By Christopher Zook
Staying healthy is important these days, perhaps more than ever with obesity levels on the rise. To help you stay current with the demand of healthful food items from wary customers, there are some low-cost, abundant, and versatile foods you can include in your menu. So with a level of irony that borders on ridiculous considering three previous blogs that dealt exclusively with liquor, these are some of the best foods you can dish out to your health-conscious customers.
One of the most common companions to beverages and foods, lemons are jam-packed with vitamins, flavonoids, and citrus. One whole lemon contains a daily serving of vitamin C, which is basically diesel fuel for the human body, buffing out your immune system, HDL cholesterol (that's the good kind), and bones. There's also evidence that suggests the flavonoids help prevent the growth of cancer cells since they act as an anti-inflammatory. And on top of all of that, lemons only contain somewhere around 17 calories. Who would've guessed that this lip-puckering, water-flavoring, fish-deliciousing little fruit would be so incredible?
Even the chocophiles at your restaurant can take part in a healthy diet to naturally build up their body. Dark chocolate is known to reduce blood pressure and, kind of like lemons, increase HDL cholesterol. Unlike lemons, it also reduces LDL cholesterol, so your customers can actually de-crust an artery or two after a pink cheeseburger and feel fantastic while doing it. The "I feel fantastic" sensation exists because dark chocolate also contains psychoactive chemicals, which is an expensive way of saying it's awesome. It helps boost mood, increase focus, and activates the pleasure center of the brain. Really, it's a wonder everyone isn't a chocoholic.
Although moderation in your dishes is definitely key — despite its health benefits, nobody has ever become a prizefighter because they ate 40 lbs. of dark chocolate.
Reviled by children everywhere and possibly considered wanna-be trees that once had really big dreams but never enough drive, broccoli is, in the words of mothers everywhere, "good for you". It's best served raw so that nutrients and vitamins aren't boiled away because you can actually destroy up to 33% of broccoli's nutrition just by boiling it. Raw, it retains somewhere around 100% of your daily allotment of vitamin K, 200% of your vitamin C, and also helps fight off cancer growth. But if you have to heat your broccoli to help someone stand that awful pseudo-barky texture, do it in a microwave and you'll save up to 90% of the vitamin C content, and your customer's immune system will be all, "Yay!"
One of the less widely-known healthy foods, romaine lettuce contains just about everything your body needs. Just two cups contains enough Vitamin A and K to get you through the day, with vitamin C, folate, and fiber following up in decent portions. Toss some on a salad, go easy on the dressing, and you have a healthy, decently tasty meal or appetizer. On the downside, it costs more than iceberg lettuce. But considering iceberg lettuce doesn't contain nearly as much in the way of daily essentials as its cousin with the much fancier name, it's not that bad of a tradeoff. Besides, most things are more expensive than iceberg lettuce — you can pick up a whole head for, like, a nickel.
Believe it or not, Popeye was actually on to something. The only way spinach could be healthier or more convenient for you is if it was filled with water so you didn't have to take time away from eating to hydrate. One cup has roughly 20% of your daily allotment of fiber, and it also helps prevent cancers with natural flavonoids. It contains antioxidants, helps regulate blood pressure, boosts your immune system, strengthens your bones, promotes healthy skin, and even shields the human nervous system. This single plant is so amazing that it actually helps protect your central and peripheral nervous systems, which, in case your medical textbook is on the other side of the room, is one of the only systems in the human body that doesn't naturally repair itself after damage. Clearly, spinach doesn't mess around.
And, in a nutshell, that's how Popeye kept getting back up after taking an uppercut from Bluto.