Wheat may be persona non grata these days, but wheat germ—an inner portion of wheat kernels—was considered a health food for years. It was especially popular in the 1950s, when it was used in all types of recipes.
Despite the recent wheat backlash (experts have linked it to everything from Alzheimer’s to obesity), wheat germ has a lot going for it, and it’s still a popular staple at health food stores. Nutrition- wise, wheat germ is an exceptional source of vitamin E. It’s also rich in folic acid, thiamin, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, and fiber. As a bonus, wheat germ is a vegetarian protein source.
5 Dishes that were popular in the ’50s
- Baked Alaska
- Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Chicken a la King
- Green Bean Casserole
- Deviled Eggs
Wheat Germ for Breakfast!
This light and nutty topping played a starring role in Better Nutrition’s “Menus of the Week” throughout the 1950s. Here are a few examples of breakfasts from those issues that incorporated wheat germ:
- Soaked prunes with wheat germ and cream; scrambled eggs; coffee
- Dried cereal with wheat germ, figs, and dates; mixed vegetable juice cocktail; coffee
- Bananas with wheat germ and cream; coddled eggs;coffee with milk
- Sliced peaches with wheat germ and milk; pancakes and honey; coffee with milk
- Berries with wheat germ and cream; corn muffins with cream cheese; coffee with milk
The Story of Better Nutrition was founded by Jack Schwartz in 1938
Schwartz returned from the military with a business idea—start a magazine about nutrition. He loved helping friends and family find natural solutions to health problems, and he figured others would be interested in this too. He saw an opportunity to fill a niche and, at the same time, satisfy his passion for health and nutrition. And just like that, Better Nutrition magazine was born.
Fall back in time with us this year as we revisit popular trends in nutrition, vitamins, recipes, and more with this limited-edition section.
80 Years of Better Nutrition:
- Better Nutrition in the 1930s - The Grapefruit Diet
- Better Nutrition in the 1940s - The Original Master Cleanse
- Better Nutrition in the 1950s, Part 1 - Gelatin Molds
- Better Nutrition in the 1950s, Part 2 - Wheat Germ
- Better Nutrition in the 1960s, Part 1 - Granola
- Better Nutrition in the 1960s, Part 2 - Fondue
- Better Nutrition in the 1970s, Adelle Davis
- Better Nutrition in the 1980s, Part 1 - Fit for Life
- Better Nutrition in the 1980s, Part 2 - Bran