Do you know why Black people believe it’s good luck to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day? As with most traditions, there’s a rich origin to the practice.
Most Southerners will tell you that the act dates back to the Civil War. Black-eyed peas were considered food for cattle (like purple hull peas). The peas were not even worthy of Union soldiers.
According to tripsavvy.com, when Union soldiers raided the Confederates’ food supplies, legend says they took everything except the peas and salted pork. The Confederates considered themselves lucky to be left with those meager supplies, and survived the winter. Peas became symbolic of luck.
Black-eyed peas were also given to slaves, as were most other traditional New Year’s foods. One explanation of the superstition says that black-eyed peas were all Southern slaves had to celebrate with on the first day of January 1863 aka, the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation.
With that being said, even as we head into 2023, the tradition is still upheld for many reasons besides its whimsical reasons. The veggie is great for our health.
1. Black-Eyed Peas are a great source of protein for Vegans.
Finding alternate sources of protein is not a hassle. One cup of black-eyed peas contains 13 grams of protein. This is essential for muscle building and the body’s daily functioning.
2. Black-Eyed Peas contain a valuable amount of dietary fiber.
Black-eyed peas are a great source of fiber. A one-cup serving of black-eyed peas contains 11 grams of dietary fiber.
The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women is 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively. Dietary fiber can help prevent constipation, making one’s bowel movement more regular.
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3. Black-Eyed Peas can help empower your nervous system.
Vitamins, such as folate, play an important role in the regulation of specific amino acids that the nervous system requires.
Studies have shown that a deficient amount of dietary folate can increase the homocysteine levels, which can be