Don’t let the name confuse you; cowpeas have nothing to do with cows, except for their unusual coloration of black and white. However, they are a very important legume crop in many parts of Asia, Africa and other arid parts of the world. These versatile and hardy peas from the Vigna genus are able to grow in harsh, unforgiving climates, providing people in those areas with a dense form of nutrients that can be cultivated successfully. For more than 4,000 years, cowpeas have likely been cultivated in these regions of the world, but there is far more to the story than that. Given the high nutrient density of the beans, they have also demonstrated a number of health benefits, which make them appealing to the broader western world.
Cowpeas are not only versatile and delicious, but also important for human health, offering a number of health benefits, such as their ability to improve digestion, aid sleep disorders, manage diabetes, protect the heart, detoxify the body, promote healthy skin, aid in weight loss, and strengthen circulation.