Relax, Renew and Regenerate this Spring Season!

In North America the official start of spring this year is on March 20. Even as the spring season is physically a time of rebirth and renewal, it’s also a challenging time for both the body and the mind.

Noted psychiatrist and substance abuse specialist Dr. McCance-Katz points out that researchers have discovered a greater incidence of depression and anxiety in the spring months. As it turns out, lengthening daylight may discombobulate people’s chemical regulatory system. “There are these different neurotransmitters that have been implicated in mood disorders,” she says. “It could be that people also have imbalances in serotonin, in melatonin, that are affected by day length and can also affect mood.”1 These imbalances are also suspected to cause that general feeling of lethargy, commonly referred to as spring fever.

In fact, “the suicide rate goes up in the spring.”2 Not only are taxes due, final exams take place in many universities and secondary schools, certain sports resume intense practice and stress levels increase during the season for filing taxes. Spring presents specific challenges, so here are a few tips for combating the basic three:

  1. As much as you look forward to the warmer spring weather, you also have to cope with the accompanying winds and sporadic rain, which can wreak havoc on the skin. Your skin may get dehydrated, itchy and red. Be particularly gentle while cleansing and conscientiously hydrate throughout the day and especially at night, because skin cells renew best during rest. Antioxidant-rich vitamins E, A and C are particularly helpful in regenerating the skin. 3
  2. Spring fever begone! Use your diet to help obtain that extra boost you need. Eat seasonal foods. They are fresher and therefore have higher nutritional value. 4 To make sure you aren’t eating or drinking anything that may cause inflammation (pesticides, artificial coloring, chemical preservatives), stay with organic fruits and vegetables.
  3. Stress can virtually be a killer, so exercise both physical and mental health care. Make sure to incorporate exercise into your busy spring days, as physical activity is a known stress reliever. Massage is also a way to practice Active Wellness as the muscles are coaxed into relaxation for sense of overall well-being.

Nikken can help you combat the three basic challenges of spring, so you can relax, renew and regenerate. KenkoTouch®  takes the “ouch” out of expensive massage sessions with a convenient hand-held device that is designed with patented DynaFlux® magnetic technology. Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix gives you 80 mg of natural caffeine from superior quality matcha green tea powder to supercharge your body and to keep your mind alert.  Since it is so important to keep skin moisturized during the spring season, we recommend using True Elements® Youthful Face Cream, (link to shopping cart) as it may help all skin types replenish moisture.

To help you with Active Wellness in the spring season, we’re offering you a special Spring Pack, available exclusively from March 18 through March 31. You’ll receive one KenkoTouch with two Kenzen Ten4® and two True Elements® Youthful Face Cream, all at a 20% discount:  US Spring Pack SKU 4410 US$319 / CN Spring Pack SKU 4411 CN$424.

1 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/12/03/the-google-misery-index-the-times-of-year-were-most-depressed-anxious-and-stressed/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1b1a48c48b1f

2 http://www.mharockland.org/springtime-challenge/

3 https://www.hl-labs.com/pro-info/springtime-challenges-for-our-skin.html

4 https://www.earthbalancenatural.com/lifestyle/6-tips-springtime-stress-relief/

 

New Year Healthier You

As we begin 2019, making a commitment to improve overall health is crucial to an Active Wellness lifestyle. For each of us, that commitment is personal; however, the rule of thumb is to eat healthy foods and move our bodies more often. Resolutions need to be do-able and realistic in order for us to stick them. Here are 10 practical ways to help make 2019 a healthier year.

  1. Eat more citrus. An article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition1 found that people who eat foods high in vitamin C are more successful at staving off the effects of premature aging of the skin.
  2. Eat more vegetables. They contain lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals and low in calories. They’re the key to maintaining health and a comfortable weight.
  3. Cut down on sugar intake and don’t use artificial sweeteners.
  4. Expand your palate. Just because something sounds distasteful doesn’t mean it actually is. Things like kale, bitter melon and pomegranate may be acquired tastes but if you like them, you’re adding to your arsenal of healthy foods—all of which helps in weight management.
  5. Learn to cook. It is not only healthier because you can choose exactly which ingredients to use but also helps save money. One Reddit user cut his food budget from $900 to $150 a month by cooking more and ordering food delivery less.2
  6. Vow to exercise daily, as consistency is key. To challenge yourself, each week increase the intensity of whatever you choose to do a little bit.
  7. Spend less screen time (cell phones, tablets, TV, etc.) and more time making actual contact with living beings. For example, have tea time with friends, take an exercise class, walk the dog, etc.
  8. Wear shoes that are supportive and comfortable. When feet are uncomfortable, the whole body suffers. Feet carry us where we need to go, so be kind to them and we have a better chance that they’ll work throughout our lives.
  9. Be helpful. Whether we volunteer our time or donate to worthy causes, helping others is a win-win. We end up with a better self-image, which in turn creates an overall sense of well-being.
  10. Take the stairs wherever you can. That doesn’t mean climbing a high-rise, but three or four stories is a good way to add to a short walk in a building. During inclement weather, consciously using the stairs is a great way to do a mini-workout.

To help you achieve your healthy eating resolution, we’re offering a special on chocolate Kenzen Vital Balance® from Monday, January 7 through Sunday, March 31, 2019: 33% discount—Get 3 for the price of 2! (Excludes Autoship orders.)

1 https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/advice/g985/achievable-new-year-resolutions/?slide=29

2 https://www.marketwatch.com/story/4-new-years-resolutions-that-will-save-you-money-in-2019-2019-01-01

No Fishy Business: Go Organic

The Center for Food Safety emailed me an alert this week and I thought I would share excerpts of its important message:

Screen Shot 2018-12-03 at 4.03.02 PM“A recent study (printed in The Journal of American Medical Association and reported in The New York Times) that followed 70,000 adults for five years, most of them women, found that the most frequent consumers of organic food had 25 percent fewer cancers over the course of their lives than those who never ate organic food. This latest study supports what we at Center for Food Safety (CFS) have been advocating all along: choosing organic foods isn’t a lifestyle, but a lifesaver. We will continue to work to protect organics, ban pesticides affecting our health and farmworkers, and to increase access so that everyone can enjoy the benefits that come from eating organic foods. We know that pesticide residues are detected four times more often in conventional food than they are in organic food. And we know that eating organic foods lowers the risk of impairment in the physical and mental development of children.”1

The executive leadership at Nikken is on the same page as the Center for Food Safety. For example, the HiOmega® flaxseed oil powder found in our proprietary blend in Kenzen Omega Green + DHA is cold pressed, all-natural and non-GMO.2 As such, each harvest of organic flaxseeds produces variations in color and smell, dependent upon the season and soil conditions. A recent batch has produced a “vinegary” odor. It is the highly beneficial linoleic acid within the flaxseed oil that “produces a slightly different distribution of odorants.”3 Our manufacturers requested replacing the flaxseed oil with a non-organic seed in order to rid the product of its odor. (Non-organic seeds are highly processed and therefore have much fewer beneficial properties left.) The Nikken response? Keep the all-natural organic flaxseed for optimal Active Wellness.

Nikken is committed to using high-quality ingredients even if they are much more expensive. Admittedly, some of you may find the vinegary smell unpleasant. However, it’s still better than the fishy smell that comes from fish oil. And, flaxseeds contain more polyphenols than vegetables like olives and blueberries, an added bonus. Fish oil does not contain any polyphenols.

Kenzen Omega Green + DHA is 100 percent vegetarian and contains all three important omega fatty acids: 3, 6 and 9. The proprietary formula of cranberry seed oil, flaxseed oil and red algae comes from renewable sources and the flaxseed oil in particular, is cold pressed to avoid heat. (Heat tends to deteriorate the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids.) Omega fatty acids help support healthy heart, brain nerve and eye function. They help maintain cardiovascular health and help support digestive health and hormone balance as well as the cellular membranes in the skin, heart and brain. Omega fattyacids also are believed to help reduce periodic sleeplessness and carbohydrate cravings.*

*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.

  1. office@centerforfoodsafety.org.
  2. http://www.polarfoods.com/
  3. https://www.reddit.com/r/AskScienceDiscussion/comments/4nafe8/why_does_flax_seed_oil_smell_fishy_like_seaweed/ 

Take the Stress Out of Your Gut so You Can Truly Give Thanks

You know the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling you get when you‘re nervous or stressed out? Looking forward (not!) to dealing with in-law-itis and other members of the family at annual get-togethers? Overeating? Drinking in excess?

Starting with Thanksgiving, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be hard on the gut. Here are some tips for maintaining a stable gut over the holidays:

  • Drink lots of water. You might overdo the alcoholic beverages, but if you drink lots of water, it will help compensate for the dehydrating aspects of alcohol and sugar. (Yes, most alcoholic beverages contain sugar or convert to sugar.)
  • Chew. No matter how much you eat, if you remember to chew, it will help prevent indigestion because it will slow down the eating process. Swallowing too much too quickly can cause gas and bloat.
  • Going to potlucks? There will be lots of tempting foods that are full of empty calories, so bring something delicious but make it a healthy treat! Think exotic fruit salads and greens.
  • Sleep is more than just necessary rest. Good sleep helps the digestive system function optimally. The body rebalances, detoxes and regenerates during sleep, so get plenty of it.
  • Practice Active Wellness by exercising. If you have a daily routine, try to stick to it. In addition, after each big meal, try to take a walk.
  • When you’re traveling, pack healthy snacks and avoid the fast-food kiosks. For example, bring a shaker bottle with premeasured Kenzen Vital Balance® in it, and you can add water after you pass the TSA checkpoint at any airport for a nutritious meal replacement or snack.
  • If you haven’t already incorporated Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 into your daily regimen, there’s no better time to do so than now. With all four major digestive enzymes in the formula, your stomach will thank you.
  • Take care of your mental state as well as your physical state. Try to set aside a few minutes daily to be alone and inhale and exhale deeply. Oxygen feeds your brain and your gut.
  • Kenzen Lactoferrin™ 2.0 supports both the G.I. tract and mental health with four exceptional organic ingredients.
  • Give thanks. Whether you say it to your family and friends or simply meditate on it, remember what you’re grateful for even in the most trying of times.

All of us at Nikken wish you abundance and thank you for taking the Active Wellness journey with us! You have through November 30 to purchase our Black Friday Cyber Week specials: Kenko Energy Sets and Jewelry Sets! 

Add Delicious Polyphenols into Your Diet and Reap the Benefits

There are more than 500 unique polyphenols. 1 Polyphenols are a category of chemicals that naturally occur in plants. Known as micronutrients, the polyphenols that we get through certain plant-based foods are packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. Nutritionists believe that polyphenols can improve or help treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases.2

Factors that influence the activity of polyphenols in the body include metabolism, intestinal absorption, and the bioavailability of the polyphenol. Although some foods may have higher polyphenol levels than others, this does not necessarily mean that they are absorbed and used at higher rates.3 For example, polyphenols found in actual foods are often more readily absorbed than those encapsulated in supplements.

Different categories of food contain various amounts of polyphenols. Here are some of the more easily accessible sources by food group, with berries having a notably high concentration of polyphenols:

Berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, elderberries, blackberries, cranberries

Other fruit: oranges, apples, grapes, peaches, grapefruit, cherries, black currants, plums, apricots

Vegetables: onions, shallots, spinach, potatoes, black and green olives, globe artichoke heads, broccoli, asparagus, carrots

Nuts: hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts, chestnuts

Seeds: flaxseeds, sesame seeds

Legumes: Soybeans, black beans, white beans

Beverages: Coffee, green tea, black tea, red wine

Fats: dark chocolate, virgin olive oil, sesame seed oil

One of the easiest ways to incorporate polyphenols into the diet is to eat a Mediterranean diet. It emphasizes fruits and vegetables, includes ample amounts of olives, nuts and seeds, adds seafood and lean meat, and goes easy on starchy carbs.

Two Active Wellness formulations make it easy to insert antioxidant polyphenols into your daily regiment:

  • Kenzen Super Ciaga® is an organic superfruit juice concentrate that is not only delicious straight from a shot glass, but also serves as a great mixer with seltzer water to help you kick the soda habit. The numerous high-polyphenol organic berries in the formula are each harvested at the peak of their growth cycle for potency and natural sweetness.
  • Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix contains organic matcha green tea, the most concentrated form of green tea. It’s another way to add antioxidant polyphenols into your daily regimen, and it’s versatile enough to be enjoyed hot or cold.

As you enjoy these delicious drinks, they’ll be busy helping your body cope with the onslaught of free radicals.

For three days only, October 16, 17 and 18, place a single order by phone with both the 2-pack Kenzen Super Ciaga® and Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix, and you’ll receive a yellow Kenko PowerBand® necklace as our gift to you!

5 SCiaga plus Ten-4.jpg

1, 3 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319728.php

2 https://www.healthline.com/health/polyphenols-foods

A Young Champion and his Nikken Products

Jack Turner is a young British athlete who has won an impressive number of awards. Jack became the English Schools under-17 2017 Octathlon champion when he won Gold in Boston, UK. He went on to represent England at the Schools International Athletics Board (SIAB) Home Internationals in Glasgow, Scotland where he won Silver for the indoor Pentathlon.

This year Jack won the under-18 British Standards decathlon competition, exceeding the European entry standard. This led to him being selected to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in Hungary, where he set a new British record. A few months later he went on to compete in his first under-20 Decathlon and achieved the gold medal and another national title. At the end of the 2018 outdoor season Jack is ranked 6th in Europe, 6th in the world for under-18 Decathlon and 4th in the UK for under-20s Decathlon. He’s aiming high for the championships next year!

A big fan of Nikken products, Jack uses them before, during and after competitions. He explains, “I found the KenkoTherm® Knee Wrap really supportive, especially since I hyperextended my knee last year long jumping. Wearing it helps me both physically and mentally. The tight yet comfortable fit meant that for a long period of time I could compete with it on.

“I found myself using the Kenko MagDuo® a lot. In preparation for the European Championships, I would use it on small muscles and joints for some release. I used the KenkoTouch® on my inflamed tendon, that I picked up during a decathlon, days before another competition. I used it at night just before I went to bed and felt that it really helped me to perform well the following day.

“I have a PiMag Waterfall® at home, so to be able to carry around PiMag filtered water in the PiMag® Sport Bottle when I compete was reassuring, especially when competing abroad.”

The young champion is clearly adhering to tried and true Active Wellness practices.

  • He keeps hydrated and drinks PiMag® alkaline water.
  • He keeps his muscles and tendons warm and supported with form fitting KenkoTherm wraps.
  • He takes advantage of patented DynaFlux® magnetic technology to massage himself with the handheld KenkoTouch® and the Kenko MagDuo®.

We look forward to hearing more about Jack Turner’s brilliant athletic accomplishments over the coming years!

Active Recovery as Part of Active Wellness

How much exercise is the right amount to maintain optimum health? We can generalize and offer guidelines but only you personally can determine how much and how often. By the same token, how we recover from working out is also a personal choice.

There are two basic ways to recover from strenuous workouts: passively or actively. Passive recovery is resting completely and not exercising at all. Active recovery involves mild exercise; in other words, moving in a way that doesn’t stress the body or challenge those already-tired muscles. Active recovery focuses on completing a workout at a low intensity, but just high enough that it gets the blood moving and helps reduce residual fatigue in the muscle.

Active recovery may have several distinct advantages. Some believe that staying active helps prime your body’s metabolic pathways of recovery, while the psychological benefits of active recovery are apparent for people who feel better when exercising daily—movement is known to be a mood enhancer. And, many people find it easier to adhere to their diets on workout days.1 In these ways, active recovery helps the body to rest without coming to a full stop, while taking care of any self-imposed guilt for not exercising at all.

Active recovery helps mobilize the joints, which need to move through their range of motion to be lubricated. It also gets the blood flowing through the muscles, which helps bring them nutrients to build new muscle as well as helping to carry away waste products. One of the best activities towards recovering is swimming. One studyshowed that a swimming based recovery session enhanced following day exercise performance, possibly due to the hydrostatic properties of water.

Since swimming is the primary workout for many, here are some other forms of active recovery:

  • Massage. Research has proven that having a massage after exercise can speed up recovery time twice as fast as regular rest. This is due to the improved blood flow and nutrients to the body. When your bodily fluids are circulating readily, nutrients and oxygen are able to reach your muscles and other tissues. A post workout massage can unlock your muscles to help restore your original range of motion.3
  • Walking. The amount and pace of walking you do on off days should be based on your current fitness level.
  • Lighter Weight Lifting. Performing an exercise that made you particularly sore, but using a much lighter weight may be restorative. As a guide, use a weight at or below 30 percent of your usual weight, and perform one set shy of failure.4
  • Restorative Yoga. There are many types of yoga, with some forms being extremely strenuous. Restorative yoga, on the other hand, is a tried-and-true recovery activity that not only increases flexibility, but also teaches proper breathing techniques and body control. Its mild flow also promotes circulation to help repair broken-down muscle tissues.5

To help you stay motivated and consistent on an Active Wellness lifestyle, here are some tips:

  1. Eat healthy carbs a couple of hours before strenuous activities to keep your body warm and energetic. This also helps prevent fatigue.
  2. Set exercise / weight goals and write them down.
  3. Reward yourself periodically as you achieve your goals, but not with food, so you don’t associate pleasure only with edible treats.
  4. Wear the KenkoTherm DUK Tape which may help your muscles and joints stay warm and supported.
  5. Massage your tired muscles with the KenkoTouch® a device designed to help promote relaxation and relief.
  6. Support your back during and after a workout with the KenkoTherm® Back Belt that can be worn alone but is designed with a back pocket that holds the Kenko MagFlex® in place.

From September 10 through September 14, buy a KenkoTouch, KenkoTherm Back Belt and Kenko MagFlex in one order and receive two rolls of KenkoTherm DUK Tape for free. Offer applies to stand-alone orders that are called in.

1 https://www.builtlean.com/2013/01/21/active-recovery-workout-ideas/

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19908172

3 http://www.freshtherapy.com.au/Corporate-Massage/the-benefits-of-massage-after-exercise/

4, 5 https://www.self.com/story/best-activities-for-active-recovery-day