Providing food is a universal act of care in every species within the animal kingdom. Humans above all show affection by preparing and serving a variety of food. Often, certain types of food are given… More
Every life form on Earth requires water to survive, but how much do human beings need to drink to be healthy and practicing the Active Wellness lifestyle? It really depends on the individual and there are a variety of opinions from researchers and health authorities.
What everyone agrees on is that the human body is composed of about 60% water, and we’re constantly losing water from perspiration and urine and other bodily output. We therefore drink water to replenish and prevent dehydration. Water is required for virtually every bodily function, including flushing toxins from organs, carrying nutrients to cells, cushioning joints and helping to digest food.
When the water content in the human body goes below certain levels, we experience the feeling of thirst. In general, it’s not something we have to think about, just as we don’t think about breathing. It happens and we reach for water to rehydrate. As simple as that process is, this automatic thirst mechanism becomes less accurate with age, so the elderly need to be more conscious and hydrate throughout the day, even when not feeling thirsty.1
People’s water requirements vary depending on age, weight, physical activity, general health and the climate they live in. If you live in hot climates, you will sweat more and require more water. If you have a job that requires strenuous labor, you will require more water than someone sitting at a desk in an air-conditioned office. It’s common sense but there are recommendations and guidelines from the National Academies of Sciences. For women, they recommend a total of 2.7 liters or 91 ounces of liquid daily, including all beverages and water-rich foods.2 For men, the recommendation is a total of 3.7 liters or 125 ounces of liquid daily, including all beverages and water-rich foods.3
Similarly, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends 13 cups or three liters daily for men and nine cups or two plus liters daily for women. IOM adds that pregnant women should drink about 10 cups daily, while breastfeeding mothers need 12 cups.4 They state that children and teens generally require six to eight cups daily, with the addition of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are water-rich. During exercise, the goal is to drink a half to two cups of water every 15-20 minutes.5
Signs of dehydration include headaches, increased heart rate, faint pulse, reduced blood pressure with an inability to stand upright and dry mouth.6 Many medications also cause dry mouth or outright dehydration, so be sure to discuss water intake needs with a doctor or pharmacist if placed on prescriptions.
No matter which health authorities you choose to believe, there is no question that everyone can benefit from the eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle and PiMag Waterfall®. They’re great for Planet Earth and you’ll save money over the years by avoiding the purchase of bottled water!
During the summer months, the topic of water safety comes up as the warm weather attracts people of all ages to pools, lakes and the beach. Whether indoors or enjoying water sports outside, being “water competent” is key to having fun without being at risk of drowning. According to the American Red Cross, the skills required to achieve water competency are to be able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance and then get out of the water safely.1
Common sense dictates that all children, whether they are water competent or not, be supervised when they are in or near bodies of water. “Better safe than sorry” absolutely applies to water safety. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death among children of all ages and is a worldwide phenomenon. That’s why it is paramount that children are educated early in recognizing drowning risks to protect themselves and others. Public awareness and education focused on young children is the most powerful tool to prevent fatal and non-fatal drowning.2
Water can kill in more ways than by drowning. The World Health Organization says that every year more than 3.4 million people die as a result of water related diseases. Most of the victims are young children, the majority of who die of illnesses caused by organisms that thrive in contaminated water sources.3
In countries such as Canada and the United States, the law protects public drinking water supplies with specific standards, so it is generally safe to drink water straight out of the tap. However, even in North America, there are places that don’t have readily available potable water. Water in different states and provinces have discernible tastes, some palatable and others not. Whether due to convenience or taste, far too many people habitually drink bottled water, adding to the catastrophic carbon footprint of plastic waste. And ironically, the water within the bottles is not necessarily better for the health.
Why not commit to drinking water that is produced with Active Wellness and sustainability in mind? Plastic bottles simply are not sustainable—they use vast quantities of fossil fuels and water itself—they’re manufactured, filled and shipped around the globe, creating a massive carbon footprint!4 Even with recycling efforts, six out of seven plastic bottles consumed in the U.S. become waste in land fills or end up in the ocean.5
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there may be a slight chance that bottled water contains more contaminants than tap water. The EPA strictly regulates tap water, while bottled water is categorized as a packaged food product by the Food and Drug Administration. Testing is not as stringent or strictly enforced as tap water.6
The solution is so simple: drink water from a PiMag Waterfall® or PiMag® Sport Bottle. Not only do they help decrease your carbon footprint, it’s actually healthier for you! Alkalizing with 99%+ reduction in bacteria, particulates, chlorine, chloramine, cyst and lead—the eco-friendly bottle has replaceable filters, each of which provides the equivalent of drinking approximately 250 12 to 16-ounce bottles of water. The Waterfall holds 1.32 gallons or five liters of water and each replaceable filter lasts 90 days or for 900 liters, whichever comes first! Save money, but more importantly, save our planet.
Discover Planet Earth. Live Green and Clean. Share Community Conscience.
At Nikken, we promote Active Wellness as a way of living. It’s a proactive rather than reactive approach to life. That means taking measures to maintain health and doing the best to prevent bodily and mental breakdown. Ironically, as we make huge advances in technology, we continue to be confronted with challenges that often have no sure-fire solutions. This is the case with psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects more than 125 million people worldwide.1
No one knows the exact cause of psoriasis, but since August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, it is a good time to learn about it, whether we suffer from outbreaks of scaly skin or not. Researchers believe psoriasis can be triggered by cuts, scrapes or surgery, as well as emotional stress, infections, and even certain medications, such as beta-blockers that control blood pressure and antimalarial drugs.2 This skin disorder causes skin cells to multiply 10 times faster than normal, building into bumpy red patches with white scales.3 It’s not contagious but sometimes occurs with members of the same family.
Although not curable, certain precautions can be taken to help prevent flare-ups:
- Stay warm in cold, dry weather. Researchers have shown that psoriasis occurs more often in wintry weather, so limiting the skin’s exposure to the cold is a proactive measure.
- Keep skin moisturized. Dry skin is a trigger and can make scaling more severe. A humidifier may be helpful, especially in winter months. Alternatively, use True Elements® Marine Organic Skin Care to cleanse, tone and hydrate skin year round.
- Get short, regular bursts of sunlight, because ultraviolet radiation has immunosuppressive effects. UV light therapy is a known treatment option for psoriasis.
- Wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn. Skin damage of any kind is a trigger for flareups.
- Make sure to get enough Vitamin D, since a deficiency is common in people with psoriasis.
- Take extra care when cutting nails or shaving and avoid scratching insect bites. Wear gloves when gardening and be careful when preparing food with knives.
- Reduce stress. Reports suggest that stress may trigger flare-ups in 68% of adults with psoriaris.4 Practice yoga and meditation to ease stress.
- Eat a whole food diet that includes nuts and seeds, since they contain good fats, which may help improve skin health. Avoid food that is known to be inflammatory, especially processed carbohydrates and anything with lots of added sugar.
- Take Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA. Research suggests that omega fatty acids may improve various signs and symptoms of psoriasis.5 Since Omega Green + DHA is made with flaxseed oil, cranberry seed oil and red algae, it comes from sustainable resources that are kosher, vegan certified and gluten-free. With all three types of omega fatty acids formulated in optimal proportions (3, 6, 9), Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA is designed for heart health, an added benefit, since the risk of heart disease rises for those suffering from psoriasis.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration is found among people with psoriasis, especially females 60 years of age and older.7 Keep a PiMag® Waterfall in your kitchen for cooking purposes as well as drinking, and take a PiMag® Sport Bottle with you everywhere.
- Take Kenzen® Joint. Although symptoms of psoriasis depend on the specific type, sufferers commonly experience some combination of itchy skin, burning or sore skin, scaly skin and swollen or stiff joints. Kenzen® Joint nutritionally supports collagen, bone and connective tissue repair with a high concentration of cetyl myristoleate combined with glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane and compounds from the boswellia plant.
- Use CM Complex Cream for its naturally soothing and cooling effects on achy joints. In addition to cetyl myristoleate, this topical formulation includes aloe, menthol and peppermint, which are derived from plants and offer a natural alternative to chemical ointments.
All the precautions mentioned above may help those trying to prevent psoriasis flare-ups. They also are part of the Active Wellness approach to wellbeing for anyone seeking to maintain or improve health—physically and mentally.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Whether you have children or grandchildren, understanding how vaccines work is an important aspect of successful parenting/co-parenting and role modeling Active Wellness.
A vaccine works by training the immune system to recognize and fight pathogens, whether they’re viral or bacterial. In order to achieve this goal, certain molecules from either a virus or a bacterium (known as antigens) are injected into the body so that the immune system can identify and remember them as “enemies.” When confronted with the antigens, the immune system goes to work by activating white blood cells that make proteins called antibodies, which locate the “enemies” and wage a counter offensive.
Depending on the strength of the virus/bacteria, the immune system will succeed or fail. In cases where the antibody response is too late, the invading organism can cause a severe or life-threatening infection.1 Fortunately, in many cases, even when symptoms are already present, the immune system and its antibodies can eventually help stop many infections and help the body recover.
Vaccines can be effective to protect entire populations even when not everyone is inoculated. This phenomenon is called “herd immunity” or “community immunity.” Public health officials and scientists continue to study herd immunity to identify key thresholds. One notable example is in Gambia, where 70% of the population was vaccinated and that was enough to eliminate the Hib disease, a bacterial illness that can lead to potentially deadly brain infection in young children. 2
In addition to those who choose not to vaccinate, there is a percentage of the population that cannot be vaccinated due to severe allergies, pregnancy or compromised immune systems. Fortunately, when “herd immunity” occurs, these unvaccinated people are able to stay safe—this was the case with the 30% of Gambians who were not vaccinated but did not contract Hib.
Those with hardier immune systems fare better when attacked by pathogens. The elderly are especially at risk, because they are more likely to contract infectious diseases than the young. Respiratory infections, influenza and particularly pneumonia are leading causes of death in people over 65 worldwide. Furthermore, studies have shown that people over 65 respond less favorably to vaccines than healthy children. Despite this reduction in efficacy, sickness and death in older people have been significantly lowered when compared with those who do not get vaccinations.3
Scientists continue to research why certain nutrients and micronutrients may alter components of immune function—but there is no evidence they can actually bolster immunity to the point of being protective against infection and disease.4 There are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that they respond in innumerable ways to the myriad types of microbes. Scientists still don’t know which specific cells to boost and by how much. What they do know is that the body continually generates immune cells and the extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death.5
Studies have been conducted over the years regarding the relationship of mushrooms and immune response.* Mycologists continue to produce evidence that mushroom species have been used as far back as 3,000 B.C. for their potential benefits.6
Kenzen® Immunity is formulated with 14 species of mushrooms, of which six strains are exclusive to Nikken.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
In order to help keep our oceans and marine life sustainable, we need to keep our beaches clean. Beaches are home to many creatures, including sea lions and sea turtles that depend on both land and sea to survive. Even sea creatures that live solely in the water are affected by polluted beaches when trash that accumulates on the beach is washed out with the tides. In addition to plastic and paper trash, chemical and human wastes on the beach also wash out to sea.
Plastic pollution impacts virtually every living organism in, or thriving off of, the oceans of our world.1 Sea turtles, sea lions, sea birds, fish, whales and dolphins are creatures that often are found dead with huge amounts of plastic debris in their bellies, digestive tracts, fins and other internal organs.
Every person who visits any beach in any part of the world can help keep our beaches and oceans clean. We each can commit to making a difference and educating our children, so they can practice green behaviors from an early age. If you haven’t already started, this summer is a great time to take action:
- “Take 3 for the Sea” is an organization that teaches people to take three pieces of trash with you when you leave the beach or any waterway. By doing so, you will have made a difference. Participation in this program has burgeoned to 129 countries with 300,000 people educated in helping to make plastic pollution a thing of the past.2
- Don’t drink bottled water. More than one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute around the world. 3 They require large amounts of energy and water to produce, then end up clogging landfills.
- Use re-usable alternatives to plastic bottles. You can buy re-usable water bottles everywhere, but you can only purchase the PiMag® Sport Bottle with the nano-technology filter system at Nikken. At home, you can make a difference by drinking filtered water from a PiMag Waterfall®—good for Active Wellness as well as minimizing your personal carbon footprint.
- Use re-usable tote bags and containers. Avoid buying food and other items wrapped in plastic. For example, when buying fresh food, buy whole fruit and vegetables instead of pre-cut, prepackaged versions wrapped in plastic. Shop at bulk food bins and bring your own containers. Carry out with your own totes.
- Decrease chemical usage as much as possible. Pesticides, fertilizers and weed killers are harmful for our oceans—the closer you live to the sea, the more likely those chemicals will end up there. About 245,000 square kilometers (about the size of the UK) are known as “dead zones” where marine life cannot survive, due to chemical poisons in the eco-system.
- Opt for mineral sunscreens or non-nano zinc oxide as the primary active ingredient. Chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate that are commonly found in popular sunscreens are not eco-friendly. Once these chemicals make their way off beach bodies into the ocean, they can damage coral DNA. Sunscreens without these damaging chemicals are called “reef-safe.” 5
- Be careful what you flush down the toilet. Medicines have been detected in ground water and marine life. For example, 4500 wet wipes were found in a 154 square-meter portion of the Thames river in 2017, an example of what doesn’t break down in the flushing process. 6
Share your knowledge of eco-friendly habits with friends and family. The more people who commit to making a difference, the better chance we have of maintaining the lives of our beaches and oceans.
Most of us know there are benefits to going organic and going “green.” Although both are beneficial in the pursuit of Active Wellness and for planet Earth, there are differences. Going organic is health-centered while going green requires sustainable practices that impact economic, social and ecological factors that help protect Earth and its resources. In other words, sustainable food is virtually always organic, but not all organic food is sustainable.
Choosing sustainable food helps reduce an individual’s carbon footprint, which is the “amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide.”1 The Food andAgriculture Organization of the United Nations claims that by switching to organic agriculture farmers can reduce up to 66% of carbon dioxide emissions.2 Large agricultural companies argue that some organically grown produce have a higher overall energy consumption and land use. This discrepancy presents the most obvious difference between simply organic, and actually sustainable, food.
The rule of thumb is that the less processed the food is, the more sustainable it is. Look at it this way: when you eat a raw organically grown vegetable or fruit, you are eliminating the carbon footprint of the power used in cooking by gas or electricity. Also, some vegetables have a carbon footprint nearly as serious as meat, because they are grown in greenhouses that use a lot of heat and light—for example, hothouse tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Therefore, the approach to reducing your carbon footprint with what you eat requires multiple behaviors:
- Eat locally produced organic food. An estimated 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food. Transporting food requires petroleum-based fuels, and many fertilizers are also fossil fuel-based.3
- Reducing your consumption of non-grass fed red meat and dairy is not only environmentally friendly but also heart friendly. Livestock is responsible for 14.5% of manmade global greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from feed production and processing, and the methane that beef and sheep emit. Every day without meat and dairy reduces your carbon footprint by eight pounds or 2,920 pounds a year.4
- Research which fruits and vegetables are most carbon-friendly. For example, lentils require very little water to grow. They actually clean and fortify the soil, making it easier to grow other crops. Beans in general (including kidney, black, pinto, etc.) have a low carbon and water footprint. These legumes also have high nutritional values because of their protein and fiber content. Rice, on the other hand, is water intensive.
- Mussels are harvested on long collector ropes suspended in oceans, and while growing, they eat naturally occurring food in the water. In the process, they filter and clean the water, even extracting carbon to make their shells. They have very little environmental impact.5
- Buy fish in season from local farmer’s markets or fisheries that practice sustainable fishing. As people become more educated about overfishing, the island of Palau is leading the way in protecting its oceans from poaching and has outlawed bottom trawling. In 2015, Palau established the largest no-take zone in the world, 193,000 square miles of ocean that cannot be fished, mined or drilled.6 Palau now has a range of partners from commercial, non-profit and governmental organizations, including U.S.-based SkyTruth, a nonprofit that monitors and reports poaching to the police.
- Buy food in bulk when possible. The less packaging, the more sustainable the food. Use your own recyclable and reusable containers.
- Eat what you buy. Reduce food waste by freezing excess and repurposing leftovers. Teach your children early in their lives to develop eating habits that are not only healthy but also helpful to planet Earth. Waste not, want not.
As you reduce your carbon footprint, Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix can help you with the transition to being more plant-based in your diet. It’s made with organically grown ingredients that provide a nutritious source of vegan protein.
We sometimes forget that skin is the body’s largest organ, and as such, it requires special care. Just as we exercise and eat right to improve heart health and our entire digestive system, we need to tend to the skin—it’s the protective layer that covers all the other precious organs and should not be taken for granted.
July is UV Safety Awareness Month and sun protection is a key factor in maintaining skin health. Both men and women are aware of wrinkling and other skin conditions that are part of aging; however, the most dangerous skin afflictions are various forms of cancer. In fact, more skin cancers are diagnosed in the United States each year than all other cancers combined.1
Most skin cancers are caused by too much sun exposure, specifically, exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. As the Earth’s ozone layer gradually becomes thinner—known as ozone depletion—the amount of UV radiation that reaches us increases, leading to a higher risk for skin cancer, eye cataracts, and genetic and immune system damage. 2 Ozone depletion is caused by the release of chemical compounds that contain gaseous chlorine or bromine from industry and other human activities, and to counteract these effects, the Montreal Protocol was signed into effect in 1987. To date, global cooperation has successfully helped to gradually eliminate the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances. 3
Other sources of UV radiation are man-made, for example, tanning beds and sun lamps. As the public becomes more educated about the dangers of UV ray exposure, spray tans have become more popular. Whether the chemicals in spray tans have long-term effects on the skin are being studied.
Sunburn and tanning are the short-term results of too much exposure to UV rays, and are signs of skin damage. Long-term exposure can cause early skin aging, wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, dark patches, and pre-cancerous skin changes (such as dry, scaly, rough patches). Frequent sunburns in childhood may increase the risk for some types of skin cancer many years or even decades later. 4
Staying out of the sun entirely is unrealistic and deprives the body of its ability to manufacture vitamin D. Fortunately, there are a few easy precautions to take when enjoying the sun and protecting our skin at the same time:
- Wear a hat. Not only will it help shield your skin and scalp from UV rays but it will also protect your hair from drying out.
- Wear shade-protective or SPF rated clothing to help protect your skin from UV rays. Proper clothing may include long-sleeved shirts and pants. (There are even thin sleeves that are popular with golfers to slip over arms to protect against sun exposure.)
- Wear sunglasses for eye protection.
- Stay in the shade when the sun is most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember that the sun can still damage your skin on cloudy days or in the winter.
- Choose the right sunscreen. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new regulations for sunscreen labeling recommend that your sunscreen have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and should protect against both UVA and UVB rays.5
- Use the right amount of sunscreen. According to the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, most people apply only 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. When out in the sun, it’s important to apply at least one ounce (a palmful) of sunscreen every two hours. Apply it more often if sweating or swimming, even if the sunscreen is waterproof. 6
- When planning outdoor activities, information about how much sun protection is needed is available at the Environmental Protection Agency’s UV index, which measures the daily intensity of UV rays from the sun on a scale of 1–11. A low UV index requires minimal protection, whereas a high UV index requires maximum protection.7
Our True Elements® collection of organic skin care and hair care products is the perfect solution for long-term safe and healthy skin care.