The True Story of Traditional New Year’s Lucky Foods

Now I’m the one who’s gladly stinking up the house with kraut, pork, and peas; I like these foods and don’t just limit them to the turn of a new year. But I’ve always wondered about our family custom. My mother grew up in Ohio with lots of German and Polish neighbors, while my dad’s gaggle of military brat siblings lived on Air Force bases in Florida and Louisiana. Mom brought the pork and kraut to our table’s traditions; Dad, the black-eyes. But which cultures started these celebratory superstitions in the first place? And why those foods?

To dig a little deeper, I chose four popular regional American good luck foods of the new year—the pork and sauerkraut of the Midwest, the greens and black-eyed peas of the South, the pickled herring of Scandinavian immigrants, and the lentils of Italian-Americans—on a quest for the facts behind the fortune.

Source: The True Story of Traditional New Year’s Lucky Foods

Does Sauerkraut Have Vitamin K?

Yes, yes it does.  It’s made of cabbage, which on it’s own contains ~70 mcg of vitamin K per cup (79% DV).

The lowest vitamin K detail I can find for sauerkraut puts sauerkraut at 18.5 mcg of vitamin K per cup (23% DV).  If you make your own, the estimated vitamin K is a lot higher if you keep the water.

Either way, either be careful about how much you consume or be ready to have to increase your dose. And excessive consumption of sauerkraut may lead to bloating and flatulence due to the trisaccharide raffinose, which the human small intestine cannot break down.

Digestive Problems? Try Fermented Foods

There is strong medical evidence available that suggests one of the simplest, most natural, and perhaps even most effective ways of dealing with digestive problems such as IBS, candida, acid reflux, Crohn’s Disease, and leaky gut could be fermented foods.

Source: How Fermented Foods Can Help Your Digestive Woes

Commercial yogurt in the US is made from pasteurized milk which is inoculated with a select variety of fermenting lactobaccilli, which I suspect is why the author poo-poos it – because it’s not the wild, all-natural, found on your fruits and vegetables wide variety of yeasts and bacteria you’d get elsewhere.

If you eat raw fruit and veg you probably get plenty of said raw, natural microbia. Ever notice that grapes appear to have a sorta dusty appearance ? That’s mostly yeast. Rinsing doesn’t remove most of them. Same for plums, cherries, cabbage, and most any other fruit or vegetable you can think of, it’s just more visible on red grapes. Eat raw fruit and vegetables as well as fermented food, and don’t worry so much about probiotics.