Saturday 26 September, 2020

Botanical Roots: Why you should eat gungo peas

Dried gungo peas (iStock)

Dried gungo peas (iStock)

As Christmas Day approaches, many Jamaicans will include rice and peas in their Christmas dinner, but the peas must be of the gungo variety.

However, the gungo pea is much more than just a traditional Christmas must have, it is filled with a range of health benefits and should be consumed regularly in order to reap those benefits.

Scientifically labelled as Cajanus cajan, the gungo pea is also known as pigeon pea, Angola pea, Congo pea, no eye pea, Puerto Rico pea, among other names in other parts of the world.

Domesticated in India 3,500 years ago, gungo pea is one of the most important food legume crops which grow in the tropical and subtropical climates.

It is a drought tolerant and warm weather crop that is an excellent source of magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium.

Gungo pea reduces the blood constriction and also lowers blood pressure. Persons who suffer from hypertension should eat it regularly.

The high protein content of these peas assists with growth and development. It is essential for the formation of cells, tissues, muscles and bones. It also assists in the healing process and cell regeneration in the body.

Consuming gungo peas also helps to stave off anemia and the seeds, leaves and peas are used to treat inflammation due to the presence of organic compounds. The mashed gungo peas paste is used as a treatment for piles which is known as hemorrhoids.

Because of its low calorie, cholesterol and saturated fat content, gungo peas is a perfect food to promote weight loss and due to the presence of Vitamin B, Riboflavin and Niacin, consuming the peas assists in preventing fat storage and boosts energy levels.

Eating gungo peas also boosts the body’s immune system and promotes a healthy heart.

Gungo peas are rich in dietary fibre which is essential for maintaining the digestive health. It also reduces constipation, cramping, bloating and diarrhea. 

Gungo peas are also a good treatment for eliminating parasitic body worms and is also known as a cure for jaundice, bronchitis and lung disease.

Some of the content for this article was taken from

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: