Are superfoods like kale, acai berry and pomegranate the answer to a healthy diet? Popularly defined as a food rich in nutrients that offers health benefits, you may be surprised to learn that there is no official list or scientific criteria for the term superfood. And while most are very healthy, it is unrealistic to expect one or two foods to significantly improve health or prevent disease, especially when eaten as part of an already poor diet.
Rather than focus only on the latest trendy superfood, there’s a better way to enjoy healthy eating by building a Super Diet. Choosing a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups—fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein foods—will help ensure a balanced nutrient intake for good health. Here’s three Quality of Lifehacks to incorporate healthier items in your diet.
Choose a Variety of Fruits & Vegetables. Whether fresh, frozen, canned or dried—fruits and vegetables are important sources of many essential nutrients and plant compounds known as phytochemicals. Dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin C are among the many nutrients in fruits. And because vegetables contribute different combinations of nutrients based on their color and type—dark-green vegetables provide the most vitamin K, red and orange vegetables the most vitamin A, legumes the most dietary fiber, and starchy vegetables the most potassium—it’s important choose a variety. Fruits and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, and may be protective against certain types of cancers.
Make Half Your Grains Whole Grains. Whole grain foods—which contain the germ and the bran—are a source of a variety of nutrients, such as dietary fiber, iron, zinc, manganese, folate, magnesium, copper, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, selenium, riboflavin, and vitamin A. Research indicates that whole grain intake may reduce risk for cardiovascular disease and is associated with lower body weight.
Know Your Protein Foods. Foods in the Protein group—seafood; meats, poultry and eggs; and legumes, nuts, seeds and soy products—not only provide a source of protein but are also important sources of nutrients such as B vitamins, selenium, choline, phosphorus, zinc, copper, vitamin D and vitamin E. In addition, seafood, which includes fish and shellfish, provides a source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, nutrients shown to contribute to the prevention of heart disease.
In addition to these hacks, dairy can also be an important part of a healthy diet. Dairy, is the leading source of calcium in our diets, dairy foods—milk, cheese and yogurt—provide a variety of other essential nutrients including phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin D (in products fortified with vitamin D), riboflavin, vitamin B12, protein, potassium, zinc, choline, magnesium, and selenium. Research has linked dairy intake to improved bone health, especially in children and adolescents, and to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as to lower blood pressure in adults.
I recently returned from a trip to Japan to see first-hand the role robotics play in senior living communities. While robots are a growing topic throughout the North American seniors’ industry, Japan’s rapidly expanding elderly population and corresponding caregiver shortage has accelerated the technology.
In her 2014 paper published by Brookings, “How Humans Respond to Robots: Building Public Policy through Good Design,” Heather Knight discusses why she believes robotics will become an accepted part of daily life. (more…)
Putnam City Schools
Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture enacted new, science-based nutrition standards for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. These standards were the first major changes to school lunches in 15 years, and they do much to improve the nutrition of the meals served to children all over the country.
For those of us who create and serve meals at schools, this offered a new opportunity. We were challenged to come up with new ways to create healthy food that would still appeal to the palates of all kinds of children, including those with allergies or special dietary requirements. (more…)
Now that it’s the height of summer, many of us will be regularly lighting up the grill while spending quality time with family and friends. A 2016 poll reported that 75 percent of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker. In fact, during the Fourth of July weekend, Americans consumed over one-hundred and fifty hot dogs alone, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.
While our summer cookouts are all in good fun, it’s important to take certain safety precautions as the temperature heats up. Here are three hacks to stay safe during your next grill. (more…)
Marketing and Strategic Planning
Sodexo North America
The past few decades have seen unprecedented changes in technology and society. In fact, it seems that in business, the only constant is change.
Today’s top-performing organizations aren’t those that are doing business the way they have for a century, but rather those that adapt and respond quickly to change. These organizations are often called “agile” because they are nimble, responsive and quick to adapt to new technology—and are often some of the earliest to do so. Agile organizations recognize the world is evolving and changing. They work across cultures, borders, and workplaces and quickly move to market.
At the heart of agile organizations—as at the heart of every organization—are its people. Individuals and teams in agile organizations must be more collaborative, more inventive, faster at delegating and more willing to share responsibilities. This constant adaptation isn’t easy for everyone, and indeed, too much change isn’t good for any business. Instead teams at agile organizations must learn to strike a delicate balance between speed and stability.
Sodexo’s 2017 Workplace Trends Report dove into what traits help agile organizations strike that balance. Here are three main characteristics it found in all successful, agile workplaces:
- An emphasis on teamwork. Individuals in agile workplaces thrive in collaborative environments—and they love a little friendly competition. Employees are quick to join forces and develop collaborative networks of partners.
- A common orientation toward organizational goals. At agile workplaces, everything from the corporate structure to the design of the office space is aligned with the company’s goals. All employees have a clear understanding of what they are trying to achieve, and incentive structures steer them toward those goals.
- Change is the norm. Agile workplaces set an expectation that change is a constant part of work. In other words, every employee knows that it’s part of his or her job to keep up with, understand and adapt to change.
Agility is as challenging as it is empowering, and it’s something companies across all industries should strive for. Every organization has the ability to be agile, no matter what sector they operate in. By simply allowing employees to have more freedom and responsibility and by encouraging a collaborative environment, leaders will begin to see their organizations become more agile.
Do you consider your workplace agile? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments below.