Lately, the Paleo trend has been on a roll. Countless people are flocking to this diet, attracted by the promise of high-calorie consumption and weight loss. While Paleo sounds simple, there is still plenty of confusion surrounding this diet. Most of this confusion revolves around food items that are hard to categorize. Black eyed peas are one such food item. We’re going to discuss are black eyed peas paleo friendly or not? This question can be answered with a simple no. However, to fully understand why black eyed peas are not paleo friendly, we should talk about them in greater detail.
If you’re new to the concept of paleo dieting, you might find this article of ours quite useful. We’ve talked about paleo dieting in great depth.
Black eyed peas have a rather misleading name. We call them peas, but they’re technically beans. Now, peas are considered to be paleo friendly, but beans are not. Peas and beans both come from the legume family. Certain differences between the two make the former acceptable and the latter unacceptable.
Many people feel confused about legumes being bad for you when they first start paleo. Vegans are always talking about how great legumes are. They’re loaded with proteins and all kinds of vitamins. While this is true, legumes carry loads of carbs as well along with anti-nutrients. Their high carbs content and anti-nutrients make them a big no in the paleo community. Most legumes have a higher amount of carbs than proteins. Paleo devotees argue that you don’t need to eat them since you can get proteins from more qualitative sources.
What Are Black Eyed Peas?
Black eyed peas are actually from the legume family. They aren’t classified as vegetables, and hence they aren’t peas. These beans have been around for a long time. They used to be popular food items amongst the Romans and Greeks. Black eyed peas have been farmed in China and the sub-continent for a very long time. They’re still commonly used in India and Pakistan.
The Nature of Legumes
Humans began eating legumes after they learned how to farm. Legumes cannot be practically consumed on hunting and gathering lifestyle. Legumes are quite rich in vitamins and minerals. They’re a moderate source of protein and are rich in carbohydrates. The biggest problem with legumes is the presence of anti-nutrients. These substances significantly mitigate their nutritional value.
It is widely accepted that legumes aren’t paleo friendly food items. However, there are certain legumes that people include in their paleo diets (such as Quinoa). Some people argue that by processing certain legumes, you can remove anti-nutrients that are present in them. Boiling legumes is another way of reducing the number of anti-nutrients they carry.
Since black-eyed peas are beans, they’re legumes, and hence they aren’t paleo friendly. People who are new to paleo diets often confuse legumes as peas and eat them. This is a rookie mistake that should be avoided. Legumes are bad for you in the short and long run.
Carbs And Anti-Nutrients
While carbohydrates are required in a paleo diet, they need to be consumed in moderation. This is because eating carbs makes you want to eat more carbs. Once you get stuck in this cycle, you’re going to find yourself craving all kinds of unhealthy foods. You should only eat as many carbs as your body can consume. Meaning that the amount of carbs that you consume depends on how much physical activity you do.
Legumes such as black eyed peas will fill you up with more carbs than proteins. This makes them a bad food item, especially if your lifestyle doesn’t include enough physical activity. One can argue that legumes are still a viable option for more active people. This argument can easily be countered by the fact that legumes aren’t practical in terms of nutrition. Why go for such a carb heavy food item when you have many alternatives available? Alternatives that provide you with the same or more amount of proteins and nutrients.
Their high carbohydrate levels aren’t the biggest problem with legumes. Legumes contain substances such as phytic acid and lectins that are classified as anti-nutrients. These substances are part of their defense against predators. Anti-nutrients interfere with the digestive system’s ability to breakdown food and absorb its nutrients. A presence of anti-nutrients in any food item means that the body won’t be able to breakdown that food item properly. This means that even though black eyed peas are loaded with nutrients and minerals, they won’t be of much use to you simply because your body cannot absorb all of these nutrients properly.
Another problem with legumes is that they often cause inflammation in the gut lining. Some people experience this inflammation more severely than others. Even if you don’t notice any symptoms of inflammation after eating legumes, you can bet your house that your gut lining is inflamed. Long term inflammation in the gut can cause serious health problems.
Now that we’ve talked a bit about legumes, let’s construct a more detailed answer to our question.
Are Black Eyed Peas Paleo Friendly?
No, they are not. Black eyed peas aren’t peas at all; they’re legumes. They carry a decent amount of anti-nutrients such as lectins and phytates. They’re also heavy on carbs and are bad to have in your diet. Certain people argue that the harmful effects of black eyed peas can be eliminated. This can be done by boiling the beans before using them. While this may be true, this process isn’t able to completely remove anti-nutrients.
Overall, black eyed peas do more harm than good. They offer a mediocre amount of protein and way more carbs than necessary. Their anti-nutrients are quite harmful to your digestive system. Instead of relying on black eyed peas, one can go for better sources of protein. There are numerous plant and animal products that qualify for a paleo diet. All of them can provide you with qualitative nutrition.