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New Year’s Foods for Good Luck

Many cultures around the world eat specific foods on New Year’s Day to usher in good fortune, long life and prosperity. Though the exact foods and traditions vary by location, there is a common thread – nutrient-rich foods that make the body lean and strong. What better way to welcome a new year?

Lentils. Thought to resemble coins, lentils are eaten throughout Italy for good fortune in the new year.

RecFit pick: Lentils, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Plus, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. But this is far from all lentils have to offer. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. Read more at http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=52.

Recipe: Cooked lentils can be added to any salad, or try them hot in: Spicy Lentils with Potatoes and Kale.

 

Noodles. In many Asian countries, long noodles are eaten on New Year’s Day in order to bring a long life. One catch: You can’t break the noodle before it is all in your mouth.

RecFit pick: Soba Noodles. Made from buckwheat and popular in Japanese cooking, soba noodles are not only a source of complete protein, they are wheat- and gluten-free and pack a serious nutritional punch! Read more at http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=11.

Recipe: Soba Salad with Miso Vinaigrette

 

Black-eyed peas. In the American South, black-eyed peas are thought to bring prosperity, especially when served with collard greens (yum!).

RecFit pick: We love black-eyed peas are high in fiber, potassium, protein and iron, regulating your blood sugar and keep your arteries clean. Read more at http://www.livestrong.com/article/414892-health-benefits-of-black-eyed-peas/.

Recipe: New Year’s Soup.

 

Cabbage. In Germany, Ireland, and parts of the United States, cabbage is associated with luck and fortune since it is green and resembles money.

RecFit pick: Cabbage is positively loaded with Vitamins K and C and all the benefits of a cruciferous vegetable, but that’s not all. When fermented in sauerkraut, it become a powerful probiotic, regulating digestive health and strengthening the immune system. Read more at http://www.naturalnews.com/033659_sauerkraut_health_benefits.html.

Recipe: You can buy jars of natural sauerkraut (only ingredients should be cabbage and salt), or if you have a few weeks to allow it to ferment, you can make your own: Making Sauerkraut.

 

Pomegranate. Long associated with abundance and fertility, pomegranates are eaten in Turkey and other Mediterranean countries for luck in the new year.

RecFit pick: Loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants, pomegranate seeds are high in fiber and can protect you from certain types of heart disease. Read more at http://www.livestrong.com/article/242324-health-benefits-of-pomegranate-fruit/.

Recipe: Spoon out the seeds for a terrific snack, or add them to this delicious nutrient-dense salad: Roasted Brussels Sprout and Quinoa Salad.

 

Grapes. The Spanish and Portuguese eat twelve grapes as the clock chimes twelve times for midnight, to symbolize the twelve months of the new year.

RecFit pick: The flavonoids contained in grapes are very potent antioxidants that have the power to reverse atherosclerosis — a thickening of arterial walls that results from cholesterol buildup. It’s thought that these flavonoids, which are also present in grape juice and wine, provide the explanation behind the “French paradox.” (Although the standard French diet is high in cholesterol and saturated fat, the French have lower incidences of heart disease than Americans.) Read more at http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=40.

Recipe: No recipe is required, since grapes alone are a terrific snack!