Are Black-Eyed Peas Beans? What Are They Classified As | Kidadl


Are Black-Eyed Peas Beans? What Are They Classified As

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Black-eyed peas are a type of edible legume belonging to the cowpea family of Old World beans.

The black-eyed pea originated in west Africa. These healthy legumes do not only have nutritional benefits, there are many tasty recipes that can be cooked using black-eyed peas.

There are hundreds of types of beans that are found worldwide. Although the black-eyed pea of the cowpea family of beans and pea has the term pea in its name, it is actually a bean of the Vigna genus that is cultivated globally. They also grow in a pod-like bean. In different parts of the world, they are known by different names in their native languages. These legumes are a vital source of plant-based protein as well as several other micronutrients. Eating this bean also ensures your body gets a sufficient amount of zinc, amino acid, and iron along with potassium, and fiber. The beans can be cooked in several related yummy recipes. Cooking a healthy recipe using black-eyed beans is a good way to eat a dish as well as get health benefits from the food. In the southern USA, these fiber-rich beans are also considered a lucky new year's food.

To know more elaborate fun facts about the traditional vegetable called the black-eyed peas, go through the entire article. If you enjoy this article, why not also read about are bay leaves edible and are beans a vegetable here on Kidadl.

What are black-eyed peas classified as?

The black-eyed peas of the cowpea family is a type of bean that belongs to the genus Vigna. The botanical name for the bean is Vigna unguiculata under the subspecies of Unguiculata. They are not peas but are named so just in a descriptive way. They are from different genus and species. These legumes are nourishing vegetables rich in nutrients and are also used for cooking flavorful dishes since traditional times.

The presence of these beans has been recorded in the diet of Ancient Rome and Greek civilizations where they were called chickpeas. They were originally used as a staple diet for feeding livestock. However, the peas also have a rich history of providing nutrition to the African slaves during the Civil War. This fresh and fiber-rich legume has been popularised as a great culinary item worldwide since it is good for health as well as for its earthy taste.

The black-eyed beans are classified according to their names in different regions. For example, they are known as lobya or lobia in West Africa and the Middle East. The dried black-eyed peas are cooked using tomato, garlic, onion, and olive oil to cook a tasty dish or they are tossed into a salad. In India, the dried beans are eaten as a staple along with rice. The people of southern United States believe that the bean gives them good luck and prosperity if they eat it on New Year.

Health Benefits Of Black-Eyed Peas

Fresh beans are a source of several micronutrients that are essential for human beings. The beans make an excellent source of energy as they are rich in protein and fiber. The black-eyed peas contain vitamins, calcium, magnesium, iron, and several other healthy components.

The vitamins and minerals in the beans prevent blood clotting in humans and are also used as antioxidants to fight diseases. The zero fat content of the black-eyed peas is a cherry on top, and it is therefore used for weight management in cases of obesity. The complex carbohydrate in them takes longer to digest which fulfills the stomach capacity faster than simpler carbs. Eating recipes made of black-eyed peas help in improving the digestive system of the body. The high amount of fiber in the bean keeps the digestive tract healthy. However, people with digestion conditions should consult a doctor before they eat a dish made of these beans. Like all other dried beans, eating black-eyed peas in a large amount also causes intestinal gas. The vitamin A in the black-eyed peas derived from the beta carotene helps in maintaining the skin and eye by the lubrication of the mucous membrane. Eating dried peas each day meets the quarter of the daily vitamin required by an adult. Eating a nutritional dish made by using black-eyed peas regularly also may help in maintaining low cholesterol and lowering blood pressure or diabetic tendencies.

Black Eyed Peas Vs Black Beans

Nutrition is the key factor that helps in the distinction between the black-eyed peas and black beans and then comes the difference between the flavor of the two beans. Both of them are good sources of magnesium, protein, iron, thiamine, and phosphorous but the content level varies.

By comparing the nutrient content between the black-eyed peas and black beans, the difference between the two pods can be easily determined. A 3.5 oz (100 g) of canned black-eyed peas contain 286 kcal of calories while 3.5 oz (100 g) black beans contain 341 kcal calories. The black-eyed pea also contains more protein (6%), dietary fiber (10%), and carbohydrate (1%) than the black bean. The black-eyed peas also contain more iron (20%) than the black beans while a greater share of potassium (136%) is present in black beans than the black-eyed peas.

Black eyed peas in a wooden spoon.

Black-Eyed Peas Nutrition

The fresh pod enriched with vitamins and minerals is eaten by people for its nutritional values while the dried bean is used as an important food item for its great taste and earthy flavor.

Both fresh and dried black-eyed peas are used to cook different types of tasty recipes. The legume is a well-known source of essential vitamins and complex carbohydrates. The peas are rich in proteins, many vegetarians meet their body's protein requirement by consuming black-eyed peas. Protein is the building block of human beings. They help in the development and maintenance of tissues. Protein is the main component that helps in the growth of children, therefore giving the beans to small children from a very young age helps them to stay fit.

Another main component of the beans is dietary fibers that help in the digestion and excretion processes. It serves as a natural medicine for people facing minor constipation by regularizing bowel movements. They also act as a food source of the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract which further aids the digestive system.

Did You Know...

In the southern United States, there's a myth that says if you eat black-eyed peas at the New Year's dinner it will bring you good luck and prosperity for the rest of the year. This age-old myth regarding eating black-eyed peas on New Year's day is a very popular practice in the southern United States. Each year millions of people eat at least some amount of black-eyed peas along with greens as dinner on the New Year before the onset of January. Cooking a very popular recipe called Hoppin' John in remembrance of their loved ones is a ritual of many southern US households. It is traditional soul food, cooked by using rice and pork (or any other type of meat). The swelled-up beans after cooking signify a prospering future while the greens symbolize money.

The story behind the association of the beans with good luck goes well back in history. During the American Civil War, the slaves and the soldiers were given extremely rationed food. The people during the wartime noticed that enemy soldiers considered pork and beans to be animal foods and left them lying on the ground. It is believed that the people of the south who were there in the war survived that winter by consuming peas and pork. Since then they consider them to be a symbol of prosperous luck.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for are black-eyed peas beans then why not take a look at are gourds edible or are fruit flies harmful?


Second image by Toby Hudson.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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