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

 

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

 

Do You Eat Right and Stay Hydrated During Summer Heat?

As temperatures rise, our bodies have varying needs in order to function optimally. Everyone is aware that high temperatures require more liquid intake, but sometimes it takes the symptoms of dehydration to remember to grab the water bottle! It’s far safer to drink water throughout the day, since thirst is already a sign of dehydration.

Overheating is especially easy for children and family dogs that we transport frequently in cars. It only takes 10 minutes for a car to heat up by 19 degrees; and since children’s bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s, it renders them far more susceptible to heat stroke. 1 By the same token, a dog’s normal temperature is about 101.5, and a degree up or down is fine; however, once a dog’s internal temperature reaches 105, its life is in danger. 2 Never leave a child or a dog (or any other pet) in a car in the summer, even if the windows are cracked open.

In addition to staying hydrated, what we eat can also affect how our bodies cope with the summer heat. Meats and other high protein foods need to utilize more water during digestion, and food poisoning reaches its annual high during the summer. According to the Center for Disease Control, anything that has mayonnaise, dairy, or eggs in it and any meat products can develop some pretty nasty bacteria after only a couple of hours unrefrigerated.3

To prevent food poisoning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture advises us to “Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.” This refers to washing hands and surfaces where we prepare foods, wrapping raw meat and keeping it separated and stored away from other food, cooking meats to a minimum of 145 to 165 degrees internally (poultry requires the highest heat), and keeping everything chilled in the refrigerator as long as possible, then transported in an insulated cooler.4

If drinking enough water proves challenging, there are certain foods that are easy to eat and prepare. Since they’re composed mostly of water, they help us hydrate.

  • Broccoli and cauliflower are composed of more than 90% water, as are radishes.
  • Eggplant is a great source of hydration and fiber and can serve as a versatile meat replacement, minimizing the need for much liquid during digestion.
  • Bell peppers are more than 92% water, with the green variety containing the most.5
  • Melons such as honeydew, cantaloupe, casaba, Crenshaw, hami, golden, Korean, and so many more, are natural hydrators and packed with sweetness and antioxidants.
  • Watermelon is the universally loved summer fruit that contains lycopene, an antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables with red pigmentation. Lycopene offers the added benefit of protecting against sunburn.6

Take advantage of the sunny weather to participate in outdoor activities but remember that hydration is part of Active Wellness. Keep your PiMag® Sport Bottle handy as you go to picnics, barbeques and summer outings.

1 https://www.care.com/c/stories/3357/summer-safety-tips-a-guide-to-protecting-kids-from-heat/

2 http://www.vetstreet.com/dr-marty-becker/heatstroke-summer-days-can-turn-deadly-quickly-for-overheated-dogs

3, 4 https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/top-7-summer-health-hazards#2

5 https://blog.memd.me/hydrating-foods-to-eat-this-summer/

6 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lycopene

 

Men Need to Pay Attention to Bone Health

Osteoporosis causes the skeleton to weaken and become brittle, making it easy to fracture or break. Too often, osteoporosis is a disease that is attributed only to women because men tend to have larger skeletons with bone loss starting later in life and progressing more slowly. Nevertheless, in just the United States, millions of men suffer from osteoporosis.1

Because osteoporosis often goes undiagnosed, it is especially important to prevent it. Known as a “silent disease,” osteoporosis may not exhibit any symptoms until a fracture actually occurs. Men in their fifties do not experience the rapid loss of bone mass that women do in the years following menopause; however, by age 65 or 70, men and women lose bone mass at the same rate as well as the decrease in ability to absorb calcium.2

There are two main types of osteoporosis: primary and secondary. The primary type is caused by age-related bone loss. The secondary type is caused by bone loss related to unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol, lack of exercise and a diet low in calcium. Although men of any race can develop osteoporosis, Caucasians seem most at risk as well as men who have chronic diseases that affect the kidneys, lungs, stomach and intestines.3

Since osteoporosis is often asymptomatic, both men and women need to be self-aware and see their physicians if they notice a change in posture, height or the onset of back pain. These are all signs of possible osteoporosis and a bone mineral density test can confirm whether the disease is present or in the precursor stages.

If a diagnosis of osteoporosis is made, the treatment plan may include calcium and/or vitamin D supplements, exercise and a change in diet. There are also medications that may be prescribed, but this is a source of much continuing controversy as there are risks of negative side effects, even though the drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.4

There have been fewer research studies on osteoporosis in men than in women; however, the consensus is that both genders should take steps to preserve bone health. Here are some preventative measures:

  • Ensure a daily calcium intake that is adequate for your age. For example, recommended calcium intake for those 9-18 years old is 1,300 mg daily but it decreases to 1,000 mg for men 19-70 years old and women up to 50 years old. At 51 years for women and 70 years for men, the recommended calcium intake increases to 1,200 mg.5
  • Ensure an adequate intake of vitamin D. 600 IU daily is recommended, while men over age 70 should increase intake to 800 IU daily.6
  • Participate regularly in weight-bearing exercises in which bones and muscles work against gravity. An Active Wellness regimen is easy to start simply with walking, jogging and climbing stairs.
  • Incorporate resistance exercises into your daily routine. Start with lifting small weights and work up to heavier ones. Or use the resistance machines at a gym.
  • Some medications are known to cause bone loss, for example, those known as glucocorticoids.7 If you take them or other medications, check with your doctor for known side effects that affect bone loss.

Check out the Nikken Bone Health Pack. Composed of Kenzen® Calcium Complex and Kenzen BDZ™, these partner products deliver maximum support for the body’s skeletal system. Bone buddies are your best friends for life.

Remember to Celebrate Father’s Day with our special Limitless Energy Pack—with the purchase of a KenkoTouch®, you also receive two Kenzen Ten4® and two black KenkoTherm DUK® Tape—available only through June 14!

 

1,2 https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/men

3 https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/men#c

4 https://www.naturomedica.com/blog/news/osteoporosis/what-are-the-controversies-surrounding-osteoporosis-medications

5, 6, 7 https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/men#e

Fight Seasonal Allergies without Drugs

This is the time of year when the sounds of sneezing, sniffling and nose-blowing reverberate in far too many households throughout the world. Allergies are not contagious, but they are definitely irritating, with reactions ranging from wheezing, runny nose, watery or itchy eyes and more. Many depend on antihistamines, but that may actually aggravate them further or produce side effects of lethargy, drowsiness and other discomforts. Instead of just addressing the symptoms, getting to the root of the allergies may help decrease or get rid of them.

Understanding the cause of allergies is the first step in committing to an Active Wellness regimen that eschews allergy medications. Allergic reactions begin in the immune system. When something like dust, mold or pollen produces an allergic reaction in people, it’s because their immune systems are overreacting to the foreign substance. Those with strong immune systems may not react at all, while others may be mildly to severely irritated. Here are some ways to fortify the immune system and possibly minimize allergies in the long run:

  • Massage: The lymphatic system is the main carrier of the immune system and functions similarly to a sewer system by helping the body drain clogging fluids such as mucous. One way to open up the lymphatic system and to keep it flowing smoothly is through massage.1 The body can then rid itself of excess mucous produced from the allergic response.
  • Turmeric: Lymphatic drainage is blocked when the adrenal gland manufactures too much cortisol, known as the stress hormone. Turmeric is an adaptogenic herb that addresses the stress-lymph connection by helping to naturally lower cortisol levels while increasing antioxidant stress-fighting activity and boosting lymphatic circulation.2
  • Gut health: The connection between a strong immune system and a healthy gut is becoming common knowledge. More than 80% of the body’s immune function is stored in the GI tract, so research continues to link gut health with the reduced risk of allergies.3 When taken together, lactoferrin and probiotics provide a synergistic effect to the immune system by working together to help prevent chronic inflammation, help limit the spread of harmful microbes and help stabilize colonies of friendly bacteria.4
  • Healthy diet: Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce the risk of allergies and many other health problems. Nutrient-dense foods give the immune system the ability to repair itself, bringing it back into balance so it can help fight off common allergies in the environment.5 Beneficial foods include garlic, green leafy vegetables, lemons, fermented foods rich in probiotics (kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, kombucha, etc.), gluten-free grains (flours made from coconut, almond, spelt, oat and rice, etc.), and seeds (flax, chia, pumpkin and sunflower).

Take advantage of the Father’s Day Promotion and get a super deal when you purchase a Limitless Energy Pack. The KenkoTouch® enables you to give and have a portable massage to help keep the lymphatic system humming.

 

1 http://www.navacenter.com/community/blogs/how-to-prevent-allergies-the-holistic-approach

2 https://lifespa.com/rescue-lymph-stress-late/

3 https://draxe.com/8-natural-allergy-relief-remedies/

4 https://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=526

5 https://draxe.com/8-natural-allergy-relief-remedies/

Nature’s Perfect Food

It’s hard to imagine a single food having the multiple benefits of nutritional ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, amino acids, enzymes, plant protein and fiber. Yet, barley grass is composed of all those ingredients and more, making it a true superfood. Take a look at all the benefits provided by barley grass!

If you don’t want the calories that come with the antioxidant-laden fresh fruit juice, consider barley grass powder, easily mixed with water. It’s loaded with vitamin A, vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), folate, vitamins C (ascorbic acid), E (alpha-tocopherol) and K (phylloquinone). It contains an abundance of electrolytes such as magnesium, phosphorous and potassium along with other essential minerals such as zinc, iron and calcium.1

High in chlorophyll and beta-carotene, barley grass helps stimulate the body’s natural processes of eliminating waste materials and helps support metabolic processes while strengthening and detoxifying the liver. Zinc, selenium and copper are the minerals in barley grass that contribute to its cleansing abilities.2

By helping the body stay clean internally, barley grass also assists the gut in propagating healthy bacteria and thus decreasing inflammation and other associated symptoms of ulcerative colitis.3

With these cumulative benefits, it comes as no surprise that barley grass helps boost the immune system, which helps strengthen the ability to prevent and combat infection and disease. Regular consumption of barley grass provides the required nutrition, which is necessary for balancing the optimal production of immune cells in the body.4

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), barley grass powder is the best functional food that provides nutrition and helps eliminate toxins from cells in human beings; however, its functional ingredients have played an important role in providing health benefits. NIH comprehensive databases show numerous studies of barley grass that attribute super powers to the green food, including the prevention of chronic disease.5

 Short of calling barley grass a miracle food, various papers housed by the NIH show that “barley grass promotes sleep; has anti-diabetic effect; regulates blood pressure; enhances immunity; protects liver; has anti-acne/detoxifying and antidepressant effects; improves gastrointestinal function; has anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, and anti-gout effects; reduces cardiovascular diseases, fatigue, and constipation; alleviates atopic dermatitis; improves cognition; and so on.”6

As if all these benefits for the internal organs were not enough, barley grass also has been shown to be effective in protecting against UV radiation. The superoxide dismutase enzyme essentially helps protect the body on a cellular level from the effects of radiation and barley grass is a good source. Barley grass juice can be consumed regularly to help prevent any such damage and reduce the effects of harmful radiation. The chlorophyll content in barley helps the regeneration of new cells and also helps with the repair of damaged cells.7

Nikken has taken “Nature’s Perfect Food” and turbo-boosted it for Active Wellness. Kenzen Jade GreenZymes® is made with organic barley grass and a proprietary blend of organic acacia and organic pearl barley seed extract powder. Acacia is a source of dissolvable dietary fiber used to promote good bacteria in the intestines.8 Pearl barley contains potassium, calcium and magnesium, which have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally.9 It has also been linked to a lower risk of chronic disease and a stabilizing factor in blood sugar and weight management.10

1,2, 3, 4 https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/cereal/barley-grass.html

5, 6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5904770/

7 https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/11-benefits-barley-grass/

8 https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-268/acacia

9, 10 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295268.php

 

Are You Getting Enough Protein in Your Diet?

Eating an adequate amount of protein is critical for Active Wellness. Proteins are the main building blocks of the body—they’re used to form muscles, tendons, organs and skin. The body also uses protein to help repair tissues when recovering from injuries and intense exertion.

When it comes to the right amount of protein for you, many factors come into play. Although the DRI (dietary reference intake) calculated by most official nutrition organizations is based on body weight alone (.8 grams of protein per kilogram or .36 grams per pound)1, individual and gender requirements may vary widely. Your activity level, state of health, age, and body mass are all important considerations. Even the goals you want to achieve for your body matter, for example, if you are intent on increasing muscle mass.

The Institute of Medicine offers a way to break down protein needs based on activity level. Sedentary people would multiply their weight in pounds by .4 and active people by .6.2 Competitive athletes would increase protein intake by multiplying their weight in pounds by .75 and a light body-builder by .85.3

As the body ages, metabolism and the absorption of key nutrients slows down. This puts those 65 and older at risk of developing sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass, strength and function. The essential amino acids in protein are key nutrients for muscle health, but older adults are less responsive to low doses of amino acid intake compared to younger people. A 2016 study from researchers at the departments of Food Science and Geriatrics at the University of Arkansas found that this lack of responsiveness can be overcome with higher levels of protein consumption. The study says that protein levels in the range of 30 to 35 percent of total caloric intake may prove beneficial.4

Another interesting variance was shown in an eight-week study with two groups of women who completed a strength training plan of two upper body training days and two lower body training days per week. One group ate a high protein diet and another, a lower protein diet. Results showed that the women on the higher protein diet gained significantly more lean body mass with an average of 4.6 pounds compared to an average of 1.5 pounds for the lower protein group. 5

The surprise finding in the study was that even though the women on the higher protein diet consumed about 423 more calories from protein than those on the lower protein diet, they did not gain body fat. Instead, they lost an average of 2.4 pounds of fat mass vs. 1.7 pounds fat mass lost by the women with lower protein intake. The women in the higher-protein group also gained just over two pounds but when body composition was measured, they gained more muscle and lost more fat than the lower protein group.6

According to Tara Dellolacono Thies, a registered dietitian, most women need between 50 and 60 grams of protein a day, more than the 46 grams calculated by the DRI. She explains that vegetarians can get plenty of protein without eating meat and dairy by consuming green peas, tofu, nuts, chickpeas, soybeans, broccoli, quinoa, chia seeds and cocoa powder.7

Even higher amounts of protein are recommended by Nancy Rodriguez, a registered dietitian and professor of nutritional science at the University of Connecticut. She attended a “Protein Summit” with 60 nutrition scientists and published a paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition where she noted that “taking in up to twice the RDA of protein is a safe and good range to aim for. The potential benefits of higher protein intake, these researchers argue, include preserving muscle strength despite aging and maintaining a lean, fat-burning physique. Some studies described in the summit reports suggest that protein is more effective if you space it out over the day’s meals and snacks, rather than loading up at dinner.” 8

As with any health and nutrition change, it is important to talk to your doctor about your protein needs and intake as you age. Additionally, protein should be paired with resistance exercise to help prevent muscle loss, medical experts say.9

Having a hard time meeting your daily protein requirements? Kenzen Vital Balance® contains 20 grams of vegan protein per serving. It’s certified kosher and organic and naturally sweetened with monk fruit.

1 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-protein-per-day

2, 3, 7 https://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20410520,00.html

4, 9 https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2018/protein-needs-fd.html

5, 6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29405780

8 https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/101/6/1317S/4564491