If you’ve never heard of black-eyed peas, it’s not too late to get started on it now, because they contain compounds that can help alleviate symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
Black-eyed peas is popular particularly popular in the American South and in the Southwest. This traditional dish is eaten over the New Year period as a symbol to invite prosperity into your home for the coming year. It’s usually served with collard greens that represents money or corn bread that represents gold.
These tasty little legumes actually aren’t peas at all, but beans – with a distinctive, ivory-coloured skin and a little black “eye” in the middle.
Like all beans, they’re packed with fiber and protein, plus potassium, magnesium, and iron. They’re also full of natural antioxidant compounds called polyphenols.
And a recent data review conducted by French scientists found that a diet rich in polyphenols can help alleviate symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is not a disease but a cluster of health conditions or characteristics that are known to significantly raise your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.
These conditions include obesity – especially extra weight around the belly – plus high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. When they exist together, these conditions can form a perfect storm for chronic and deadly diseases.
The study examined the effects of polyphenols on different features of metabolic syndrome, and found that different types of polyphenols improved different symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
While just eating foods rich in polyphenols can’t destroy metabolic syndrome on its own, when combined with regular exercise and an all-around healthy diet – that’s a recipe for success.
If you want to incorporate black-eyed peas into your diet, go for dried rather than canned, and soak them in water for a few hours. Then simmer in broth with some chopped onion, seasonings, and a little bacon for rich flavor, until they’re tender. You can even make them in the slow-cooker.
Other delicious examples of polyphenol-rich foods include green tea, citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, brightly coloured berries, dark cocoa powder, and cinnamon.
You can also find plenty of cell-protecting, inflammation-busting polyphenols in red wine.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Effects of dietary polyphenols on metabolic syndrome features in humans: a systematic review, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/obr.12409/full