Do Your Children Eat a Lot of “Treats”?

Providing food is a universal act of care in every species within the animal kingdom. Humans above all show affection by preparing and serving a variety of food. Often, certain types of food are given as “treats,” thus assigning them extra value.

Here’s an example of a dialogue between parent and child:

Parent: Finish your dinner and you can have a special treat.

Child: What’s the special treat?

Parent: You can have a frosted cupcake.

The problem here is that the frosted cupcake is given the status of a special treat, so the child perceives it as something highly desirable. The fact that the child has to finish dinner in order to obtain the treat implies that the dinner is something to get out of the way in order to obtain the cupcake. It may seem harmless enough, but this kind of behavior becomes entrenched in the child and carries into his or her adult life and can even perpetuate itself into the next generation. Unfortunately, high-calorie, high-fat and heavily sugared foods are the ones that are generally called treats, while nutrient-dense foods that should be valued, are not. No wonder childhood obesity has become a serious problem in North America.

Obese children are at a higher risk of having chronic health conditions, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems and type 2 diabetes. Onset of diabetes in children can lead to heart disease and kidney failure.1 And more obviously, children with obesity are more likely to become obese adults with numerous health challenges.

According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), obesity threatens the health of today’s children to such an extent that they may, for the first time in U.S. history, have a shorter lifespan than their parents. This crisis has led to increasing interest in the prevention of obesity, starting with childhood. The ADA has compiled a lot of data about childhood obesity, based on ongoing studies and reports. The main areas of review are food and nutrients, eating behaviors, family interactions around food and meals and physical activity vs. sedentary behaviors.2

Since parents and caretakers are largely responsible for providing food for most young children, the “control” is in the adults’ hands. Here are some common sense guidelines:

  • Be a good role model and eat healthy foods.
  • Help children develop good nutritional habits by having healthy food available—lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils and beans.
  • “Out of sight, out of mind,” so don’t purchase beverages with extra sugar. Evidence strongly supports a correlation between obesity in children with a high intake of sweetened beverages.3 Also avoid the availability of snacks with high fat and high sodium.
  • Have family meals together. Reports from the American Dietetic Association show evidence that increased frequency of family meals is associated with a higher consumption of nutritious foods and less of fried food and soft drinks.
  • Encourage children to drink water throughout the day, and provide them with their individual PiMag® Sport Bottle. Children like taking ownership of something special and the PiMag® Sport Bottle will help them receive clean, filtered water. Teach them to fill the PiMag® Sport Bottle with tap water or wherever there is potable water. In doing so, your children will be learning to drink less chlorinated water and at the same time, reduce plastic waste from bottled water.
  • Serve age-appropriate portions, and don’t expect children to “clean their plates” at every meal. On the other end of the spectrum, wait 15 minutes before serving seconds, so children can learn the feeling of fullness.
  • Don’t watch TV during meals or snacks. Distracted eating is the opposite of mindful eating.
  • Don’t use sweets as a reward. The definition of “treat” is really up to the parent, and when kids are taught to choose healthy foods from a very young age, it carries into adulthood.

Now let’s take the example dialogue mentioned above and change it up:

Parent: Finish your dinner and you can have a special treat.

Child: What’s the special treat?

Parent: We’re going to go for a bike ride together before it gets dark.

It’s never too early to start living Active Wellness. Examples of good treats that are 100 calories or less are a medium-sized apple or banana, a cup of blueberries, a cup of carrots, broccoli or bell peppers accompanied by a couple of tablespoons of hummus. A Kenzen Vital Balance® “milk shake” is also a healthy treat, and makes a wonderful breakfast or snack for the whole on-the-go family.

 

Do You Have Itchy Skin and Stiff Joints?

At Nikken, we promote Active Wellness as a way of living. It’s a proactive rather than reactive approach to life. That means taking measures to maintain health and doing the best to prevent bodily and mental breakdown. Ironically, as we make huge advances in technology, we continue to be confronted with challenges that often have no sure-fire solutions. This is the case with psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects more than 125 million people worldwide.1

No one knows the exact cause of psoriasis, but since August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, it is a good time to learn about it, whether we suffer from outbreaks of scaly skin or not. Researchers believe psoriasis can be triggered by cuts, scrapes or surgery, as well as emotional stress, infections, and even certain medications, such as beta-blockers that control blood pressure and antimalarial drugs.2 This skin disorder causes skin cells to multiply 10 times faster than normal, building into bumpy red patches with white scales.3 It’s not contagious but sometimes occurs with members of the same family.

Although not curable, certain precautions can be taken to help prevent flare-ups:

  • Stay warm in cold, dry weather. Researchers have shown that psoriasis occurs more often in wintry weather, so limiting the skin’s exposure to the cold is a proactive measure.
  • Keep skin moisturized. Dry skin is a trigger and can make scaling more severe. A humidifier may be helpful, especially in winter months. Alternatively, use True Elements® Marine Organic Skin Care to cleanse, tone and hydrate skin year round.
  • Get short, regular bursts of sunlight, because ultraviolet radiation has immunosuppressive effects. UV light therapy is a known treatment option for psoriasis.
  • Wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn. Skin damage of any kind is a trigger for flareups.
  • Make sure to get enough Vitamin D, since a deficiency is common in people with psoriasis.
  • Take extra care when cutting nails or shaving and avoid scratching insect bites. Wear gloves when gardening and be careful when preparing food with knives.
  • Reduce stress. Reports suggest that stress may trigger flare-ups in 68% of adults with psoriaris.4 Practice yoga and meditation to ease stress.
  • Eat a whole food diet that includes nuts and seeds, since they contain good fats, which may help improve skin health. Avoid food that is known to be inflammatory, especially processed carbohydrates and anything with lots of added sugar.
  • Take Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA. Research suggests that omega fatty acids may improve various signs and symptoms of psoriasis.5 Since Omega Green + DHA is made with flaxseed oil, cranberry seed oil and red algae, it comes from sustainable resources that are kosher, vegan certified and gluten-free. OmegaDHANew_317x310With all three types of omega fatty acids formulated in optimal proportions (3, 6, 9), Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA is designed for heart health, an added benefit, since the risk of heart disease rises for those suffering from psoriasis.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration is found among people with psoriasis, especially females 60 years of age and older.7 Keep a PiMag® Waterfall  in your kitchen for cooking purposes as well as drinking, and take a PiMag® Sport Bottle with you everywhere.
  • Take Kenzen® Joint. Although symptoms of psoriasis depend on the specific type, sufferers commonly experience some combination of itchy skin, burning or sore skin, scaly skin and swollen or stiff joints. Kenzen® Joint nutritionally supports collagen, bone and connective tissue repair with a high concentration of cetyl myristoleate combined with glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane and compounds from the boswellia plant.
  • Use CM Complex Cream  for its naturally soothing and cooling effects on achy joints. In addition to cetyl myristoleate, this topical formulation includes aloe, menthol and peppermint, which are derived from plants and offer a natural alternative to chemical ointments.

All the precautions mentioned above may help those trying to prevent psoriasis flare-ups. They also are part of the Active Wellness approach to wellbeing for anyone seeking to maintain or improve health—physically and mentally.

 

1, 7 https://www.philips.co.uk/c-e/challenge-psoriasis/psoriasis-stop/life/staying-well-hydrated-with-psoriasis.html

2, 3 https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/understanding-psoriasis-basics#1

4 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324185.php

5, 7 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322302.php

 

Active Aging is Part of Active Wellness

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

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/

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