Healthy and Lucky Foods to Start the New Year Right
If you're one of those who struggled this whole year to stay in shape (keep out from the round shape, that is) and maintain a healthy lifestyle, New Year's Day is a great day to leave bad old habits behind and start with a clean "healthy" plate. But wouldn't it be nice to attract some luck while you're munching on a healthy diet?
Every region has its own list of auspicious food that must be on your New Year's Eve table. And surprisingly, a number of them are good for your health as well. So whether you're the one cooking or getting a personal chef catering services, let's count down the lucky and healthy foods that you can serve for your New Year's Eve celebration.
Legume (Black-eyed peas and Lentils)
Legumes, especially lentils and black-eyed peas, are considered very lucky food for the New Year, because they resemble money in the form of coins. Likewise, they swell when cooked in water which symbolizes "growing or expanding wealth".
Nutritionally, legumes are good source of protein, fiber and carbohydrates and it is a staple food in many countries. They help lower bad cholesterol, thus lowering the risk of heart diseases. They are rich in essential amino acid Lysine, which when combined with other grains, form a complete protein.
They help in the proper absorption of carbohydrates and are good for people with diabetes. The fiber in legumes also aid in food digestion. Legume help the body to meet its daily nutritional requirement.
Green leafy vegetables are considered lucky because they resemble paper money or bills.
And of course, we already know that these salad greens are nutritional powerhouses. They are your best source of dietary fibers. Lettuce, especially romaine, contain vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, folate and minerals such as manganese, chromium, potassium, molybdenum, iron, and phosphorus.
And if you'd like to add some color to your salad, red, orange and yellow vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, beets and squash are rich in beta-carotenes, which boost the immune system and prevents certain types of cancer.
Fish is another auspicious food to have on your New Year's Eve plate. Fishes, swim forward which symbolizes "moving forward or advancement" and they also swim in school (groups of fish), which symbolizes "abundance".
Fishes are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which helps reduce the risk of heart attack and maintain a low blood pressure. It is also said to promote good brain function and make us smarter. Fishes are also high in protein but less in calories. Protein regulates our body's sugar level and prevents or controls diabetes. Low-calorie foods are dieter's best friend.
Even during ancient civilization, grapes were known to symbolize wealth and abundance. An old tradition in Spain has people popping one grape at each strike of the clock before midnight. The person who can swallow 12 whole grapes before the clock strikes 12 midnight is said to be assured of a prosperous year.
But aside from prosperity, grapes can also usher in a host of health benefits. Consuming whole grapes is like drinking red wine, it benefits your heart and your blood pressure. Grapes are also rich in antioxidants, which protects cells from free radicals and boost the body's resistance to certain diseases and illnesses.
Among the important antioxidants in grapes are flavonoids, which helps increase good cholesterol, and resveratrol, which lowers bad cholesterol and prevent blood clots. Thus, giving you a healthy heart.
Orange, because of its bright gold-like color and round shape, resembles gold coin very much, which is why it is considered a lucky food or fruit that must always be present when the new year comes in.
Orange is a citrus fruit loaded with lots of Vitamin C that boosts the body's immune system. It also has a number of antioxidants which promote good and healthy cells. It helps to lower high blood pressure, and even cholesterol, helps prevent stroke, cancer and heart disease.
Noodles and Pasta
The reason why noodles or pasta dishes are popular during birthdays is also the same reason why they are considered lucky food to serve during your New Year's Day celebration. They symbolize "longevity or long life".
Noodles and pasta are good sources of complex carbohydrates and are low in fats and calories. Depending on what they are made from, noodles and pasta can give other nutritional benefits, as well.
- Soba Noodles, made from buckwheat, are rich in vitamin B1 and B2, protein (twice the protein in rice) and other minerals.
- Shirataki Noodles, made from konjac plant, are low in carbohydrate but high in fiber, protein, calcium and iron.
- Semolina pasta, made from durum wheat, is rich in fiber, iron and vitamin B.
- Whole-wheat pasta, made from whole-grain wheat, is rich in fiber and protein.
- Flavored pasta, made with different vegetable extracts, contains vitamins and minerals.