Food and Related Trends for 2021

Around the globe, Covid-19 has changed lifestyles in many ways. One of the most important aspects of an Active Wellness lifestyle is what we eat. We are choosing our foods with more attention to reading labels, understanding what ingredients are in different foods, where they come from and which foods to avoid in order to help maintain Active Wellness and in many instances, simply to survive. There is a new understanding of what and how to eat and drink in order to have a positive effect on stamina, strength and immunity to help fight off threats to optimal health.

The International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 2020 Food & Health Survey findings show that 54% of all consumers, and 63% of those 50 and older, care more about the healthfulness of their food and beverage choices in 2020 than they did in 2010.1

The same study shows that active dieting is growing. From 36% of the population dieting in 2018 to 38% in 2019 and 43% in 2020, active dieting will undoubtedly continue to trend as so much weight gain—the reported poundage from Covid-19 from being homebound and less active—will motivate people to lose it.

Working at home is bound to impact our behaviors. Snacking (or grazing throughout the day) has become prevalent. The IFIC survey showed that 26% of U.S. consumers snack several times a day, and another third snack at least once daily, while 38% say they replace meals with snacks (usually lunch) at least occasionally.

As working at home continues into 2021, the forecast is for snacking to continue. In addition, aging baby boomers embrace the snacking trend—as people age, their metabolism slows and the natural response is to eat less at each sitting. Snacking becomes a preferred option. For opposite reasons, children tend to snack because their metabolisms are so fast that they require frequent food intake. While snacks once were linked heavily to junk food, that thinking has changed. Now snacks provide nutritional boosts in busy days.2

The pandemic has intensified the search for immunity-strengthening foods and supplements. A GlobalData survey in June 2020 found that 80% of global consumers are understandably concerned about COVID-19, and 23% admit they’ve stockpiled more vitamins and supplements recently.3

Immune function ties with muscle health/strength as one of the benefits that health-motivated eaters seek from food, as noted by the IFIC data. Much more attention will be given to foods that contain Vitamin C and supplements to boost immunity. These health seekers cited their food-centered objectives as being immune function 40%, weight management 62%, energy 57%, digestive 46% and heart health 44%.4

OnePOll conducted a survey and found 74% of respondents found cooking to be a successful coping mechanism to deal with being homebound.5 Cooking at home will involve the increase in the purchase of fresh and raw ingredients. The trend is to purchase more plant-based proteins such as dry beans, lentils, tofu and ingredients for homemade veggie burgers. The survey found that 28% of Americans eat more proteins from plant sources vs. 2019, 24% eat more plant-based dairy, and 17% eat more plant-based meat alternatives. One of the primary forecasts for the coming years is the growth of the plant-based meat industry.6

Other top trends for 2021 include convenient coffee formats, driven by homebound consumers seeking concentrates, steeped, single-serve bags and edible coffee snacks. Functional products that promote concentration and relaxation also are expected to grow as more brands leverage the benefits of L-Theanine, fruits, botanicals and other natural ingredients.7 Along the same lines, consumers see food products as healthier when they’re free from artificial ingredients, non-GMO, plant-based and have shorter ingredient lists.8

Eating is one of the basic ways we care for ourselves. Changes in food consumption and preparation as well as in other daily activities have us thinking about how we define wellness. Many of the trends mentioned above have been part of the Nikken Active Wellness philosophy for years—transparent labeling practices, organic ingredients, plant-based formulas, immunity-boosting dietary supplements, safe weight-management products and an emphasis on self-care and educating others on the benefits of the Global Wellness Community.

1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/phillempert/2020/10/19/food-trends-2021-staying-healthy-in-a-post-covid-19-world/?sh=64e64744485b

2 https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/13579-how-generations-affect-four-food-trends

3, 4, 5, 6  https://www.forbes.com/sites/phillempert/2020/10/19/food-trends-2021-staying-healthy-in-a-post-covid-19-world/?sh=64e64744485b

7 https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/17282-comfort-and-health-drive-2021-trends-forecast

8 https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/16471-covid-19s-impact-on-how-consumers-perceive-clean

Committing to Transformation and the Global Wellness Community

Now more than ever, Nikken is a company committed to a transformative purpose. This purpose is really a commitment to the growth of the Global Wellness Community by creating mass consciousness about self-reliance through Active Wellness, the need to live in harmony with nature, and how to take care of not only ourselves but also those in our respective societies.

Committing to transformation starts with each individual but with the community in mind. Although we make mental commitments, actual transformation begins in our hearts. In current times, this means having faith in the power of love and resilience, in staying calm during crisis after crisis, and in believing that we are bigger than what’s happening and that by helping each other, we will emerge stronger than before.

Transformation, like happiness, starts from the inside and moves outward as it expands. Before we can “think outside of the box” as we’ve been told so often, we have to start inside the box, sift through and retain the useful while getting rid of the useless, and then jump out and focus on the change we choose. Individual transformation is after all, a choice, not something that can be forced.

Corporate transformation is similar to individual transformation. Nikken has always been a pioneer in creating relevant products: alkaline water (PiMag® water), organic whole foods (Kenzen® nutritionals) and restful sleep (Kenko Sleep). We’ve never been “trendy” because our products are classic and based on real wellness needs. Because of this, sharing Nikken products has been a viable way to augment finances for decades. During these trying times, Nikken has proven to be a way to forge on when other sources of income might have been cut off. More people are ready to embrace the Global Wellness Community and what we offer.

The philosophy behind our product line has not changed, because its relevance remains. How Nikken has transformed is by staying at the forefront of emergent technologies, phasing out products that prove unwanted by consumers, and offering partnerships with those interested in actively expanding our Global Wellness Community. The social aspect of sharing Nikken products, technology and a self-motivated way to earn money may prove especially attractive to those who are comfortable being part of the gig economy.

By the same token, we are not pioneers in making face masks or household cleaners. Yet during such unusual times, we’re offering re-usable face masks, hand sanitizers and a non-toxic Surface Cleaner simply to help our growing Global Wellness Community cope with the environment. (link to https://nikkenactivewellness.com/2020/06/25/create-a-wellness-home/) It’s a way Nikken to show our ongoing commitment to the Global Wellness Community.

As we approach 2021, we hope the lessons of 2020 help us all to positively transform to be stronger and more confident members of the world.

Keep Your Family Safe One Meal at a Time

During this holiday season, many people have chosen not to have large gatherings, as advised by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Some have opted to cook large meals for their respective group members (families and friends that would otherwise come together) and either have the food picked up or delivered.

No matter when you’re preparing food or for whom, it’s prudent to follow the five keys to safer food as delineated by the World Health Organization (WHO): Keep clean, separate raw from cooked, cook thoroughly, keep food at safe temperatures and use safe water and raw materials.1

Keeping clean is straightforward. Anyone preparing food should have washed hands, cleaned with warm water and soap. All fruit and vegetables should be rinsed with the peel and rind on before cutting or paring.

Separating raw food from cooked food helps prevent cross-contamination, which is how bacteria can be spread to food and throughout the kitchen, leading to a food-borne illness.2

  • Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, grocery bags and in your refrigerator.
  • Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry and seafood.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.

Cooking thoroughly is part of food safety—when cooked food reaches a high enough internal temperature, harmful bacteria that may cause illness are killed. You may choose to use a food thermometer with large roasts or turkeys; otherwise, the more cooked the meat, the safer you tend to be.

Keeping food at safe temperatures involves the defrosting, cooking and storing of leftovers. For example, cooking in a microwave oven can leave cold spots where bacteria can survive. Microwaved food needs to be checked to make sure it’s evenly cooked throughout. Reheating food in a microwave also requires vigilance: some plastic containers release toxic chemicals upon heating and should not be used to reheat food. If thawing food in a microwave, a microwave may leave warm spots where microorganisms can grow, so cook the food promptly after defrosting.3

Always use safe water and raw materials when preparing food. When in doubt about the water, boil it.4 Raw materials are what you choose to cook. Select fresh and wholesome foods as well as foods processed for safety, such as pasteurized milk. Do not use food beyond its expiry date, and throw away smashed, swollen or oxidized cans.

There are special precautions to take when preparing food for children, since food is a common choking hazard. Many children do not chew their food well so they try to swallow it whole. Foods that are the most dangerous are round and hard. Cut food into pieces no larger than one half-inch, so if your child swallows the food whole, it won’t get stuck in the throat.5

Enjoy the holiday season, practice Active Wellness and stay safe!

1, 3 https://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/consumer/manual_keys.pdf

2, 4 https://www.fightbac.org/food-safety-basics/the-core-four-practices/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAk53-BRD0ARIsAJuNhptcVVp5Cl6O8F7H9AGehTXJFI6OYFqS-FEItRlzKPQ-9CAzg24yA-caAuw0EALw_wcB

5 https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/health-wellness-and-safety-resources/education-store/choking-hazard-safety

How Are You Celebrating the Holidays?

The year 2020 will go down in history as the beginning of a major change in lifestyles everywhere in the world. Even after Covid-19 is under control, the focus on health and wellness will remain as a higher priority than ever before. Aside from the fear and havoc that the virus has wreaked, it has also highlighted the importance of eating properly, maintaining an efficient immune system and sacrificing a modicum of individual comfort for the greater good.

The three major holidays that are celebrated in December in North America are Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. Each revolves around family and shared beliefs, gift-giving and community spirit. This year, with Thanksgiving acting almost like a rehearsal for December holidays, gatherings are likely to be small and limited. Many people will be completely alone—although this is true every year, there is more focus now on finding joy and gratitude no matter what our situation.

Kim Eisenberg, LCSW and lead therapist at a trauma recovery program, explains that creating a meaningful experience is possible even during disappointment. She says, “It is important to accept reality as it is…Once we’re able to do that, we can simultaneously start to look at the ways we can still find meaning, purpose, joy and connection. We are lifted up and out of our own pain and suffering when we do things that are helpful to others. So, even if you’re physically isolated, that might look like volunteering to teach a class or host a group online. Look for ways to reach out to others and support causes and communities that you care about to provide some offset to the loneliness and isolation.”1

Social distancing, sheltering in place, and the wearing of cloth face coverings are the new norm in a world with COVID-19—therefore, gifts that align with these “new norms” may be extremely thoughtful and useful. If recent economic changes have affected your friends and family, find out what types of things they may need (such as household essentials) and come up with gift ideas based on their most important needs.2

Online shopping, if not already your chosen form of purchasing, will rise to the top this year. No need to brave the crowds when a few clicks can have your gifts drop shipped to the recipients. This has been the Nikken way for many years, and during December, there’s the Holiday Catalog to help with gift ideas.

Nikken products help give comfort throughout the year in so many ways—from filling in nutritional gaps to promoting an active lifestyle tailored to individual needs. We are here to support you through our Global Wellness Community. Whatever you celebrate, please do it safely to keep you and your loved ones healthy. We wish you a December full of Active Wellness and joy.

1 https://www.sharp.com/health-news/the-possibility-of-happy-holidays-during-a-pandemic.cfm

2 https://www.solvhealth.com/blog/covid-takes-on-holiday-traditions

What are you grateful for?

2020 has been a year of obstacles for many of us. Those who have avoided illnesses or recovered are simply grateful. Others are mourning the loss of loved ones and reminded of the fragility of life. So what are we grateful for?

In unusually trying times, feeling grateful may not come as easily, but being aware of what we have accomplished can help us overcome resentment for what we miss or want. At the first virtual Nikken convention, our executive team led by Kurt Fulle and Luis Kasuga, voiced why we are grateful. Here are some excerpts from their talks to show how to keep gratitude in motion.

“As a pioneer in the Wellness industry, our priority is always to keep our extended Nikken Family healthy and safe. Nikken has been able to continue supporting our Consultants and Registered Customers, to keep our company operating in all regions of the world and to help you keep your own businesses running.

“There have been massive slowdowns in manufacturing around the world. As a result, we have had to cope with an on-and-off back order situation with some of our products. We appreciate your patience and want you to know that we keep in close contact with each of our suppliers and work around the clock to fulfill your orders.

“Regardless of the surprising number of obstacles that we confronted, we persevered and worked hand in hand with our vendors. As a result, we were able to develop and roll out new cutting edge products, even in the most trying of times. We continue to work towards globalization not only of Nikken products but also of Nikken information technology and Humans Being More training systems.

“Our ability to work as a global team was tested and challenged. And our team in every Nikken region stepped up to the plate. Not a single Nikken operation had to be shut down. Is it business as usual? No, it’s business in as unusual a way as we’ve seen in this lifetime, but most importantly, we continue to move forward.

“Nikken employees in all global regions have been working safely from home, staying healthy and successfully keeping operations running smoothly. Many of you in kind have shown your Nikken spirit by continuing to retail and share our exceptional products as well as introducing new people to our Global Wellness Community. Because of your efforts, our community continues to grow under the most unusual circumstances.

“Together we have stepped out of our comfort zones and succeeded in creating a new type of work and life balance in the midst of unforeseen challenges. Each day we prove that together we can and will create a better future not only for ourselves but also for future generations.”

 “During these trying moments, we can see the best and worst of the human condition. It is a fact that we are human beings and we act to survive, but it is also a fact that we can choose to act humanely. For example, we can bring groceries to people who cannot leave their homes, raise funds for friends who lost everything, support frontline workers, frequently video call loved ones, accompany distressed and sad people in their difficult moments. And we can do it all with a smile. Thanks to creativity and humanity combined, there are thousands of ways to manifest emotional closeness.  This practice is undoubtedly that of “being better human beings.”

At Nikken, we are grateful for all of you. We are grateful you are part of our Global Wellness Community and practicing Active Wellness together.

What are you grateful for?

Give the Gift of Wellness

Most of us think of the approaching season of gifting in conjunction with sales galore. This year many people are not venturing out of their homes. Retail stores therefore are facing the challenge of making their holiday sales entirely online. At Nikken, we’ve been conducting business with our Consultants and Registered Customers online or by phone for years. Simply use the online shopping cart 24/7 or call Customer Service Monday through Friday! It doesn’t get easier than that.

More than ever before, this year is the perfect time to think of giving everyone on your list the Gift of Wellness. Nikken truly has something for everyone when it comes to helping people improve health and fitness, and now is the perfect time to get a jumpstart on your gift list.

Good sleep is critical to Active Wellness. An investment in a supportive mattress and pillow, quality sheets and temperature-controlled covers can help you feel refreshed and energetic at the start of every day. Right now, we have a really good deal for you to take advantage of during the season of giving! The Cozy Winter Packs are 15% off and will be available through the end of the year. They come in three sizes, and not matter which you choose, you’ll be benefiting from substantial savings. Whether you purchase for your own home or as gifts, the Cozy Winter Pack contains Sleep items that are rarely discounted.

•            The King Pack has one king size Kenko Dream® Comforter, two KenkoNaturest® Custom Pillows and two Kenko PowerSleep Masks.

•            The Queen Pack has one queen size Kenko Dream® Comforter, two KenkoNaturest® Custom Pillows and two Kenko PowerSleep Masks.

•            The Twin Pack has one twin size Kenko Dream® Comforter with one KenkoNaturest® Custom Pillow and one Kenko PowerSleep Mask. 

Staying hydrated is key to overall health. During these trying times, drinking lots of filtered water is even more important, as it is known that staying hydrated helps boost our immune systems. Carry an eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle everywhere and drink up! It makes the perfect green gift all year round.

Do you know anyone who doesn’t do much cooking and relies on ready-made food? Unfortunately ready-made in this day and age often means highly processed and full of preservatives and artificial flavoring. Kenzen® Wellness Organic-Based Nutrition can help fill in dietary gaps while elevating your nutrient density. And for both children and adults who don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits, Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix can provide four of the recommended daily servings in one delicious chocolate-flavored scoop. It’s green superfood!

What about a gift that takes care of the body’s largest organ, skin? True Elements® skin care helps cleanse, tone and moisturize skin of all ages with organic ingredients that include seaweed that is rich in natural minerals. These skin care preparations are natural, organic, and free from parabens, GMOs, mineral oils, phthalates, phenoxyethanol, PEG, EDTA, synthetic colorings and fragrances.

Make holiday gifting stress-free with Nikken, and remember to wash your hands and stay safe!

Caring for the Caregiver

Most of us take care of others in one way or another. It comes naturally, especially when living in a household with various generations represented. Then there are people who take care of someone full time, either as a family member or as a professional caregiver.

Family caregivers are generally relatives who provide emotional, financial, nursing, social, homemaking and other services on a daily or intermittent basis for an ill or disabled loved one at home. Professional caregivers are paid to provide either medical or non-medical care in a home or a facility.

Taking care of someone who is disabled or ill is stressful and takes a toll both physically and mentally on the caregiver. Studies consistently report higher levels of depressive symptoms and mental health problems among caregivers than their non-caregiving peers.1 Caregivers have high levels of stress, and study participants described feelings of frustration, anger, guilt and helplessness as a result of providing care.2 Caregivers are also at greater risk for the development of cardiovascular syndromes such as high blood pressure or heart disease—this may be the result of having to constantly respond to the demanding needs of the “patient.”3

What can you do to take care of yourself so that your own health does not deteriorate from the pressures of being a full- or part-time caregiver?  The main thing is to take time for yourself, to relax and center yourself.4 What that entails is really up to you. It might be exercising before assuming caretaking duties or taking time out to meditate. It could even be having a short conversation with a friend. According to psychologist Susan Pinker, “Face-to-face contact releases a whole cascade of neurotransmitters, and they protect you now, in the present and well into the future.”5 When you can’t meet for a heart-to-heart chat, consider FaceTime, Zoom, Skype and other apps.

Caretaking can be heartbreaking and all-consuming. Caregivers therefore are less likely to participate in their own Active Wellness as they try to help their patients above and beyond anyone else. They are less likely to engage in preventative health behaviors, such as getting regular checkups, eating nutritious meals and regularly exercising. In fact, those are the exact behaviors that can help caretakers manage their own health properly.

Whether you personally are a caretaker or know someone who is, Nikken has been a pioneer in the Global Wellness Community for decades and continues to offer solutions that help maintain physical and mental well-being. The entire range of Kenzen organic nutritional supplements, Kenko products that promote rest and relaxation and Kenzen personal care designed specifically to help maintain hygienic living can help caretakers take care of themselves.

1, 2, 3  https://www.caregiver.org/caregiver-health

4,5 https://herohealth.com/6-ways-to-improve-life-as-a-caregiver?utm_source=google&utm_medium=nonbranded&gclid=CjwKCAiA-f78BRBbEiwATKRRBLSkbafnkv36Z3I63oJTneBf3Dnh06SHrzsSQjSyguFoaFu-zaphFRoCWIcQAvD_BwE

Do You Have a Sleep Disorder?

Sleep disorders are conditions that disturb our normal sleep patterns. Sleeping is a complicated biological process where we are unconscious but the brain and body are still actively functioning. These continuous bodily functions help us stay healthy. When we don’t get enough restful sleep, we feel tired, but even worse, it can affect our physical and mental well-being. Restful sleep is one of the most important facets of Active Wellness.

The term “sleep disorder” refers to conditions that affect sleep quality, timing, or duration and impact a person’s ability to properly function while they are awake. These disorders can contribute to other medical problems, and some may also be symptoms for underlying mental health issues.1

Over four decades, more than 100 specific sleep disorders have been identified and complex methodologies categorize them based on causes, symptoms, physiological and psychological effects, and other criteria.2 However, most sleep disorders can be characterized by one or more of the following four signs:

  • Trouble falling or remaining asleep
  • Difficulty staying awake during the day
  • Imbalances in circadian rhythm that interfere with a healthy sleep schedule
  • Being prone to unusual behaviors that disrupt sleep

Some fairly common types of sleep disorders are insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome (RLS), hypersomnia and parasomnia.3 According to general estimates by the Sleep Foundation, 10 to 30% of adults live with some form of insomnia. Most of us have experienced some form of insomnia—either having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Chronic insomnia occurs when sleepers experience symptoms at least three times per week for at least three months. Insomnia lasting less than three months is known as short-term insomnia.

Sleep apnea is ubiquitous and presents more of a problem, because left untreated, it could lead to serious health issues. It’s not only a sleep disorder but also a breathing disorder where the sleeper stops breathing for 10 seconds or more. There are various forms of sleep apnea, but each warrants checking in with a health practitioner for possible treatment.

Restless leg syndrome causes the sleeper to waken from an urge to move the legs or simply twitching from an irritating sensation, while hypersomnia causes extreme sleepiness during the day, to the point of not being able to function.

Parasomnia is a collective term for unusual behaviors that occur prior to sleep, during sleep, or during the transition period between sleep and waking. These behaviors can occur during different stages of sleep. Sleepwalking and night terrors are examples of parasomnia, as are talking or eating while asleep.

Sleep disorders can be caused by health issues including heart, lung, nerve and pain conditions. They can also be caused by depression and anxiety, certain medications, caffeine, alcohol, irregular schedules, aging and even genetics. It’s best to check in with a health practitioner, just to be on the safe side.

When going to sleep, make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend removing all electronic devices from the bedroom.4

From November 1 through December 31, 2020, the discounted Nikken “Cozy Winter” Packs not only help you to reap the health benefits of a good night’s sleep but also to expand your Global Wellness Community when you share it with others.


1, 2  https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders

3 https://medlineplus.gov/sleepdisorders.html

4 https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html

Sleep Better to Work and Feel Better

What a difference a good night’s sleep can make! We work better, feel better and consciously or not, we treat people better when we’re well rested. In fact, the importance of sleep continues to be a hot topic. Nikken has been advocating for restful sleep with the help of advanced magnetic technology way before it became one of the primary focuses of Active Wellness practitioners!

Just how important is sleep for Active Wellness and overall health? In a 2018 study, Mayo Clinic scientists found that sleep deprivation increases the likelihood of age-related memory loss.1 This follows a 2017 study that linked poor sleep to higher levels of other biological markers associated with age-related brain conditions.2 Another 2018 study even determined that one sleepless night alone can be damaging, leaving behind harmful protein debris in your brain.3

The National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) annual Sleep in America® poll shows Americans feel sleepy on average three times a week, with 62% trying to “shake it off” as their primary response. Those who feel sleepy five to seven days a week report especially high rates of irritability (52 percent), headaches (40 percent), and feeling unwell (34 percent). The Sleep in America poll found when people feel sleepy, more Americans say it’s generally because they’re not sleeping well enough (55 percent) as opposed to not having enough time to sleep (44 percent).4

To help achieve restful sleep, The National Sleep Foundation advises us to focus on maximizing comfort and minimizing distractions:

•            Use a high-performance mattress and pillow, such as the KenkoNaturest® Custom Pillow. This helps with comfort and the support of the spine to avoid achy muscles and joints.

•            Choose quality sheets and blankets. Again, this is to help with comfort and maintenance of suitable temperatures throughout the night. The Kenko® Dream Comforter is ideal to snuggle under during cool nights.

•            Avoid light disruptions. Excess light exposure can throw off sleep and circadian rhythm. Use blackout curtains or a comfortable sleep mask, such as the Kenko PowerSleep Mask, to block out light.

•            Keep noise to a minimum. If you can’t eliminate nearby sources of noise, consider drowning them out with a fan or white noise machine. Earplugs or headphones are another option to block abrasive sounds when you want to sleep.

•            Make sure the room temperature is not too hot or cold by using heaters, fans and air conditioning as necessary. Researchers have found that sleeping in a cooler environment of around 65 degrees Fahrenheit is conducive to restful sleep.5

From November 1 through December 31,2020, the discounted Nikken “Cozy Winter” Packs not only help you to reap the health benefits of a good night’s sleep but also to expand your Global Wellness Community when you share it with others.

1 D. Carvalho et al. Association of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness with Longitudinal Β-Amyloid Accumulation in Elderly Persons Without Dementia JAMA Neurology. Vol. 75, June 2018. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.0049.
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/article-abstract/2674279

2 Sprecher KE et al. Poor sleep is associated with CSF biomarkers of amyloid pathology in cognitively normal adults. Neurology. 2017 Aug 1; 89(5): 445-453.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5539733/

3 Shokri-Kojori E et al. Β-Amyloid accumulation in the human brain after one night of sleep deprivation. PNAS April 24, 2018. 115 (17) 4483-4488;
http://www.pnas.org/content/115/17/4483

4 https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/nsfs-2020-sleep-america-poll-shows-alarming-sleepiness-and-low-action

5 https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/healthy-sleep-tips

Breathe Deeply and Other Tips for Respiratory Health

Just like any other important organ in our bodies, the lungs age over time and lose some of their efficiency. The lungs can become less flexible and lose strength. The overall effect is that breathing becomes more difficult.

Our breath literally gives life, so keeping our ability to breathe easily is critical to Active Wellness and a high-quality lifestyle. Here are some key behaviors to help keep our lungs functioning properly:

•            Never smoke. If you do, find a way to stop. Seek the help of a professional if necessary. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, more than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the U.S. during its history. In addition, smoking causes about 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in men and women.1 Smoking also causes the lungs to age more rapidly. The good news is, according to the American Lung Association, within just 12 hours of quitting smoking, carbon monoxide levels in the blood drops to normal, and within a few months, lung function begins to improve. Within a year, the risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.2

•            Exercise regularly. We think about exercise in terms of maintaining a comfortable weight, keeping muscle tone and optimizing cardiovascular health. The truth is, regular exercise is key to the health of our lungs. Just as the heart beats faster during exercise, the lungs work harder, too. The body requires more oxygen during exercise, and the lungs increase their activity level to deliver that necessary oxygen while expelling additional carbon dioxide. Breathing increases from about 15 times a minute to approximately 40 to 60 times a minute, giving the lungs a real workout.3 Try to do something active for 30 minutes daily to lighten the load on the lungs and to help increase the efficiency of oxygen transportation and metabolism.4Strengthening the lungs with regular exercise helps improve immunity and resist aging.

•            Avoid exposure to pollutants. Stay away from smokers to avoid breathing in secondhand smoke. Keep your windows rolled up when in heavy traffic to avoid breathing in exhaust fumes.

•            When driving, avoid idling the car for long periods of time (a minute is a very long time when idling, so keep it to 10 seconds or less) to help prevent noxious air. Many newer car models automatically turn the ignition off when idling for more than a few seconds.

•            The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that indoor pollution is typically worse than outdoor. To help decrease indoor pollutants, open windows to keep air circulating, ban smoking indoors, keep dust to a minimum, use natural cleaners such as Kenzen® Surface Cleaner as much as possible, avoid synthetic air fresheners and make sure exhaust hoods and other ventilation methods are adequate.

•            Wash your hands frequently. Keeping hands clean is the easiest way to help prevent lung infections.

•            Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and eat lots of fruits and vegetables, because they contain nutrients that help boost the immune system.

•            Cover your coughs to help stop the spread of germs. Get plenty of rest, eat well and keep stress levels under control to overcome any viral or bacterial infections.5

•            When working where there are known pollutants, wear a mask, such as the Kenzen® Face Mask. Avoid breathing in toxic fumes from chemicals, solvents, paints, excessive amounts of dusk, fumes, smoke, gas, vapors or mists.6

•            Breathe deeply. Most of us take shallow breaths from the chest area, but this only utilizes a small portion of our lungs. On the other hand, deep breathing helps clear the lungs and allows for full oxygen intake and expulsion of carbon dioxide. Be conscious of your breath and it is noticeable that deep breathing feels invigorating as well as relaxing.

1, 2, 3 healthline.com/health/understanding-idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis/ways-to-keep-your-lungs-healthy-and-whole#4.-Prevent-infections

4, 5, 6 https://www.lung.ca/lung-health/prevent-lung-disease