Do Your Children Eat a Lot of “Treats”?

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 as “treats,” thus assigning them extra value.

Here’s an example of a dialogue between parent and child:

Parent: Finish your dinner and you can have a special treat.

Child: What’s the special treat?

Parent: You can have a frosted cupcake.

The problem here is that the frosted cupcake is given the status of a special treat, so the child perceives it as something highly desirable. The fact that the child has to finish dinner in order to obtain the treat implies that the dinner is something to get out of the way in order to obtain the cupcake. It may seem harmless enough, but this kind of behavior becomes entrenched in the child and carries into his or her adult life and can even perpetuate itself into the next generation. Unfortunately, high-calorie, high-fat and heavily sugared foods are the ones that are generally called treats, while nutrient-dense foods that should be valued, are not. No wonder childhood obesity has become a serious problem in North America.

Obese children are at a higher risk of having chronic health conditions, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems and type 2 diabetes. Onset of diabetes in children can lead to heart disease and kidney failure.1 And more obviously, children with obesity are more likely to become obese adults with numerous health challenges.

According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), obesity threatens the health of today’s children to such an extent that they may, for the first time in U.S. history, have a shorter lifespan than their parents. This crisis has led to increasing interest in the prevention of obesity, starting with childhood. The ADA has compiled a lot of data about childhood obesity, based on ongoing studies and reports. The main areas of review are food and nutrients, eating behaviors, family interactions around food and meals and physical activity vs. sedentary behaviors.2

Since parents and caretakers are largely responsible for providing food for most young children, the “control” is in the adults’ hands. Here are some common sense guidelines:

  • Be a good role model and eat healthy foods.
  • Help children develop good nutritional habits by having healthy food available—lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils and beans.
  • “Out of sight, out of mind,” so don’t purchase beverages with extra sugar. Evidence strongly supports a correlation between obesity in children with a high intake of sweetened beverages.3 Also avoid the availability of snacks with high fat and high sodium.
  • Have family meals together. Reports from the American Dietetic Association show evidence that increased frequency of family meals is associated with a higher consumption of nutritious foods and less of fried food and soft drinks.
  • Encourage children to drink water throughout the day, and provide them with their individual PiMag® Sport Bottle. Children like taking ownership of something special and the PiMag® Sport Bottle will help them receive clean, filtered water. Teach them to fill the PiMag® Sport Bottle with tap water or wherever there is potable water. In doing so, your children will be learning to drink less chlorinated water and at the same time, reduce plastic waste from bottled water.
  • Serve age-appropriate portions, and don’t expect children to “clean their plates” at every meal. On the other end of the spectrum, wait 15 minutes before serving seconds, so children can learn the feeling of fullness.
  • Don’t watch TV during meals or snacks. Distracted eating is the opposite of mindful eating.
  • Don’t use sweets as a reward. The definition of “treat” is really up to the parent, and when kids are taught to choose healthy foods from a very young age, it carries into adulthood.

Now let’s take the example dialogue mentioned above and change it up:

Parent: Finish your dinner and you can have a special treat.

Child: What’s the special treat?

Parent: We’re going to go for a bike ride together before it gets dark.

It’s never too early to start living Active Wellness. Examples of good treats that are 100 calories or less are a medium-sized apple or banana, a cup of blueberries, a cup of carrots, broccoli or bell peppers accompanied by a couple of tablespoons of hummus. A Kenzen Vital Balance® “milk shake” is also a healthy treat, and makes a wonderful breakfast or snack for the whole on-the-go family.

 

Do You Know Your HDL and LDL Numbers?

September is National Cholesterol Education Month in the United States, so it’s an appropriate time of year to get updated with the facts. Research is ongoing in this particular area related to heart health, especially since high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

High cholesterol usually doesn’t have any symptoms. As a result, many people do not know that their cholesterol levels are too high. However, doctors can do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol—it’s called a lipoprotein profile and can measure your total cholesterol levels, including LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol), HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol), and triglycerides. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) recommends that adults aged 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked every five years.

In the United States, more than one-fifth (20%) of youth aged 12–19 years have at least one abnormal lipid level.1 Risk increases for children two or older through their teen years if they are overweight, have a family history of high cholesterol, or a family history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or certain chronic conditions, such as kidney disease, inflammatory diseases, congenital heart disease, and childhood cancer survivorship.2

High cholesterol can be controlled through lifestyle changes but if practicing Active Wellness is not enough, physicians frequently prescribe medications known as statins. Side effects vary depending upon the individual.

Lowering cholesterol naturally takes discipline and commitment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focus on improving the diet to combat high cholesterol:

  • Limit foods high in saturated fat. Saturated fats come from animal products (such as cheese, fatty meats, and dairy desserts) and tropical oils. Foods that are higher in saturated fat may be high in cholesterol.
  • Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium (salt), and added sugars, such as lean meats, seafood, fat-free or low-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat foods naturally high in fiber, such as oatmeal and beans (black, pinto, kidney, lima, and others) and unsaturated fats, which can be found in avocado, vegetable oils like olive oil and nuts. These foods may help prevent and manage high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.

When it comes to naturally lowering cholesterol, the partner to a healthy diet is exercise. The Surgeon General recommends two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or bicycling, every week—or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity. Children and adolescents should get one hour or more of physical activity every day.3

Another alternative to statins that may work well with an Active Wellness lifestyle is taking a nutritional supplement made with bergamot fruit. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has published various studies and multiple clinical trials with bergamot. To summarize their findings, bergamot has been found to contain a variety of phytochemicals—otherwise known as biologically active compounds—that are known to be beneficial in helping to reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in patients with levels that are higher than what is widely considered by researchers and physicians to be within a healthy range.4 Bergamot therefore continues to be studied as an alternative to statins which are known to have a variety of uncomfortable side effects.

Now in capsule form, Kenzen Bergisterol® 60 is a unique organic formulation made with Citrus bergamia Risso, an exclusive strain of the bergamot fruit and blended with vitamin C in the form of organic amla, colloquially known as Indian Gooseberry,

indian-gooseberry-337445_640
Indian Gooseberry

a known source of polyphenols and bioflavonoids.

1,2 https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/cholesterol_education_month.htm

3https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/prevention.htm

4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6497409/

How Much Water Do You Need to Drink Daily?

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.3LemonWater

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!

 

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9039003

2, 3 https://www.livescience.com/61353-how-much-water-you-really-need-drink.html

4, 5 https://www.webmd.com/diet/how-much-water-to-drink#1

6 https://lifeinthegoldenyears.com/10-signs-seniors-are-not-drinking-enough-water/?utm_source=drink%20water&utm_medium=notdrinkingenough&utm_campaign=bing

 

Ins and Outs of Water Safety

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.5garbage-unusedplasticimage

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.

 

1 https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/water-safety-month-how-to-be-safe-in-and-around-the-water.html

2 https://www.stopdrowningnow.org/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwhdTqBRDNARIsABsOl98GvIb5te6BAdcy_tRq6_wWGiD1sEYVa8_o74YWvEYzLy6S-NCQyAIaAvXvEALw_wcB

3 https://www.voanews.com/archive/who-waterborne-disease-worlds-leading-killer

4, 5 https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11193/7-reasons-to-never-drink-bottled-water-again.html

6 https://www.livestrong.com/article/154123-bottled-water-side-effects/

 

 

Do You Have Itchy Skin and Stiff Joints?

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. OmegaDHANew_317x310With 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.

 

1, 7 https://www.philips.co.uk/c-e/challenge-psoriasis/psoriasis-stop/life/staying-well-hydrated-with-psoriasis.html

2, 3 https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/understanding-psoriasis-basics#1

4 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324185.php

5, 7 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322302.php

 

Help Keep Our Beaches and Oceans Clean

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:

  1. “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
  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.
  3. 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. PiMagSportBottle-with-straw_small_7-18[2]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. PiMag-Waterfall-4-3-18
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.

1 https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/marine-animals-are-dying-because-of-our-plastic-trash/

2 https://www.take3.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwg-DpBRBbEiwAEV1_-F4JC9qmJy35k0TPp6tB0pi5o-jQFIESz_NNK61DuzePtQM2QoFj_xoCpJsQAvD_BwE

3 https://www.take3.org/the-plastic-facts/

4, 6 http://mentalfloss.com/article/546495/things-you-can-do-help-keep-oceans-clean

5 https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2019/05/25/4-ways-help-protect-ocean-beach-summer/?ea.tracking.id=19HPXGJAXX&gclid=CjwKCAjwg-DpBRBbEiwAEV1_-NIxzfGU-rDeqiEyBfzBtl-AOOB3v8vGZ9Ekzb0xAswuQwI2d1A-vBoCL9EQAvD_BwE

 

Do You Know how Prebiotics & Probiotics Help the Gut?

In the past decade, word has gotten out more and more consistently that good bacteria helps us digest food and keep the gut healthy and happy. Simply put, a happy gut is responsible for overall health in a big way—both physically and mentally.

Probiotics are the good bacteria that are found naturally in the gut. Probiotics are actually live cultures, which means they’re active and functional, allowing them to help boost immunity, gastrointestinal health and overall wellness.1 Probiotic bacteria can also be found in yogurt and fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kimchi. Since what we eat and drink passes through our gastrointestinal tract every day, it’s no surprise that our diets affect the gut microbiome. In fact, studies have shown that even a single day of a strict animal-based diet or plant-based diet can alter the composition of the gut microorganisms—but that we typically revert to our regular microbiome once our diets go back to normal.2

Newer research shows that probiotics work more efficiently when assisted by prebiotics. Unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not found naturally in the gut. Instead they are found in non-digestible carbohydrates and fibers that stimulate the growth of good bacteria.3 Prebiotics are found in fibrous components of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Bananas, onions, garlic, leeks asparagus, artichokes, soybeans and whole-wheat grains are examples of foods containing prebiotics. Prebiotics work by supporting the good bacteria that are naturally present in the gut and help them proliferate.

According to the World Health Gastroenterology Organization, one in three people around the world struggle with gut-related symptoms. These symptoms include flatulence, bloating, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, food allergies, incontinence and abdominal pain.4 Though not necessarily life-threatening, these digestive discomforts can significantly alter our ability to practice Active Wellness.

Since some prebiotics are indiscriminate and feed both good and bad bacteria, it makes sense to incorporate the right prebiotics to support both natural and ingested probiotics. Well-established prebiotics like inulin, oligofructose (FOS), and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) help fuel the human gastrointestinal tract, which contains trillions of microbes.5

The synergistic effect of prebiotics with probiotics has led to the emergence of a category referred to as “synbiotics” to promote digestive health and overall wellness. When the correct prebiotics are provided in the exact proportions necessary to maximize the desired health effects of the specific probiotic strains through stimulating the growth and activating the metabolism of health-promoting bacteria, symbiosis occurs.6 Eating whole foods is the best way to obtain prebiotics and add probiotics to the diet.

Nutritional supplementation is also helpful. Take a look at Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox and Kenzen Vital Balance®. All three of these Nikken nutritional supplements contain prebiotics and/or probiotics. Sharing these products can help you take advantage of the July promotion, so call your Nikken Consultant or Nikken Customer Service for details. Incorporate them into your daily regimen and help your gut do a happy dance!

1 https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/prebiotics-and-probiotics-creating-a-healthier-you

2 https://foodinsight.org/nutrition-101-prebiotics-probiotics-and-the-gut-microbiome/

3, 5, 6 https://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/issues/2019-04/view_features/flora-amp-fiber-for-a-healthy-microbiome/1931

http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/UserFiles/file/WGOHandbookonDietandtheGut_2016_Final.pdf