African Herbs

Health Benefits of Cowpea (Beans)

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Cowpea or Black-eye beans are a superfood that’s affordable and also packed with lots of health benefits. Cowpea is also known as iron beans in Nigeria, and it’s used for various amazing delicacies. It is used to make Akara, Moin-Moin, beans and corn porridge; it may be steamed or fried to make a paste or sauce that is often eaten with ugali.

Cowpea contains almost all essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, folic acid, iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, selenium, sodium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, and it’s a rich source of protein. Cowpea makes main foods, such as rice, maize, yam, and potatoes work better in the body; they help increase the bioavailability of other nutrients.



Health benefits of Cowpea:

  • Contains a high amount of Protein:

    When protein foods are being mentioned or talked about anywhere, beans/cowpeas are one of the food crops that come in mind; it has a high percentage of protein, which provides bodybuilding functions to the body.

  • High fiber content:

    The fiber content in beans is high, and this makes it useful in the area of helping to reduce the glucose in the blood (blood sugar), which in turn helps the body fight against sugar-related health conditions such as Diabetes. The fiber content also aids digestion as it helps to prevent constipation and other digestive health issues like diarrhea, irritable bowel movement.

  • Cholesterol:

    Beans are an excellent source of soluble dietary fiber and protein, which play a significant role in decreasing the amount of bad cholesterol present in our blood and keeping our blood cholesterol under control.

  • Blood sugar:

    Being high in soluble fiber, Cowpea works like an excellent solution for diabetic conditions. It can regulate our blood sugar levels and help us stay away from diabetes mellitus.

  • Promotes Healthy Heart:

    Beans, rich in thiamine (vitamin B1), play a significant role in protecting heart health. This vitamin actively prevents heart failure and controls the ventricles of the heart. Also, various flavonoids found in cowpeas can reduce inflammation and promote normal heart function. Dietary fiber also plays a particular role in the balance of cholesterol in the body, which can prevent heart attacks and strokes, as well as the build-up of plaque in the arteries.

  • Boosts Circulation:

    Cowpeas have long been used as a treatment for anemia, an iron deficiency in the body results in weakness, cognitive confusion, stomach aches, fatigue, and poor overall metabolic function. The high level of iron found in beans is an excellent way to counter the effects of anemia, while also promoting good circulation. Thus promoting better function, faster healing, higher energy levels, and preventing heart diseases.

  • Removes free Radicals:

    Cowpeas are loaded with antioxidant agents – vitamin A and vitamin C. This helps us get rid of harmful free radicals, which can eventually stop the growth of cancerous cells.

  • Boosts Immunity:

    The antioxidant effect of cowpeas seek out and neutralize free radicals within the body, which cause chronic illness and cellular mutation. Vitamin C and A found in cowpeas are enough to give a boost to the immune system.

  • Weight loss:

    Cowpeas are low in calories and cholesterol, and are also rich in dietary fiber, which optimizes digestion to make sure that you are absorbing nutrients, rather than storing fat or waste in your body, and also makes you feel full for longer.

  • Promotes Bone Health:

    Cowpeas contains numerous vitamins and minerals which are good for the bone, such as iron, which does not only help in the prevention If anemia but also produces collagen, which is one of the major components found in the bone. It also contains magnesium and manganese, which helps the bones absorb calcium.

  • Acts as a Sedative:

    Cowpea contains tryptophan, which helps to induce sleep and can help alleviate other related sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and insomnia. It also helps stabilize mood swings, restlessness, especially in the night, and anxiety.

  • Skincare:

    The impressive levels of antioxidants found in cowpeas, as well as vitamin C, vitamin A, and protein, make it excellent for improving the appearance and health of your skin. The antioxidants eliminate signs of aging, soothe irritation, heal scars, and protect the skin against the effects of UV radiation. Protein in these beans helps stimulate cellular repair and the growth of new tissues.

  • Haircare:

    Cowpeas work as an excellent solution for hair loss. Regular consumption can boost the amount of protein in our body and help our hair grow faster.

Local names for cowpea in Africa:

  • Arabic: Lupia (In Sudan)
  • Botanical: Vigna unguiculata
  • English: Cowpea, Blackeye Pea, Blackeye Bean, Marble Pea
  • Ethiopia: Adanguari, Nori
  • Nigeria: Agwa, Akidiani
  • Uganda: Amuli, Boo-ngor, Omugobe, Boo (In Acholi And Luo)
  • Zambia: Ilanda, Nyabo (In Tonga Language)
  • Zimbabwe: Nyemba (Shona) Ndlubu (Ndebele, Zulu)
  • Botswana: Dinawa, Nyeru Or Dinawa (In Setswana)
  • Kenya: Boo (In Luo Language); Kunde (In Swahili); Thoroko (In Kikuyu)
  • Portuguese: Ervihia De Vaca
  • India: Barbata, Charla, Nindu Pea, Paythenkai, Thattapayru (Tamil)
  • Sri Lanka: Me-karak
  • Malaysia: Kachang Bol
  • Philippines: Karkala, Kibal
  • Thailand: Tonkin Pea
  • Mauritius: Voehme (In Mauritian Creole)
  • Tanzania: Kunde (In Swahili); Nkunde (In Nyiha)
  • Lesotho: Llinaoa (In Sesotho)
  • South Africa: Dinawa (In Northern Sotho)
  • Malawi: Nkunde (In Tumbuka); Khobwe (In Chewa)
  • Swaziland: Tinhlumayi (In Siswati)
  • Seychelles: Brenm (In Seychellois Creole)
  • Namibia: Omakunde, Olunya (White With Black Eye), Omandume Or Ongoli (Mixed Black, Brown, Purple) (in Oshiwambo Language, Ovambo Tribe)

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Cynthia Adeh Ekpong
My name is Cynthia Adeh Ekpong, and I'm a health writer.  It pains me that we Africans spend more money buying drugs for minor issues instead of using herbs that are around us for little or no amount. My goal in 54history is to bring more awareness to our African herbs.

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