Ins and Outs of Water Safety

During the summer months, the topic of water safety comes up as the warm weather attracts people of all ages to pools, lakes and the beach. Whether indoors or enjoying water sports outside, being “water competent” is key to having fun without being at risk of drowning. According to the American Red Cross, the skills required to achieve water competency are to be able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance and then get out of the water safely.1

Common sense dictates that all children, whether they are water competent or not, be supervised when they are in or near bodies of water. “Better safe than sorry” absolutely applies to water safety. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death among children of all ages and is a worldwide phenomenon. That’s why it is paramount that children are educated early in recognizing drowning risks to protect themselves and others. Public awareness and education focused on young children is the most powerful tool to prevent fatal and non-fatal drowning.2

Water can kill in more ways than by drowning. The World Health Organization says that every year more than 3.4 million people die as a result of water related diseases. Most of the victims are young children, the majority of who die of illnesses caused by organisms that thrive in contaminated water sources.3

In countries such as Canada and the United States, the law protects public drinking water supplies with specific standards, so it is generally safe to drink water straight out of the tap. However, even in North America, there are places that don’t have readily available potable water. Water in different states and provinces have discernible tastes, some palatable and others not. Whether due to convenience or taste, far too many people habitually drink bottled water, adding to the catastrophic carbon footprint of plastic waste. And ironically, the water within the bottles is not necessarily better for the health.

Why not commit to drinking water that is produced with Active Wellness and sustainability in mind? Plastic bottles simply are not sustainable—they use vast quantities of fossil fuels and water itself—they’re manufactured, filled and shipped around the globe, creating a massive carbon footprint!4 Even with recycling efforts, six out of seven plastic bottles consumed in the U.S. become waste in land fills or end up in the ocean.5garbage-unusedplasticimage

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there may be a slight chance that bottled water contains more contaminants than tap water. The EPA strictly regulates tap water, while bottled water is categorized as a packaged food product by the Food and Drug Administration. Testing is not as stringent or strictly enforced as tap water.6

The solution is so simple: drink water from a PiMag Waterfall® or PiMag® Sport Bottle. Not only do they help decrease your carbon footprint, it’s actually healthier for you! Alkalizing with 99%+ reduction in bacteria, particulates, chlorine, chloramine, cyst and lead—the eco-friendly bottle has replaceable filters, each of which provides the equivalent of drinking approximately 250 12 to 16-ounce bottles of water. The Waterfall holds 1.32 gallons or five liters of water and each replaceable filter lasts 90 days or for 900 liters, whichever comes first! Save money, but more importantly, save our planet.

Discover Planet Earth. Live Green and Clean. Share Community Conscience.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Vaccines in a “Viral” World

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Whether you have children or grandchildren, understanding how vaccines work is an important aspect of successful parenting/co-parenting and role modeling Active Wellness.

A vaccine works by training the immune system to recognize and fight pathogens, whether they’re viral or bacterial. In order to achieve this goal, certain molecules from either a virus or a bacterium (known as antigens) are injected into the body so that the immune system can identify and remember them as “enemies.” When confronted with the antigens, the immune system goes to work by activating white blood cells that make proteins called antibodies, which locate the “enemies” and wage a counter offensive.

Depending on the strength of the virus/bacteria, the immune system will succeed or fail. In cases where the antibody response is too late, the invading organism can cause a severe or life-threatening infection.1 Fortunately, in many cases, even when symptoms are already present, the immune system and its antibodies can eventually help stop many infections and help the body recover.

Vaccines can be effective to protect entire populations even when not everyone is inoculated. This phenomenon is called “herd immunity” or “community immunity.” Public health officials and scientists continue to study herd immunity to identify key thresholds. One notable example is in Gambia, where 70% of the population was vaccinated and that was enough to eliminate the Hib disease, a bacterial illness that can lead to potentially deadly brain infection in young children. 2

In addition to those who choose not to vaccinate, there is a percentage of the population that cannot be vaccinated due to severe allergies, pregnancy or compromised immune systems. Fortunately, when “herd immunity” occurs, these unvaccinated people are able to stay safe—this was the case with the 30% of Gambians who were not vaccinated but did not contract Hib.

Those with hardier immune systems fare better when attacked by pathogens. The elderly are especially at risk, because they are more likely to contract infectious diseases than the young. Respiratory infections, influenza and particularly pneumonia are leading causes of death in people over 65 worldwide. Furthermore, studies have shown that people over 65 respond less favorably to vaccines than healthy children. Despite this reduction in efficacy, sickness and death in older people have been significantly lowered when compared with those who do not get vaccinations.3

Scientists continue to research why certain nutrients and micronutrients may alter components of immune function—but there is no evidence they can actually bolster immunity to the point of being protective against infection and disease.4 There are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that they respond in innumerable ways to the myriad types of microbes. Scientists still don’t know which specific cells to boost and by how much. What they do know is that the body continually generates immune cells and the extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death.5

Studies have been conducted over the years regarding the relationship of mushrooms and immune response.* Mycologists continue to produce evidence that mushroom species have been used as far back as 3,000 B.C. for their potential benefits.6

Kenzen® Immunity is formulated with 14 species of mushrooms, of which six strains are exclusive to Nikken.

 

*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 https://www.healthychildren.org/english/safety-prevention/immunizations/pages/how-do-vaccines-work.aspx?gclid=Cj0KCQjwsvrpBRCsARIsAKBR_0K1qpH3l8MWxw8F7XDByXgroXsUyZfesNBZRk-NUqM6OroO9z3dlYsaAkiKEALw_wcB

2 https://www.publichealth.org/public-awareness/understanding-vaccines/vaccines-work/

3,4,5 https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

6 https://www.christopherhobbs.com/library/featured-articles/mushroom-medicine-challenges-and-potential/

Help Keep Our Beaches and Oceans Clean

In order to help keep our oceans and marine life sustainable, we need to keep our beaches clean. Beaches are home to many creatures, including sea lions and sea turtles that depend on both land and sea to survive. Even sea creatures that live solely in the water are affected by polluted beaches when trash that accumulates on the beach is washed out with the tides. In addition to plastic and paper trash, chemical and human wastes on the beach also wash out to sea.

Plastic pollution impacts virtually every living organism in, or thriving off of, the oceans of our world.1  Sea turtles, sea lions, sea birds, fish, whales and dolphins are creatures that often are found dead with huge amounts of plastic debris in their bellies, digestive tracts, fins and other internal organs.

Every person who visits any beach in any part of the world can help keep our beaches and oceans clean. We each can commit to making a difference and educating our children, so they can practice green behaviors from an early age. If you haven’t already started, this summer is a great time to take action:

  1. “Take 3 for the Sea” is an organization that teaches people to take three pieces of trash with you when you leave the beach or any waterway. By doing so, you will have made a difference. Participation in this program has burgeoned to 129 countries with 300,000 people educated in helping to make plastic pollution a thing of the past.2
  2. Don’t drink bottled water. More than one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute around the world. 3 They require large amounts of energy and water to produce, then end up clogging landfills.
  3. Use re-usable alternatives to plastic bottles. You can buy re-usable water bottles everywhere, but you can only purchase the PiMag® Sport Bottle with the nano-technology filter system at Nikken. PiMagSportBottle-with-straw_small_7-18[2]At home, you can make a difference by drinking filtered water from a PiMag Waterfall®—good for Active Wellness as well as minimizing your personal carbon footprint. PiMag-Waterfall-4-3-18
  4. Use re-usable tote bags and containers. Avoid buying food and other items wrapped in plastic. For example, when buying fresh food, buy whole fruit and vegetables instead of pre-cut, prepackaged versions wrapped in plastic. Shop at bulk food bins and bring your own containers. Carry out with your own totes.
  5. Decrease chemical usage as much as possible. Pesticides, fertilizers and weed killers are harmful for our oceans—the closer you live to the sea, the more likely those chemicals will end up there. About 245,000 square kilometers (about the size of the UK) are known as “dead zones” where marine life cannot survive, due to chemical poisons in the eco-system.
  6. Opt for mineral sunscreens or non-nano zinc oxide as the primary active ingredient. Chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate that are commonly found in popular sunscreens are not eco-friendly. Once these chemicals make their way off beach bodies into the ocean, they can damage coral DNA. Sunscreens without these damaging chemicals are called “reef-safe.” 5
  7. Be careful what you flush down the toilet. Medicines have been detected in ground water and marine life. For example, 4500 wet wipes were found in a 154 square-meter portion of the Thames river in 2017, an example of what doesn’t break down in the flushing process. 6

Share your knowledge of eco-friendly habits with friends and family. The more people who commit to making a difference, the better chance we have of maintaining the lives of our beaches and oceans.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Healthy Food That Also Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

Most of us know there are benefits to going organic and going “green.” Although both are beneficial in the pursuit of Active Wellness and for planet Earth, there are differences. Going organic is health-centered while going green requires sustainable practices that impact economic, social and ecological factors that help protect Earth and its resources. In other words, sustainable food is virtually always organic, but not all organic food is sustainable.

Choosing sustainable food helps reduce an individual’s carbon footprint, which is the “amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide.”1 The Food andAgriculture Organization of the United Nations claims that by switching to organic agriculture farmers can reduce up to 66% of carbon dioxide emissions.2 Large agricultural companies argue that some organically grown produce have a higher overall energy consumption and land use. This discrepancy presents the most obvious difference between simply organic, and actually sustainable, food.

The rule of thumb is that the less processed the food is, the more sustainable it is. Look at it this way: when you eat a raw organically grown vegetable or fruit, you are eliminating the carbon footprint of the power used in cooking by gas or electricity. Also, some vegetables have a carbon footprint nearly as serious as meat, because they are grown in greenhouses that use a lot of heat and light—for example, hothouse tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Therefore, the approach to reducing your carbon footprint with what you eat requires multiple behaviors:

  • Eat locally produced organic food. An estimated 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food. Transporting food requires petroleum-based fuels, and many fertilizers are also fossil fuel-based.3
  • Reducing your consumption of non-grass fed red meat and dairy is not only environmentally friendly but also heart friendly. Livestock is responsible for 14.5% of manmade global greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from feed production and processing, and the methane that beef and sheep emit. Every day without meat and dairy reduces your carbon footprint by eight pounds or 2,920 pounds a year.4
  • Research which fruits and vegetables are most carbon-friendly. For example, lentils require very little water to grow. They actually clean and fortify the soil, making it easier to grow other crops. Beans in general (including kidney, black, pinto, etc.) have a low carbon and water footprint. These legumes also have high nutritional values because of their protein and fiber content. Rice, on the other hand, is water intensive.
  • Mussels are harvested on long collector ropes suspended in oceans, and while growing, they eat naturally occurring food in the water. In the process, they filter and clean the water, even extracting carbon to make their shells. They have very little environmental impact.5
  • Buy fish in season from local farmer’s markets or fisheries that practice sustainable fishing. As people become more educated about overfishing, the island of Palau is leading the way in protecting its oceans from poaching and has outlawed bottom trawling. In 2015, Palau established the largest no-take zone in the world, 193,000 square miles of ocean that cannot be fished, mined or drilled.6 Palau now has a range of partners from commercial, non-profit and governmental organizations, including U.S.-based SkyTruth, a nonprofit that monitors and reports poaching to the police.
  • Buy food in bulk when possible. The less packaging, the more sustainable the food. Use your own recyclable and reusable containers.
  • Eat what you buy. Reduce food waste by freezing excess and repurposing leftovers. Teach your children early in their lives to develop eating habits that are not only healthy but also helpful to planet Earth. Waste not, want not.

As you reduce your carbon footprint, Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix can help you with the transition to being more plant-based in your diet. It’s made with organically grown ingredients that provide a nutritious source of vegan protein.

1 https://timeforchange.org/what-is-a-carbon-footprint-definition

2 https://www.terrapass.com/eat-your-way-to-a-smaller-carbon-footprint

3 https://cotap.org/reduce-carbon-footprint/

4 https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2018/12/27/35-ways-reduce-carbon-footprint/

5 https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/environment-food-cooking-sustainability/

6 https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/how-a-tiny-island-is-showing-the-world-how-to-prot/

 

Do You Know how Prebiotics & Probiotics Help the Gut?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Boost Your Energy Levels During the Summer Months

When temperatures go up, energy levels go down. Air-conditioning helps, but it can be expensive and gives the body more extreme temperature fluctuations to contend with. Fortunately, there are a few easy things that can be done to conquer the heat and boost your energy levels.

  • If you’re able, simply run cold water over your wrists to cool off. You don’t actually need to take a whole body cold shower. The arterial pulse points in the wrist help cool off the body, because arterial blood flows away from the heart and the cold water will circulate cooler blood throughout the body and ultimately lower your core temperature. 1
  • Do the same thing with cold water on your feet. Arterial pulse points are located in areas where the blood vessels come closest to the surface of the skin. 2
  • Appetites generally dip when the weather is hot, but eating small amounts every few hours is important for keeping energy levels up. Try hydrating fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, celery, green peppers and radishes.
  • Stay away from heavy foods, such as fatty meats and desserts. They take a lot of energy to digest and the effect is sluggishness.
  • Drinking hot beverages may actually help you cool down. The hot liquids enhance circulation and cause you to perspire freely and expel heat. Once the perspiration evaporates, your body cools down. Drinking hot beverages to cool down is effective in dry desert-like heat, not in humid, tropical weather, where perspiration doesn’t easily evaporate. 3
  • Hot spicy foods act the same way as hot beverages. That may be why chili peppers are so popular in hot continents, such as Asia and Africa. The spicy chilis activate nerve receptors in the tongue, which tell the brain to turn on the body’s cooling mechanism: sweating. 4
  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, and save the caffeinated beverages for later. Contrary to popular belief, according to a study in 2013, drinking coffee first thing in the morning depletes energy levels.5 Try Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix with its superior blend of matcha green tea that provides 80 mg of natural caffeine for smooth energy support at the suggested times of 10 am and 4 pm. It’s delicious hot or cold.
  • Use ice in a bucket in front of a fan to provide a quick cool down. When the fan blows air over the ice, the surrounding air cools down.
  • Breathe in deeply. When the body doesn’t obtain enough oxygen, energy levels dip drastically. No matter how heavy the air may feel, make a conscious effort throughout the day to breathe in and out as fully as possible. Use your hands to push your belly in as you exhale to release your breath.
  • Clean out your system by keeping your liver functioning at full capacity. “Regular” or not, everyone carries excess waste all year round, which results in lethargy. Cleanses are popular because by lightening the load, you can boost your energy level and temporarily lose weight. Unfortunately, many bodies cannot take the harshness of those 7-14 day cleanses. Using Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox is far more convenient and gentler to your system. With organic natural ingredients, Cleanse & Detox will help your liver function optimally so you feel more energetic.

Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix and Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox are two of the best selling Active Wellness nutritional supplements included in the Nikken July promotion to celebrate Canada Day and U.S. Independence Day. Be sure to take advantage of your choice of gifts. For details, call Customer Service at US 800-669-8859 or CN 800-669-8890.

 

1, 2 https://www.prevention.com/health/a20480309/beat-the-heat-and-boost-energy/

3 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/a-hot-drink-on-a-hot-day-can-cool-you-down-1338875/

4 https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/07/11/156378713/cool-down-with-a-hot-drink-its-not-as-crazy-as-you-think

5 https://www.whitewaternow.com/tips-boosting-energy-heat-summer/

 

Active Aging is Part of Active Wellness

The beauty industry has inundated the marketplace with a slew of “anti-aging” products. But “anti” means against and is also more than skin deep. A more positive approach to aging is with grace, discipline and common sense.

In the United States, baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are reshaping the population. The number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to more than 98 million by 2060. That translates to nearly 24 percent of the population, a substantial increase from 15 percent today. 1

One of the key approaches to address the aging revolution is known as “active aging,” crystalized by the World Health Organization in 2002 by three pillars: participation, health, and security. The active aging policy has financial and economic aspects and affects both men and women as older adults are working longer. 2 As more people live to be centenarians, counteracting the onset of age-related degeneration becomes increasingly important.

Here are 10 head-to-toe tips for Active Wellness and active aging:

  1. Keep challenging your brain. Learn a new language, sport or anything out of your comfort zone. Do puzzles and crosswords.
  2. Play and listen to music. Branch out and try a different instrument if you already play one and listen to something new.
  3. Did you know leafy greens also deliver lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help the retina’s ability to break down harmful compounds from stressors such as sunlight, junk food and smoke? 3 Incorporate them into your daily diet together with carrots and other colorful fruits and vegetables.
  4. Use sunscreen on your face and all exposed areas of the body to protect from UV rays.
  5. Cut back on sugar. It contributes to wrinkles and dehydrated skin, as well as causing inflammation and pain. 4
  6. Hug people who welcome it. A University of North Caroline study found that those who got more frequent hugs had lower blood pressure and healthier resting heart rates compared to those who weren’t hugged often. Scientifically speaking, hugs trigger the release of feel-good hormones like oxytocin, while lowering stress hormones like cortisol. 5
  7. Muscles become less pliable after age 40, so performing a stretching routine daily helps the body remain flexible and more able to prevent injuries and even rebuild atrophied cells. 6 A supple spine is key to being limber, so include forward and backward bends.
  8. Sleep well. Not only does it help keep you alert, but it also affects your skin. One study showed that women who reported sleeping well were found to have fewer fine lines and more even pigmentation and skin elasticity compared with those who reported sleeping poorly.7
  9. Stand up straight. Aging often causes posture to suffer in the form of breathing problems, joint pain and walking difficulties. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows that proper body alignment can help prevent excess strain on joints, muscles and spine, and can also boost mood. 8
  10. Soak your feet regularly in warm water and Epsom salts. Sore feet lead to inflammation and pain. Comfortable feet help you stand tall, walk and exercise consistently. 

    Kenko Sleep Products, NikkenWellness nutritional supplements  and True Elements® Marine Organic Skin Care help take care of your Active Wellness needs every day.

     

    1 https://www.prb.org/aging-unitedstates-fact-sheet/

    2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28368781

    3, 4, 5, 7 Taylor, Marygrace, Your Total Body Anti-Aging Plan, Spry Living, March 2017.

    6, 8 https://bestlifeonline.com/anti-aging-tips-for-men/