organic: The health benefits mentioned may vary based on the quality and source of the black-eyed peas, including whether they are organic or conventionally grown.
  • Limitations of Current Research: As with all nutritional science, research on the health benefits of black-eyed peas is ongoing, and current conclusions may evolve with new studies.
  • Cooking Methods: Some cooking methods may reduce the nutritional benefits of black-eyed peas. It’s recommended to use methods that retain the most nutrients.
  • Portion Control: Even healthy foods should be consumed in moderation. Overconsumption can lead to unwanted health issues.
  • Freshness: Always ensure that the black-eyed peas are fresh and free from contaminants or spoilage to derive the maximum health benefits.
  • Individual Responsibility: Readers are encouraged to take responsibility for their health and well-being and use the information provided as a starting point for further personal research or consultation with experts.

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