It’s not often you hear cafes serving Turmeric Ginger Cappuccino and Latte. But that’s exactly what Cafe Coffee Day is doing. They even have Turmeric Milkshake and Golden Milk infused with turmeric and ginger in the immunity booster section of their menu. Coronavirus has affected the eating and drinking habits of consumers who are looking to boost their immunity and reduce the risk of contracting diseases. While consumers are shifting towards a healthier lifestyle, restaurants are trying to attract them by introducing healthier food options.
Faasos added Immunity Pro Chole Wrap, Antioxidant-rich Sabudana Wada, Protein-packed Roasted Chicken Steak and more on their menu. Then there is Dadus who introduced sweets made with adrak, oats and dalchini, tulsi, amla and haldi. Food blogger Mohd Zubair Ali informs that Ci Gusta is serving a separate ‘Healthy Plate Menu’ and Sante Spa Cuisine is extending their offerings with ‘Substantial Nourishment Menu’.
However, are these immunity booster foods useful or are the restaurants just trying to stay relevant? “Being healthy isn’t a trend, it’s a lifestyle. It’s good if people are preferring healthy food over junk. But honestly it’s not very useful if you order such food once in a while as they won’t boost your actual immunity,” says Ayeesha Farheen, Nutritionist and a lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics. She adds, “If you want to boost your immunity, plan one entire week’s menu with foods like citrus, broccoli, red bell peppers, spinach, turmeric, ginger and garlic and by taking supplements.”
Avocado Epic and Sexy Spinach are two of the new immunity booster smoothies at Drunken Monkey. The founder of the smoothie bar chain, Samrat Reddy, says, “I don’t believe in the concept of immunity boosters and having a separate section dedicated to them didn’t sound right to me initially. But then what we are trying to tell people is that prevention is better than cure. Irrespective of coronavirus being present or not, we must be fit and healthy because there are so many more diseases that can kill us. 95 per cent of our menu is healthy and tasty. We’ve been getting a lot of orders, so it’s good that more people are exploring healthier food options.”
Swetha Chepuru, founder of the restaurant Pack A Snack, says that she is not willing to give any misinformation to customers. “I don’t want to categorize my menu into healthy and unhealthy only during covid-19. I make sure that I always serve food that’s loaded with healthy ingredients and is made with proper care, sanitization and hygiene. We’ve been serving healthy soups with ginger, garlic, broccoli, mushrooms and corn since way before,” she shares.
Meanwhile, Zubair, founder of Hyderabad Food Diaries, has tried immunity booster foods from multiple places and liked it. “Daily, on an average, I get 12 to 15 queries asking for immunity-boosting products. I have promoted them on my blog and the response has been good. There is a demand in public and it’s beneficial to both the F&B sector and their customers,” he feels.
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