In the past, the consumer trends that dictated meal options on a restaurant menu often centered around flavor, or an ingredient that suddenly fit into every recipe (cauliflower anyone?). However, in the wake of COVID-19, food trends have begun to go in a new direction: health. Each and every consumer (us included) wants to know how to improve their health by any means possible. As you can imagine, this desire has quickly spread to dining trends. For this reason, we’ve asked our head Dietitian, Elysa Dinzes, to provide her thoughts around what she recommends for the implementation of immune-building ingredients into restaurant menus for the benefit of everyone’s health. Here’s what she has to say:
A Note From Our Dietitian
Hi! My name is Elysa Dinzes and I am Food Calc’s Registered Dietitian. Diners more than ever are looking for foods that can boost their immune systems. Here are some of my favorite immune boosting foods. Incorporate some of these into your menu so that you can capture those healthy conscious diners and keep them coming back!
- Vitamin C is the most popular immune booster, and super easy to incorporate into your menu. Citrus foods (oranges, grapefruit, lemons), red bell peppers,broccoli, and spinach are excellent sources of Vitamin C. Swap that iceberg lettuce for spinach, serve a chilled fish salad inside a red bell pepper, switch to broccoli slaw, and dressings made with fresh squeezed oranges or lemons are
great ways to boost the immunity of your menu.
- Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and can be found in foods like almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and avocados. All of these can be incorporated into
salads, or the nut butter versions into smoothies.
- Vitamin D is a key nutrient to a healthy immune system. Recent research shows that Vitamin D may help protect against Covid-19. Good sources of Vitamin Dinclude fatty fish and fortified milk and yogurt. Grilled whole fish and yogurt parfaits are great ways to boost your menu’s immunity.
Reducing inflammation is also important for boosting immunity. There are lots of foods that reduce inflammation that can be incorporated into your menus. Forexample: berries contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin, and can be mixed into sauces, salads, and parfaits; turmeric contains curcumin which is a power anti-inflammatory and can be used to flavor soups and stews; cherries are rich in
antioxidants such as anthocyanins and catechins and are great in desserts. Make the most of your menus by incorporating and highlighting some new infection fighters. Today’s health conscious diner is looking for ways to keep themselves and their families healthy. Let’s use fresh foods to attract new customers and keep our existing customers coming back for more!
In Good Health,
Have Questions for Elysa About Your Menu? Meet Her LIVE This Week!
You heard that right. Elysa will be holding a webinar about this very subject this coming Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 10:30am PST! This event is free to all restaurant professionals, whether you are a part of the MenuCalc community or not! Get free advice from an established industry professional on your menu. Elysa has successfully guided several food establishments and professional organizations to nutritional success for over 15 years now. See what she has to say about your Menu questions!
You can register for Elysa’s Webinar here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2966543253759213326
We hope to see you there!