Hydration and Moisturization: We Need Both for Healthy Skin

The word “hydration” is connected to water. Hydrating the skin therefore means increasing its water content. Hydrated skin is smooth, glowing and has an even tone. When skin is dehydrated, it can appear flaky, dull and dry. However, people often tend to confuse dehydrated skin with dry skin. Although used synonymously, there is an underlying difference between the two. Dehydrated skin lacks water, whereas dry skin lacks a fair amount of sebum, which is the oil secreted by the sebaceous glands present in the skin. Dry skin can also be the result of certain medications or disorders.1

How can we tell the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin? The two have notably different indicators. Dry skin may present as itchy, red, flaky and irritated, while dehydrated skin may show up as dull, wrinkly, lined, puffiness and shadows around the eyes, dry mouth and increased sensitivity.2

There are ways to hydrate the skin but there are also ways to moisturize it. Hydration and moisturization actually involve two separate processes. Hydration of the skin occurs when we add water to it. It temporarily fills skin cells to give it a fuller feel. It’s temporary because skin releases water when there is nothing to help retain it—the most obvious way is through perspiration but exposure to wind, sun and other elements expedite the discharge of water.

Drinking a lot of water, in and of itself, cannot help hydrate skin unless you are actually dehydrated. Those who stay hydrated cannot drink copious amounts to help improve skin’s texture or radiance. Skin is actually the last part of the body that water reaches, as it flows to all the other organs first. However, drinking ample amounts of water does help rid the body and skin of toxins.

Moisturization is a necessary partner for hydration, because it involves adding ingredients into the skin to help prevent water loss. When moisture is retained by the skin, it enables skin’s natural ability to renew and repair to occur, improving texture and overall skin health.

Retaining the moisture in the skin is a complex science, but dermatologists generally agree that hyaluronic acid, glycerin, urea, ceramides and antioxidant vitamins A, C and E are among the most beneficial ingredients to add into creams and serums.3 These ingredients come in many variations and may be known by other “INCI”(International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) names; for example, tocopherol, sodium hyaluronate, ascorbic acid, lipids from oils and seaweeds and so forth.

The True Elements® Marine Organic Skincare range takes moisturization to a high level with its emphasis on sustainably farmed seaweeds that contain naturally-occurring antioxidants, beneficial acids, salts and oils. You can feel secure knowing that all True Elements® skincare products are COSMOS Organic certified by EcoCert, pH balanced and naturally fragranced. The range does not contain parabens, phenoxyethanol, PEGs, phthalates, EDTA, GMO ingredients or synthetic coloring.

Combining hydration, by drinking enough PiMag water, and moisturization, by using True Elements® Marine Organic skincare, is a bona fide way to maintain high energy levels and vibrant-looking skin. Tap into the power of hydration the entire month of March with our four Water Packs! Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems or two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, both of which help neutralize chemicals, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag Waterfalls® that can help reduce bacteria by 99.99%.

1,2,3,4 https://skinkraft.com/blogs/articles/how-to-hydrate-your-skin

Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible

World Water Day is celebrated globally once a year to consciously recognize the importance of providing affordable, lasting access to safe water. It became a United Nations observance day in 1993 to focus attention on the global water crisis. Now World Water Day takes place on March 22 annually.

The theme of World Water Day for 2022 is “Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible.” World Water Day draws attention to water scarcity globally and every year, the theme is based on an important aspect of water. Groundwater is important around the world because it is the most abundant source of freshwater on earth.1 It is water that is located beneath the earth’s surface in the pores and crevices of rocks and soil. These layers of soil, sand, rock and gravel that contain usable quantities of groundwater are called aquifers.

Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere. Out of sight, under our feet, groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives. In the driest parts of the world, it may be the only water people have. Almost all of the freshwater in the world is groundwater, supporting drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming, industry and ecosystems. In many places, human activities over-use and pollute groundwater. In other places, we simply do not know how much water is down there, which means we could be failing to harness a potentially vital water resource.2

Accounting for about 97% of non-frozen fresh water on earth, groundwater is an important natural resource that contributes to human development. Approximately 50% of the world’s population drinks ground water daily, and it is critical for sustaining rural populations that are located away from surface water and infrastructure with manmade plumbing.3

Groundwater is a vital resource that provides almost half of all drinking water worldwide, about 40% of water for irrigated agriculture and about one third of water required for industry. Despite these impressive facts and figures, invisible groundwater is out of sight and out of mind for most people. Human activities, including population and economic growth, as well as climate variability, are rapidly increasing the pressure on groundwater resources. Serious depletion and pollution problems are reported for many parts of the world.4

There are now 468 identified aquifer systems identified, underlying almost every nation, increased from 366 in 2015. Groundwater does not stop flowing at political borders and huge resources are stored in what are known as “transboundary aquifers.” 40% of the world’s available water is transboundary. The identification, mapping, assessment and development of control mechanisms for transboundary aquifers (TBAs) are important tasks for ensuring the sustainability of these resources and peaceful cooperation between countries.5

The assessment of global groundwater resources is one of the core activities of The International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre. (IGRAC) is a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) center that works under the auspices of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and is supported by the Government of The Netherlands. IGRAC facilitates and promotes global sharing of information and knowledge. about groundwater. IGRAC addresses the major issue of groundwater being overused in many areas, where more water is extracted from aquifers than is recharged by rain and snow. In addition, groundwater pollution is a particular problem that can take decades or even centuries to recover from. 

Exploring, protecting and sustainably using groundwater will be central to surviving and adapting to climate change and meeting the needs of a growing population. The 2022 World Water Day spotlights groundwater as an invisible yet valuable resource, and strives to enhance knowledge exchange and collaboration to increase awareness of the importance of taking care of our groundwater.

Water is Life and Nikken is doing its part to help people access clean water for Active Wellness—not only for drinking, but also for bathing. For the entire month of March, we are focusing on the Power of Hydration and offering four Water Packs. Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems or two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, both of which help neutralize chemicals, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag® Waterfalls that can help reduce bacteria by 99.99%.

1,3 https://www.un-igrac.org/resource/transboundary-aquifers-world-map-2021

https://www.worldwaterday.org/

4,5 https://www.un-igrac.org/news/groundwater-making-invisible-visible-theme-world-water-day-2022

Stay Fluid to Prevent Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more water than is taken in. It is often accompanied by disturbances in the body’s mineral salt or electrolyte balance – especially in the concentrations of sodium and potassium.1

The body typically loses about two to three liters (68 to 101 fluid ounces) of water daily through breathing, perspiring and the dual processes of eliminating liquid and solid waste. This water loss needs to be replaced on a daily basis. If water is lost from the bloodstream, the body can compensate somewhat by shifting water from cells into the blood vessels, but this is a short-term solution.

As the body loses water, it’s also losing minerals, especially sodium and potassium. This may lead to dehydration. Depending on the ratio of water to electrolyte loss, dehydration can be classified as isotonic, hypertonic or hypotonic. Isotonic dehydration takes place when both water and sodium (salt) are lost in equal amounts. Hypertonic dehydration occurs when more water is lost than sodium, and hypotonic dehydration is the opposite with more sodium lost than water.

According to the European Hydration Institute, about 20-30% of our fluid intake comes from food with 70-80% from beverages of all types, not just plain water.2 Having a variety of beverages actually helps people drink up to 50% more liquids than if only water was available.3 The International Life Sciences Institute recognizes the importance of variety in maintaining hydration, especially for children and the elderly, two groups most vulnerable to dehydration.

Recovering from dehydration can be done at home as long as it’s not severe. A loss of 1% of body weight can generally be replaced within 24 hours. Mild dehydration is characterized by thirst, headache, dizziness and/or fatigue. Loss of 4% of body weight may result in lack of concentration, irritability, sleepiness and increases in body temperature and in respiratory rates. Loss of 10% of body weight can be fatal as it affects cardiovascular function.4

We can be mildly or moderately dehydrated without knowing it. According to medical doctors, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.5 This may be due to drinking beverages that are diuretic rather than hydrating. Alcohol and coffee are examples of beverages that cause the body to flush out water.

No matter the cause, there are ways to prevent dehydration or recover from mild cases in the comfort of our own homes. Here are some home remedies with high water content and nutritive values:6

Bananas contain 70-79% water and are high in water and potassium content. They can help to replenish potassium levels in the body as well as help prevent dehydration.

• Barley Water is. a popular beverage in hot climates not only because it helps to fight heat stroke and in maintaining the fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Barley grains contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which helps to restore minerals and water that are lost when dehydrated.

• Buttermilk is one of the widely used home remedies for dehydration, since it is high in water content and packed with nutrients like magnesium. It acts as a natural probiotic which aids in dealing with diarrhea and indigestion, which could be the reason for dehydration.

• Lemon water acts as one of the best home remedies for dehydration as it not only ups your water intake and helps you to stay hydrated but also prevents dehydration. When you add a bit of salt and sugar to lemon water, it helps replenish the lost salts in the body as well as to increase vitamin and mineral levels to restore your fluid and electrolyte balance.

• Orange juice contains Vitamin C, which flushes the toxins from the body. High in water content, it also contains electrolytes such as sodium and potassium to help replenish the nutrient levels in the body. The natural sugar in orange juice provides an instant energy boost to help deal with dehydration.

• Rice water is one of the conventional health drinks used popularly throughout Asia to fight summer heat, heat stroke, diarrhea, and dehydration. Rice is loaded with B-complex vitamins which can help deal with nutrient loss. As rice water contains salt, it also provides minerals such as chloride and sodium, helping to restore the lost nutrients in the body.

• Coconut water is loaded with potassium, calcium, and amino acids. It is naturally rich in electrolytes, which helps ward off fatigue and raises energy levels. It’s a healthy alternative to sports drinks that are high in added sugars. Many athletes consume this beverage before and after training. Sipping organic coconut water throughout the day is a pleasant way to remain hydrated or to recover from dehydration.

Tap into the Power of Hydration with Nikken the entire month of March! We are offering four Water Packs, each with two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems or two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, both of which help neutralize chemicals, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag® Waterfalls that can help reduce bacteria by 99.99%.

1, 2, 3, 4  https://www.europeanhydrationinstitute.org/consequences_of_dehydration/

5 https://www.medicaldaily.com/75-americans-may-suffer-chronic-dehydration-according-doctors-247393

6 https://www.1mg.com/articles/top-7-home-remedies-for-dehydration

Drink More Water to Improve Health

How much water to drink for optimal well-being is an individual affair, depending on lifestyle, age, gender and overall state of health. The truth of the matter is that the majority of us can enhance our pursuit of Active Wellness by drinking more water. It is simple enough to do, but positive behaviors require intent, especially in our busy lives. Here are some tips for increasing your daily water intake:

•          Be in touch with how your body feels. Sometimes people become dehydrated because they do not recognize the sensation of thirst. If you are someone who rarely feels thirsty and therefore don’t drink water throughout the day, drink some water in hourly intervals even if you don’t feel thirsty. You will feel a difference with increased energy levels.

•          Set a goal of drinking more water. Write it down. The mere fact that you have a goal of drinking more water on a daily basis makes it more likely that you will succeed in creating a new positive behavior.

•          Keep a reusable water bottle with you. When you have a reusable water bottle, you can easily drink water in any setting, whether you’re running errands, traveling or at home, working or at school. Keeping a water bottle handy can also serve as a visual reminder to drink more water. Bonus: A reusable water bottle decreases reliance on single use plastic water bottles and supports the environment. The PiMag® Sport Bottle not only helps decrease our carbon footprint but also filters out contaminants from the tap water you fill it with!

•          Consciously replace other beverages with water. Energy drinks and other caffeinated drinks contain water but are less hydrating than plain water. You don’t need to replace every beverage you usually have with water, but even one or two a day can make a difference in overall well-being. For example, a single 8-ounce (240 ml) cup of soda can exceed the recommended daily limit for sugar.1

•          Have a glass of water before each meal. Creating this habit automatically ensures you have at least three glasses of water a day, if you eat three meals.

•          Drink filtered water instead of bottled water or tap water. Bottled water is known to be tap water put into single-use plastic bottles for convenience and profit. Filtering water removes contaminants and bacteria, which improves the taste of water. Better tasting water helps us drink more of it, even crave it. PiMag® water from a PiMag Waterfall® or PiMag® Sport Bottle not only tastes great but also is more alkaline and hydrating than unfiltered tap water. Bonus: PiMag® water helps us respect the environment by creating less plastic waste.

•          Incorporate foods that are high in water content into your daily regimen. Here are some foods with 90% or higher water content: lettuce (96%), celery (95%), zucchini (95%), cabbage (92%), watermelon (91%), cantaloupe and honeydew melon (90%). Bonus: These fruits and vegetables also contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

•          Drink a glass of water when you awaken. It will help you wake up and become alert.

Even as we consciously drink more water to improve our health, being aware of how much water is used and wasted can help each of us contribute to the preservation of our global freshwater resources. In the U.S., each citizen uses about 3,000 liters /792.5 gallons a day, whereas in the U.K, that figure goes up to 3,400 litres /898 gallons!2 Water is a luxury in many countries, so as part of the Global Wellness Community, let’s strive together for awareness and conservation.

For the entire month of March, we are offering four Water Packs. Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems or two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, both of which help neutralize chemicals, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag® Waterfalls that can help reduce bacteria by 99.99%.

1 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-drink-more-water

2 https://medium.com/@aj_jones/the-worlds-freshwater-crisis-is-worse-than-ever-60bce56206a9

Plogging for Health and the Environment

The Swedes invented it and the rest of the world is catching on. The term “plogging” is coined from the English word “jogging” and “plocka upp,” a Swedish term that means “picking up.” Plogging is the Swedish fitness trend that combines jogging while picking up trash. Besides plogging, there are variations of activity derived from it, such as “taking a palk” (plogging walk) or a “pike” (plogging hike). No matter which activity you choose, the idea is that you do some kind of outdoor exercise while picking up litter or trash along the way.

According to the Swedish-based fitness app Lifesum, which makes it possible for users to track plogging activity, a half-hour of jogging plus picking up trash will burn 288 calories for the average person, compared with 235 burned by jogging alone. A brisk walk will expend about 120 calories.1

It’s taken a few years to catch on outside of Sweden, but plogging is making waves in the fitness world right now. As more people become aware of the need to contribute personally to the well-being of the environment, plogging is taking off because it combines attention to fitness with supporting a great cause.

As Mike Rosen, spokesman for Keep America Beautiful, explains, “I don’t think plogging replaces jogging as a daily activity. If you turn your jog into a plog once a week or once a month, or turn your walk into a palk or your hike into pike, you’ll get personal satisfaction. You’ll have an endorphin high from running, and you’ll know you’re helping your community.”2

Swedish native Erik Ahlström, who created the website http://www.plogga.se,3 says that all you need for plogging is a pair of gloves and a recyclable bag. He summarizes the benefits of plogging in four major areas:

  1. Health and exercise: According to the Karolinska Institutet, the risk of depression, obesity, and cancer among people who are seated a lot and are physically inactive doubles for both adults and children. Plogging helps to get the body moving while adding some extra moves like squatting or bending when picking up trash.
  2. Combat Plastic Pollution: The litter that nobody bothers to pick up will eventually end up in rivers and oceans. Plogging helps decrease the litter from ending up in waterways and killing our marine life.
  3. Save Wildlife: When we litter, wildlife suffers. For example, turtles and other marine mammals get entangled in plastic bags or plastic cutlery. Seabirds also get trapped by our plastic waste.
  4. Reduced Social Costs: In 2015, the costs of cleaning public spaces from litter decreased by SEK 2 billion in Sweden. Collective efforts like plogging that help keep public spaces clean indirectly save the city’s cost.

Approximately 2,000,000 people are plogging each and every day worldwide.4 Jogging while picking up litter has become a multitasking phenomenon that will work out the entire body while edifying the community. It’s an ingenious way to boost not only our cardiovascular health but also the health of our planet.

You still have a few days to purchase the special “Heart of Nikken” packs available through February 28. To promote cardiovascular health, each pack contains Kenzen® Bergisterol®, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder and Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA — plus one piece of magnetic jewelry, exclusive to Nikken. You have your choice of the pack with a silver Kenko Perfect Link II necklace, a gold tone Kenko Perfect Link II necklace or a Kenko Heart Set.

1,2 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2018/02/23/plogging-is-the-swedish-fitness-craze-for-people-who-want-to-save-the-planet-its-making-its-way-to-the-u-s/

3 https://waste4change.com/blog/plogging-the-new-swedish-trend-of-running-while-picking-up-trash/

4 https://apple.news/Av_sOMLGbRbC-Nu5h_7Q3Gg

Vegetarian Sources of Omega Fatty Acids

Research and studies continue to support the importance of incorporating omega fatty acids into the diet to maintain neurological and cardiovascular health. The most common source of omega fatty acids is from various types of fish, so much so that omegas are often referred to as “fish oil.” What if your diet does not allow for fish or you are simply concerned with the high mercury content in some fish?

The good news is that there are various sources of plant-derived omega fatty acids. When we eat fats in our foods, our bodies break them back down into fatty acids. Fatty acids are the building blocks of our cell membranes, and are important for energy, energy storage, and for every system of the body to function. Because of this, the omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids play a part in our skin health, respiratory system, circulatory system, organs, and especially in our brains. In addition, they help our bodies absorb vitamins and nutrients from food. 

Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids are all unsaturated fats. Each of the omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids offers our bodies benefits. Omega 3s and omega 6s are essential fatty acids, known as essential because the body cannot produce them and they therefore need to be incorporated into our daily diets. On the other hand, omega 9s are non-essential fats because our bodies are able to produce them. We can still benefit from dietary sources like olive oil and avocados for omega 9s.

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)—makes up about 8% of our brains by weight, and over 90% of the omega 3s in the brain are DHA. Because of this, DHA is important for brain development and healthy brain functioning.1 The inclusion of plentiful DHA in the diet improves learning ability, whereas deficiencies of DHA are associated with deficits in learning. DHA is taken up by the brain in preference to other fatty acids.2

Seaweed and algae are important sources of omega 3 for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet, as they are one of the few plant groups that contain DHA and the omegas. Chia seeds are an excellent plant-based source of ALA omega 3 fatty acids. They are also high in fiber and protein.3 Hemp seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, edamame (young or green soybeans) and kidney beans are all sources of vegetarian omega fatty acids.

Regardless of your reasons for choosing plant-based omegas, Nikken makes it easy for you. Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA is 100 percent vegetarian and contains all three omegas, 3, 6 and 9. The proprietary formula of cranberry seed oil, flaxseed oil and red algae comes from renewable sources and the flaxseed oil in particular, is cold pressed to avoid heat. (Heat tends to deteriorate the beneficial effects of omega 3 fatty acids.)

Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA is one of the Active Wellness nutritional supplements found in the special “Heart of Nikken” packs available through February 28. Each pack contains Kenzen® Bergisterol®, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder and Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA — plus one piece of magnetic jewelry, exclusive to Nikken. You have your choice of the pack with a silver Kenko Perfect Link II necklace, a gold tone Kenko Perfect Link II necklace or a Kenko Heart Set.

1 https://mindovermunch.com/blog/omega-3-6-9-fatty-acids/

2https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10479465/#:~:text=Docosahexaenoic%20acid%20(DHA)%20is%20essential,associated%20with%20deficits%20in%20learning.

3https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323144#:~:text=Seaweed%2C%20nori%2C%20spirulina%2C%20and,that%20contain%20DHA%20and%20EPA.

What’s the Big Deal with Berries?

Within our bodies millions of processes occur every day, such as turning the foods we eat into energy. These processes require oxygen. Byproducts of using oxygen are called oxidants, often referred to as “free radicals”. Free radicals can also be introduced to our bodies through external sources such as tobacco smoke, pollution, and exposure to the sun. In the same way that oxidation can cause rust on the surface of some objects, free radicals can cause damage to cell walls, cell structures and even the genetic material of a cell. If the genetic material of a cell is attacked, this can lead to changes in the body’s DNA “genetic blue print” and has been linked to a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease.1

Antioxidants work to deactivate free radicals by binding to oxidants, which prevents the damage from occurring. Diets high in antioxidant-rich foods, that is, foods containing vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, have been linked to a reduced risk of developing heart disease. As a result, current national guidelines on the prevention of cardiovascular disease recommend choosing foods rich in antioxidants.2

Berries contain a variety of antioxidants, which help keep free radicals under control. Anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol are types of antioxidants found in an assortment of berries. One study showed that blueberries, blackberries and raspberries have the highest antioxidant activity of commonly consumed fruits, next to pomegranates.3

Studies suggest that the antioxidants in berries may help lower inflammation. Long-term inflammation arising from chronic stress, sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy food choices can lead to diabetes, heart disease and obesity,4 so berries are really a big deal in counteracting those negative effects! But that’s not all that berries can help do.

Test-tube and human studies suggest that berries may protect cells from high blood sugar levels, help increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce blood sugar and insulin response to high-carb meals. Importantly, these effects appear to occur in both healthy people and those with insulin resistance.5

In one study of healthy women, eating 5 ounces (150 grams) of puréed strawberries or mixed berries with bread led to a 24–26% reduction in insulin levels, compared to consuming the bread alone.6 Moreover, in a six-week study, obese people with insulin resistance who drank a blueberry smoothie twice per day experienced greater improvements in insulin sensitivity than those who consumed berry-free smoothies.7

Berries are also an excellent source of soluble fiber, which is known to be important for slowing down the movement of food through the digestive tract. This slower movement helps us feel full for a longer period of time. Ideally, this may help us eat less and make weight management easier. One study found that doubling fiber intake could help absorb up to 130 fewer calories per day.8

Unsurprisingly, berries are considered heart-healthy food that may help lower LDL levels and help protect the bad cholesterol from becoming oxidized, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. In a controlled study of obese people, those eating 1.5 ounces (50 grams) of freeze-dried blueberries for 8 weeks noticed a 28% reduction in their oxidized LDL levels.9

Berries are highly nutritious, may provide a variety of health benefits, and are easy to incorporate into an Active Wellness nutritional plan! Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder makes it even simpler if you find it hard to access fresh berries. Simply combine it with PiMag® water or blend into smoothies for an energy and antioxidant boost!

To celebrate love, friendship and Valentine’s Day, Nikken has three “Heart of Nikken” packs available through February 28. Each pack contains three extraordinary heart-healthy nutritional supplements—Kenzen® Bergisterol®, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® and Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA — plus one piece of magnetic jewelry, exclusive to Nikken. You have your choice of the pack with a silver Kenko Perfect Link II necklace, a gold tone Kenko Perfect Link II necklace or a Kenko Heart Set.

1, 2 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16739-antioxidants–heart-health

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-reasons-to-eat-berries#:~:text=Berries%20are%20some%20of%20the,cholesterol%2C%20while%20reducing%20oxidative%20stress

New Research on Cholesterol and Heart-Health

Within our bodies millions of processes occur every day, such as turning the foods we eat into energy. These processes require oxygen. Byproducts of using oxygen are called oxidants, often referred to as “free radicals”. Free radicals can also be introduced to our bodies through external sources such as tobacco smoke, pollution, and exposure to the sun. In the same way that oxidation can cause rust on the surface of some objects, free radicals can cause damage to cell walls, cell structures and even the genetic material of a cell. If the genetic material of a cell is attacked, this can lead to changes in the body’s DNA “genetic blue print” and has been linked to a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease.1

Antioxidants work to deactivate free radicals by binding to oxidants, which prevents the damage from occurring. Diets high in antioxidant-rich foods, that is, foods containing vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, have been linked to a reduced risk of developing heart disease. As a result, current national guidelines on the prevention of cardiovascular disease recommend choosing foods rich in antioxidants.2

Berries contain a variety of antioxidants, which help keep free radicals under control. Anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol are types of antioxidants found in an assortment of berries. One study showed that blueberries, blackberries and raspberries have the highest antioxidant activity of commonly consumed fruits, next to pomegranates.3

Studies suggest that the antioxidants in berries may help lower inflammation. Long-term inflammation arising from chronic stress, sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy food choices can lead to diabetes, heart disease and obesity,4 so berries are really a big deal in counteracting those negative effects! But that’s not all that berries can help do.

Test-tube and human studies suggest that berries may protect cells from high blood sugar levels, help increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce blood sugar and insulin response to high-carb meals. Importantly, these effects appear to occur in both healthy people and those with insulin resistance.5

In one study of healthy women, eating 5 ounces (150 grams) of puréed strawberries or mixed berries with bread led to a 24–26% reduction in insulin levels, compared to consuming the bread alone.6 Moreover, in a six-week study, obese people with insulin resistance who drank a blueberry smoothie twice per day experienced greater improvements in insulin sensitivity than those who consumed berry-free smoothies.7

Berries are also an excellent source of soluble fiber, which is known to be important for slowing down the movement of food through the digestive tract. This slower movement helps us feel full for a longer period of time. Ideally, this may help us eat less and make weight management easier. One study found that doubling fiber intake could help absorb up to 130 fewer calories per day.8

Unsurprisingly, berries are considered heart-healthy food that may help lower LDL levels and help protect the bad cholesterol from becoming oxidized, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. In a controlled study of obese people, those eating 1.5 ounces (50 grams) of freeze-dried blueberries for 8 weeks noticed a 28% reduction in their oxidized LDL levels.9

Berries are highly nutritious, may provide a variety of health benefits, and are easy to incorporate into an Active Wellness nutritional plan! Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder makes it even simpler if you find it hard to access fresh berries. Simply combine it with PiMag® water or blend into smoothies for an energy and antioxidant boost!

To celebrate love, friendship and Valentine’s Day, Nikken has three “Heart of Nikken” packs available through February 28. Each pack contains three extraordinary heart-healthy nutritional supplements—Kenzen® Bergisterol®, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® and Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA — plus one piece of magnetic jewelry, exclusive to Nikken. You have your choice of the pack with a silver Kenko Perfect Link II necklace, a gold tone Kenko Perfect Link II necklace or a Kenko Heart Set.

1, 2 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16739-antioxidants–heart-health

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-reasons-to-eat-berries#:~:text=Berries%20are%20some%20of%20the,cholesterol%2C%20while%20reducing%20oxidative%20stress

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is not only a day to profess your love for a romantic partner, but it’s also a day to show your love or kindness toward friends, relatives, and even acquaintances. Young children make valentine cards for their family members and friends, and even for everyone in their classes. It’s a day to express inclusiveness and love to all.

Whether you’re showing your love and gratitude to parents or that special someone in your life, Valentine’s Day can be stressful. The day might be full of expectations for both givers and recipients, and the intent is for the gift or grand gesture to be perfect. Special celebrations at restaurants and other indoor venues may take on an element of risk during these exceptional times. According to data compiled by a social media platform called “We Heart It,” about 65% of people have said they feel stressed about Valentine’s Day.1

Focusing on what you can give rather than on what you might receive will naturally decrease stress levels.2 Nikken has the perfect gifts for the valentines in your life! There’s no better way to show your love and care than to give the gift of health! Designed specially to celebrate love and friendship, the three “Heart of Nikken” packs each contain three extraordinary heart-health nutritional supplements—Kenzen® Bergisterol®, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® and Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA — plus one piece of magnetic jewelry, exclusive to Nikken. You have your choice of the pack with a silver Kenko Perfect Link II necklace, a gold tone Kenko Perfect Link II necklace or a Kenko Heart Set.

These packs make great gifts for your loved ones, and that includes yourself! Available from January 24 through February 28, you can purchase multiples to give as future birthday, anniversary and graduation gifts! Spread kindness and the gift of Active Wellness all year round.

1 https://yourdost.com/blog/2017/02/what-to-do-about-valentines-day-stress.html?q=/blog/2017/02/what-to-do-about-valentines-day-stress.html&

2 https://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/tip-valentines-day-stress.asp

Resolve to Reuse, Reduce & Recyle to Restore our Oceans

As members of the Global Wellness Community, each of us is aware of plastic waste. Fortunately, we are capable of decreasing our personal plastic waste. If each one of us committed to less consumption of plastic packaging, imagine the cumulative outcome for the world! One of the simplest ways is to stop buying and drinking water sold in plastic bottles. Here’s why that is so important.

One component of ocean pollution that’s especially threatening to not only ocean life forms but human life, is micro-plastics. When plastic pollution enters the ocean, large pieces are broken down over time by exposure to sea elements and become tiny particles. These particles, the estimated size of a 5mm sesame seed, break loose from the large “garbage patch” and spread throughout the ocean.

Depending on its density, some sink, some float, and some just hover in the water column. Because the plastic resembles food, it is eaten by a huge range of animals throughout the food chain, including fish, birds, turtles, whales, and even microscopic plankton, eventually working their way up to humans.1

Micro-plastics are extremely difficult to clean out of the ocean, and since they are so tiny, they travel far and wide, basically making their way to every ocean in the world. This is why most ocean anti-pollution projects, such as The Ocean Cleanup, focus on removing larger pieces of trash, before they can degrade.2

Remarkably, in 2019 a then 18-year-old named Fionn Ferreira, invented an effective new method for removing micro-plastics from the oceans. Ferreira was kayaking along the coast in Ballydehob, his hometown in West Cork, Ireland, when he came upon a rock coated in oil. Ferreira noticed that small bits of plastic were sticking to the oil-coated-rock. “In chemistry, like attracts like,” Ferreira noted.  He decided to combine vegetable oil and magnetite powder to create a nontoxic ferrofluid, a “magnetic liquid,” or liquid that acts as a carrier for tiny magnetic particles—since ferrofluids and plastics attract when in the presence of water. Ferreira would add his ferrofluid to water samples full of micro-plastics, then remove the ferrofluid using a magnet, taking the micro-plastics with it. After hundreds of tests, Ferreira’s ferrofluid was able to successfully remove at least 87% of micro-plastics from the water samples.3

Since then, while pursuing a Chemistry degree at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, Fionn has established a company focused on micro-plastic removal technology. Early tests on ferrofluids as a tool for cleaning up oil spills have been promising, but Ferreira believes that the only true way to solve the massive problem of ocean pollution is to change our consumption habits.3

Fionn is part of the new generation of scientists that has never known life without plastic pollution. He and other innovative young scientists, such as Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao who developed bacterium to transform plastic into carbon dioxide and water, are committed to restoring our oceans.

The KenkoAir Purifier®, PiMag Waterfall® and PiMag® Sport Bottle are durable filtration systems that can help us reuse, reduce and recycle. The filters are recyclable and help decrease our carbon footprint. For the remainder of January, you can take advantage of four special filter packs that give you a bonus item when you purchase a PiMag Waterfall® filter cartridge and a KenkoAir Purifier® HEPA filter in the same order.

1 https://www.good.is/articles/end-plastic-pollution-pick-it-up-bin-it-take-three-for-the-sea

2, 3 https://www.good.is/microplastics-magnet-removal