Five forgotten health foods
In the years before World War II, almost every menu included a tall glass of cool buttermilk. Buttermilk believers said the drink made them strong, energetic and healthy. Perhaps they were right: Earl Cruze, the celebrated Tennessee buttermilk maker, claims men worried about their virility wouldn't need pills if they drank more buttermilk.
2. Corned beef
Corned beef was a staple of early 20th century diets: Health guru Bernard Macfadden, an outspoken advocate of cold plunge baths, long walks, natural childbirth and carrots, sold a 12-cent corned beef plate at his health food restaurant in 1910. Amelia Summerville, author of "Why be Fat?", published in 1916, urged her readers to breakfast on corned beef hash, a dish she defended as lean and nutritious.
3. Sarsaparilla soft drinks
Sarsaparilla, extracted from a tropical trailing vine, still shows up in some root beers, but the flavored oil was the main attraction back in the nineteenth century. A popular syphilis treatment, sarsaparilla sodas were also promoted as pick-me-ups. "That tired feeling can be totally overcome by taking Hood's Sarsaparilla," an 1885 newspaper ad promised.