A review article on health benefits of Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp)

A review article on health benefits of Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp)

Rabia Syed1 and Ying Wu2

1PhD candidate. Graduate Research Assistant. Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. College of Agriculture Tennessee State University. 2Ph.D. Associate Professor Food and Animal Science. Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. College of Agriculture Tennessee State University.

International Journal of Food and Nutrition Research

Pigeon pea is a perennial tropical crop primarily grown in Asia and Africa, and its seeds are consumed as a rich source of protein and carbohydrates both in fresh and dried forms. It has been used as an important part of the folk and traditional medicine in India, China, and South America to prevent and treat various human diseases.
This crop has been successfully grown in some southeastern states but still considered as a novel pulse here in the US with the majority of the work focused on its non-consumable parts like leaves, stems, and roots. Literature studies indicate that pigeon pea has the potential to prevent and treat many human diseases such as bronchitis, pneumonia, measles, hepatitis, yellow fever, ulcers, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. Nutritionally along with protein and fiber, it has a decent number of health-promoting phytochemicals. Foremost phytochemicals found in pigeon pea seeds are phenolic acids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, and phytic acid. These minor components predominately exhibit antioxidant, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory activities. It is an excellent source of inexpensive plant-based protein. Some studies describe the bioactive role of protein fractions, especially as an antihyperglycemic factor. Seeds are the edible and non-perishable part of this crop with the feasibility of addition in food products. Functional properties of the pigeon pea flour make it a suitable ingredient for food products like bread, pasta, and nutritional bars which can make it a gluten-free substitute for cereals.

Keywords: Pigeon pea, protein, fiber, phenolic acids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, phytic acid, antioxidant, antidiabetic

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Rabia Syed and Ying Wu.A review article on health benefits of Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp). International Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 2018; 2:15.  DOI: 10.28933/ijfnr-2018-09-0301


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