Health Benefits of Cowpeas ‘Chawli, Lobiya’

Primarily cultivated as a pulse and also as a vegetable, cowpea ‘chawli’ or ‘lobiya’ is one of the most affordable vegetable protein available. Known to have been discovered in Africa, Cowpea, a hardy ‘grows under harsh climatic conditions’ crop is grown in abundance in Africa, India and parts of South America. 

Cowpea or black-eyed pea, also known as chawli, lobia, or chori is a type of an oval structured bean with a black eye on it. It is available in various species such as brown, black, creamy white, red, etc. The entire of bean is edible. Cowpea is famous for its flavor and taste.  


Nutritional facts of Lobiya ‘Chawli’

Chawli consists of several vital minerals and vitamins such as vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, iron, folic acid, calcium, potassium, selenium, magnesium, sodium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, etc. 

As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of raw mature cowpeas contains 336 kcal, 23.5 gm of proteins, 10.6 gm of fiber, 60 gm of carbohydrates, 1.26 gm of fats, 633 mcg of folate, 2 mg of niacin, 1.4 mg of pantothenic acid, 0.8 mg of thiamine, 1.5 mg of vitamin C, 110 mg of calcium, 8,2 mg of iron, 1112 mg of potassium, 184 mg of magnesium, 424 mg of phosphorus,  16 mg of sodium, 1.5 mg of manganese, 3.3 mg of zinc, 9 mcg of selenium, and 0.5 mg of biochanin A.


Potential Health Benefits of Cowpeas ‘Chawli’

1/5. Lowers blood cholesterol level

1. The soluble dietary fiber and protein content present in chawli help in lowering the amount of bad cholesterol levels. 

2. Chawli also contains steroid compounds called phytosterols which are quite effective in maintaining cholesterol levels in the body.

3. Low-glycemic-index-diet is quite helpful for controlling blood cholesterol levels. Chawli is known to have a low glycemic index as compared to several other foods. Hence, it helps in controlling blood cholesterol levels.


2/5. Regulates blood sugar levels

1. The rich soluble fiber content of cowpeas helps regulate blood sugar levels.

2. Cowpeas contains a good quantity of magnesium which plays a vital role in the metabolism of glucose and carbohydrate thus, reducing the chances of type 2 diabetes.


3/5. Helps in weight loss   

1. Cowpeas ‘lobiya’ contain low fat, calorie, and sodium content thus, are quite beneficial for weight loss. 

2. Cowpeas contain no cholesterol thus, helps overweight people to shed excess weight.

3. The high dietary fiber content helps keep one feels fuller for a longer period and reduces appetite thus, promoting weight loss.


4/5. Prevents cancer

1. Lobia contains flavonoids that help the body fight against cancer and reduces cancer risk.

2. The high antioxidants of cowpeas help eliminate harmful free radicals thus, arresting the growth of cancer cells in the body.


5/5. Other possible health benefits…

Chawli produces several health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces a few more such as treats cardiovascular ailments, keeps fatal diseases away, treats stomach and pancreatic problems, cures urination & bowel-related conditions, delays signs of aging, keeps skin healthy, offers health & shine to hair, fights hair loss, boosts hair growth.

Lobiya ‘cowpea’ also protects from infections, act as a digestive aid, maintains blood pressure, prevents anaemia, good for pregnant women, beneficial for urinary bladder,protects the heart, acts as detoxifier, promotes bone health, prevents cold sores, improves the immune system, and repairs muscle tissue.

Lobiya is laden with potent anti‐diabetic, anti‐cancer, anti‐hyperlipidemic, anti‐inflammatory and anti‐hypertensive properties properties, making it a staple ingredient of not only the traditional Indian kitchen but also the other regions of Asia, Africa and South Americas. 


How to use Cowpeas ‘Chawli’?

After soaking the chawli in water for the whole night, cowpeas can be cooked or either steamed. Before, consuming cowpeas, it is essential to soak them. It can be added to several recipes. Numerous delicious recipes can be made from chawli. Lobia can also be added to salads and soups. They can also be cooked in patties. 


How to prepare Red Chori Curry?

Soak 1 cup of lobia inadequate water overnight or for minimum 2 hours.

Cook it in a pressure cooker with a cup of water then, keep it aside.

Heat1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan on medium heat.  Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and allow it to crackle. Add 1 teaspoon grated ginger-garlic. Saute it for a minute till raw aroma goes off.

Add 1 large chopped onions and saute it for approximately 3-4 minutes. 

Add 1 chopped tomatoes and cook it for 2 minutes till it softens. Then add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder, and ½ teaspoon garam masala.

Cook the masala for around 1-2 minutes by continuously stirring it. 

Add the cowpeas into the masala along with water in which it is cooked. Mix it to combine with the masala.

Add 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves and mix. Add water if required to adjust the consistency.

Let it simmer on low heat for around 8- 10 minutes. To thicken the gravy, mash a few lobia 

Serve the delicious lobia.

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