Do You Have Trouble Sleeping During Springtime?

Some people have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep during the spring season. There are several reasons for this, and there are measures that can be taken. Although spring is the season that many look forward to as they emerge from the cold, gray winter weather, there’s a price to pay for warmth and longer sunlit hours. The sun may actually rise before your body is ready for it, and the light suppresses melatonin production, the hormone that makes you sleepy.1

Other reasons for poor sleep quality during the spring months include the onslaught of allergies (to pollen and other airborne allergens) and an energy surge. Just as melatonin decreases, serotonin levels rise in the spring, boosting energy levels and making it more difficult to sleep at the usual time.2 The good thing is that a rise in serotonin directly influences people’s feelings of happiness, so perhaps you are in a better mood when spring arrives.

It’s hard enough to get sufficient restful sleep, but have you heard the cruel truth that while you suffer from sleep deprivation, you actually tend to gain weight? Here’s why: During sleep, leptin levels increase, telling your brain you have plenty of energy for the time being and there’s no need to trigger the feeling of hunger or the burning of calories. The decrease in leptin brought on by sleep deprivation can result in a constant feeling of hunger and a general slow-down of your metabolism. Ghrelin, on the other hand, tells people when they need to eat. People who don’t sleep enough end up with too much ghrelin in their system, so the body thinks it’s hungry and it needs more calories, and it stops burning those calories because it thinks there’s a shortage.3

You can improve the quality of your sleep and recharge this spring with these simple tips:

  • Establish and maintain a bedtime ritual. Just as children benefit from a repetitive bedtime routine that gears both body and mind for sleep, so do adults. Whether it’s taking a shower, reading or meditating, try to consciously lay in bed and relax from the head down, one muscle group at a time. Slow down your breathing.
  • Visualize images instead of words.4 Envision something calming in your mind rather than focusing on lists or things you heard or said throughout the day. Focus exclusively on Active Wellness images.
  • Shorten or eliminate daytime naps. According to the Mayo Clinic, limit yourself to 10 to 30 minute naps and make sure you take them no later than mid-afternoon.5
  • Keep your bedroom temperature on the cool side. The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping the temperature between 60 and 67 degrees.6 The slightly cool temperature is believed to help the body relax and stay asleep.
  • Exercise daily. Expending energy during the day helps your body feel tired enough to go to sleep faster.
  • Limit the use of electronic devices at least an hour before your bedtime. The light that emanates from a laptop or cell phone activates the brain.7
  • Eat a Mediterranean diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, whole grains, fish and olive oil. Eating a well-balanced diet helps maintain feelings of well-being, which in turn helps you sleep.
  • When the sun shines before your alarm, it may cause you to wake too early. To sleep on your own schedule rather than the sun’s, keep your room dark. A simple solution is to wear a Kenko PowerSleep Mask that not only blocks out light but also includes patented DynaFlux® magnetic technology that may help you sleep better.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable and your covers keep you comfortably cool or warm. Kenko Sleep Products help you do just that.

 

1https://www.sleep.org/articles/refresh-your-sleep-this-spring/

2https://www.beliefnet.com/wellness/articles/5-ways-to-tell-if-you-have-spring-fever.aspx

3 https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/sleep-obesity1.htm

4, 5, 6, 7 https://www.gohealthuc.com/library/springtime-tips-better-sleep-through-night

Drink Filtered Water for Active Wellness and Reduce Bottled Water Use for Earth Wellness

For the first time in history, human use and pollution of freshwater have reached a level where water scarcity will potentially limit food production, ecosystem function, and urban supply in the decades to come. The primary reason for this shortage is population growth, which has increased at a faster rate than food production for some years and will add up to three billion or more people by the middle of the 21st century, mostly in poor and water‐short countries. Water quality degradation has also contributed significantly to a number of problems of global concern, including human drinking water supply and species survival.1

Here are some daunting facts2:

  • Today one in three people or 2.2 billion people around the world lack safe drinking water. (WHO/UNICEF 2019)
  • Over half of the global population or 4.2 billion people lack safe sanitation. (WHO/UNICEF 2019)
  • Approximately 50 liters of water per person per day are needed to ensure that most basic needs are met while keeping public health risks at a low level. (WHO, 2017)
  • 207 million people spent over 30 minutes per round trip to collect water from an improved source. (WHO/UNICEF 2019)
  • Hygiene promotion is the most cost effective health intervention. (World Bank 2016)
  • Two out of five people or three billion people around the world lack basic handwashing facilties at home. (WHO/UNICEF 2019)
  • In urban areas, for every $1 invested in basic drinking water, an average of more than $3 is returned in saved medical costs and increased productivity. For every $1 invested in basic sanitation, the return is $2.5. In rural areas, the return on investment is even higher: with every $1 invested in basic drinking water, an average of nearly $7 is returned in saved medical costs and increased productivity. And in the case of basic sanitation in rural areas, every $1 returns on average more than $5 in saved medical costs and increased productivity. (Hutton et al. 2015)

Clean water is not something we can take for granted. And for those of us who have easy access to drinkable water, now more than ever it’s our responsibility to help decrease our plastic waste and carry water bottles everywhere instead of drinking single-use bottled water. With an eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle, you not only get clean pi water, you help decrease plastic waste and your personal carbon footprint!

This March, Nikken Registered Customers get a US $50 cash discount on any PiMag® Water Pack purchase as Nikken participates in World Water Awareness.

 

1 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0065211307950014

2 https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/water-sanitation-and-hygiene/

 

Probiotics Help You Eat Right

Probiotics are in the news now more than ever. From the Greek pro, meaning promoting, and biotics, meaning life, these life-promoting compounds are gaining in usage for good reason. Fermented foods have been shown to be probiotic-rich and may help balance the microbiome and support the immune system!

Our bodies naturally have good or helpful bacteria as well as bad or harmful bacteria. Maintaining the correct balance between these bacteria is necessary for optimal health. This is where probiotics come in. The wrong bacteria in the wrong place can cause problems but the right bacteria in the right place can have benefits. Probiotics are live microorganisms that may be able to help prevent and treat some illnesses.1

Age, genetics and diet may influence the composition of the bacteria in the body. When the bacteria in our bodies are not in balance, we are in “dysbiosis” and may experience certain illnesses linked to the digestive system. Probiotics help shift the balance in favor of good bacteria for healthy digestion. When the digestive tract is healthy, it filters out and eliminates things that can damage it, such as harmful bacteria, toxins, chemicals and other waste products.2

The other way that probiotics help overall health is how they affect the immune system. Since the immune system protects against germs, dysfunction can cause allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders and infections.3 Just like the digestive system, the immune system functions optimally when in balance, and probiotics have been shown to be of benefit.

As we age, changes take place in the gut. These include shifts in the composition of the intestinal microbiota where there is an increase in harmful bacteria and a decrease in good bacteria. The amount of time it takes for food to be processed and leave the digestive system increases as metabolism slows down with age. These changes may result in increased putrefaction in the colon and a greater susceptibility to disease and infection.4

Taking probiotics through natural foods and beverages such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha can easily be part of an Active Wellness diet.kim-deachul-NOAzwcMzZJA-unsplash Dietary and nutritional supplements such as Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0, Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox and Kenzen Vital Balance® contain prebiotics and/or probiotics—they not only help boost the immune and digestive systems, but they also promote healthy minds!  Incorporating them into a daily regimen truly is a no-brainer!

 

 

1, 2, 3 https://www.medicinenet.com/probiotics/article.htm

4 https://www.functionalfoodscenter.net/

Don’t Take Your Eyes for Granted

Eye health is important and those with good sight often take it for granted. Even if your eyes feel healthy, you could have a problem and not know it. That’s because many eye diseases don’t have any symptoms or warning signs. Getting older increases the risk of some eye diseases and a dilated eye exam is the only way to check for them early on, when they’re easier to treat. You might also have a higher risk of some eye diseases if you are overweight or obese, or have a family history of eye disease.1

People often believe that failing eyesight is an inevitable result of aging or eye strain. In truth, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), published in 2001, found that certain nutrients — zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene — may reduce the risk of age-related decline in eye health by 25 percent.a2 This study was updated in 2013 to test different versions of the original formula. The variations included omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta carotene; the study found that certain combinations may work better than others. Further studies agree that omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA), copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin are vital for eye health.

The AREDS reports support 10 nutrient-rich foods.

  1. Fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Choose Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA for a vegan option.
  2. Nuts and legumes are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, plus high in vitamin E, which can protect the age from damage.
  3. Seeds are high in omega-3s and rich in vitamin E.
  4. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that is recommended to fight age-related eye damage. Kenzen Mega Daily 4® is a great source of vitamin C.
  5. Leafy green vegetables are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin as well as vitamin C—all beneficial for optimal eye health.
  6. Carrots are rich in vitamin A and beta carotene. Vitamin A plays an essential role in vision and is a component of rhodospin, a protein that helps the retina absorb light.3
  7. Sweet potatoes are similar to carrots in being filled with beta carotene. They’re also a good source of vitamin E. Kenzen Mega Daily 4® provides more than the daily requirements for both!
  8. Beef is rich in zinc, which has been linked to better long-term eye health. Zinc can help delay age-related sight loss and macular degeneration. The eye itself contains high levels of zinc, particularly in the retina and the vascular tissue surrounding it.4 Chicken breast and pork loin also contain zinc but at lower levels than beef. Kenzen Mega Daily 4® for the win again, as a healthy source of zinc!
  9. Eggs are great sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help reduce the risk of age-related sight loss. Eggs are also good sources of vitamins C, E and zinc.
  10. Water is essential to eye health as it helps prevent dehydration, which in turn helps reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. Carry an eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle with you everywhere and drink up!

Eye health is crucial to Active Wellness. Kenzen Mega Daily 4® is formulated with a variety of foods that are organically grown in regions where the soils are not depleted by decades of commercial farming. MegaDaily4This ensures that more of the natural, whole-food nutrients are present and correspond more closely to the requirements of the human body than conventional vitamins. For overall health and to help maintain clear vision, Mega Daily 4® is a force to be reckoned with!

 

 

 

1 https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/healthy-vision/keep-your-eyes-healthy

2, 3, 4 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321226.php

See to Your Matters of the Heart

Before the 12th century, people were not aware of the true function of the heart. They knew that the heart beats faster when a person is excited or upset—so they gathered that the heart ruled emotions and feelings. Even though it has long been scientifically proven that emotions come from the brain, the heart remains a powerful symbol of love and is therefore universally used to represent Valentine’s Day.1

Since the heart pumps blood and oxygen to all our other organs, it is most vital to Active Wellness and overall good health. When the heart is unhealthy, it can lead to serious problems, including hardening of the arteries, high cholesterol, blockages, high blood pressure and cardiac arrest.bergisterol

The combination of consistent daily exercise and a low-fat, low cholesterol diet have been found to be most effective in maintaining heart health. Exercise without attention to diet or healthy eating without exercise are not as effective.2 Aerobic exercise, otherwise known as “cardio,” combined with resistance training and eating a Mediterranean diet, are found to promote heart health.

If you do not cycle, swim or run—the three forms of cardiovascular exercise that make up a triathlon—simply find something you enjoy in order to stay on a regimen long-term. For example, you may like zumba or ballroom dancing, hiking or power yoga. The key is to get a move on and to form a healthy habit that becomes part of your Active Wellness lifestyle. Trying something new—jiu jitsu or rock climbing, for example—makes it more interesting and provides a sense of accomplishment.

Researchers have found that consuming omega-3 fatty acids as part of a heart-healthy diet also reduces the risk of heart disease. OmegaDHANew_317x310Cardiac diet guidelines also include regularly consuming portions of peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. One study involving over 9,000 men and women found that increased consumption of legumes can help protect the health of your heart. Researchers tracked people over a 19-year period and found that eating plenty of legumes in the diet helped to lower the risk of coronary heart disease.3

Meditation can help lower blood pressure by putting your body into a state of deep rest. Yoga, tai chi and deep breathing are similarly effective. Using these relaxation techniques together with exercise and a low-fat diet full of fruit and veggies, whole grains, legumes, and lean proteins are natural ways to stay heart-healthy. In contrast, research published in 2018 has found that sugar–laden foods and drinks pose even more of a risk to your heart’s health than saturated fats.4

It’s never too soon to take care of your heart! Wishing you and those close to your heart a Happy Healthy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

1 http://www.stvalentinesday.org/valentines-day-hearts.html

2 https://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/cholesterol-how-much-exercise#1

3, 4 https://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/cardiac-diet/

 

To Breathe is to Live: Give the Gift of Clean Air

Americans spend an average of 90 percent of their time indoors1 where some pollutants are often two to five times higher than they are outdoors.2 The people most susceptible to the negative effects of both indoor and outdoor air pollution, are the very young, older adults and those who already suffer from cardiovascular or respiratory diseases.3

Indoor air pollution has increased in recent decades due to various factors. These include an increase in the use of synthetic building materials and furnishings, and a proliferation of chemically-based personal care products, pesticides and household cleaners. Any building or residence that lacks sufficient ventilation is likely to circulate unclean air.

Health effects associated with indoor air pollutants include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer.4 Tobacco smoke, cockroach and other insect droppings, dust mites, mold, pet dander, artificial fragrances, carpeting fumes and more  can cause serious health problems. Respiratory ailments can range from sneezing to full on asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and COPD.5

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, why not give the gift of clean air? It may not be the most romantic gift in the world, but it might just be the most important. You would definitely be giving a gift of Active Wellness. Or, give yourself the gift of breath!

The KenkoAir Purifier® is patented to generate negative ions that give you the feeling of being in Nature. Multiple-stage filtration captures up to 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles in the air. In keeping with the Nikken pledge to go green and to be respectful of the environment, the KAP operates ozone-free and is therefore non-toxic and helps reduce the overall amount of emissions. California is one of the strictest states in reviewing air cleaning products, and the KAP is manufactured to surpass those standards.shoppingcart1441

Because we live such hectic lives, the need for convenience has produced a lot of disposable or one-use items. This adds to the problem of waste that has nowhere to go, thus adding to landfill. The KAP is made with recyclable materials: polyurethane, polypropylene, activated carbon, microfiber and ABS plastic. And, there is a reusable pre-filter, helping to reduce the carbon footprint of the product.

Using the KenkoAir Purifier not only supports the Active Wellness lifestyle, but it also helps our efforts to sustain the environment. Use and share the KAP, as the entire Wellness Community deserves to breathe clean air with a clean conscience!

 

1, 2, 3, 4 https://www.epa.gov/report-environment/indoor-air-quality

5https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/health+topics/health+conditions+prevention+and+treatment/infectious+diseases/viral+respiratory+infections/viral+respiratory+infections+including+symptoms%2C+treatment+and+prevention

Enjoy Your Celebrations but Moderation is Best

From the holiday season of exuberant dining and imbibing, we plunged headlong into New Year’s resolutions! All that extra indulgence had to be dealt with! By the end of January, our resolve had been tested and some of us may already have fallen. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, there may be temptations galore yet again!

Staying well informed is one way to prevent excessive consumption of alcoholic spirits and sugary foods during celebrations. Many people are surprised to learn what counts as one drink. The amount of liquid in your glass, can, or bottle does not necessarily match up to how much alcohol is actually in your drink. Different types of liquor can have very different amounts of alcohol content. That’s why it’s important to know how much alcohol your drink contains.

In the United States, one “standard” drink (or one alcoholic drink equivalent) contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol,1 which is found in:

  • 12 fluid ounces of regular beer, usually about 5% alcohol.
  • 5 fluid ounces of wine, typically about 12% alcohol.
  • 5 fluid ounces of distilled spirits, about 40% alcohol.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, moderate drinking is up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.2

 One way to keep yourself from overindulging is to slow down the pace of drinking and to eat something at the same time. Dietician Cynthia Sass recommends eating something that has protein, fat or both because those two empty out of the stomach slower. She explains that they create a better buffer than carbohydrates.3 She also suggests a glass of water with each alcoholic drink, then adding another glass of water before your next beverage. She adds that “mock-tails” are a great alternative to alcohol when you are staying within your limit. Mock-tails often have sparkling water, berries and herbs to make them taste delicious without the alcohol content.

Certain people should avoid alcohol completely, including those who:

  • Plan to drive or operate machinery, or participate in activities that require skill, coordination, and alertness.
  • Take certain over-the-counter or prescription medications.
  • Have certain medical conditions.
  • Are recovering alcoholics or are unable to control the amount that they drink.
  • Are younger than age 21.
  • Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

Most people recognize that alcohol can do serious damage to the liver when used in excess; however, your immune system takes a hit, too. Even one night of drinking too much liquor can impair your body’s ability to evade infections, for up to 24 hours afterward.4 Any individual prone to colds or sinus infections should monitor alcohol intake to avoid illness this winter. To help stay on the Active Wellness path, Kenzen® Immunity and Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox are two of our favorite organic supplements that help counteract the possible effects of overindulgence!

Wishing you a Happy Lunar New Year of the Rat—full of prosperity and moderate indulgences in a healthy life of Active Wellness!

 

1 https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/what-standard-drink

2 https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking

3 https://abc7.com/4767686/

4 https://www.keckmedicine.org/how-too-many-drinks-during-the-holidays-can-be-bad-for-your-health/