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Published on March 13, 2012

Wellness Works: Eating Colorful Food Can Have Health Benefits

Most people know that eating more fruits and vegetables can help to maintain good health. Wellness Works, Crozer-Keystone’s employee wellness program, encourages you to strive for a balanced diet by incorporating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables into every day.

Colorful foods not only add excitement to your plate, but they are one of the keys to good health. Fruit and vegetables come in a variety of colors. Based on these colors, different foods can provide multiple health benefits for your body. It is important that you don’t fill your diet with white and colorless foods because you will miss the key nutrients that your body needs.

Some examples of different colors and different benefits of the fruits and vegetables include:

  • Red/purple/blue foods: Foods such as strawberries, beets and kidney beans are a good source of folic acid. Beans are packed with fiber, protein and iron. Cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, red or pink grapefruit, blueberries, and red bell peppers are loaded with vitamin C. Red bell peppers are also an excellent source of vitamin A. Cherries, prunes, and eggplant have plenty of fiber.
  • Orange/yellow foods: Nutrients found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables include vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and bromelaine. Oranges are most commonly known for having vitamin C, but it is also in bell peppers, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, peaches, mangoes and papaya.
  • Green foods: Leafy green foods should be a regular part of every diet. They are loaded with essential minerals and are high in vitamin K. Broccoli and brussels sprouts are high in vitamin A.

When you are choosing to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, do not be afraid add color to the mix. Each category has many favorable health incentives that benefit your health and your body.

Alternative ways to ensure that you are getting the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables for your daily diet include:

  • Drinking freshly prepared fruit juice or tomato juice.
  • Adding fruits into your breakfast cereal, salads, yogurts and desserts.
  • Drinking fruit smoothies or milkshakes.
  • Eating at least two vegetables with dinner.
  • Adding vegetables to breakfast omelets.

“Healthy eating habits can make you feel great. Wellness Works provides online resources, lunch and learn programs, counseling and many other programs to enhance healthy habits,” says William Kreider, vice president of Human Resources for Croze-Keystone Health System. “This is a free program available to employees and their spouses who are enrolled. If you are not a member, it’s not too late to join. Visit the “My Wellness” page of www.crozerbenefits.org and print out a membership form.  Once you become a member, you will be able to record your healthy habits on an online Healthy Lifestyle Tracker and earn annual rewards for pursing a healthy lifestyle – in addition to the positive impact on your health.”

This program supports the mission and goals of Wellness Works, which helps Crozer-Keystone employees achieve a healthy lifestyle through health promotion and disease prevention. For more information about Wellness Works, contact Susan Winkles at (610) 595-6387 or 19-6387.

For more information about healthy eating, visit http://www.choosemyplate.gov/.    

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