Legumes are a significant source of dietary fiber, protein, carbohydrates and dietary minerals. Grain legumes include peas, beans, peanuts, lupins and lentils. They are cultivated for their seeds which are used for human and animal consumption or for the production of oils for industrial uses. Here Evangelyn Rodriguez, NaturalNews.com, reflects on the list of pigeon pea health benefits:
“Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) is a plant known for its many medicinal properties. It is used in traditional medicine in China and Brazil. Numerous studies have proven that pigeon pea possesses antioxidant, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and DNA-protective properties. However, not much is known about its mechanisms of action. In a recent study published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness, researchers from Kerala Agricultural University in India looked into the activities of pigeon pea’s bioactive components against different human diseases. These included rheumatoid arthritis, breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes, malaria, measles, and sickle cell disease. The researchers identified a total of 26 promising drug candidates present in extracts obtained from different parts of the pigeon pea plant.
The health benefits of pigeon pea
Pigeon peas belong to the legume family. People know them more as pea-like seeds with an unremarkable taste, which is why they are often mixed with other grains, maize, or sorghum. Pigeon peas can also be crushed into flour and used to make bread. Despite their small size and bland taste, pigeon peas are very nutritious. They are rich sources of proteins, minerals (iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorus), vitamins (vitamin C and B-complex), organic compounds, dietary fiber, and antioxidants.
Pigeon peas have a surprisingly diverse list of health benefits. These include:
- Supports growth and body development
- Boosts energy
- Helps control weight
- Improves digestion
- Prevents anemia
- Maintains heart health
- Strengthens the immune system
- Relieves inflammation
- Regulates blood pressure
In many countries, different parts of the pigeon pea plant are used to make traditional medicine. For instance, its roots and leaves are effective in:
- Addressing ailments related to the chest and lungs
- Healing wounds, sores, and earaches
- Stopping bleeding
- Treating diabetes and chlorosis
- Relieving diarrhea, cough (expectorant), and abdominal pains
- Eliminating parasitic worms (anthelmintic)
- Helping with jaundice and bronchitis
- Getting rid of herpes and itches
- Reducing swelling and throat inflammation
- Inducing calm or sleep (sedative)
Pigeon peas can also be consumed in various ways. They are part of the ingredients used to make food products like tempeh and tofu. Pigeon peas can also be added to soups and other dishes, used in sauces (dried seeds), roasted, or mixed with white rice.”
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