How Clean is Your Drinking Water?

If your water looks, smells, and tastes just fine — is it? And if you purchase any of the multitude of branded bottled waters, do you know whether they’re prefiltered? Our human senses, unfortunately, can’t always detect microbial and organic contaminants.

Even as you diligently practice Active Wellness, you might go years before realizing a problem exists. Many folks never become suspicious until people in the community start to get sick. Water near agricultural areas may contain harmful organic material from pesticide or fertilizer applications. Chemicals from pesticides and fertilizers in water may increase the risk of life-threatening diseases and/or the impairment of the body’s many complex functions. Similar problems can result from exposure to water near industrial plants.

According to the U.S. EPA, there are two groups of water contaminants: acute and chronic. Acute effects occur within hours or days of exposure to a contaminant, while chronic effects occur over many years, depending on the level of exposure and the number of contaminants.1

The U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has set standards for more than 80 contaminants that may occur in drinking water and pose a risk to human health. Heavy metals make up many of these as do bacteria, viruses and specifically, chlorine and chloramine, commonly used in municipal water systems to disinfect but cumulatively have negative effects of their own. Chloramine, or chloramination, is a treatment method employed by public water systems. More than one in five Americans uses drinking water treated with chloramines. 2

Acute contaminants typically do not have permanent effects, as most people’s bodies can fight off microbial contaminants the way they fight off germs. However, when high enough levels occur, they can make people ill, and depending on your state of health, can even be endangering to overall health.

On the other hand, drinking water contaminants that can have chronic effects include chemicals (such as disinfection byproducts, solvents and pesticides), radionuclides (such as radium), and minerals (such as arsenic). Examples of these chronic effects include cancer, liver or kidney problems, or reproductive difficulties.3

Extended through the end of this month, you can purchase a PiMag Waterfall® at a 20% discount. This outstanding multiple filtration system does not require a plug or batteries—simply replace the filter every three to six months, depending on usage. In addition to reducing particulates, the PiMag Waterfall exceeds ANSI/NSF standards for the removal of chloramine, chlorine, cysts and lead while reducing bacteria by more than 99.99%.

 

1, 3 https://www.wqa.org/learn-about-water/common-contaminants

2 https://www.wqa.org/learn-about-water/common-contaminants/chloramine

Drinking Water Helps Boost Your Immunity

March 22, 2020 is World Water Day. It’s an annual United Nations observance day that highlights the importance of fresh water and its sustainable management and promotes awareness about everything related to water. Whether you participate in celebratory local events, educational seminars or simply incorporate filtered, not bottled, water usage into your Active Wellness regimen, you can spread the word to help save Planet Earth.

Currently, the number one topic covered by global news media seems to be the pandemic. Schools and businesses are shutting down, events are being canceled and people are self-quarantining. This creates a new level of mental and physical discomfort that promotes a feeling of helplessness. But there are basic things we can do daily to help maintain our wellness. Things, such as washing our hands frequently, observing social distancing and leaving your dwelling only when necessary.

Water plays such an important role in helping to maintain a healthy body. Your immune system is the first defense against germs, bacteria and free radicals. How can you keep that immune system operating at optimal levels? Water helps carry oxygen throughout the body to organs, tissues, and blood cells. Since blood is composed of more than 90% water, water feeds those carrier blood cells.1 Keep your immunity up by drinking plenty of water to help stave off infection. Staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate toxins that may cause illness.2

Lymphocytes are white blood cells located in the lymph nodes in the immune system. Their job is to detect foreign antigens and produce the antibodies to destroy the waste material, which keeps the immune function intact. Drinking water works like a waterfall that helps the body’s digestive system work efficiently to process nutrients while ridding it of waste. In other words, drinking plenty of water helps boost the immune system by preventing the buildup of toxins in the kidneys and the liver.  Add Kenzen® Lactoferrin 2.0, Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox and Kenzen® Immunity for even more support!

All cells and organs need water to function properly. So, drink lots of water and this year, celebrate World Water Day in your own way. Don’t join the panicked crowds lining up to buy single-use bottled water. Simply make sure you and everyone you care about have at least one PiMag Waterfall® at home to filter your tap water. When on-the-go, make sure you have portable eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottles to filter out bacteria and other pathogens wherever you fill up—from water fountains and taps. Drink to your health and to reduced plastic waste for Planet Earth!

Most importantly, remember to change your water filters regularly to insure optimal performance from your Waterfall and Sport Bottle!

1https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814

2https://www.fishertitus.org/health/boost-your-immune-system

 

 

Probiotics Help You Eat Right

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

4 https://www.functionalfoodscenter.net/

Don’t Take Your Eyes for Granted

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

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

The AREDS reports support 10 nutrient-rich foods.

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

See to Your Matters of the Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

Enjoy Your Celebrations but Moderation is Best

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

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

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

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

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

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

Certain people should avoid alcohol completely, including those who:

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

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

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

 

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

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

3 https://abc7.com/4767686/

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

How Often Do Filters Need to Be Changed?

Filtration systems come in many varieties—mostly to enhance air quality and to help decontaminate water supplies. They come in different sizes and shapes and are installed in various locations. No matter what type of filtration system you own, you will need to replace the filter media on a regular basis in order to keep your devices working smoothly and effectively.

Filters are not universal. Even if the filters look alike, the slightest difference could sabotage the filtration process. Just as there are knockoffs of name brand purses, shoes and electronics, there are non-certified filters for purchase. They are not of the same quality as the manufacturer’s suggested replacement and could cause more problems than they’re worth.

To help standardize and rate filtration systems, manufacturers, regulators and consumers look to NSF International for the development of public health standards and certification programs that help protect the world’s food, water, consumer products and environment. As an independent, accredited organization, NSF International facilitates the development of standards and their service groups test and certify products and systems.1 To ensure your water treatment systems and air filter units perform optimally, use the proper replacement filter and change it at the recommended intervals.

Take advantage of the Nikken Replacement Filter sale effective January 20 through February 14, 2020 and save 20%!

  • The PiMag® Sport Bottle uses state-of-the-art filtration technology that exceeds NSF standards for reducing particulates, chlorine, chloramine, taste and odor, cysts, lead, bacteria, VOCs, MTBE and more.

The recommendation for changing the filter is approximately 40 gallons or three months of average use or up to an estimated 250 refills per filter. Choose item #13503 for the Replacement Filter Pack.

  • The PiMag Waterfall® is the eco-friendly Sport Bottle’s counterpart for the home and office. It also exceeds NSF standards as mentioned above.

The recommendation for changing the filter is 90 days or 900 liters, whichever comes first. Choose item 13845. Mineral stones should be changed annually. Choose item #13846.

  • The PiMag MicroJet® Shower System has also been tested according to NSF standards and been proven to effectively reduce chlorine exposure. While most chlorine-reduction systems in shower filters merely trap chlorine or add other chemicals to counteract it, the PiMag MicroJet uses a reduction/oxidation process to neutralize chlorine ions. The MicroJet injects air into the shower stream to increase the electronegative potential of the water for more effective filtration. Micro-bubbles are released through the nozzle to provide an exceptional cleansing action.

The recommendation for changing the filter for the hand held model is every 5,000 gallons or three months, based on average use. Choose Item #14661.

The recommendation for changing the filter for the wall mount model is every 10,000 gallons or six months, based on average use. Choose Item #13831.

  • The KenkoAir Purifier® exceeds the measured efficiency of capturing up to 99.97% of 0.3 micron particle sin the air. It’s Energy Star qualified, which means it’s 35% more efficient than standard models and saves a minimum of 215 kilowatt-hours per year. Unlike typical air filters, this advanced system helps generate negative-ions similar to those found in natural environments.

The recommendation for changing the filters is every six months. Be sure to clean the reusable prefilter when the other filters are replaced. Choose Item #1445.

 

1 http://www.nsf.org/about-nsf/

Are You Addicted to Certain Foods?

The effects of certain foods on the brain make it hard for some people to avoid them, even if they go against an Active Wellness lifestyle. Since food is something we need in order to exist, we don’t always think of it as an addiction; however, many of us lose control around specific unhealthy foods and that is where food may produce behaviors similar to more commonly accepted addictions, such as drugs or alcohol.

The most problematic foods include junk foods generally high in sugar, fat and artificial flavor enhancers. They’re notably bad for us, and many of us continue to eat them. Unlike drug addiction, there is no blood test to diagnose food addiction. It’s based on behavior. Health professionals assert that if we have four to five of these eight common symptoms, we likely have a food addiction :1

  1. Craving certain foods despite feeling full and just having eaten a healthy meal
  2. Eating more than intended of a craved food
  3. Eating a craved food to the point of feeling sick
  4. Feeling guilty after eating certain foods—then eating them again
  5. Making up excuses for eating a craved food
  6. Trying to quit eating certain foods unsuccessfully
  7. Eating craved foods or unhealthy foods in secret
  8. Feeling unable to control the eating of unhealthy foods

The concept of food addiction is controversial because not everyone has experienced it or even heard of it. For those who suffer from it, it can be a lifetime struggle and cause multiple health risks. These include overweight and obesity, which may increase the risk of heart problems, digestive issues and diabetes. Those who are unfamiliar with the problem often consider those with food addictions simply to lack will power. The implication is that food addiction can be easily stopped. In reality, health professionals consider food addiction to be as complex as any other disease. Once addicted, eating certain foods changes the brain in ways that make abstaining from them, very hard.2

When eaten, sugar, flour, grains and any other addictive foods, light up the brain’s reward circuit by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. This reward system motivates repeat behaviors, causing people to eat these pleasure-inducing foods repeatedly.3

Just as with any other addiction, certain people are more vulnerable than others. No single factor is predictive, but genetics play a role, as does someone’s environment. The earlier and the more we are exposed to sugar and other addictive substances, the more likely we are to become trapped into desiring them. thomas-kelley-j5DeBxBUwHw-unsplashUnlike drugs and other addictions, abstinence is not an option when it comes to eating. However, abstinence from the unhealthy craved foods is actually the goal in curbing food addictions. As difficult as it may be, here are some tips to conquer any bad eating habits:4

  • Become educated about healthful foods and try them out.
  • Be honest about why you’re eating what you know you shouldn’t. What thoughts and emotions do you associate with the food you’re eating?
  • Identify social or environmental pressures that lead to unhealthy eating. Avoid them if possible, or explain to people why you are no longer eating certain “triggering” foods.
  • Make an action plan to eat well and get moving. Create healthy menus and cook at home. Devise an exercise routine and add to it incrementally as you improve your fitness. Write down Active Wellness goals.
  • Be realistic. Abstinence from “bad” food will not happen overnight. Just like quitting smoking, it may take a few tries. Don’t beat yourself up over it. There are no options other than taking it a day at a time.

Nikken nutritional supplements are designed to help us stay on track from head to toe. Whether it’s for digestion, mental clarity, strong bones, weight loss or an energy boost, Nikken provides the highest quality of organically sourced support! Take advantage of our special “three for the price of two” on KVB® Meal Replacement Mix! It’s low in fat and carbohydrates, and has no gluten, no dairy, no GMO, no added salt, no preservatives, no sugar and no artificial flavors—all stuff that can lead to food addiction.

 

1 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-overcome-food-addiction

2,3https://foodaddictioninstitute.org/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAxrbwBRCoARIsABEc9sgZ8KWTI3Qf6HtR4PbLKjzmqY9JUuG6nUEXvP5pAORqSvzkY1z4lkIaAkJlEALw_wcB

4 https://psychcentral.com/blog/expert-tips-for-overcoming-food-addiction/

 

How Often Do You Wash Your Hands?

During the holidays, we come in contact with more people than usual. Although this can help us expand our circle of friends and acquaintances, it increases our exposure to germs. Bacteria and viruses are easily transmitted by just about everything we touch. As we touch people, surfaces and objects throughout the day, we accumulate germs on our hands. We can infect ourselves with these germs by touching our eyes, noses or mouths, and we can also spread them to others through microscopic particles that will attack our immune systems on a daily basis.

That’s why our best line of defense is to wash our hands often. Although it’s impossible to keep our hands completely germ-free, washing our hands frequently is a must when practicing Active Wellness. Handwashing can help limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes.

According to the Mayo Clinic1, we should always wash our hands when they are visibly dirty and before:

  • Preparing food or eating
  • Treating wounds or caring for a sick person
  • Inserting or removing contact lenses

Always wash our hands after:

  • Preparing food
  • Using the toilet, changing a diaper or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • Touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste
  • Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • Treating wounds or caring for a sick person
  • Handling garbage
  • Handling pet food or pet treats

The recommended guidelines are to scrub your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. A 2018 report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that up to 97 percent of us wash our hands incorrectly.2

The Center for Disease Control cites that handwashing can prevent one in three diarrhea-related sicknesses and one in five respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu.3 Teaching children from a young age to wash hands often is key to preventing the spread of common ailments. The five easy steps are: wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry. Remember to teach them the key to proper washing is to scrub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

It’s wise to wash your hands and change your clothes after you get home from your commute, and to wash your hands frequently during the workday. You don’t have to work with soil or anything else produced by Mother Nature to become infested with germs. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average office worker’s desk is covered in more germs than a bathroom toilet seat!4

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which don’t require water, are an acceptable alternative when soap and water aren’t available. If you use a hand sanitizer, make sure the product contains at least 60% alcohol.5

This holiday season, decrease exposure to germs simply by thoroughly washing your hands often and with soap, and enjoy Active Wellness.

 

1, 5 https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/hand-washing/art-20046253

2 https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/06/28/study-shows-most-people-are-spreading-dangerous-bacteria-around

3 https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/handwashing-family.html

4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4883643/

Is it Heartburn or is it GERD?

Most of us have had an occasional bout of heartburn, and as unpleasant as it might be, it’s relatively benign. On the other hand, if heartburn becomes chronic, it may be a symptom of GERD, short for gastroesophageal reflux disease.

November 24-30, 2019 is GERD Awareness Week in the United States. American Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday of November and often involves overeating, so that week is dedicated to educating the public about GERD, a disease which affects about 20% of the population and revolves around the digestive system.

GERD is also known as acid reflux disease and its prevalence is on the rise. Because GERD is a primary risk factor for esophageal cancer, it’s important to develop preventative habits and understand the triggers.

GERD affects the lower esophageal sphincter, which is the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. In normal digestion, the lower esophageal sphincter opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and then closes to prevent food and stomach acids to flow back upwards. Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 12.36.35 PMReflux occurs when the esophageal sphincter is weak and allows the stomach contents to go back upward into the esophagus.

If heartburn occurs more than once a week, becomes more severe, occurs at night and awakens you, these are possible signs of GERD. Less known symptoms that may be associated with GERD include belching, difficulty or pain when swallowing, a sudden excess of saliva, dysphagia (the feeling of food being stuck in the esophagus), chronic sore throat, laryngitis, gum inflammation, tooth enamel eroding, morning hoarseness, bad breath and a sour taste in the mouth.1

Whether you suffer from occasional or frequent heartburn or even GERD, there are some precautions that can help prevent episodes:

  • Eat a plant-based diet. Greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds all help prevent or shorten GERD attacks. Winter squash, corn, beets and whole grains also help minimize symptoms.2
  • Make green juice in a blender with cruciferous veggies such as cabbage or kale. These nutrient-rich foods promote a healthy digestive tract lining and help reduce stomach acids.3
  • Eat five to six small meals a day rather than three larger ones. Too much food triggers acid production in the stomach.
  • Eat your last meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water daily, as water helps dilute stomach acid.
  • Try to avoid citrus, because they produce more stomach acid. These include oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes.
  • Alcohol and smoking worsen GERD and heartburn symptoms.
  • Fried and high-fat foods as well as caffeinated beverages trigger heartburn and GERD.4
  • Try to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity or being overweight contributes to GERD. A British study of more than 10,000 people, ages 20 to 59, found that obese participants were nearly three times more likely to suffer GERD symptoms than those of normal weight.5

 As we approach Thanksgiving, let’s be mindful of what we’re eating and how much we’re eating. It’s all part of Active Wellness and treating ourselves is enjoyable unless we have to suffer the consequences of overindulgence. During the holidays, it’s prudent to keep Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox and Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 with you everywhere you go!

 

1 https://www.aboutgerd.org/signs-and-symptoms-overview.html

2, 3,4,5 https://medshadow.org/avoiding-gerd-meds-side-effects/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA5dPuBRCrARIsAJL7oegRPO3Tz8m5wlXCjX3nKpESBen-Y9dIukdxY0fBUhTCeSj3j0Iw4akaAt6IEALw_wcB