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Healthy 2009: Beans and Cabbage

The new year represents a fresh start and we all look toward the future with hope. In the foods that folks traditionally eat on New Year's Day, health and prosperity come together in the form of beans and cabbage — two superfoods.

The circular shape of beans represents the cycle of a year ending as well as prosperity — the beans represent coins. Black-eyed peas are considered good luck in the South. Chickpeas are eaten on the first day of the new year in southern France and in Italy. In Japan, red beans are eaten on New Year's Day for prosperity. Beans are a great source of both protein and fiber. Low in fat and affordable, beans provide a good source of important minerals: calcium, iron, and potassium. Why not make a pot of veggie chili to ring in the new year.

Cabbage is eaten for prosperity, too. 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.

Add these two lucky and healthy foods to your diet in the new year. Even if it isn't today, you can't go wrong with beans and cabbage.

What do you eat on New Year's Day? Tell me in the comment section below.


krae85 krae85 8 years
NO to cabbage.
natalope natalope 8 years
I had chickpeas and lamb. Yummm.
verily verily 8 years
I'm a good little Southern girl. Ham, black-eyed peas, greens, and grits. Usually, it's cornbread, but grits won out this time.
usinda usinda 8 years
I like both of these. :D
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I've always eaten black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, but my husband's family always eats cabbage in some form. This year, we had coleslaw with dinner...not my absolute favorite, but maybe it'll bring me luck.
soapbox soapbox 8 years
Mhmm, we have a BIG pot of left over black eyed peas, smoked turkey and greens. It was def. an acquired taste for me back when I was a kid tho
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i've heard about the black eyed peas thing - my man went around trying to find some yesterday and had no luck. i didn't realize that about cabbage though - yet another reason to have it right?
javsmav javsmav 8 years
I made a spicy black-eyed peas and collard greens dish. It was SO good!
whitemouse whitemouse 8 years
We had venison, macaroni and cheese, black-eyed peas, and collard greens. We're in North Carolina and my mom grew up with the tradition being collard greens instead of cabbage (I asked her and she smiled and said "It's about the same - a green, leafy vegetable!"). I usually hate collard greens but my mom grew some in the garden this year and they were delicious! She also heard that in Japan oranges represent prosperity so I ate one of those, too. (Do clementines count? I've had about four today...) :D Best of luck in 2009, everyone!
mod16 mod16 8 years
i love cabbage!
crayolasky crayolasky 8 years
All I've had today is some leftovers laying around... chips & salsa, some sparkling cider, some fruit, a little bit of dark chocolate lol. Pretty unhealthy :( but I'm really not hungry, and just too lazy to do much of anything. I should really try to exercise though. Oh, and as for "superstitious" things - a friend told me yesterday that it's a tradition in Italy to eat 12 grapes right after midnight haha, so I did it! Apparently it's supposed to bring good luck and prosperity, so we'll see if it works.
JaeB JaeB 8 years
Hehe, my dad's from Louisiana, so we always have black eyed peas for New Years dinner. :)
eroca87 eroca87 8 years
Pork and sauerkraut! Always on New Year's day for good luck. Well, for me it will just be mashed potatoes and sauerkraut...yum!
PinkNC PinkNC 8 years
I haven't eaten either of those yet and I don't know if I will today. I don't believe in that superstition.
brookrene brookrene 8 years
Well, so far all I've had is a bowl of fiber one and some toast, though i may dig into some black eyed peas here in a bit. Atleast a few for superstitions sake. ;)
kia kia 8 years
We will be cooking hop n'john today. Black eyed peas and rice all seasoned up. We also do an assortment of veggies with this goodness including greens sauteed up with shallots, broth, and a teenie topping of sesame oil. I bet my relatives roll in their graves since I don't overcook the greens with a hamhock.
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