Cowpeas are available in a variety of colours (red, black, brown, off white) and are in oval shape with black like eyes on them hence they are also called black eye peas. In India ‘cowpeas’ are called by various names some call them ‘Chawli’ in Hindi and ‘Alasande or Bagde’ in Kannada.
Due to its great nutritional value they are used extensively in our daily diet. Since cowpeas is more related to plants we called it beans. They are delicious and are usually used in curry and gravy items which are eaten along with roti and rice.
Cowpeas flourish in dry conditions. Hence they are an important crop where the climate is arid and semi-desert. They can be grown in harsh and unforgiving climates providing people living in the area with important nutrients.
The nutrition values of cowpeas are very immense and they are grown in many parts of Africa, Asia and other arid parts of the world.
Nutrition value of Cowpeas
With each serving you can find cowpeas are packed with high quantities of proteins and vitamins. They also contain other important components like copper, folate, iron and thiamine. Let’s look into the below chart to find the nutrition value of cowpeas.
Don’t let this small bean mislead you with its size as it has lots of health benefits in it. Hence let’s have a look at the 11 important health benefits of cowpeas.
11 health benefits of Cowpeas
1)Cowpeas helps one in digestive problems such as constipation and diarrhea. Cowpea work wonders on our intestine and helps in it to function properly. It is also known for loosening the stools and improving digestion. Dietary fibers help in increase in size and weight of stool and soften it. And since cowpeas are rich in fiber it should be included in our daily diet.
2)Cowpeas is known for promoting weight loss. Since they are known for low fat and calories they are highly beneficial for weight loss programs. In addition to this also the sodium content in cowpeas is very low. Also they are known for zero cholesterol making it ideal for people who are more focussed on weight programmes.
3)Because of antioxidants which are present in ample quantities they are known for keeping ageing at bay. Cowpeas have a very important element known as Vitamin A and Vitamin C which are helpful to skin. The antioxidant which is present in cowpeas helps in fighting many ageing symptoms like wrinkles. Cowpea makes a perfect food which will keep ageing at bay.
4)Cowpeas are a major source of nutritional protein and it is very much important for increasing root development and formation of our hair. Cowpeas will enhance hair growth and fight hair loss. Hence if you are suffering from hair loss or losing hair shine then you need to increase your intake of cowpeas for stronger hair growth.
5)Calcium is an important mineral which is very important for the growth of our bones. Cowpeas are an excellent source when it comes to improving your bone health. It is rich in calcium and phosphorus which are very important for our bones and it’s strengthening. Cowpeas also have minerals like magnesium, zinc and iron which help in structuring the normal bone metabolism.
6)Cowpeas can help in curing insomnia. Since it has tryptophan which makes our body relaxed, sleepy and it also reduces the stress level. If you are suffering from sleepless nights then one must consider having cowpeas on a regular basis.
7)Cowpeas are rich in minerals like potassium which control blood pressure, break down carbohydrates and help in cardiac health. Cowpeas make our stomach full thereby suppressing the hunger hence it will prevent accumulation of fat at the abdominal levels and helps in regulating our blood sugar levels. Also it has a low glycemic index which provides low risk in diabetic.
8)Cowpeas have an important source such as Vitamin A & C. Also being rich in thiamine it helps in proper functioning in heart function. Thiamine helps in proper functioning of normal cardiac. And deficiency in thiamine will lead to heart failure. Cowpeas also have lots of fibre it which also helps in decreasing the bad cholesterol again making our heart strong. The dietary fibre which is present in cowpeas has an important role to play in our blood plasma.
9)Folate which is present in cowpeas is good for our body’s daily requirement. Folate is one of the vitamin b which is helpful to make red and white blood cells in bone marrow. Folate will help our body to produce and maintain the new cells. Cowpeas are a great source of folic acid which is beneficial for pregnant women. Women should have this rich food when they are planning to conceive. Intake of folate is very important when one is in the development stage like infancy, teens or pregnant.
10)Already mentioned in our previous paragraph cowpeas has lots of fibre in it which will make your stomach fuller. Your stomach will be fuller for a longer period of time. If you have it daily it will help you stay away from junk and unhealthy foods. Junk foods though are tasty but they are very bad for our health.
11)Cowpeas have a good amount of natural iron in it. Iron are one of the most important components which are required by our body. Iron deficiency is directly related to hemoglobin deficiency. If you do not have enough iron in your body, then your body won’t be able to make hemoglobin. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of our body and organs. In some cases you might be affected by anemia which happens if there is deficiency of hemoglobin. Hence with regular intake of cowpeas this deficiency will be solved.
How should we eat Cowpeas or Chawli (Black eye peas)
Cowpeas should not be eaten raw; they need to be cooked first. They can be steamed after soaking in water full night. Many recipes are available online on cowpeas. You can use it as curry or make gravy items which can be then eaten with rice or roti.
Some disadvantage of eating beans
Eating too much of beans can be bad as it can cause flatulence, an issue making it embarrassing in front of others. You can reduce this by soaking them in water and changing the water several times as soaking will break down the complex sugar and boost nutrient absorption. In addition you should consume lots of fluid and be physically active to help your body for bowel movement. It also can cause other issues like bloating, sleepiness, stomach cramps, belching.
Second point would be the preparation time as if you want to consume it you need to soak it in water a couple of hours ago. Soaking would make the beans double it size as it absorbs the water and also makes them soft. You need to plan a day ahead if you want to have beans. If one has forgotten to soak it overnight then boil it for 5 minutes and let them sit for 1-2 hours before draining and cooking it.
Cowpeas have lots of nutrients and health benefits which one cannot miss. One can cook it easily and can also be added to any other recipes as part of a healthy diet. With so many health benefits and variety of recipes available online you just might not want to miss cowpeas next time.
For disclaimer section read the disclaimer page.