02/05/2015

Staff Wellness Challenge Update

STAFF WELLNESS CHALLENGE WRAPS UP

The final week of our Staff Wellness Challenge brought the focus back to our plates. Our goal was to eat the rainbow—specifically, the rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

Each color has its own set of nutrient contributors, so dining on a rainbow produce is an easy way to be sure you’re consuming the wide variety of those nutrients. For example, lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, is responsible for the natural red color of tomatoes and pink grapefruit.

Many yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, like sweet potatoes and apricots, are abundant in betacarotene, which helps maintain good eyesight and stave off colds. Some green fruits and veggies, such as kale and honeydew, are good sources of lutein, a powerful antioxidant that can reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. These are just a few examples. Learn more about the eating whole rainbow.

For our wellness challenge, one point was awarded for each natural color we documented on our plate. If we got all five colors in one meal, we were awarded three additional points, for a total of eight.

Some of us found it easy to eat the rainbow. A half-cup of fruit on top of yogurt or oatmeal in the morning starts you off with one color. A bowl of soup with two more colors at lunch and two roasted vegetable sides at dinner can accomplish your five colors in a single day. Salads and smoothies are a good way to get all five colors in at once.

How do you like to eat the rainbow?