Mushrooms may help us lose weight and much more…

Mushrooms are a nutrient-dense food that are low-calorie, and when cooked or grilled, take on the consistency of some meat. Studies find that substituting mushrooms for meat may help us lose weight. Eating mushrooms as part of a meal several times a week is linked to a healthy body weight, reduced waist circumference and better overall health.1

But mushrooms provide far more benefits than just promoting weight loss. Mushrooms have been part of the Asian herbal tradition for thousands of years—practitioners of Chinese medicine have used a variety of mushrooms to prevent and address a host of physical and mental conditions. Much research has been conducted in the past decades.

Since there are an estimated 14,000 different species of mushrooms or “macrofungus,” research indicates that scientists may only know about 10 percent of them. They differ in benefits and nutrient count, but they’re mostly low in carbs, fat, sodium and sugar, and high in antioxidants, B vitamins, copper and selenium. Mushrooms are 90 percent water and therefore low in calories.

Scientists and health practitioners have taken a particular interest in the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting traits of certain species of mushrooms.

The global appetite for herbal alternatives to chemical drugs has grown by leaps and bounds—annual sales of these products account for a big chunk of the wider market for nutritional supplements that is valued at $50 billion and seems impervious to the economic instability that has affected other business sectors. 2

Lab studies have shown various immune-enhancing and anti-aging effects with the Reishi, Shiitake, Cordyceps, Maitake and Oyster mushrooms.4 In addition to these five species, Kenzen® Immunity contains nine others. In fact Kenzen® Immunity contains six strains exclusive to Nikken, developed for the highest concentration of beneficial compounds. It would be virtually impossible to include such a high variety of mushrooms in a regular diet, so Nikken has formulated this superior nutritional supplement in order to provide a wide-spectrum range of natural biochemicals that support Active Wellness.

  1. http://healthsomeness.com/mushrooms-fattening-weight-loss
  2. A Global Look at Supplements on the Rise, 10 March 2014 http://www.nutringredients.com
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles
  4. https://thewholejourney.com/5-mushrooms-that-boost-immunity-and-fight- cancer/

The Healthiest Natural Sweetener

With obesity at an all-time high, finding healthier alternatives to sugar has become an increasingly important priority for many people. The main concern is that sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners tend to be filled with harmful chemicals and ingredients, and some still contain calories.

According to famed nutritionist and chiropractor Dr. Josh Axe, “Monk fruit has been celebrated as a revolutionary way to sweeten foods and drinks without the harmful effects of traditional sugar and sugar substitutes.” 1

Here’s why: Monk fruit contains powerful antioxidants called mogrosides, which are metabolized differently by the body than natural sugars. In effect, monk fruit extract provides the sweet taste people crave but none of the typical side effects. That means no spike in blood sugar levels and therefore, no crash. For this reason, monk fruit is considered a zero-calorie fruit. This unusual characteristic makes monk fruit an ideal sugar replacement, especially since its compounds, when extracted, are 300 to 400 times sweeter than cane sugar. It’s practically a no-brainer that using monk fruit as a sweetener can help those already suffering from obesity and/or diabetes.

So why isn’t this healthy natural sweetener more commonly used in weight-management and diabetic-friendly products? Extraction of mogrosides is complicated, making it an expensive ingredient. In addition, monk fruit spoils very quickly after harvesting and is grown primarily in southern China. You won’t find it in supermarkets any time soon; however, you can find dried monk fruit for purchase in ethnic markets. The western world only discovered monk fruit in the 20th century, and it has only been in the last 20 years that major international attention has been drawn to it.

Where you will find monk fruit as a main ingredient is in the newly formulated Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix in both vanilla and chocolate flavors. Nikken remains a pioneer in the industry and dedicated to using only the healthiest ingredients in our nutritional supplements designed for Active Wellness.

1          https://draxe.com/monk-fruit/

A Better Source of Protein for Long-term Health

The western world tends to associate protein with animal sources: meat, poultry and seafood. In the eastern world, legumes have long been key sources of protein: soy, garbanzo, lentil, bean sprouts, pea sprouts, adzuki bean and so on. The largest study to ever look at the effects of different sources of protein has found that eating plenty of plant protein was associated with a lower risk of premature death.

Mingyang Song, MD, ScD, the study’s author, says, “Overall, our findings support the importance of the sources of dietary protein for long-term health outcomes.” A research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, she explains, “While previous studies have primarily focused on the overall amount of protein intake—which is important—from a broad dietary perspective, the particular foods that people consume to get protein are equally important. Our findings also have public health implications and can help refine current dietary recommendations about protein intake, in light of the fact that it is not only the amount of protein but the specific food source that is critical for long-term health.”

The study was published in August 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine and analyzed comprehensive health data on more than 170,000 participants since the 1980s. Participants completed overall health questionnaires every two years and provided information on their dietary intake every four years. The researchers found that a high consumption of protein from animal sources combined with at least one factor associated with an unhealthy lifestyle, increased the risk of mortality. Unhealthy lifestyle factors included being obese or underweight, as well as behaviors such as heavy drinking, smoking, or not being physically active. In contrast, high consumption of protein from plant sources was associated with a lower mortality rate.

Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix in Vanilla or Chocolate flavors is formulated with naturally-sourced protein from organic pea, organic rice and organic chlorella—no saturated fat and calories associated with animal protein. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or just health-conscious, KVB helps you put plant protein into your diet for health and Active Wellness.

The Zero Calorie that Leads to Weight Gain

Once considered to be a helpful weight loss tool and an alternative to sugar for diabetics, the zero-calorie artificial sweetener has gone from the role of savior to devil. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five artificial sweeteners: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. These artificial sweeteners are intended to save you the calories from sugar, but there’s growing evidence that there are numerous adverse effects.

As summarized on the Harvard School of Public Health website, the concern is that sweetness without calories is unnatural and may stimulate hormonal changes that encourage overeating. Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity and weight-loss specialist at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital, says one concern is that people who use artificial sweeteners may replace the lost calories through other sources, possibly offsetting weight loss or health benefits.

There are also studies emerging that show how artificial sweeteners can trigger “sweet receptors” in the stomach that tell the body to produce insulin, even though there is no actual consumption of sugar. Replicating the body’s response to real sugar, these high insulin levels may promote fat storage and trigger unhealthy food cravings.

In a landmark study published in Nature in 2014, scientists showed that artificial sweeteners wreak havoc in the gut microbiome and lead to obesity, glucose intolerance, and diabetes. Another recent study has shown that replacing sugary drinks with artificially sweetened drinks does not reduce the risk for diabetes and other metabolic diseases, as originally intended.

There has been, and still is, ongoing controversy over the use of artificial sweeteners; however, there are certain indisputable facts. For example, 10 percent of aspartame is broken down into methanol, a known poison. Another fact is that sucralose is manufactured with chlorine. More negative side effects attributed to artificial sweeteners are reported to the FDA than any other types of additives.

Be vigilant and read ingredient listings to avoid artificial sweeteners. Eat food that is naturally sweet, like fruit and vegetables. Choose organic-based nutritional supplements. Nikken is here to help you create a win-win Active Wellness lifestyle!

Have a Happy & Prosperous New Year

As I reflect back on 2016, I am heartened by the successful transformation that continues to take place with Nikken. It is not by luck that our company has weathered the many global changes—economic, political and regulatory—since its humble beginnings in 1975. As we move forward into 2017, we will focus on two main aspects of our business:

  • A product line that is unique, wonderful and organic.
  • The direct sales industry‘s simplest compensation plan.

Our product line has evolved over the years, not only to fulfill the needs and preferences of our Nikken Consultants and Customers, but also to reveal the latest developments in organic food science and our own TriPhase technology. These include NikkenWellness™ organic nutritional supplements, True Elements® Marine Organic Skin Care and products with sleep and magnetic technology.

In 2017, we will continue developing our consumables—they will contain the highest quality organic ingredients and be stripped of anything that may be detrimental to the pursuit of Active Wellness. We will be the standard bearers for Active Wellness and healthy weight management.

Our compensation plan will be even simpler to understand and execute. Our Nikken Consultants will find it easier to reap the rewards of a home-based part-time income with flexible hours, extra cash and a business opportunity that may lead to a second career. Anyone who makes the commitment to retail product and sponsor business builders will succeed as a Nikken entrepreneur.

Choosing Nikken is the smart move to improve health and earn money. I look forward to a prosperous 2017 and wish you all the best in each of the 5 Pillars of Health®.

Kurt H. Fulle                                                                                                                                                       CEO & Chairman of the Board

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What is BMI?

Have you heard body builders at the gym comparing their BMIs? Or do you know someone who is body-obsessed and talks about BMI in every conversation? Here’s why knowing your BMI can be useful to you.

BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is the ratio of a person’s weight to height squared. BMI can be used as a screening tool for body fatness but is not diagnostic. Because the calculation requires only height and weight, it is inexpensive and easy to use for clinicians as well as the general public.

BMI is not a perfect measure because it doesn’t assess body fat directly. Muscle and bone are denser than fat, so an athlete or muscular person might have a high BMI but not have too much fat. For the majority of the adult population, measuring BMI is considered by researchers to be a reliable way to determine whether a person has too much body fat.1

The most basic definition of overweight and obesity is having so much body fat that that it “presents a risk to health.”2 Measuring BMI is a widely used method for clinicians to determine who is overweight or obese. BMI is strongly correlated with metabolism rates and disease risks, which are more direct measures of body fatness.3

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides a body mass index calculator on their website. 4  

According to the NHLBI, here are the BMI categories:

Underweight = <18.5

Normal weight = 18.5-24.9

Overweight = 25-29.9

Obesity= 30 or >

Whether your BMI shows you to be underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese, check with your physician before undertaking any drastic changes to your diet.

Maintaining an Active Wellness lifestyle that incorporates exercise and organic nutritional supplements is the natural way to support fitness, boost energy levels and ignite your metabolism.

Support your overall goals for a healthy body and healthy mind with an assortment of Nikken Wellness™ products. Kenzen® Vital Balance Meal Replacement Mix and Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix are just a couple!

1 Gallagher D, Visser M, Sepulveda D, Pierson RN, Harris T, Heymsfield SB. How useful is body mass index for comparison of body fatness across age, sex, and ethnic groups? Am J Epidemiol. 1996; 143:228-39.

2 World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight. Fact sheet Number 311. September 2006. Accessed January 25, 2012.

3 Flegal, K.M. & Graubard, B.I., 2009. Estimates of excess deaths associated with body mass index and other anthropometric variables. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 89(4), pp.1213–1219.

4 The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

 

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Too Many Gastronomic Temptations?

As the holiday season progresses, we have to be realistic about keeping our digestive systems working properly, knowing that we’ll fall off the wagon a little in the area of food and beverage consumption.

Two of the biggest culprits over the holidays are overeating and over-drinking. Both excesses involve copious amounts of sugar, something that we know we should avoid. Both add empty calories and carbs to the diet, and alcohol also has a dehydrating effect on the body. Then there’s the extra sodium used in meat marinades, brines and gravies, which produces a dehydrating effect as well.

In addition, there are enticing carbs in the form of potatoes and pasta, bread and muffins, to name just a few. Carbs that contain gluten may produce a feeling of bloat—that feeling of an expanding waistline after only a single big meal is not a figment of the imagination.

To maintain a lifestyle of Active Wellness, the digestive system needs to work efficiently to keep us on-the-go. If we’re “going” too much, our bodies aren’t absorbing enough nutrients to provide the natural energy we need. If we’re “going” too infrequently, sluggishness sets in. Eating too much of the wrong food and too few of the right nutrients can produce either effect, depending on our individual digestive tracts.

What’s a body to do? The answer is thankfully simple.

Nikken produces a nutritional supplement that takes the guesswork out of your daily digestive patterns. The name of our nutritional supplement is long, but there’s a reason for that. Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 (link to product in shopping cart) helps the body to process the four major food groups—carbs, proteins, fats and fiber—with a total of 20 enzymes . This is no small feat of formulation. If you take the time to check other nutritional supplements, you’ll find they commonly contain enzymes to process two or three of the food groups at best.

You’ll also find our recurring theme with Nikken Wellness™ products: there are specific ingredients that are NOT included, because they’re of no benefit in a nutritional supplement. Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 therefore does not contain dairy, preservatives, salt, sucrose, soy, wheat, yeast, corn, nuts, gluten, artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors. Even if you’re a vegan or on a gluten-free diet, you’re good to go with Kenzen Digestion Complex 4 -20.

Take one capsule before each meal and let’s enjoy our feasts and try not to fall off the wagon.