You’ve heard of pushing your luck, but eating it? Turns out, certain foods are believed to be infused with good fortune. We compiled a list of the luckiest foods spanning centuries and continents and found that these auspicious eats also offer some health and beauty benefits. Now that’s good news.
1Garlic: Protective Luck
For centuries people have placed this potent bulb at crossroads, worn it and even thrown it to protect themselves from demons, vampires, werewolves and magic. Since you’re not likely to encounter a vampire (except for an emotional one), we suggest eating garlic to fend off getting sick: Garlic has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and numerous vitamins and minerals.
And if you’re worried about garlic breath, sip milk between bites. The blend of fat and water in milk is apparently the most effective antidote to the halitosis (bad breath) caused by digesting large amounts of garlic.
2Long Noodles: Longevity
Hearkening to a Chinese New Year tradition, long noodles are served unbroken to bestow the eater with a long life. Not to make you paranoid, but some say that even cutting the noodle by biting it off can shorten your life. We say go ahead and chew your food well before swallowing (it helps with weight control and digestion). And choose long rice noodles or whole-wheat noodles as low calorie, low glycemic (GI) options.
COLUMN: Try These Eats That Make You Beautiful
3Leafy Greens: Prosperity
Although any green will do, traditionally, cabbage, kale and collard greens are the plants that people eat on holidays for luck in Germany, Ireland and the southern United States. And it’s not just because they are so nutrient dense. Leafy greens are said to bring wealth and prosperity to the eater because they resemble paper money.
Our take? Go ahead and go green. Your investment will be rewarded with beautiful beta carotene for your hair, skin and twinkling eyes.
4Lentils: Good Fortune
Cooked and eaten for luck because they resemble coins, lentils make our list because they’re also protein-rich, low in saturated fat and a good source of fiber, folate and iron.
Folate aids cell turnover to keep skin looking fresh and iron maintains blood flow for a healthy glow. Get enough of this superfood and you can enjoy the good fortune of youthful-looking skin.
5Fish: General Luck
Fish are a cross-cultural lucky food that pack major nutritious power. Said to be lucky for myriad reasons, not the least of which is the way fish scales resemble coins, fish is served as a luck-promoting dish all over the world. In Germany, people even put a few fish scales in their wallets for good luck. We’re fans of healthy fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon, mackerel and cod) for supple skin.
6Black-Eyed Peas: Luck and Fortune
This is the baby of the lucky foods bracket. This old Jewish tradition caught on as an American luck symbol around the time of the Civil War in the southern U.S., and eating black-eyed peas for luck at New Year’s is a superstition that’s a real beauty do. Black-eyed peas are full of lean protein, fiber and all of the heart-healthy, cancer-preventing goodness of the legume family. Talk about a super food.
7Grapes: Por Suerte
At Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Spain, a tradition arose called Las doce uvas de la suerta— or “twelve grapes for luck.” One grape for each month must be eaten at each toll of the clock tower’s bell. What if you only eat six of them on time? Well, looks like your luck runs out in July. We don’t know how important when you eat them really is, but we do know that the powerful antioxidants in grapes can help you avoid the bad luck of certain cancers and coronary heart disease.