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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.


Join The Conversation
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 9 years
We eat all three of those! I made a pork and sauerkraut roast and served black eyed peas.
kelliegonzo kelliegonzo 9 years
my failsafe hangover cure is gatorade before i go to bed, eggs with tabasco sauce (not too much!) in the morning, and wendy's chili for lunch. and TONS of water or gatorade throughout the day after. believe me, it works!
Tutta Tutta 9 years
I can't say I'm a fan of either...just trying to get rid of the holiday leftovers and get back on track with good food and the gym! Chipotle burrito bowls were always my hangover cure when I would go drink...good ol' carbs!
geohiker geohiker 9 years
Amy's makes a great black-eyed peas bowl; it is so good, my grocery store is often out of stock and I grab everything I can!
kia kia 9 years
I'd prefer to do the Hoppin' John with collard greens. I don't use pork (oh, the shame for my family that ran a good soul food restaurant) when cooking them but shallots, white pepper, and season with a little sesame oil at the end.
hepsmom hepsmom 9 years
Black eyed peas are a mainstay! Instead of cabbage, collards are number one with me. I don't cook them to death as Momma and Granny do. I just cook them gently with a tad of bacon (for pork & flavor) and chicken stock. DELICIOUS and nutritious.
Kate-Marie Kate-Marie 9 years
We'll be having sauerkraut and kielbasa - German and Polish traditions. I think there will be black eyed peas too, since my stepmom is from the South.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
oh, i really don't like either of those!
momaro82 momaro82 9 years
I love cabbage but in my family the tradition is to eat collard greens,not cabbage for New Year's. We also eat black eyed peas as well.
emalove emalove 9 years
I'd eat the black-eyed peas, but cabbage isn't a favorite.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Hmmm no thanks! :)
dd-sugar dd-sugar 9 years
Yes I'm steaming cabbage today but cooking lentils and split peas also. No pork for this veggie! On New Year's Day, I usually resolve to drink more water. I suppose that helps with hang overs (I don't drink!) but good any time of the year. Regardless, cabbage is inexpensive, with a high water content, and a wonderful food! Happy New Year all!
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