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/

 

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/

Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), diabetes affects about 30.3 million Americans or about 9.4% of the U.S. population, and nearly one in four living with diabetes don’t know they have it.1 Additional statistics show that another 84 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.2 Since nine out of 10 adults with prediabetes don’t know they have it,3 they may not take precautions.

How do you know if you’re at risk? Just as with most diseases, if you have a family history of diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Other risk factors include being older than 45, being overweight or leading a sedentary lifestyle.4

Since diabetes can cause other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, impaired sight and foot issues, taking adequate preventative measures is prudent. Delaying diabetes by even a few years may benefit your health.5 The NIDDK even has an annual Diabetes Alert Day to inform the public how diabetes can be prevented or delayed—tomorrow, March 26, 2019 is this year’s special day.

According to the Diabetes Prevention Research Group, there are some things you can do to lower your risk, which coincide with practicing Active Wellness:

  • If you are overweight, losing weight and keeping it off may help prevent or delay diabetes. The rule-of-thumb is to lose 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose about 10 to 14 pounds. About 12% of diabetics are normal weight or thin—their insulin resistance may be caused by genetic factors, fat around their organs (known as visceral fat) or high cortisol levels resulting from stress.6
  • Exercise regularly. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional about which activities are best. Start slowly to build up to your goal. For example, if you can only walk for five minutes at a time, you can start by taking mini-walks several times a day.
  • Eat healthy foods most of the time.Choose foods that are nutrient-dense and have a low glycemic load.7 You don’t have to memorize a list of foods if you stick largely to a Mediterranean diet with lots of green vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, and low-sugar fruits like berries, kiwi, oranges, and melon. Eating in a healthy way not only helps heavier diabetics lose weight, but it also helps normal-weight diabetics control their blood sugar levels.
  • Drink water instead of sweetened beverages. Many people eat well but are not aware that drinking so-called healthy juices or energy boosters often results in unnecessary intakes of sugar.
  • Stay away from refined and processed foods as much as possible. Replace “white” foods such as rice, pasta, bread and cereals with whole grains that are high in fiber. The worst foods are those with added sugar, fried foods, foods with trans fat and processed meats. 8

Whether you need help maintaining or losing weight, Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix contains no added sugar, has MCTs for your brain and organic pea protein that even vegans can enjoy. Take advantage of the current promotion where you receive three Chocolate KVB for the price of two.

To help break the coffee and tea with sugar and cream habit, Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix is the perfect pick-me-up. It’s made with organic matcha green tea and New Zealand kiwi, and naturally sweetened with stevia extract and organic brown rice solids.

Spring Packs with 20% discount are available through the end of this month!

1, 2, 3 https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/communication-programs/ndep/partner-community-organization-information/diabetes-alert-day

4, 5 https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-type-2-diabetes

6 https://www.geisinger.org/health-and-wellness/wellness-articles/2018/03/05/21/59/yes-thin-people-can-get-type-2-diabetes

7 https://foodrevolution.org/blog/how-to-eat-to-prevent-diabetes/

8 https://www.helpguide.org/articles/diets/the-diabetes-diet.htm/

Relax, Renew and Regenerate this Spring Season!

In North America the official start of spring this year is on March 20. Even as the spring season is physically a time of rebirth and renewal, it’s also a challenging time for both the body and the mind.

Noted psychiatrist and substance abuse specialist Dr. McCance-Katz points out that researchers have discovered a greater incidence of depression and anxiety in the spring months. As it turns out, lengthening daylight may discombobulate people’s chemical regulatory system. “There are these different neurotransmitters that have been implicated in mood disorders,” she says. “It could be that people also have imbalances in serotonin, in melatonin, that are affected by day length and can also affect mood.”1 These imbalances are also suspected to cause that general feeling of lethargy, commonly referred to as spring fever.

In fact, “the suicide rate goes up in the spring.”2 Not only are taxes due, final exams take place in many universities and secondary schools, certain sports resume intense practice and stress levels increase during the season for filing taxes. Spring presents specific challenges, so here are a few tips for combating the basic three:

  1. As much as you look forward to the warmer spring weather, you also have to cope with the accompanying winds and sporadic rain, which can wreak havoc on the skin. Your skin may get dehydrated, itchy and red. Be particularly gentle while cleansing and conscientiously hydrate throughout the day and especially at night, because skin cells renew best during rest. Antioxidant-rich vitamins E, A and C are particularly helpful in regenerating the skin. 3
  2. Spring fever begone! Use your diet to help obtain that extra boost you need. Eat seasonal foods. They are fresher and therefore have higher nutritional value. 4 To make sure you aren’t eating or drinking anything that may cause inflammation (pesticides, artificial coloring, chemical preservatives), stay with organic fruits and vegetables.
  3. Stress can virtually be a killer, so exercise both physical and mental health care. Make sure to incorporate exercise into your busy spring days, as physical activity is a known stress reliever. Massage is also a way to practice Active Wellness as the muscles are coaxed into relaxation for sense of overall well-being.

Nikken can help you combat the three basic challenges of spring, so you can relax, renew and regenerate. KenkoTouch®  takes the “ouch” out of expensive massage sessions with a convenient hand-held device that is designed with patented DynaFlux® magnetic technology. Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix gives you 80 mg of natural caffeine from superior quality matcha green tea powder to supercharge your body and to keep your mind alert.  Since it is so important to keep skin moisturized during the spring season, we recommend using True Elements® Youthful Face Cream, (link to shopping cart) as it may help all skin types replenish moisture.

To help you with Active Wellness in the spring season, we’re offering you a special Spring Pack, available exclusively from March 18 through March 31. You’ll receive one KenkoTouch with two Kenzen Ten4® and two True Elements® Youthful Face Cream, all at a 20% discount:  US Spring Pack SKU 4410 US$319 / CN Spring Pack SKU 4411 CN$424.

1 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/12/03/the-google-misery-index-the-times-of-year-were-most-depressed-anxious-and-stressed/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1b1a48c48b1f

2 http://www.mharockland.org/springtime-challenge/

3 https://www.hl-labs.com/pro-info/springtime-challenges-for-our-skin.html

4 https://www.earthbalancenatural.com/lifestyle/6-tips-springtime-stress-relief/

 

Do You Eat Plant-Based Protein to Help Sustain Planet Earth?

How many of you eat veggie burgers? Have you discovered the versatility of tofu? Are you trying to eat a “plantcentric” diet? Are you aware of your carbon footprint?

Food’s carbon footprint, or foodprint, is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of the food you eat. Transport, housing and food have the three largest carbon footprints. Food produces about eight tons of emissions per households or about 17% of the total. Worldwide, new reports suggest that livestock agriculture produces around half of all man-made emissions.1

Meat, cheese and eggs have the highest carbon footprint. Fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts have much lower carbon footprints. If you move towards a mainly vegetarian diet, you can have a large impact on your personal carbon footprint.2 It can help reduce pollution, preserve the environment and slow global warming. Many of these changes may also save you money, improve your health and even keep you fit!

Consumer knowledge about carbon footprints, sustainable products and maintaining an Active Wellness lifestyle has contributed to the explosive growth of the market for plant-based protein. With carbohydrates and fats, there is ongoing debate about their pros and cons. With protein, the general perception is that not only is it necessary for maintaining health but it can also improve overall well-being. This generally held belief adds to the growing popularity of plant-based proteins.

From children to seniors, the entire range of ages is joining body builders in recognizing the importance of eating enough protein but many do not want to eat meat. According to “The Protein Report: Meat Alternatives” that was published in January 2017, roughly 66 percent of U.S. consumers believe meat alternatives are healthier than meat.3 And it’s the younger generation that is leading the way: according to the February 2016 report entitled “Food Formulation and Ingredient Trends: Plant Proteins” from Packaged Facts, millennials are the top age group cutting down on meat consumption, primarily due to social consciousness about health, the environment and animal welfare.4

Plant-based proteins find their way into beverages as well as food in the form of snacks, nutritional supplements and meat replacements. Protein powders that used to be consumed largely by athletes have now made their way into the mainstream diet. Pea protein is found in 80% of plant protein powders because it has been found to deliver high marks both in taste and nutrition. 5

Since 2013, Kenzen® Vital Balance Meal Replacement Mix has been a trendsetter with its formula of high-protein, plant-based organic pea powder. Easily made into a shake or smoothie when combined with PiMag® water, plant-based milk or dairy milk, KVB in more recent years has taken quality to an even higher level by producing an improved version sweetened with zero-calorie monkfruit, KVB also helps planet Earth by using organic ingredients. Organic farming methods have a much lower impact on the environment than conventional methods, because it requires natural methods for soil fertilization, weed prevention and pest control. Organic ingredients cannot be genetically-modified or irradiated, processes which are not proven to be safe for the food chain.

From now through March 31,2019, take advantage of our special on chocolate Kenzen Vital Balance® at 33% discount—Get 3 for the price of 2! Chocolate KVB is formulated and manufactured in the USA.

 

 

1, 2  http://www.greeneatz.com/foods-carbon-footprint.html

3, 4, 5 https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/functional-foodsbeverages/plant-based-protein-market-deep-dive

The Perfect Valentine is From Your Heart

February 14 is Valentine’s Day in North America and many other countries around the world. It’s a day of romance and proclamations of love. Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged every year, making it the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.1

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, although written declarations didn’t appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine that still exists today was a poem by the Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. It’s now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.2

Here are some interesting ways various countries celebrate Valentine’s Day:

  • In the Philippines, it’s a day for mass weddings where hundreds and even thousands get married in union. These huge events are sometimes sponsored by the government as a public service.3
  • Bulgarians celebrate St. Trijon Zarezan day on February 14. Known as Winemakers Day, couples toast their love with a glass or two of wine from local vineyards.4
  • In both Japan and South Korea, women give men gifts on Valentine’s Day. Men return the gesture on White Day, giving women gifts that are white as a sign of pure love.5
  • Marriage proposals take place quite often between February 12 and 14 in the “village of love” in St. Valentin, France. The village decks their houses in roses and covers trees with love note.6
  • In Ghana, February 14 is National Chocolate Day. As one of the world’s largest cocoa producing countries, the day is meant to boost tourism with chocolate themed menus, exhibitions and talks.7
  • North Americans often give jewelry, flowers and chocolate to their loved ones on Valentine’s Day.

Look no further for the perfect Valentine that comes from your heart. Nikken has created the unique Kenko Heart Set and Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to declare your love! The pendant and earrings can be worn with jeans as well as with an elegant gown . The pendant is stainless steel on one side and gold-plated on the other. Symbolizing the Heart of Nikken, the pendant is engineered with an 800-gauss neodymium magnet. The Kenko Heart earrings are gold-plated and feature 600-gauss neodymium magnets.

The pendant fits perfectly with either the stainless steel or gold-plated Perfect Link II necklace,  which features 800-gauss neodymium magnets throughout their 18-inch lengths. Nickel-free and non-corrosive, these finely crafted necklaces are polished to a glossy finish and look perfect both day and night, with casual or formal wear.

1, 2 https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2

 

3, 4, 5, 6, 7 https://www.scoopwhoop.com/How-Countries-Celebrate-Valentines-Day/#.9nii56exv