Happy New Year! I hope your new year is off to a great start and got your fair share of black-eyed peas (the plant, not the band)! Why, you ask? Did you know that many people celebrate their new year’s day eating some black eyed peas? In the Southern United States, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s day is thought to bring luck and prosperity in the new year.
Not only are black-eyed peas known for their good luck, they’re also known for their wonderful nutritional benefits. Black-eyed peas and other beans in general are best known for their fiber content. About a half up serving of black-eyed peas contain over 4 grams of fiber. Increasing your fiber intake helps your digestive system, keeping you regular, and also helps lower cholesterol. Fiber helps to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed in the bloodstream, which helps reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Increased fiber intake is also wonderful for keeping you feeling full longer, which is optimal for weight control.
If you ask any vegetarian or vegan where they get their protein from, I guarantee you one of their main sources is from beans. Beans are an excellent healthy protein alternative to meat. A half cup of beans contains about 6 grams of protein. Maybe give “Meatless Monday” a try and cook up some black-eyed peas for dinner.
Black-eyed peas are also high in other nutrients like potassium and B vitamins, like folate. Potassium is a nutrient that is super important for your heart health by helping with muscle contractions and heart function and also helps by keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level. B vitamins play a vital role in boosting energy, producing red blood cells, and nervous system function.
Just remember, black-eyed peas aren’t just a band… they’re actually even better as a meal. If you’re looking for a super nutrient-packed food to integrate into your diet, black-eyed peas will definitely deliver.
Ashley is a registered dietitian and a licensed dietitian in the state of Texas. She graduated from Framingham State University, majoring in nutrition and dietetics and she completed her dietetic internship at the University of Connecticut. (more)