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National Spinach Day – A Healthy Habit Practice

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As we continue discovering ways to practice and share healthier heating habits as part of March National Nutrition Month, today marks the perfect opportunity to experiment with how to get more greens into our daily intake.

Check out the fun facts on all the health benefits of spinach and how to incorporate. If you need to freshen up your Employee Wellness initiatives, share this and host a spinach recipe pitch in to boost team building, community and healthy heating habits!

Eating spinach may not help us grow instant muscles like Popeye, but it will help strengthen our immune system and fight inflammation with all of its nutritional value. 

Low in fat and even lower in cholesterol, spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein (great news for Vegetarians & Vegans!), fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.

Abundant flavonoids in spinach act as antioxidants to keep cholesterol from oxidizing and protect your body from free radicals, particularly in the colon. The folate in spinach is good for your healthy cardiovascular system, and magnesium helps lower high blood pressure. Studies also have shown that spinach helps maintain your vigorous brain function, memory and mental clarity. (Source: Dr. Mercola, www.foodfacts.mercola.com)

A few simple tips to experiment with incorporating spinach and all of its wonderful health benefits into your diet are:

  • Grab a few handfuls of raw organic spinach and toss with your favorite lean protein, some berries or veggies, nuts and seeds and a bit of olive oil and vinaigrette for a delicious, power salad.
  • Add to your eggs, sandwiches, soups or salads
  • Add a handful to your smoothie for a power shake without the taste of spinach
  • Saute in olive oil and lemon juice for a warm, delicious side dish

If you’re still not sure you’re ready to experiment with spinach as part of creating a healthy eating lifestyle, here are 15 Impressive Benefits of Eating Spinach:

 

 

For the official observance background and fun facts about spinach, here is an article posted by the National Day Calendar (www.nationaldaycalendar.com) in recognition of National Spinach Day:

NATIONAL SPINACH DAY    

National Spinach Day is observed annually on March 26th.  Not only are there so many delicious ways that you can enjoy spinach, but it is also incredibly good for you!

An annual plant,  spinach is native to central and southwestern Asia. Thought to have originated in ancient Persia, Arab traders carried spinach into India, and then it was introduced into ancient China where it was known as “Persian vegetable   The earliest available record of the spinach plant was found in Chinese, saying that the spinach plant was introduced into China via Nepal.

During her reign as queen of France, Catherine de Medici was well known to have enjoyed spinach so much that it was served at every meal.  To this day, dishes made with spinach are known as “Florentine” reflecting Catherine’s birth in Florence.

  • Spinach is:
  • Eaten raw or cooked and is available fresh, frozen or canned.
  • One of the best sources of iron.
  • An excellent source of calcium, folic acid, fiber, protein, calcium and vitamins A, C and K.
  • Is loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants
  • Believed to help improve cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health.

Types of spinach:

Savoy:  dark green color with curly leaves; usually sold in fresh bunches.
Flat or Smooth Leaf:  broad, smooth leaves;  mostly grown for canned and frozen spinach as well as soups, baby food and processed foods.
Semi-savoy:  a hybrid variety with crinkly leaves:  is sold fresh and processed.

  • Following China, the United States is the world’s second-largest producer of spinach.
  • California, Arizona and New Jersey are the top spinach producing states in the United States.

HOW TO OBSERVE

You might want to have a fresh spinach salad or a spinach pizza or maybe a warm, delicious spinach dip.  If one of those is not your choice, perhaps it would be a dish of creamed spinach or spinach lasagna. There are many ways to add spinach to your daily diet and partake in its health benefits. Use #NationalSpinachDay to post on social media.

 

 

 

 

 

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National Nutrition Month – Employer Toolkit

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March  is National Nutrition Month and a great opportunity to help your employees practice healthy eating habits and celebrate the overall wellness benefits of good nutrition.  We know that healthy eating and good nutrition contributes to healthy, happy, productive employees and that it’s not easy to create a lifestyle of healthy eating.

Whether your workplace hosts a Healthy Eating Lunch & Learn, offers healthy snacks or provides Health Coaching,  education and awareness are key to empowering your employees to make healthy choices.  In support of National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics makes it easy for employers to make informed food choices and practice healthy eating habits. Check out the free Tool Kit below and help your employees have fun with the campaign for nutrition.

National Nutrition Month® 2018

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

“Go Further with Food”is the theme for 2018, and its importance is timely for many reasons. Whether it’s starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast or fueling before an athletic event, the foods you choose can make a real difference. Preparing your foods to go further, by planning meals and snacks in advance can also help to reduce food loss and waste. This year’s theme for National Nutrition Month® encourages us to achieve the numerous benefits healthy eating habits offer, but it also urges us to find ways to cut back on food waste. Learning how to manage food resources at home will help you “Go Further with Food”, while saving both nutrients and money.

In addition, National Nutrition Month® promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically-based food and nutrition information.  “Go Further with Food,” a reminder to eat healthfully for ongoing energy and plan meals and snacks in advance to help reduce food loss and waste. Check out how these social media posts to share and engage your employees:

Social Media Campaign and Press Kit

National Nutrition Month Tips and Key Messages:

  1. Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
  2. Consider the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
  3. Buy only the amount that can be eaten or frozen within a few days and plan ways to use leftovers later in the week.
  4. Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.
  5. Continue to use good food safety practices.
  6. Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
  7. Realize the benefits of healthy eating by consulting with a registered dietitian nutritionist. RDNs can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.

For more information on how to incorporate nutrition and a culture of health and wellness at your workplace, contact us at wellness@cairnstone.com.

 

March Health Awareness

March Health Awareness – Choose Your Cause & Take Charge!

March Health Awareness

We know knowledge is power and that screens save lives. So, as part of our workplace wellness education and awareness initiatives, here are just a few of the health observance theme days and weeks in March to help give you and your employees the knowledge to be informed, the signs and symptoms to look for and become more mindful in taking charge and action of your overall health and wellness.

My March Challenge to you and your workplace is to choose at least one cause or health risk to focus on this month, whether it’s National Nutrition Month, World Water Day on March 22nd, National Sleep Week March 12-18th or promoting preventative colon cancer screens and colonoscopies and sharing the signs and symptoms to look for as part of Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Choose at least one and hep spread the awareness and be a health champion, knowing you could help save a life.

Here is an article from the American Cancer Society on Colorector Cancer Signs and Symptoms. Remembering that screens save lives and that early detection is key to survival and treatment, share these signs and symptoms with your employees as part of your education and prevention initiatives. You can also encourage everyone over 40 or 50 to get a colonoscopy.

Be a Health Champion, choose your cause and take charge. You may not only save on your healthcare costs, but you could even save a life!

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Colorectal Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Colorectal cancer might not cause symptoms right away, but if it does, it may cause one or more of these symptoms:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by having one
  • Rectal bleeding with bright red blood
  • Blood in the stool, which may make the stool look dark
  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss

Colorectal cancers can often bleed into the digestive tract. Sometimes the blood can be seen in the stool or make it look darker, but often the stool looks normal. But over time, the blood loss can build up and can lead to low red blood cell counts (anemia). Sometimes the first sign of colorectal cancer is a blood test showing a low red blood cell count.

Many of these symptoms can be caused by conditions other than colorectal cancer, such as infection, hemorrhoids, or irritable bowel syndrome. Still, if you have any of these problems, it’s important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.