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The Nutritional Benefits of Traditional New Year's Foods: Black Eyed Peas and Cabbage

Ring in the New Year With Black Eyed Peas and Cabbage

So many holidays have special foods associated with them and now that it is the new year, it is time to say "goodbye" to those sugary candy canes and the chocolate log of goodness Bûche de Noël, and a big "hello" to black eyed peas and cabbage. These two super foods are here to help you usher in a healthy and prosperous 2008.

Black eyed peas are considered good luck in many cultures and are traditionally eaten on New Year's Day in the south. They are circular and represent the cycle of a year ending. One cup of cooked peas contains 11 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein and less than one gram of fat. However, black eyed peas are most often cooked with hog jowls, bacon, or salt pork which adds fat and sodium to the dish, but also lots of flavor as well as luck. Pork is considered lucky because pigs use their snouts to dig in the ground in a forward direction. The forward direction being lucky.

Cabbage on the other hand is associated with prosperity. The leaves are considered to be representative of paper currency. Eating money will bring you money! Cabbage is most nutritionally prepared by steaming or sauteing, but not boiling since the leaves can lose up to 90 percent of their healthy antioxidants when cooked in water. Cabbage is high in vitamins K and C, the mineral magnesium, and even a little bit of omega-3 fatty acids. Plus it is great for cleansing your liver which might feel a little taxed today after last night's party. Now that is some veggie!

Good luck in the new year and adding these two foods to your diet, even if it isn't today, you can't go wrong.

Is there a food you always eat on New Year's Day (maybe to help your hangover)? I want to hear about it so tell me in the comments section below.

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