Nutritional Information for Black-Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas, often referred to as “Lucky beans” eaten on New Year’s Day, have more research to validate their consumption than just luck. Beans are full of phytonutrients, and different kinds of beans offer various antioxidants. Fiber in beans helps maintain good gut health by providing nutrients known to protect against many diseases.
Benefits of Black-Eyed Peas
Cancer Prevention Benefits
Those eating more legumes have been found to be at lower risk for cancers of the stomach, colon, rectum, kidneys, and throat. Although some studies have not found a direct association with eating beans and reducing prostate cancer, others have found an association when looking at plant-based diets that include beans. Studies show men obtaining more of their protein from plant-based sources have lower risk of prostate cancer. Men with prostate cancer eating more protein from plant sources have a better chance of reducing cancer progression compared with men eating more protein from animal sources. This makes beans a great protein option. Additionally, excess weight is a major risk factor for prostate cancer. Beans are low in fat and high in fiber with an ability to help men lower body weight without even trying to restrict calories. Beans may also help reduce colorectal cancer risk.
Men's Health Benefits
Eating more beans may help reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Dean Ornish published a landmark study in 1990 showing how a plant-based diet could actually reverse heart disease. In his trial 82% of patients had a regression in artery blockage. He used a low-fat, plant based diet including moderate exercise, smoking cessation, and stress management. Other trials with similar design have showed similar results. It’s becoming widespread knowledge that plant-based diets are perhaps the best way to prevent a heart attack.
Beans are a staple in many diets whether it’s plant-based, Mediterranean (chickpeas), Asian (soy), Native American (pinto), or an African diet. As mentioned, beans are great for those who need to lose some weight. Beans, chickpeas, lentils, and split peas are chalk-full of fiber, protein, and antioxidants all of which may play a role in reducing body fat. Beans rank highest among some of the highest quality foods that have been scored for their nutrition, along with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts. “Given the nutrient profile and phytochemical contribution of beans, nutritionists should make a concerted effort to encourage the public to consume more beans in general and more soyfoods in particular.” Mark Messina, PhD expert on bean (mainly soy) and legume research.
Ways to Use Black-Eyed Peas
- Add black-eyed peas to chilis, soups, and salads.
- Serve as a main dish with roasted sweet potatoes, onions, and green leafy veggies.
- Chop cucumber, tomatoes, onions. Mix in cooked black-eyed peas, lemon juice, and spices.
- Use in place of ground beef in shepherd’s pie or try making homemade veggies burgers.
- Serve with cooked brown rice, peppers, onions.
- Add to broth based vegetable soups.
Resources for Black-Eyed Peas
“Foods that Fight Cancer” from AICR: Dry Beans and Peas
Nutrition Facts: www.NutritionFacts.org
Physicians Committee: www.pcrm.org
USDA Nutrient Database: Black eyed peas
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