Achoo and Gesundheit!

Whether you say “gesundheit” or “bless you”, the intent is the same: to wish good (health) to the person who sneezes. Sneezing is a protective reflex that babies are born with, and luckily, it doesn’t disappear with growth or aging. We don’t need to learn how to sneeze and we can never forget how to do it!

Sneezing may feel annoying, but in reality, it helps the body get rid of things that are irritating or harmful. By sneezing, newborns (as well as older babies, children, and adults) can expel germs and particles from the nose and help protect themselves from getting sick.

Sneezing is how the body clears the nose. When pollen, smoke, dust or even fragrances and odors enter the nostrils, each individual’s nose may react differently. If it’s irritating or tickling in some way, the body tries to ease that feeling and does so with an achoo! In this way, a sneeze is one of the body’s first defenses against invading bacteria and/or viruses. Other foreign particles that can trigger sneezing include mold, mildew, dander and smog.

Sneezes also perform another vital role in the body. In 2012, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania discovered that sneezing is the nose’s natural way to “reset.” They found that cilia, the cells that line the tissue inside the nose, are rebooted with a sneeze. In other words, a sneeze resets the entire nasal environment.1

When we are allergic to something, sneezing is one of the most common reactions as the body tries to clear its airway of the offending allergen. Researchers aren’t sure why some people sneeze multiple times. It may be a sign that your sneezes aren’t quite as strong as a person who only sneezes once. It could also be a sign that you have ongoing or chronic nasal stimulation or inflammation, possibly as a result of allergies.

The most important indoor pollutant is tobacco smoke. It is strongly associated with allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory ailments.2 The most common sources of outdoor pollution include ozone, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.3 These pollutants have been shown to be especially hazardous to adults and children with asthma.

•          Ozone is a big contributor to smog. It’s produced when sunlight reacts with the fumes produced by cars and industrial plants. Although ozone helps protect from UV rays, when it’s present at high amounts on the ground level, it acts as an irritant to the lungs, aggravates asthma and makes breathing difficult.

•       Sulfur Dioxide is a water-soluble gas commonly emitted into the air by coal-fired power plants, refineries, smelters, paper and pulp mills, and food processing plants. Sulfur dioxide has such a pungent odor that for some people, just the smell can cause sneezing. Sulfur dioxide is a precursor for sulfuric acid, an air pollutant that plays a major role in causing respiratory distress.

•          Nitrogen Dioxide is produced largely by burning fuel. In urban areas, it’s produced when there is a lot of traffic congestion or diesel fumes. Indoors, it’s produced by unventilated heaters and gas stoves.

The air that we breathe not only can cause sneezing, but it can also produce runny noses, burning eyes and respiratory distress. An interesting fact is that allergies are more prevalent in highly developed countries in North America and Europe than in less developed nations.4 This suggests that something about contemporary lifestyles may be causing more allergies.

Some items we tend to overlook that can cause allergies include artificial food coloring (especially red dye), latex (commonly found in medical gloves, adhesive bandages and other medical devices), nickel (an element often mixed into gold-toned jewelry), cosmetics (makeup is often full of chemicals, perfumes, and dust mites (that often live in pillows, sheets, mattresses, carpets or even stuffed animals). And of course, the more fumes we breathe in from car exhaust, vehicles that run on diesel, and industrial air pollution, the more likely we are to suffer from breathing difficulties.

What is the bottom line? Indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor air quality, with tobacco smoke being the worst and most offensive air pollutant that clearly promotes both allergy and asthma. Diesel fumes likely promote allergy, whereas other outdoor air pollutants act more as irritants that can aggravate allergies and asthma. Although we are not in control of outdoor air, we can take steps to make sure our indoor air quality is healthy. Keeping dust to a minimum and washing bedding often, using fragrance-free detergents and cleansers, brushing pets often and disposing of fur—these are all part of an Active Wellness lifestyle—and always use a good air filtration system indoors.

Since May is designated as National Asthma & Allergy Awareness month, Nikken is participating by offering you affordable access to top quality HEPA 13 air filtration with 20% off each order of the KenkoAir Purifier®. In addition, each order of the KenkoAir Purifier comes with items that provide an extra line of defense to support an Active Wellness lifestyle—Kenzen® Hand Sanitizer, Kenzen® Surface Cleaner and the Surface Cleaner refill. This offer lasts through the end of May, so take advantage of it while you can!

1 https://www.healthline.com/health/why-do-we-sneeze

2, 3, 4 https://www.medicinenet.com/air_pollution_and_allergies__connection/views.htm

New Studies Show Microplastics Affect Indoor and Outdoor Air

When we hear or read about microplastics, it’s generally in the context of water pollution, since plastics, as they take hundreds of years to break down, systematically leach from landfills into our waterways. A less known way that microplastics might adversely impact our health is through the air we breathe.

What microplastics are we breathing in every day—when working at home, driving to the office, outdoors cycling or running, or in different environments? There’s a big gap in knowledge and thanks to researchers around the globe, answers will be found but time is of the essence. The American Lung Association’s chief medical officer Albert Rizzo, poses the analogy between the decades-long effort to convince the government that smoking causes cancer and the current attempts to prove the adverse reactions caused by inhaling and ingesting microplastics. “By the time we got enough evidence to lead to policy change, the cat was out of the bag. I can see plastics being the same thing. Will we find out in 40 years that microplastics in the lungs led to premature aging of the lung or to emphysema? We don’t know that. In the meantime, can we make plastics safer?”1

Plastics continue to fragment in the environment, “shredding” into fibers even finer than a strand of human hair and therefore easily airborne and inhaled. Realistically, we live in a cloud of airborne dust particles and our bodies have grown accustomed to them; however, people with dust allergies and/or those who are asthmatic, show visible signs of suffering. Add microplastics to the mix of airborne dust and the results may well be concerning.

This spring, scientists from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom announced they had found tiny plastic particles in living humans, in two places where they hadn’t been seen before: deep inside the lungs of surgical patients, and in the blood of anonymous donors. Together the studies signaled a shift in the focus of concern on airborne microplastics.2

Dick Vethaak, a professor emeritus of ecotoxicology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and co-author of the blood study, says, “Plastics should not be in your blood. We live in a multi-particle world, so the trick is to figure out how much plastics contribute to that particle burden and what does that mean.”3

In both studies the plastic particles found were primarily smaller than one micrometer, small enough to have been inhaled. Whether such particles can pass from the blood into other organs, especially into the brain, which is protected by a unique, dense network of cells that form a barrier, isn’t clear. “We know particles can be transported throughout the body via the river of blood,” Vethaak says.4

The lung study done at University of Hull in the U.K., showed just how intrusive airborne particles can be. Researchers were stunned to find the highest number of plastics of various shapes and sizes embedded deep in the lower lung lobe. One of the fibers was two millimeters long. “You would not expect to find microplastics in the smallest parts of the lung with the smallest diameter,” says Hull environmental ecologist Jeannette Rothchell.5  And, according to Kari Nadeau, a Stanford University physician and director of allergy and asthma research,” the particles identified in the University of Hull lung study are known to be toxic to humans and have caused lung irritation, dizziness, headaches, asthma and more.”6

Another team—at the University of Plymouth in the U.K.— decided to compare the threat from eating contaminated wild mussels in Scotland to that of breathing air in a typical home. They concluded that people would take in more plastic by inhaling tiny, invisible plastic fibers floating in the air around them, fibers shed by their own clothes, carpets and upholstery, than they would by eating the mussels.7

Since May is designated as National Asthma & Allergy Awareness month, Nikken is participating by offering you affordable access to top quality HEPA 13 air filtration with 20% off each order of the KenkoAir Purifier®. In addition, each order of the KenkoAir Purifier comes with items that provide an extra line of defense to support an Active Wellness lifestyle—Kenzen® Hand Sanitizer, Kenzen® Surface Cleaner and the Surface Cleaner refill. This offer lasts through the end of May, so take advantage of it while you can!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7 https://apple.news/ANZkcJ1YzT5qNJI9q0XwZLA

Air Quality Affects Children in Many Ways

To breathe is to live! The quality of air we breathe is so important that it impacts us even before we are born; the air a pregnant woman inhales is the air that transfers into the womb where new life is formed.

Studies conducted through the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Child Health and Human Development division, suggest minimizing exposure to air pollution during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood — all key periods for brain development. Studies have linked exposure to common air pollutants in pregnancy to low birthweight, preterm birth and stillbirth. Exposure to poor air after birth has an even greater effect on developmental risks. A few studies have found a higher risk of autism and of lower cognitive functioning in children living near freeways.1

When we think about air quality, we generally bring up images of smog and industrial pollution or exhaust from vehicles in traffic. In reality, indoor air impacts young children more because many sleep 12 or more hours inside homes. Two of the deadliest issues that low IAQ [Indoor Air Quality] bring to children are allergens and asthma. They are exposed to particulates of dust, dirt, smoke, and pollen which often settle on the furniture inside the home. By getting rid of these types of airborne particles through effective air filtration, we can reduce or eliminate their ill-effects on children and help them maintain a healthy respiratory system.

Children face special risks from air pollution because their lungs are growing and because they are so active and breathe more rapidly than adults. Just like the arms and legs, the largest portion of a child’s lungs will grow long after birth. Eighty percent of their tiny air sacs develop after birth. Those sacs, called the alveoli, are where the life-sustaining transfer of oxygen to the blood takes place. In addition, the body’s defenses that help adults fight off infections are still developing in young bodies. Children have more respiratory infections than adults, which also seems to increase their susceptibility to air pollution.2

As children grow, they end up spending increasingly more hours outdoor, but during the first five years, indoor air quality impacts them most. Household cleaning products, dust mites, central air systems, pet dander and even chemical air fresheners can cause allergic reactions. And if there is a smoker in the family, that is the worst air polluter of all. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, allergies can lead to hives, eczema, asthma, infections and more.

Asthma affects more than 230 million people around the globe and is the most chronic disease among children.3 Underdiagnosed and undertreated because people think of it as a simple breathing problem, it can be serious enough to be life-threatening and is the cause of more than 10 million school absences a year in the U.S. alone.4 Asthma occurs everywhere in the world but can be exacerbated not only by poor air quality but also by humidity levels and genes. It’s estimated that a child with a parent who has asthma is three to six times more likely to develop asthma than a child with parents who are not asthmatic.5

May is National Asthma & Allergy Awareness month and May 3 was World Asthma Day. During the entire month of May, various organizations, including the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and others, drive public awareness campaigns to educate the world about the importance of clean air.6

Nikken offers you affordable access to top quality HEPA 13 air filtration the entire month of May with 20% off each order of the KenkoAir Purifier®. In addition, each order of the KenkoAir Purifier comes with items that provide an extra line of defense to support an Active Wellness lifestyle—Kenzen® Hand Sanitizer, Kenzen® Surface Cleaner and the Surface Cleaner refill.

1 https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/air-pollution-impacts-childhood-development-study-shows

2 https://www.lung.org/clean-air/outdoors/who-is-at-risk/children-and-air-pollution

3,4,6 https://nationaltoday.com/national-asthma-awareness-month/

5 https://www.webmd.com/asthma/asthma-risk-factors#:~:text=Your%20inherited%20genetic%20makeup%20predisposes,have%20a%20parent%20with%20asthma.

Plastic: Why We Need to Learn How to Dispose of It

Plastic is strong, flexible and durable. It’s extremely useful and in the last decades, it would be hard to imagine life without it. Plastic’s strength is also nature’s nemesis, because plastic virtually never breaks down. For example, a plastic bottle can last for 450 years in the marine environment, slowly fragmenting into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes microscopic. Those microscopic specks, otherwise known as microplastics, don’t go away. It’s mind bending to realize that every piece of plastic that was ever produced is still with us in some form.1

According to Surfers Against Sewage, one of the United Kingdom’s most active and successful environmental charities, 12 million tons of plastic find their way into the oceans every year, and scientists have discovered microplastics embedded deep in the Arctic ice. It’s no wonder that 80% of the marine debris studied is made of plastic.2

Fishing debris such as nets and lines, filmlike wrap such as what is used on store bought vegetables, and latex, which makes things such as balloons, are responsible for the most deaths among 80 marine megafauna species that include dolphins, whales, seals, seabirds and sea turtles.3 As of 2018, 100,000 marine mammals and turtles plus one million sea birds are killed by plastic pollution annually.4

Plastic debris affects wildlife adversely via three key methods: entanglement, ingestion and interaction.5

• Entanglement occurs when marine animals are trapped or constricted most commonly by plastic rope, netting and abandoned fishing gear.

• Ingestion occurs when a species unintentionally or indirectly ingests another species that contains plastic. For example, if a fish eats microplastics or even a larger size piece of plastic waste and a shark eats that fish, then both have ingested plastic waste. By the same token, humans ingest plastics whenever microplastics are embedded in sea creatures turned into seafood.

• Interaction includes collisions, obstructions or abrasions. For example, floating fishing gear has been shown to cause abrasion and damage to coral reef ecosystems upon collision.

With one in three fish caught for human consumption now containing plastic, the question is no longer are we eating plastic but how bad is it for us? Researchers caution that it’s unclear what effect microplastics can have on the human body but they have been found in everything ranging from fish and shellfish found at the super market to tap water. In seawater, plastic absorbs chemicals such as PCBs, which have been linked to endocrine disruption and even some cancers. Even people who do not eat fish are impacted, because 70% of the oxygen we breathe is produced by marine plants, and to breathe is to live!6

Plastics are not going away. Its usefulness pervades our lifestyles: diabetics benefit from plastic each time they use their disposable syringes; they’re in the appliances used in hip replacements; construction workers wear it in their protective helmets; it’s in our computers, phones and cars.

One of the main problems is the pervasiveness of single-use plastics. A plastic bag, for instance, is used for an average of 15 minutes when shopping and may take up to 300 years to deconstruct into microplastic!7  Reuter, an international news agency, reported that as of 2018, 481.6 billion plastic bottles were used worldwide in a single year. That’s 40 billion per month and 1.3 billion per year.8 And, plastic production has been forecast to grow by 60% by 2030 and to treble by 2050.9

Practicing an Active Wellness lifestyle not only means being mindful of our own health but also the health of planet Earth. We are all part of nature and each one of us can do something daily to decrease the amount of plastic waste we produce. Since single use plastic is one of the biggest problems we face, that’s a good place to start. Visit repurpose.global to calculate your own annual plastic footprint.

You still have a few days left to take advantage of our special PiMag® Water Packs, available through April 30, 2022. PiMag® products not only help filter out bacteria and alkalize water but also help eliminate the use of plastic water bottles. The special PiMag® Water Packs give you two items with one at the regular price and the second at 50% off. You will benefit personally as well as be part of the environmental solution that planet Earth needs.

1,2,4,7,9 https://www.sas.org.uk/our-work/plastic-pollution/plastic-pollution-facts-figures/

3 parade.com/zoo, April 17, 2022, Kathleen McCleary

5,6 https://ourworldindata.org/plastic-pollution

8 https://habitsofwaste.org/call-to-action/plastic-bottles/#:~:text=Plastic%20Bottle%20Facts,plastic%20is%20wasted%20each%20year.

Water is the Best Drink for Children

Water is life, and all plants and animals require water to live. As part of the animal kingdom, humans are the only ones who do not drink water and mother’s milk exclusively for survival. This complicates human survival, because along with milk, plain water is the best choice for children; yet contemporary lifestyles commonly allow for juices, sugary sodas and artificially flavored beverages.

Water has zero calories, keeps joints, bones and teeth healthy, helps the blood circulate and can help children maintain a healthy weight into adulthood. A well hydrated child tends to have better mood, memory and attention span as well as concentration and focus.1

Just as water is best, here are some other guidelines for children:

• No sugar-sweetened beverages for children younger than two years of age. Limit them for older children as much as possible. This includes sports and energy drinks, juice cocktails, sodas, lemonade, and sweetened water. These drinks add “empty calories” to the diet, can be filling and leave kids less hungry for the nutritious foods they really need. Sometimes sodas and energy drinks contain caffeine, which may overstimulate many children.

• Even 100% juice should be strictly limited. While juice may contain some vitamins, these drinks are high in sugar and calories and low in the healthy fiber found in whole fruit. Because of its sweet taste, once children are offered juice, it can be difficult to get them to drink plain water. Keep these amounts in mind:2

•Children less than a year should not drink any juice at all.

            •Children one to three years of age should have no more than four oz per day.

            •For older children, juice is only recommended if whole fruits are not available. Children ages four to six years: no more than four to six oz per day, and for children ages seven to 18, no more than eight oz per day.

Avoid artificially-sweetened drinks. Health risks for children from artificial sweeteners are not well understood, so it is safest to avoid these drinks. Instead, make water readily available to encourage healthy drinking and establish Active Wellness habits.

• Milk may be beneficial, whether animal-sourced or plant-sourced. However, flavored milk can be much higher in sugars. Even though children still get the benefits of the calcium and vitamins found in flavored milk, the added sugars may create a preference for sweet flavors, which can make it difficult to have success when offering regular milk.

Children are at a greater risk of dehydration than adults because in relation to their size, they have a larger proportion of skin that is exposed to heat.3  Also, children don’t always recognize when they’re thirsty, and if they’re not encouraged and reminded with water, may forget to drink and rehydrate.

We can help children create healthy habits by being good role models and drinking plenty of filtered water. We also can teach them respect for the environment and to carry a re-usable water bottle to avoid single-use plastics. Children are like sponges and learn quickly, so we can start them off right with clean, alkalizing PiMag® water.

Tap into the power of hydration with our four Water Packs, available through the end of April! Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems or two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, both of which help neutralize chemicals, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag Waterfalls® that can help reduce bacteria by 99.99%.

1, 2 https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Choose-Water-for-Healthy-Hydration.aspx#:~:text=It%20good%20for%20the%20body,sports%20drinks%2C%20sodas%20and%20juice.

3 https://healthy-kids.com.au/parents/children-hydration/

Drink More Water to Improve Health

How much water to drink for optimal well-being is an individual affair, depending on lifestyle, age, gender and overall state of health. The truth of the matter is that the majority of us can enhance our pursuit of Active Wellness by drinking more water. It is simple enough to do, but positive behaviors require intent, especially in our busy lives. Here are some tips for increasing your daily water intake:

•          Be in touch with how your body feels. Sometimes people become dehydrated because they do not recognize the sensation of thirst. If you are someone who rarely feels thirsty and therefore don’t drink water throughout the day, drink some water in hourly intervals even if you don’t feel thirsty. You will feel a difference with increased energy levels.

•          Set a goal of drinking more water. Write it down. The mere fact that you have a goal of drinking more water on a daily basis makes it more likely that you will succeed in creating a new positive behavior.

•          Keep a reusable water bottle with you. When you have a reusable water bottle, you can easily drink water in any setting, whether you’re running errands, traveling or at home, working or at school. Keeping a water bottle handy can also serve as a visual reminder to drink more water. Bonus: A reusable water bottle decreases reliance on single use plastic water bottles and supports the environment. The PiMag® Sport Bottle not only helps decrease our carbon footprint but also filters out contaminants from the tap water you fill it with!

•          Consciously replace other beverages with water. Energy drinks and other caffeinated drinks contain water but are less hydrating than plain water. You don’t need to replace every beverage you usually have with water, but even one or two a day can make a difference in overall well-being. For example, a single 8-ounce (240 ml) cup of soda can exceed the recommended daily limit for sugar.1

•          Have a glass of water before each meal. Creating this habit automatically ensures you have at least three glasses of water a day, if you eat three meals.

•          Drink filtered water instead of bottled water or tap water. Bottled water is known to be tap water put into single-use plastic bottles for convenience and profit. Filtering water removes contaminants and bacteria, which improves the taste of water. Better tasting water helps us drink more of it, even crave it. PiMag® water from a PiMag Waterfall® or PiMag® Sport Bottle not only tastes great but also is more alkaline and hydrating than unfiltered tap water. Bonus: PiMag® water helps us respect the environment by creating less plastic waste.

•          Incorporate foods that are high in water content into your daily regimen. Here are some foods with 90% or higher water content: lettuce (96%), celery (95%), zucchini (95%), cabbage (92%), watermelon (91%), cantaloupe and honeydew melon (90%). Bonus: These fruits and vegetables also contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

•          Drink a glass of water when you awaken. It will help you wake up and become alert.

Even as we consciously drink more water to improve our health, being aware of how much water is used and wasted can help each of us contribute to the preservation of our global freshwater resources. In the U.S., each citizen uses about 3,000 liters /792.5 gallons a day, whereas in the U.K, that figure goes up to 3,400 litres /898 gallons!2 Water is a luxury in many countries, so as part of the Global Wellness Community, let’s strive together for awareness and conservation.

For the entire month of March, we are offering four Water Packs. Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems or two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, both of which help neutralize chemicals, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag® Waterfalls that can help reduce bacteria by 99.99%.

1 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-drink-more-water

2 https://medium.com/@aj_jones/the-worlds-freshwater-crisis-is-worse-than-ever-60bce56206a9

Vegetarian Sources of Omega Fatty Acids

Research and studies continue to support the importance of incorporating omega fatty acids into the diet to maintain neurological and cardiovascular health. The most common source of omega fatty acids is from various types of fish, so much so that omegas are often referred to as “fish oil.” What if your diet does not allow for fish or you are simply concerned with the high mercury content in some fish?

The good news is that there are various sources of plant-derived omega fatty acids. When we eat fats in our foods, our bodies break them back down into fatty acids. Fatty acids are the building blocks of our cell membranes, and are important for energy, energy storage, and for every system of the body to function. Because of this, the omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids play a part in our skin health, respiratory system, circulatory system, organs, and especially in our brains. In addition, they help our bodies absorb vitamins and nutrients from food. 

Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids are all unsaturated fats. Each of the omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids offers our bodies benefits. Omega 3s and omega 6s are essential fatty acids, known as essential because the body cannot produce them and they therefore need to be incorporated into our daily diets. On the other hand, omega 9s are non-essential fats because our bodies are able to produce them. We can still benefit from dietary sources like olive oil and avocados for omega 9s.

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)—makes up about 8% of our brains by weight, and over 90% of the omega 3s in the brain are DHA. Because of this, DHA is important for brain development and healthy brain functioning.1 The inclusion of plentiful DHA in the diet improves learning ability, whereas deficiencies of DHA are associated with deficits in learning. DHA is taken up by the brain in preference to other fatty acids.2

Seaweed and algae are important sources of omega 3 for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet, as they are one of the few plant groups that contain DHA and the omegas. Chia seeds are an excellent plant-based source of ALA omega 3 fatty acids. They are also high in fiber and protein.3 Hemp seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, edamame (young or green soybeans) and kidney beans are all sources of vegetarian omega fatty acids.

Regardless of your reasons for choosing plant-based omegas, Nikken makes it easy for you. Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA is 100 percent vegetarian and contains all three omegas, 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.)

Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA is one of the Active Wellness nutritional supplements found in the special “Heart of Nikken” packs available through February 28. Each pack contains Kenzen® Bergisterol®, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder and Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA — plus one piece of magnetic jewelry, exclusive to Nikken. You have your choice of the pack with a silver Kenko Perfect Link II necklace, a gold tone Kenko Perfect Link II necklace or a Kenko Heart Set.

1 https://mindovermunch.com/blog/omega-3-6-9-fatty-acids/

2https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10479465/#:~:text=Docosahexaenoic%20acid%20(DHA)%20is%20essential,associated%20with%20deficits%20in%20learning.

3https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323144#:~:text=Seaweed%2C%20nori%2C%20spirulina%2C%20and,that%20contain%20DHA%20and%20EPA.

What’s the Big Deal with Berries?

Within our bodies millions of processes occur every day, such as turning the foods we eat into energy. These processes require oxygen. Byproducts of using oxygen are called oxidants, often referred to as “free radicals”. Free radicals can also be introduced to our bodies through external sources such as tobacco smoke, pollution, and exposure to the sun. In the same way that oxidation can cause rust on the surface of some objects, free radicals can cause damage to cell walls, cell structures and even the genetic material of a cell. If the genetic material of a cell is attacked, this can lead to changes in the body’s DNA “genetic blue print” and has been linked to a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease.1

Antioxidants work to deactivate free radicals by binding to oxidants, which prevents the damage from occurring. Diets high in antioxidant-rich foods, that is, foods containing vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, have been linked to a reduced risk of developing heart disease. As a result, current national guidelines on the prevention of cardiovascular disease recommend choosing foods rich in antioxidants.2

Berries contain a variety of antioxidants, which help keep free radicals under control. Anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol are types of antioxidants found in an assortment of berries. One study showed that blueberries, blackberries and raspberries have the highest antioxidant activity of commonly consumed fruits, next to pomegranates.3

Studies suggest that the antioxidants in berries may help lower inflammation. Long-term inflammation arising from chronic stress, sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy food choices can lead to diabetes, heart disease and obesity,4 so berries are really a big deal in counteracting those negative effects! But that’s not all that berries can help do.

Test-tube and human studies suggest that berries may protect cells from high blood sugar levels, help increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce blood sugar and insulin response to high-carb meals. Importantly, these effects appear to occur in both healthy people and those with insulin resistance.5

In one study of healthy women, eating 5 ounces (150 grams) of puréed strawberries or mixed berries with bread led to a 24–26% reduction in insulin levels, compared to consuming the bread alone.6 Moreover, in a six-week study, obese people with insulin resistance who drank a blueberry smoothie twice per day experienced greater improvements in insulin sensitivity than those who consumed berry-free smoothies.7

Berries are also an excellent source of soluble fiber, which is known to be important for slowing down the movement of food through the digestive tract. This slower movement helps us feel full for a longer period of time. Ideally, this may help us eat less and make weight management easier. One study found that doubling fiber intake could help absorb up to 130 fewer calories per day.8

Unsurprisingly, berries are considered heart-healthy food that may help lower LDL levels and help protect the bad cholesterol from becoming oxidized, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. In a controlled study of obese people, those eating 1.5 ounces (50 grams) of freeze-dried blueberries for 8 weeks noticed a 28% reduction in their oxidized LDL levels.9

Berries are highly nutritious, may provide a variety of health benefits, and are easy to incorporate into an Active Wellness nutritional plan! Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder makes it even simpler if you find it hard to access fresh berries. Simply combine it with PiMag® water or blend into smoothies for an energy and antioxidant boost!

To celebrate love, friendship and Valentine’s Day, Nikken has three “Heart of Nikken” packs available through February 28. Each pack contains three extraordinary heart-healthy nutritional supplements—Kenzen® Bergisterol®, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® and Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA — plus one piece of magnetic jewelry, exclusive to Nikken. You have your choice of the pack with a silver Kenko Perfect Link II necklace, a gold tone Kenko Perfect Link II necklace or a Kenko Heart Set.

1, 2 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16739-antioxidants–heart-health

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-reasons-to-eat-berries#:~:text=Berries%20are%20some%20of%20the,cholesterol%2C%20while%20reducing%20oxidative%20stress

Making Health Resolutions

Making health resolutions is an annual event for many of us. For example, I resolved to lose 10 pounds for at least a dozen years. I eventually reframed that specific resolution, and it’s led to achieving and maintaining my annual resolution, which is to keep my numbers, not just my weight, at acceptable levels. That means numbers related to cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, blood sugar and body-mass index—and if the weight decreases, so much the better.

We can practice Active Wellness as a Global Wellness Community and individually, every day. We can commit to keeping joints mobile, maintaining muscle flexibility and exercising mental agility. Staying hydrated, eating healthy food, drinking alcohol conservatively, exercising consistently and getting restful sleep are all necessary to keep the numbers in check. Health resolutions challenge us to stick to them. Here are five tips to help achieve health resolutions:

1.         Listen to your body. Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi says, “By consciously listening to your body you are better able to discover what your body actually wants and what makes you feel healthier. You may be surprised to learn you need more sleep or need to drink more water or eat healthier.”1

2.         Find an exercise you really like. Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo says, “Every New Year, people spend a lot of money on gym memberships, workout studio memberships, and online fitness programs. Even though most people start strong, most of them fail to turn their new routine into a long-term habit. Even so, there are ways to improve your odds of sticking to your exercise goals. To begin, pick an activity that you will enjoy and that fits into your schedule.”2

3.         Take time for self-care. Putting ourselves higher up on our priority lists can have a beneficial impact on our well-being. We can really help others better when we are in good shape ourselves. Dr. Candice Seti says, “Self-care can be about scheduling time for yourself, planning fun or relaxing activities, or focusing on healthy behaviors. For example, “I am going to eat four whole-foods based meals a week. Or, “I’m going to take 10,000 steps for five of the next seven days.”3

4.Just cut down on the “bad’ and up the “good” a little bit at a time. Don’t withhold. Some people are able to give up sugar completely or walk three miles a day every day. Know yourself and set your goals accordingly. Aim to keep the scoreboard of healthy behaviors on the plus side and commit to doing better a little bit every day.

5.         Check out PiMag® products for hydration, True Elements® Marine Organic skin care for state-of-the-art COSMOS certified formulas, KenkoAir Purifier® for filtered indoor air, and Kenzen® organic nutrition for smart supplementation. Nikken can help you stick to your health resolutions!

Remember to change your water and air filters to keep your units functioning optimally and take advantage of our four special January packs that each contain a bonus item when you purchase a PiMag® Waterfall filter cartridge and a KenkoAir Purifer® HEPA filter in the same order.

1, 2, 3 https://www.choosingtherapy.com/new-years-resolutions/

Health Trends for 2022

It’s no surprise that staying as healthy as possible will continue to be top priority this year. That priority has been the premise for each Nikken product in every category, whether it’s nutrition, magnetic support, PiMag® water or clean air, since the company began more than 46 years ago.

What are some of the health areas that people may focus on in the year 2022?

• According to the international health insurance company BUPA, Google searches for “gut health” are up by 83% and they predict more people will focus on it in 2022.1 The Nikken organic nutritional supplements that address this are Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0, Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox and Kenzen Vital Balance®. All three contain prebiotics and/or probiotics that enhance gut health.

• Some health experts predict that people will pay closer attention to their mental health in 2022. Mental health affects how the brain functions, and is also a byproduct of our individual ways of responding to stress. Relaxing strategies such as spending more time in green spaces or practicing self-care to reduce stress will continue to be a priority in 2022.2 You can also take nutritional supplements that support brain health such as Kenzen® Clarity, a fermented blend of 100% organic ingredients formulated to help you stay focused and mentally sharp, designed to help maximize your cognitive function.*

• The “green generation” of healthcare is growing. Green health professionals blend healthcare with an understanding of the environmental changes that affect people’s health in different parts of the world. They provide healthcare while advocating for the environment.3 Everyone understands the need for clean air and water for optimal health, and Nikken provides the stellar KenkoAir Purifier®, PiMag Waterfall® and PiMag® Sport Bottle that help us decrease our carbon footprint by minimizing plastic waste. Replacing the filters of these components keeps them in top shape for years. Through January 31st, check out our filters replacement promotion where you can get a bonus item whenever you purchase one KenkoAir HEPA filter and one PiMag Waterfall filter together.

• Plant-based-eating articles and meal plans were up 31% in 2021 and it is expected to grow even more as more people choose to eat healthier and more sustainably.4

• Perennial (as opposed to annual) grains like kernza (a new type of wheat) will explode. That is a good thing when it comes to fighting climate change, because perennial grains develop deeper root systems than annuals, and these deep roots help prevent soil erosion and trap harmful greenhouse gases underground, keeping them out of the atmosphere.5

• Kelp and seaweed will make their way into all kinds of products, not just food. Although common to many cultures, farming kelp has been found to pull carbon out of the atmosphere.6 Known as a great source of minerals, such as potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium, seaweed is also rich in antioxidants and vitamins. A great example of using seaweed not just as food is the improved line of True Elements® Marine Organic Skin Care. A variety of seaweeds are ingredients in these advanced formulations.

• A “new school” of vitamins and supplements will evolve in 2022. Known as “smart” and “forward-thinking” supplements, they not only effectively address nutritional sufficiency but also nurture specific areas of health, from our cells to the whole body. The advancements range from delivery format and options that consider our personalized genetic makeup to strategic ingredient combinations, environmental sustainability, and more.7 Nikken began using this smart, forward-thinking approach in formulating nutritional supplements years ago. Examples include the smart use of fermented ingredients in Kenzen Clarity, the natural stress relievers such as the adaptogen Ashwagandha, turmeric extract and Shisandra in Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox and the “bone buddies” delivery system of Kenzen Calcium Complex and Kenzen BDZ for optimal calcium absorption.

In essence, 2022 is the year that asks each of us how to become healthier and stronger personally while respecting and working together with the environment. At Nikken, we pledge to use and share what we learn to build a bigger, healthier and environmentally-conscious Global Wellness Community!

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

1, 2 https://www.phillyvoice.com/2022-health-trends-diet-alcohol-reduction-male-fertility-sound-healing/

3 https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/doctors-are-becoming-leaders-in-environmental-movement

4, 5, 6 https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7935948/top-10-food-nutrition-trends-2022/

7 https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/new-generation-of-vitamins