Start Active Wellness Early in Life for Heart’s Sake

Many of the conditions and behaviors that put people at risk for heart disease are appearing at younger ages. Choosing to be sedentary during downtime and eating unhealthy fast food are common pitfalls.

Children who are overweight or have a family history of heart disease or of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 1 or type 2 diabetes run the highest risk of having heart issues.1 Genetic predisposition aside, anyone can develop heart disease, so as parents, it’s our responsibility to role model an Active Wellness lifestyle. Telling a child or teenager to eat vegetables and exercise regularly is ineffective if we personally don’t follow through with those behaviors.

By starting heart-healthy habits from childhood, kids can reduce the chance they will ever need to worry about cardiovascular disease. In terms of exercise, the American Heart Association recommends that children:

  • Three to five years old should be physically active and have plenty of opportunities to move throughout the day.2
  • Six to 17 years old should get at least 60 minutes per day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity, mostly aerobic.3
  • Include vigorous-intensity activity on at least three days per week.4
  • Include muscle- and bone-strengthening (weight-bearing) activities on at least three days per week.5

Here are 10 tips for helping children develop heart-healthy habits:

  • Personally exercise more and find ways to be active as a family. Only one out of five adults meets the physical activity guidelines of getting 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity..6
  • Physical activity should be fun for children and adolescents. Encourage kids to try new activities in order to discover the ones they like and will pursue into adulthood. You may have a budding gymnast or yogini in the family!
  • In general, reduce time in front of the TV. Look into video games that incorporate movement, such as dance, indoor cycling or virtual sports (golf, tennis, etc.).
  • Give your kids active toys and games. Try bikes, skateboards, roller skates, scooters, jump ropes, balls and trampolines.
  • Take advantage of community facilities near you: pools, recreation centers, bike paths and parks.
  • Prepare simple meals together. Even children can help wash, chop and peel vegetables to assemble a salad. And because they helped make it, they’re more likely to eat it.
  • Experiment with spices to help cut down on salt. High sodium diets are often the cause of high blood pressure. Since we are creatures of habit, children who eat natural foods cooked with very little salt have fewer salt cravings as they grow up. Don’t assume children won’t eat beneficial flavor enhancers such as garlic, onions, mustard and vinegar.
  • Serve fruit for dessert. There’s plenty of natural sugar in fruit. Many Asian and Mediterranean diets rely on fruit for dessert. Children who grow up without eating sugary desserts tend to have this good habit carry over into adulthood.
  • Never smoke in front of your children. More than 37 million U.S. adults are current smokers, and thousands of young people start smoking each day. If you are a smoker, quitting will send a big message to your children never to start. Smoking damages the blood vessels and can cause heart disease.7
  • Do not serve sodas. Kenzen Super Ciaga® (link to shopping cart) is a superior soda replacement when added to seltzer or PiMag® water.

Even if you didn’t inherit heart-healthy habits, start now. Nikken has nutritional supplements that may help you with Active Wellness for the rest of your life. Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA (link to shopping cart) helps provide vegan omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids while Kenzen® Bergisterol  helps support cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels within the normal range.

* 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, 5, 7 https://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/index.html

2, 3, 4. 6 https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults

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

New Year Healthier You

As we begin 2019, making a commitment to improve overall health is crucial to an Active Wellness lifestyle. For each of us, that commitment is personal; however, the rule of thumb is to eat healthy foods and move our bodies more often. Resolutions need to be do-able and realistic in order for us to stick them. Here are 10 practical ways to help make 2019 a healthier year.

  1. Eat more citrus. An article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition1 found that people who eat foods high in vitamin C are more successful at staving off the effects of premature aging of the skin.
  2. Eat more vegetables. They contain lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals and low in calories. They’re the key to maintaining health and a comfortable weight.
  3. Cut down on sugar intake and don’t use artificial sweeteners.
  4. Expand your palate. Just because something sounds distasteful doesn’t mean it actually is. Things like kale, bitter melon and pomegranate may be acquired tastes but if you like them, you’re adding to your arsenal of healthy foods—all of which helps in weight management.
  5. Learn to cook. It is not only healthier because you can choose exactly which ingredients to use but also helps save money. One Reddit user cut his food budget from $900 to $150 a month by cooking more and ordering food delivery less.2
  6. Vow to exercise daily, as consistency is key. To challenge yourself, each week increase the intensity of whatever you choose to do a little bit.
  7. Spend less screen time (cell phones, tablets, TV, etc.) and more time making actual contact with living beings. For example, have tea time with friends, take an exercise class, walk the dog, etc.
  8. Wear shoes that are supportive and comfortable. When feet are uncomfortable, the whole body suffers. Feet carry us where we need to go, so be kind to them and we have a better chance that they’ll work throughout our lives.
  9. Be helpful. Whether we volunteer our time or donate to worthy causes, helping others is a win-win. We end up with a better self-image, which in turn creates an overall sense of well-being.
  10. Take the stairs wherever you can. That doesn’t mean climbing a high-rise, but three or four stories is a good way to add to a short walk in a building. During inclement weather, consciously using the stairs is a great way to do a mini-workout.

To help you achieve your healthy eating resolution, we’re offering a special on chocolate Kenzen Vital Balance® from Monday, January 7 through Sunday, March 31, 2019: 33% discount—Get 3 for the price of 2! (Excludes Autoship orders.)

1 https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/advice/g985/achievable-new-year-resolutions/?slide=29

2 https://www.marketwatch.com/story/4-new-years-resolutions-that-will-save-you-money-in-2019-2019-01-01

Basic Health Trends for 2019

Some notable health trends for 2019 are carried over from 2018 as more people take on the Active Wellness lifestyle. Here’s a look at what’s coming up for 2019 and amazingly, how Nikken products continue to be trendsetters throughout the years.

  • Medicinal mushrooms and herbs are finding their way into everyday food and drinks. Adaptogenic herbs can now be found in coffee bars and tea shops.1

Adaptogens are found in Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox, Kenzen® Clarity, Kenzen Lactoferrin™ 2.0 and Kenzen® Immunity, which is formulated with 14 different species of mushrooms!

  • More gadgets are popping up to help us recover from strenuous activities. According to CEO Martin Tobias of Upgrade Labs, “Modern recovery technologies use stronger signals like vibration, infrared light, targeted compression, intense cold, intense heat, powerful detoxification, and advanced nutrition to speed recovery and development.”2

Virtually every Nikken nutritional supplement targets not only health maintenance but helps the body recover from daily stresses. In addition, the KenkoTouch®, the MagCreator, CM Complex Cream and the KenkoGround™ specifically help overcome muscle fatigue.

  • Last year, sales of plant-based meat grew to 23% and is forecast to continue expanding in 2019. Plant-based dairy was 13% of all milk sales in 2018 and also expected to grow in 2019.
  • Plant–based fish and seafood, which reported sales increase of 72% from 2017 to 2018, is predicted to really expand in a big way.5 New companies are entering the market as it heats up. Managing Partner T.K. Pillan of PowerPlant Ventures says, “If awareness of the negative impacts of ocean fishing and contaminants spread quickly, plant-based fish could follow the plant-based meat market in its recent accelerated growth.” 3

Adds Eric Schnell, co-founder of Good Catch, a company that focuses on plant-based fish for vegans and those with fish allergies, “There are 300 marine animals that are fished around the world for consumption and only 30 land animals, so the opportunity to disrupt the marine category is 10 times bigger than chicken, beef and pork.”4

A prime example of using renewable plant sources rather than depleting marine supplies is Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA with omegas 3, 6 and 9 derived from flaxseed oil, red algae and cranberry seed oil.

  • As awareness of the importance of sleep for overall health grows, people are tracking their sleep patterns to find ways to improve the quality of their resting hours. According to virtually every sleep expert, it’s important to maintain a consistent sleep-wake schedule. That translates to waking up and going to bed at the same time, as much as possible, and not deviating too much on weekends or days off from work. At Nikken, we believe the Kenko Sleep System can help poor sleepers achieve their best rest!
  • Digestive health is set to become a significant trend in 2019. The Kroger Company in Cincinnati put out information stating that “medical studies show that a healthy gut is the foundation of overall wellness, and more than ever before, consumers are seeking foods that support self-care and healthy immune systems.” 5

Kenzen Lactoferrin™ 2.0 and Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 support optimal digestion*, nutrient absorption*, the proliferation of good gut bacteria* and overall health.

  • As we continue to live in a world where instant gratification is so desired, fast food is not going away. The good news is that there is a growing trend toward healthy eating in the form of meal replacement shakes, salads to go and nutrient-dense take-out food. According to Mintel, a market research firm that forecasts data for thousands of consumer goods markets worldwide, “On-the-go consumers are shopping for grab and go breakfasts, quick snacks and dinner time solutions. Consumers are expecting high-quality food and beverage options that fit into their fast-paced, time-crunched lifestyles without having to sacrifice health goals or flavor.”6

Look no further than Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix, which can be a meal or a snack, depending on your needs. It’s convenient and versatile, suitable for vegans and contains MCTs for your brain! It is an instant meal that supports the GI tract with an enzyme blend combined with probiotics.

*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.prnewswire.com/news-releases/2019-health-trends-forecast-300759858.html

2, 3, 4, https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/wellness-trends-2019

5 https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/12959-digestive-health-a-top-trend-heading-into-2019

6 https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2018/11/30/Mintel-s-top-food-trends-for-2019-From-healthy-aging-to-convenient-food-hacks#

Plain and Simple: Conquer the Desire for Sugar

Just as with any harmful addiction, breaking the sugar habit can be difficult. But as more health research comes to light, it truly is necessary to reduce sugar consumption, if not eliminate it completely from our diets.

Research continues to show that sugar reduction is among the top product claims sought after by consumers. A recent survey conducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) shows that:

  • 48% of consumers say they are eliminating certain foods and beverages from their diets.1
  • 25% are using low-calorie sweeteners instead of sugar.2
  • 22% are switching from caloric beverages to low- and no-calorie options.3

Many consumers have a mixed opinion about low – and no-calorie sweeteners, but 63% now believe that these sweeteners help them reduce sugar consumption.4

Our previous blogs discussed healthy natural sweeteners The Healthiest Natural Sweetener vs. the unhealthy artificial sweeteners.

The increased focus on sugar consumption in relation to health has led to new regulatory guidelines in markets globally. In the United States, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented changes to labeling added sugars and dietary fibers on Nutrition Facts to make it more clear to consumers. Nikken began the transition to the new labeling requirements as early as last year. Below is an example of the differences in labeling.

Revised Nutrition Facts (Blog).png

Here are some tips for reducing sugar consumption in pursuit of Active Wellness:

  1. Eliminate sodas and other sugary beverages.
  2. Need a sugar fix? Eat a piece of fruit or a sweet vegetable, such as a carrot or beet.
  3. Frozen berries, grapes, cherries and bananas are delicious as sorbets when blended.
  4. Are you a coffee or tea drinker? Try to drink it “straight” or only with a little creamer—without any sweeteners. Lemon in tea is a flavorful replacement and you can train your taste buds to appreciate tangy over sweet.
  5. Be careful with “alternative” sweeteners, such as honey and molasses. They are still forms of sugar, high in calories and have limited nutritional value. Instead, choose no-calorie natural sweeteners such as monkfruit and stevia.
  6. Do you want something sweet without empty calories? Have a “milk shake” made with Kenzen Vital Balance® mixed with the milk of your choice: coconut, soy, almond, cashew or regular!
  7. Drink more water. A recent survey in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics found that people who drank just 1% more water daily cut sugar intake by one to four teaspoons.5
  8. Read labels. Packaged food contains lots of hidden sugar, so eat fresh food whenever possible. For example, instead of packaged oatmeal, buy oatmeal that requires cooking. The packaged oatmeal frequently has little to no fiber and instead contains added sugar and artificial flavoring.

Sugar is a bad habit, but the good news is, we can beat it!

1, 2, 3, 4 http://www.foodinsightorg/2017-food-and-health-survey

5 https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/g2480/low-sugar-diet/

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Keeping your heart healthy is a critical aspect of Active Wellness. Cardiovascular disease includes heart attack, stroke or congestive heart failure. 1 A new study shows that one of the main effects of being chronically overweight is that you are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease than those with normal weight. This study is particularly meaningful given that the researchers followed 190,672 participants for at least 10 years and mined the accumulated data. 2

Participants were grouped according to age and weight. After adjusting the data for risk factors such as age, race, ethnicity and smoking status, head research Dr. Sadiya Khan of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and her colleagues found that the higher the BMI (body-mass index), the greater the lifetime risk of some type of cardiovascular event.2

Normal weight and BMI are personal issues and can best be determined with the help of a physician. People at exactly the same height can be at a wide range of weights and still be healthy. Bone structure and musculature may account for much of the variation. Other than staying at a comfortable and healthy personal weight, here are some other tips for heart health:

  1. Aim for seven hours of sleep. According to a study discussed on WebMD, young and middle-aged adults who slept seven hours a night had less calcium in their arteries (an early sign of heart disease) than those who slept five hours or less or nine hours or more. In addition, those who got good-quality sleep had healthier arteries than those who did not sleep soundly.3 Kenko Sleep Products help support restful sleep.
  2. Get your blood pressure checked regularly. The rule of thumb is to get it checked every three to five years if you’re between the ages of 18 and 39; and if you’re 40 or older, to check it annually. If you know you have high blood pressure, definitely check it every year or even more often. Kenzen® Bergisterol™ capsules help support blood pressure that is within normal limits.*
  3. Develop healthy eating habits. Focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein. Limit salt, sugar, saturated fats and alcohol. One of the fastest ways to clean up your diet is to cut out sugary beverages like soda and fruit juice.3 Kenzen Super Ciaga® makes it so easy to quit drinking soda.
  4. Get your blood sugar tested regularly. Millions of people have diabetes and aren’t aware of it until they suffer from a cardiovascular event. Diabetes adds to the risk of heart disease.
  5. Dr. Monika Sanghavi, assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center says, “We now know that even if you exercise for 30 minutes a day, being sedentary for the other 23.5 hours is really bad for your heart.”3 Break up long periods of sitting by standing or walking intermittently.
  6. If you smoke, quit. Don’t replace tobacco with e-cigarettes. They may not have the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, but they still contain nicotine.

Take part in the Super Ciaga® Recipe Contest for a chance to win a six month supply of NEW Kenzen Super Ciaga®!
 We challenge you to come up with your own recipes for Kenzen Super Ciaga® and share them with Nikken. We’re going to pick our favorite submissions and send each winner six months of new Kenzen Super Ciaga® via Autoship. (That’s 12 bottles, a real haul!) There’s no limit to the number of submissions but you only have the month of March to send them. If you send in a photo or video, that increases your chances of winning! Please email submissions to pate@nikken.com.

heart health.png

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

1 http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/What-is-Cardiovascular-Disease_UCM_301852_Article.jsp#.WqAxi7T83zI

2 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamacardiology/article-abstract/2673289?redirect=true

3 https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/prevention-15/heart-healthy/12-tips-for-better-heart-health?page=1

 

Kick the Soda and Sugary Drink Habit!

Last year, the many reasons to reduce or eliminate added sugar from our diets were explored on NikkenActiveWellness. See Get Smart and Get Rid of Sugar and Is Sugar as Deadly as Cigarettes? What we know is right and what we do, are unfortunately not always the same. That’s why Kenzen Super Ciaga® is such an exciting new product for Nikken to launch. It’s an organic mixed superfruit concentrate that’s going to help us kick the soda habit for good! And it’s coming to you on March 1, 2018!

Here are just a few simple numbers—average calories from sugar—of commercially sold beverages1:

  • 12 oz. can of coca cola contains 140 calories from sugar at 39g
  • 8 oz. can of Rockstar Energy Drink contains 124 calories from sugar at 31g
  • 8 oz serving of Arizona Lemon Ice Tea contains 90 calories from sugar at 24g
  • 8 oz serving of Snapple Lemon Iced Tea contains 92 calories from sugar at 23g

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, in one study, people who added soda on top of their current diet ended up consuming 17% more calories than before.2 That is because liquid sugar does not cause a feeling of fullness in the same way as solid foods, making people eat more total calories. Sugar-sweetened beverages may be the most fattening aspect of the modern diet. In fact, as little as one can of soda per day has been consistently linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. To put that number in perspective, if the entire U.S. population added one can of soda to their daily diets, almost 3.5 million people might become diabetic.3

Here’s why Kenzen Super Ciaga® can be so helpful in kicking the soda habit. It’s at least three times more concentrated than CiagaV, so dilution is recommended. That means instead of drinking one ounce in a shot glass, diluting to your taste is best. We suggest that you add three to four ounces of water per ounce. Add Super Ciaga to seltzer and you have a natural soda that’s jam packed with antioxidants—from maqui berry, elderberry, blueberry, blackberry and raspberry—and so delicious you won’t miss those nasty sodas, fully sugared or even worse, made with artificial sweeteners.

New Kenzen Super Ciaga is really a perfect “mixer.” It makes the perfect companion to Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink. The natural sweetness from the organic mixed superfruit juice concentrate gives the organic matcha green tea a different flavor and double the antioxidant punch! Active Wellness has never been easier to maintain.

We challenge you to come up with your own recipes for Kenzen Super Ciaga® and share them with Nikken. We’re going to pick our favorite submissions and send each winner six months of new Kenzen Super Ciaga® via Autoship. (That’s 12 bottles, a real haul!) There’s no limit to the number of submissions but you only have the month of March to send them. If you send in a photo, that increases your chances of winning! Please email pate@nikken.com.

See the contest rules here.

1 http://www.sugarstacks.com/beverages.htm

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10878689 

3 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-ways-sugary-soda-is-bad-for-you