Nutritional Wellness

Nutritional wellness is the ability to take in and utilize any food material to get the proper nourishment that a person needs. This involves a person’s ability to adequately study the different food groups and assess the different portions that are required for an individual. Overall, having nutritional wellness is the starting point that needs to be achieved in order to succeed in other areas of wellness.

October Wellness Webinar: Understanding Health Values

By now, you’ve participated in your health screening as part of the Well Wisconsin incentive program. Join us to learn more about what the numbers mean and how you can maintain or improve them for your overall health and well-being.

Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2017HealthNumberA

Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Location: Cofrin Library, 7th floor, room 735

No need to RSVP – just mark your calendar to join us, and bring your lunch!

You could also participate in this webinar at your workstation if you prefer – please visit wellwisconsin.staywell.com and go to Webinars to register.

Wellness webinars highlighting various health and well-being topics will take place the 3rd Wednesday of each month. All webinars will be recorded and available to Well Wisconsin Program participants on the wellness portal after the event date.

To access the wellness portal, you must be an employee, retiree, or enrolled spouse/domestic partner enrolled in the State of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health Insurance Program.

See What You Know About Fruits and Veggies

Whether you heard it from your parents, your doctor, a government agency, or any number of media outlets, you are most likely familiar with the fact that fruits and vegetables are good for you. Here’s your chance to show the world (or just yourself) how much you know about the health benefits of produce.Quiz

Questions

1. True or false: When a fruit or vegetable has a vivid color that means it’s not as good for you.

2. When you’re prepping fruits and vegetables to eat, which of these precautions should you take to ensure they’re clean and won’t make you sick?

  • A. Wash your hands before handling produce
  • B. Rinse produce with warm water—even if you don’t eat the skin or peel
  • C. Cut away bruised or damaged areas before eating
  • D. All of the above

3. Which of these is not a proven health benefit of eating fruits and vegetables?

  • A. It boosts your mood.
  • B. It strengthens your immune system.
  • C. It improves your hearing.
  • D. It improves your psychological health.

4. True or false: It’s possible that eating fruits and vegetables helps prevent cell damage in your body.

Answers

1. False. In fact, vivid colors mean the produce is full of chemicals like carotenoids and flavonoids, which contain good-for-you antioxidants.

2. D—All of the above. If the produce has a firm skin, you should use a scrub brush to clean it.

3. C—It improves your hearing. Sadly, this hasn’t been found. But you should still eat a lot of produce, because the other three health benefits have been proven.

4. True. The antioxidants that are prevalent in produce might help combat a process in your body that triggers cell damage.

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC

Sugar; Too Much of a Bad Thing

This title is misleading, I don’t believe that any food should be labeled “bad” or even labeled “good”. There are foods that have more nutrients than others, like vegetables and fruits, compared to the nutritional profile of a cookie. The reason a cookie would be labeled “bad” is because of the high sugar content, which is fine in moderation, but when eaten too often, it can become a bad thing.

Sugar can come in different forms. Monosaccharides are the simplest forms of sugar, including, glucose, galactose, and fructose. Fruits and vegetables contain fructose, which is the most common monosaccharide. Disaccharides are made when two monosaccharides are joined. Sucrose, which is glucose and fructose, is the most common disaccharide and is the type found in table sugar. Lactose is the type of sugar in milk products and is glucose and galactose joined together. Monosaccharides and disaccharides are simple carbohydrates. Polysaccharides have multiple glucose chains and are complex carbohydrates. Starch is an example of a polysaccharide.

Healthy, well-rounded diets can contain broccoli and brownies, just more broccoli than brownies. Sugars in fruit and vegetables are naturally occurring and are metabolized more efficiently because they also contain lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The fiber slows down the digestion, which keeps insulin and blood sugar levels stable. Sugar found in cookies, soda, and candy causes insulin and blood sugar levels to spike rapidly because there is no fiber or protein to stabilize these levels or to keep you full. Eat a mix of complex and simple carbohydrates.Chocolate_cake

Eating a variety of foods is part of life, including foods that have sugar. Enjoying one piece of cake at a birthday party is not going to harm you, as long as the rest of your diet includes lots of vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products, lean proteins, and dairy products that aren’t loaded with added sugar or fat. Eat the cake, just have it once in a while!

Article provided by Emily Burger, UWGB Dietetics Student

Sources: Johnson, R. K., Appel, L. J., Brands, M., Howard, B. V., Lefevre, M., Lustig, R. H., Wylie-Rosett, J. (2009). Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. American Heart Association, Inc., 120(11).    doi:https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192627

September Wellness Webinar: Make Mealtime Family Time

MealtimeSometimes it’s hard to gather for a sit-down meal. But family meals can teach your kids health lessons that will stick with them for years to come. And, if you don’t have kids, it can help strengthen your relationship with your spouse/partner or another friend. This webinar will provide you with tips and ideas for making mealtime fun and even help persuade those picky eaters.

Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Location: Cofrin Library, 7th floor, room 735

No need to RSVP – just mark your calendar to join us, and bring your lunch!

You could also participate in this webinar at your workstation if you prefer – please visit wellwisconsin.staywell.com and go to Webinars to register.

Wellness webinars highlighting various health and well-being topics will take place the 3rd Wednesday of each month. All webinars will be recorded and available to Well Wisconsin Program participants on the wellness portal after the event date.

To access the wellness portal, you must be an employee, retiree, or enrolled spouse/domestic partner enrolled in the State of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health Insurance Program.

Produce May Be the Key to Happiness

 

VeggiesWord

A silver lining … and a slice of apple? Research shows fruits and vegetables not only nourish your body—they also make you happier.

One possible explanation: The feel-good boost of knowing you’re eating healthy. By now, almost everyone has heard that fruits and vegetables form the cornerstone of a nutritious diet. So you should rightfully feel proud of placing them on your plate.

The Brain Power of Produce

But that’s not all. Healthy compounds in produce help your brain function properly, improving your psychological health. Star nutrients include:

Complex carbohydrates. All carbs provide an instant lift as glucose, insulin, and serotonin flow through your veins. But unlike simple sugars, which often cause you to quickly crash, complex carbs from starchy veggies and fruits keep your blood sugar and hormone levels steady.

B vitamins, including folate and vitamin B-6. Your body needs these nutrients to produce brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Fall short and your emotions tend to run off track.

Some evidence also suggests that antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, including vitamins C and E, may help combat a process in your body that triggers cell damage. The jury is still out, but it’s possible antioxidants in fruits and vegetables may help keep your mood intact, and in particular, protect against depression.

Which Fruits and Veggies to Choose?

Health experts recommend at least five to nine servings per day of fruits and veggies. Create your own mood-boosting shopping list with these picks. They’re easy to find, low-cost, and can all fit into dishes your whole family will love.

Peas: Mix into pasta; stir into salads; or combine with onion, garlic, broth, and seasonings for a tasty soup.

Spinach: Use as a pizza topping, heat up frozen greens as a side dish, or heat in a pan with chickpeas for a tasty beans-and-greens sauté.

Bananas: Think beyond cereal—try bananas blended into smoothies, sliced lengthwise and topped with frozen yogurt, or even tossed with apples, lettuce, and peanuts for an unexpected salad.

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC

How to Handle Fruits and Vegetables

The skin of fresh fruits and vegetables can have germs that can make you sick. They also can contain chemicals that farmers use to help the plants grow. That’s why it’s a good idea to wash fruits and vegetables before you eat them. Here are some tips:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling fruits and vegetables.Washing_peppers
  2. Rinse all fresh fruit and vegetables with warm water, even if you don’t eat the skin or peel. Germs on the skin or peel can spread to the inside when you cut or peel it.
  3. If there is a firm skin, such as on apples or potatoes, use a scrub brush to clean it.
  4. Cut away bruised or damaged areas on fruits and vegetables before you eat them.
  5. Most fresh fruits and vegetables will stay fresher if put in the refrigerator, but some will not. For example, it is OK to keep potatoes and bananas on the kitchen counter. But return cut and peeled fruits and vegetables to the refrigerator within two hours. Put them in the crisper and cover them.

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC

Color Yourself Healthy

VeggieRainbow

You can find a rainbow of colors in the produce section at your supermarket, and all that color provides big nutritional benefits.

When you shop, look for the most vividly colored fruits and vegetables. Colorful plant chemicals—such as carotenoids and flavonoids—contain antioxidants that can strengthen your immune system, protect your body’s cells from disease-causing free radicals, and may prevent some types of cancer or heart disease.

Different colors mean different types of antioxidants with different benefits. Here’s a guide:

The Reds

This hue is a sign of antioxidants that may reduce your risk for cancer and protect your heart. Consider putting these in your cart:

  • Cranberries
  • Pomegranates
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries and strawberries
  • Red bell peppers
  • Red grapes
  • Tomatoes

The Oranges and Yellows

They are packed with carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C. These nutrients promote heart health and vision and may reduce the risk for certain cancers. Shop for these bright foods:

  • Acorn squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Oranges, lemons, grapefruit
  • Peaches
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes

 The Greens

Green vegetables contain a slew of antioxidants. They are also a rich source of other health essentials, such as folate, minerals, and fiber.  Add these to your menu:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Collard greens
  • Green bell peppers
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard

The Blues and Purples

Fruits and veggies that are blue and purple offer many of the same benefits as red items. Fill up on these deeply hued choices:

  • Beets
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Plums
  • Purple grapes and juice

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC

August Wellness Webinar: Fitting a Healthy Life in a Hectic Lifestyle

AugWebinar

Life can be busy. Filled with meetings, deadlines and family commitments. It’s no wonder that exercise gets put to the wayside and our meals are made at the drive-thru window. This webinar will discuss simple tricks and tips you can use to make healthy living fit into your hectic lifestyle.

Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Location: Cofrin Library, 7th floor, room 735

No need to RSVP – just mark your calendar to join us, and bring your lunch!

You could also participate in this webinar at your workstation if you prefer – please visit wellwisconsin.staywell.com and go to Webinars to register.

Wellness webinars highlighting various health and well-being topics will take place the 3rd Wednesday of each month. All webinars will be recorded and available to Well Wisconsin Program participants on the wellness portal after the event date.

To access the wellness portal, you must be an employee, retiree, or enrolled spouse/domestic partner enrolled in the State of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health Insurance Program.

The Benefits of Mindful Eating

Rushing through meals, barely acknowledging the food you put in your mouth, deprives you of the pleasure of eating and may impact Appleyour health.

A study in the Journal of Obesity found that the more study participants practiced mindful eating, the greater their ability to reduce anxiety, skip eating comfort food to ease stress, and avoid eating in response to emotions. That helped them lose weight in the abdominal area.

To practice mindful eating, try these exercises:

• Be mindful of food prior to eating it. Before you eat something, silently do the following for 30 seconds: Look closely at the food in front of you, noticing the colors and shapes. Smell the food and enjoy the aroma. Consider all the plants and animals that are part of the food. Acknowledge the effort of everyone who was involved in making the food. Envision yourself eating the food mindfully with attention.

• Take mindful bites. Be aware of your movements as you bring food to your mouth. When the food is in your mouth, put your hands, silverware, or chopsticks down. As you chew, pay attention to the taste and texture of the food and to the act of chewing. Chew until the food is smooth, then swallow. After swallowing, pause for a few seconds before picking up more food or your utensils.

• Mind your chews. Pay attention to how many chews it takes for you to eat a particular food. Begin by taking a bite of food and then counting the number of chews it takes you to completely chew it up. Then take a smaller bite of the same food and count the number of chews you need, followed by taking a larger-than-normal bite and noting the number of chews. This practice can help you focus specifically on the act of eating when your attention is wandering.

Easy ways to practice mindful eating include:

  • Making eating your only activity without reading, talking on your cellphone, watching TV, texting, computing, or working
  • Eating with chopsticks or with your non-dominant hand
  • Chewing each bite 30 to 50 times
  • Sitting at a table when you eat

Slowing down and practicing mindful eating has the potential to transform your relationship with food. Reducing distractions is key to the experience.

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC