Tag Archives: fresh fruit

HR Focus: Taste a Rainbow of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

June is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month. What better time to taste a rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables?

A rainbow of fruits and vegetables flavor!

June marks the start of the height of fresh produce season in the United States, so it’s no wonder that June is when we celebrate Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month. For human resource professionals, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other federal, state, and local organizations provide a bounty of materials to promote healthy produce in the workplace. These include the following:

With all the fresh choices available at USConnect’s Bistro to Go!™ micro markets, and with the nutritional recommendations from The Right Choice for a Healthier You™, HR professionals can build company-wide celebrations of National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month. For instance, employees could participate in a recipe contest, with a potluck lunch where everyone gets to try each other’s recipes. Or, employees can use the USDA’s SuperTracker to keep track of how many fruit and vegetables they eat, and self-report to see who can reach their nutrition goal first.

To really celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, lead a group in creating a rainbow of produce:

  • Red: Apples, strawberries, raspberries, red peppers, tomatoes
  • Orange: Carrots, orange peppers, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes
  • Yellow: Pineapple, papaya, yellow pepper, squash
  • Green: Spinach, green beans, peas, broccoli
  • Blue: Blueberries
  • Purple: Beets, plums, purple sweet potatoes, eggplant

Enjoy Fall’s Bounty

One of the benefits of living in the South is enjoying fresh produce all year long. Different items are available at different times, of course, but then again, variety is the spice of life. Read on to discover how to make the most out of fall’s best produce.

enjoy fall's bounty of fruits and vegetables!

Fruits:

  • Apples, those most quintessential of fall fruits, are filled with antioxidants that have been proven to fight cancer and other diseases. An apple a day may truly keep the doctor away!
  • Cranberries are harvested in the fall, creating beautiful pools of deep red berries in a sea of golden grasses. Their beauty is not only skin-deep: cranberries are high in Vitamins C and A, as well as phytonutrients and manganese.
  • We’ve grown accustomed to having access to grapes all year round, but they are freshest in the fall. They are a good source of Vitamins K and C, and an anti-inflammatory compound called resveratrol. As with many fruits and vegetables, the darker they are, the more antioxidants they have.
  • Winter squash come in all varieties, including butternut, acorn, and spaghetti. This sweet, hearty fruit lends itself to roasting and is a good source of Vitamin C and carotenoids, which help prevent heart disease.

Vegetables

  • As their dark color indicates, beets are absolutely chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. These include: folic acid, potassium, beta carotene, magnesium, iron, fiber, phosphorus, and Vitamins A, B, & C.
  • Have you ever tried fresh Brussels sprouts? They bear little relation to the bitter mini-cabbages that you might have shunned as a kid. Fresh Brussels sprouts have a bright, rich flavor that can be improved through roasting, grilling, or sautéing. Brussels are part of the family of Cruciferous vegetables, which also include broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, kale, and cauliflower. Cruciferous vegetables are all high in glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds that have been linked to reduced cancer risks.
  • The rich, sweet flavor of yams belies their healthfulness. Like squash, they’re full of carotenoids as well as potassium, Vitamin E, and copper.