Create opportunities for healthy choices with an office fruit delivery from Eatfruit...

By Food Scientist and Nutritional Therapist Susie Debice BSc Hons, Dip ION

When it comes to supporting the health and wellness of your employees it’s worth considering a well-rounded wellbeing programme that embraces all aspects of physical, mental and emotional health. Diet and nutrition help provide the foundations for many aspects of wellbeing, so a regular fruit box delivery is a convenient way to help step up your office nutrition.

A well-balanced diet

A wholesome well-balanced diet provides a good range of nutrients to support the optimal functioning of many body systems – endocrine, skin, immune, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, cognitive and the nervous system. The nutrients gained from the food we eat have a role to play in metabolism, energy, performance and concentration.

Why should fruit be part of your employee wellbeing programme?

Fruits and vegetables contribute to a healthy diet. They help provide a good source and wide range of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals including magnesium, potassium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, carotenoids. These nutrients are essential for our general health and wellbeing. Vitamin C contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system. Folic acid and vitamins C and E have a role to play in cardiovascular and skin health. Magnesium helps regulate the nervous system and helps support the body during times of stress. Many of the phytonutrients found in colourful fruits and vegetables possess antioxidant properties which may help neutralise the harmful effects of free radicals generated by oxidative stress and inflammation (1-3) .

 

fruit as part of a employee wellbeing programme

fruit as part of a employee wellbeing programme

What about health and longevity?

Fruits and vegetables also provide an excellent source of dietary insoluble (cellulose) and soluble fibre (pectin, FOS) which help contribute to normal cholesterol balance, support blood sugar balance, a healthy gut and bowel regularity, help support a ‘friendly’ gut microbiome and contribute to that all important ‘full’ feeling (4-9) Scientific studies continue to reveal that including fruits and vegetables in your diet may also contribute to long term health and longevity.

The NHS suggests that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke some types of cancer, such as bowel cancer, and help with weight management (10-18) . But how much fruit should we be eating?

Office fruit delivery from eatfruit.co.uk

Office fruit delivery from eatfruit.co.uk

Fibre – the big high five

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that individuals should eat a minimum of 400g of fibre daily and according to EatWell UK, fruits and vegetables should make up 40% of a healthy daily diet (19,20) . But how does this translate into practical advice that your ​ workforce can grasp? Well, converting this information into pieces or portions of fruits and vegetables a day is something that everyone can get their teeth into. The 5-a-day campaign was generated from the 1990 WHO healthy eating guidelines to help people understand how to achieve eating five (80g) portions of fibre a day.

When it comes to a quick visual guide for portion sizes, one medium size apple, pear or banana all equate to a single portion size. Two plums, two tangerines, two kiwi fruit, a 2-inch slice of melon or 12 chunks of pineapple also all represent a single portion. However, the 2017 Health Survey for England reported that fewer than one in three UK adults are thought to eat 5-a-day which may indicate that a fruit basket delivery could be a healthy office addition for your employees.

Looking for an office fruit delivery?

Show me the Fruit!

 

What the scientists say...

A 2014 study by University College London examined the eating habits of 65,000 people in England across 12 years and uncovered possible further health benefits for 7-a-day (21) . Another study in 2017 by scientists from Imperial College London analysed 95 worldwide studies on fruit and vegetable intakes and found that the greatest benefit may come from eating 800g a day, that’s 10-a-day (22) .

In fact, there are several countries that recommend more than 5-a-day such as Canada, Denmark, Australia and Greece. But it’s not just the number of portion sizes a day that’s important. According to researchers your daily target should consist of a balance and variety of fruits and vegetables to help support the intake of a range of different vitamins and minerals. So, make sure your office manager chooses Eatfruit, a fruit box delivery scheme that offers a variety of fruits and flavours.

Workplace wellness

Work-related stress, depression and anxiety continue to be significant health conditions in the workforce of Great Britain. National Statistics collated from the Labour Force Survey reported the total cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017/18 was 595,000 and the total number of working days lost due to this condition was 15.4 million days. That’s an average of 25 days lost per case and 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 57% of all working days lost due to ill health (23) .

Some of the commonly reported workplace stressors include workload pressures, tight deadlines, too much responsibility and lack of managerial support. Establishing an employee wellness programme which offers advice on stress management, mindfulness techniques, communication skills and healthy diet and lifestyle tips could be a step in the right direction for helping diffuse escalating office tensions and bringing the wellbeing of your workforce into consideration.

fruit-office wellbeing

Nutritional support during times of stress

Long-term stress may be impactful on our health and wellbeing. Over time the digestive system, skin, heart and immune system may start to feel the strain and struggle to function optimally. Bouts of energy dips, low mood, headaches, frequent infections, skin problems, poor sleep, muscle aches and pains and unsettled digestion are signs associated with ongoing stress. Long-term exposure to stress tends to deplete B-vitamins and vitamin C. This could be because, unlike other vitamins, the B vitamins and vitamin C are not stored in the body so a daily supply is essential, and stress may increase the need for both these vitamins.
A healthy diet (with adequate fresh fruits and vegetables), active lifestyle and restorative sleep could go a long way in building resistance to stress. Fruits to snack on that are naturally rich in vitamin C include purple and red berries, oranges, tangerines, satsumas and grapefruit.

Sweet temptations

Some employees may find it hard to maintain their healthy eating good intentions if they are frequently faced with the option for unhealthy calorie-rich temptations. These sweet temptations are well known – the circulating biscuit tin at coffee break, walking past the vending machine on the way back from lunch and feeling it might be impolite to refuse a slice of birthday cake from a friendly or well-respected colleague. However, a fruit box delivery from Eatfruit may provide employees with a healthy go-to alternative. As a nation we are on a mission to help reduce our refined sugar intake by 20% as a means to raise awareness for the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes and obesity (24)
It’s the all too easy ‘out-of-home’ calorie-rich food choices that are considered by Public Health England (PHE) to be one of many factors in the obesity crisis. Be part of the solution, don’t fuel the problem. According to PHE the prevalence of obesity among adults rose from 14% to 26% between 1993 and 2015 (25)
In 2015, 63% of adults in the UK were either overweight or obese. The Foresight report takes a 40 year forward look at how the UK could respond to rising levels of obesity. The report states that while achieving and maintaining calorie balance is a consequence of individual decisions about diet and activity, the availability of calorie-rich food, now makes it much harder for individuals to maintain healthier lifestyles (26)
.
PHE’s plan to tackle obesity includes looking at behaviour change relating to healthier eating and increasing physical activity as part of a whole systems approach. The plan places emphasis on the need to create more opportunities to be able to make healthier food more available for people when they spend time away from home.

The bigger picture

Great emphasis is placed on the fact that preventing obesity is a societal challenge which requires partnership between government, science, business and civil society. Reducing easy access to calorie-rich snacks and increasing access to healthy snacks like fruit is a positive step that some businesses may want to. By signing up to a regular fruit box from Eatfruit you are making a bold statement that your organisation wants to be part of the solution.

References

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De Melo DF. Fruit as Potent Natural Antioxidants and Their Biological Effects. Curr Pharm Biotechnol.
2016;17(11):986-93.
2. Landete JM. Dietary intake of natural antioxidants: vitamins and polyphenols. Crit Rev Food Sci
Nutr. 2013;53(7):706-21.
​3. Serafini M1, Peluso I. Functional Foods for Health: The Interrelated Antioxidant and Anti-
Inflammatory Role of Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs, Spices and Cocoa in Humans. Curr Pharm Des.
2016;22(44):6701-6715.
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analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Jan;69(1):30-42.
5. Weickert MO, Pfeiffer AF. Metabolic effects of dietary fiber consumption and prevention of
diabetes. J Nutr. 2008 Mar;138(3):439-42.
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(suppl 1), 32–42
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Sep;49(9):675-90.
8. Fireb and gut - Joanne Slavin. Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits. Nutrients.
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9. Macfarlane GT, Steed H, Macfarlane S. Bacterial metabolism and health-related effects of galacto-
oligosaccharides and other prebiotics. J Appl Microbiol. 2008 Feb;104(2):305-44.
10. Dauchet L1, Amouyel P, Hercberg S, Dallongeville J Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of
coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. J Nutr. 2006 Oct;136(10):2588-93.
11. He FJ, Nowson CA, Lucas M, MacGregor GA. Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables is
related to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: meta-analysis of cohort studies. J Hum
Hypertens. 2007 Sep;21(9):717-28. Epub 2007 Apr 19.
12. He FJ, Nowson CA, MacGregor GA. Fruit and vegetable consumption and stroke: meta-analysis of
cohort studies. Lancet. 2006 Jan 28;367(9507):320-6.
13. Earl S.Ford M.D., M.P.H. Ali H.Mokdad Ph.D. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Diabetes
Mellitus Incidence among U.S. Adults. Preventive Medicine Volume 32, Issue 1, January 2001, Pages
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14. Isao Murakire, Fumiaki Imamura et al. Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from
three prospective longitudinal cohort studies. BMJ 2013;347:f5001
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and Vegetable Study Group. Lancet [01 Jun 2002, 359(9322):1969-1974]
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a mainly fruit diet in man. S Afr Med J. 1971 Feb 20;45(8):191-5.
18. Schroder KE. Effects of fruit consumption on body mass index and weight loss in a sample of
overweight and obese dieters enrolled in a weight-loss intervention trial. Nutrition. 2010 Jul-
Aug;26(7-8):727-34.

Looking for an office fruit delivery?

Show me the Fruit!

We deliver the freshest, crispest, juiciest fruit boxes and fruit baskets direct to your office or workplace on a regular basis. Our delivery network expands nationwide and covers most of the UK. We also delivery Milk, Healthy Snacks, Tea, Coffee and Flowers.
Would you like an office fruit delivery? If so please contact us.