December Wellness Update ogram.

December Wellness Update
Check out what’s going on with the employee wellness program. Click here to visit the wellness website.
Nutrition 101: There’s a new Super Food in Town
Move over green tea and red wine, there is a new antioxidant-rich super
food that's becoming more and more popular. The pomegranate used to
be nothing more than a seasonal novelty--even though it is a fruit that has
been around for centuries, as referenced in Persephone, Homer's Odyssey
and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Over the last few years, however,
there have been more and more products containing pomegranate
popping up on store shelves. You can find pomegranate flavor or scent in
everything from hand soap and body wash to ice cream and lollipops. So
what is a pomegranate?
The pomegranate-- known as la granada in Spanish and la grenade in
French--is a round fruit typically about the size of an orange or grapefruit
with a distinctive crown-shaped calyx at its base. The outer skin is rather tough and leathery in texture. The skin color can
range from pale pink to a rich ruby red. Inside, the pomegranate fruit contains chambers of ruby-red seeds separated by
white pulp like membranes.
Pomegranates are one of the most nutritious fruits you can choose, but they are also one of the most difficult and labor
intensive to eat. Not only is the fruit loaded with vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber, scientists have found that it is also
loaded with antioxidants that may help fight heart disease, cancer and the ongoing battle with aging.
The pomegranate fruit contains three different types of antioxidant polyphenols-- tannins, anthocyanins and ellagic acid.
Found in many fruits, these are not specific to pomegranates; however, pomegranate juice contains a notably high amount of
all three, which is what makes this fruit an antioxidant-rich super food.
When selecting a fruit, pick those that are heavy, brightly colored and have a rind without any splits. They can be safely kept
refrigerated for several months, but they taste best when eaten fresh. The membranes and seeds are edible and can easily be
put through a juicer. The seeds provide the largest portion of the fruit's fiber and can be sprinkled on salads, used in soups,
breads or other baked goods. (Find some pomegranate recipes here.)
How do you eat it?
Cut off the crown end and lightly score the rind from top to bottom in several places.
Soak the scored fruit in a bowl of cool water for several minutes. Carefully split the fruit apart while holding it under
water. Holding the fruit under water as you break the sections apart will help reduce juice splatters.
Separate the seeds from the rind and membrane while in the water. The seeds will sink to the bottom of your bowl
while the rind and membrane will float to the top.
Skim off the rind and membranes with a slotted spoon. Drain the seeds and pat dry.
continued on page 2…
Brain Games
Physical exercise, good nutrition, social connection, and mental
stimulation all help ensure that our brains remain sharp and agile.
Play these quick and fun brain games from Happy Neuron to keep
your mind sharp. Play a brain game now!
Source: SparkPeople
Employee Spotlight Have you made changes to lead a healthier lifestyle. Tell us about your efforts!
Message from the Wellness Coordinator
The President has declared December as National Drunk and
Drugged Driving Prevention Month. Americans who drink and
drive after holiday parties and festivities make the period
between Thanksgiving and New Year’s one of the most
deadly and dangerous seasons due to alcohol-related
crashes. Join with me in making safe driving a priority this
holiday season and always designate a safe driver!
Delicious Ways to Get Your Omega-3’s
Add chopped walnuts and grilled salmon to a salad
Select or prepare your favorite seafood on the grill
Substitute fish in one of your favorite chicken recipes
Try a small handful of walnuts as a snack
Sprinkle ground flaxseed on your cereal, yogurt or
Prepare a tuna fish sandwich for lunch
Spread a trans-fat free margarine with added
omega-3 on whole-wheat toast
Injuries & death from falls are twice as likely to occur in Lee
County than in other counties in Florida. But, falls are preventable.
Take these steps to reduce the risk of falls among older adults in
your home and in your friends’ and family’s homes.
Remove all throw rugs
Eliminate loose cords (electrical or curtain)
Remove clutter from floors and pathways through the house
Add night lights to the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and all
paths in between
Add support rails, if needed, to tub/shower and steps
Schedule an appointment to have vision checked
Encourage regular exercise to maintain muscle tone and
improve balance
For more information on preventing falls visit the Lee County
Injury Prevention Coalition’s website, and click ‘resources’.
Single-Leg Balance
Targets: glutes, core, stability & balance
Start by standing on both legs. Bend knee and bring one leg up so thigh is
parallel with floor. Hands on waist (or chair), abs pulled in, chest lifted.
Hold for 15-60 seconds and repeat on opposite side. Modification: Hold
onto chair or a wall for stability. Try letting go for a few seconds at a
Source: America on the Move
Some common ailments have been found to respond positively
to pomegranate or its juice. Talk to your health care provider to
see if pomegranates could be a natural option for you or
someone in your family.
Anemia - There has been some indication that pomegranate
juice can help with iron-poor blood, especially for women who
lose volume monthly. Try adding a teaspoon of ground
cinnamon and a little honey to a warm cup of pomegranate juice.
Asthma - There has been some indication that pomegranates
have some anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce
wheezing in young children with asthma.
Loss of Appetite - Some people find that pomegranate juice can
help increase appetite.
Sore Throat - The perceived anti-inflammatory properties of
pomegranate juice may reduce soreness and redness in the
Caution should be used regarding regular consumption of
pomegranate juice if you are on any medications. There is
concern that the potent antioxidant juice may affect the
metabolism of some prescription medications. Blood pressure
medications in particular should not be taken with pomegranate
juice as it may cause your blood pressure to drop too low. Be
sure to talk with your medical provider to find the best balance
between your prescription medications and this wonderful and
healthy super fruit.
Nutrition Tip of the Month...Holiday Parties
Holiday season usually means overindulging. Have an office
party coming up? Bring a healthy dish to pass, cut down on
portion sizes, and don’t feel obligated to try every single
dish that is offered. Instead, pick and choose your favorites!
Chopped Holiday Salad
makes 8-10 servings
1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini beans. rinsed and drained
2 small green peppers, seeded and cut into bite-size chunks
1 medium cucumber, cut into bite-size chunks (3 cups)
1/2 head radicchio or 1/4 head red cabbage, coarsely chopped
1/2 of a 16-ounce package radishes, halved or quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp Honey
1/2 tsp Coarse Salt
1/4 tsp Cracked black pepper
8 ounces feta cheese, cubed
Coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley and/or
Source: SparkPeople
Place beans, sweet peppers, cucumber, radicchio, and radishes
in separate self-sealing plastic bags. For dressing, in a screw-top
jar combine oil and lemon juice. Cover and shake well. Add
honey, salt, and cracked pepper to taste, covering and shaking
well after each addition. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons dressing into
each bag. Seal bags. Chill 2 to 4 hours, turning bags occasionally
(beans, green peppers, and cucumber may be chilled up to 24
To serve, arrange vegetables and dressing along with feta cheese
in strips on a serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and/or
mint. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 191 calories; 13g fat; 5g sat fat; 25 mg
cholesterol; 528mg sodium; 15g carbs; 5g sugar; 4g fiber; 8g protein