Reduce Stress for Health

How many of us are lucky enough to never experience a racing heartbeat, dull or throbbing headache, stiff neck and tight shoulders, hyperventilation, inconveniently sweaty palms and armpits, queasy stomach and nervous diarrhea? Chances are every single one of us has felt one or more of these unpleasant physical sensations. All of these are common results of feeling stress.

Stress not only causes changes in the body but also to the emotions. When we have more than we can handle comfortably, our bodies respond as if we’re in danger by producing hormones that speed up the heart and breath to give us a burst of energy to deal with the stress. This is known as the “fight or flight” stress response.

On the positive side, stress is a normal part of life and can help us work better or react quickly. It helps athletes perform at what sometimes appears to be at superhuman levels. On the negative side, if stress becomes chronic, it can wreak havoc on an Active Wellness lifestyle and cause serious health issues. According to WebMD:

  • Chronic stress may affect the immune system, blood pressure, lung function and skin breakouts.
  • Acute stress may induce feelings of dizziness, extreme anxiety, or even a panic attack.

Many studies have demonstrated that massage therapy is an effective way to help relieve stress. Proof is evidenced by reductions in levels of cortisol, adrenaline and nor-adrenaline after a massage session: One example recorded by Mayo Clinic researchers who published a study in the November 2012 edition of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice showed that a weekly 15–minute chair massage significantly reduced stress-related symptoms in nurses during work hours.

Nikken puts magnetic massage into your own hands with the Kenko MagDuo®. Two spheres in a handy case provide a comforting, rolling massage with patented DynaFlux® magnetic nodules. You can easily roll your own arms, legs, shoulders, neck and lower back. Light and compact, you can carry the MagDuo with you just about anywhere—in your handbag, gym bag, backpack, etc. It’s as easy as bringing your cell phone everywhere.

Nikken also allows you to perform a full body massage in the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to be a practicing massage therapist with powerful fingers when you have the MagCreator. It is the foundation of the Nikken Rollout. This magnetic roller is made with stainless steel, solid magnets and poly resin for an easy grip. Designed to roll smoothly down the spinal column, it’s specially engineered to create a continuous rolling action from the shoulders down to the lower back. A rollout is so relaxing that many people have actually fallen asleep! When you treat someone to a Nikken Rollout, it’s more than likely you’ll have made a friend forever. Best of all, you can teach anyone to use it on you!

We’re offering our readers a special on the MagDuo and the MagCreator. From today until 5:00 PM PST, June 27, 2017, you can order these two products with DOUBLE PV and free standard shipping within the contiguous 48 states and Canada. All orders must be phoned in, excludes autoship, and applies to retail or wholesale orders. Additional products may not be added to the order for free shipping.

Sleeping Like a Baby is Good for Health

Have you ever wondered why most babies sleep so much? Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This growth hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults.

Sleep plays an important role in our health throughout our lives. For example, sleep is involved in the healing and repair of the heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. 1 There’s nothing fair about it: losing sleep can feel like punishment but to add insult to injury, it even puts us at a higher risk for obesity!

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, one study of teenagers showed that with each hour of sleep lost, the odds of becoming obese increased. Sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity in other age groups as well. Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make us feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When we don’t get enough sleep, our level of ghrelin goes up and our level of leptin goes down. This makes us feel hungrier than when we’re well rested.

Sleep is one of the many topics covered by the National Institutes of Health. Their archives contain multiple studies that attribute weight gain to lack of sleep. For example, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that when people were sleep-deprived, late-night snacking increased, and they were more likely to choose high-carb snacks. In another study done at the University of Chicago, sleep-deprived participants chose snacks with twice as much fat as those who slept at least eight hours. Yet another study found that sleeping too little is a trigger to eat bigger portions of all foods, increasing weight gain. And in a review of 18 studies, researchers found that a lack of sleep led to increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.

As if that’s not bad enough, the stress hormone known as cortisol spikes when we get too little sleep. Cortisol signals our bodies to conserve energy for later use, which tends to make us hold on to fat rather than burn it!

Sleep also affects how the body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls blood glucose (sugar) levels. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase the risk for diabetes. When the body doesn’t respond properly to insulin, processing fats from the bloodstream becomes difficult, and it ends up being stored as fat. In a nutshell, not enough sleep slows down the metabolism and contributes to weight gain.

Kenko Sleep Products are an integral component of Active Wellness. They combine patented DynaFlux® Magnetic Technology with natural materials to help promote healthy and refreshing sleep. From the Kenko Naturest® Mattress Topper and Custom Pillow to our comforters and KenkoTherm® Cocoon, once you try them, you’ll never want to give them up!

1 https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why

 

More Plants, Less Meat = Better Health, Greener Planet

As we become more educated about healthy eating and reducing our carbon footprint, more and more of us are starting to eat a plant-based diet. Retail food outlets and restaurants are well aware of this trend, resulting in more plant-based options than ever before.

According to information compiled by GlobalData, a data and insights firm, more than 70 percent of global consumers are moderating their meat intake or avoiding it altogether. People around the world are leaning towards vegetarianism or at least a desire to reduce meat consumption, if not to eliminate it entirely. In the past, especially in third world nations, meat was not affordable. Now, in first world nations, eating less meat is no longer simply a matter of cost but of health.

The benefits of eating a plant-based diet extend past just health and sustainability. In fact, plant-based proteins can be as nutritious as meat but contain far less fat. Plant protein requires much less water and energy to produce than livestock or poultry. As a consequence, companies are producing innovative plant-based “complete” proteins and supplements. These innovative plant proteins are an ideal part of an Active Wellness lifestyle. Examples are pea protein powder, bean based burgers, and nut-based cheese.

Whatever the reason for decreasing or cutting out animal products, increasing plant-based, nutrient-rich whole foods into our diets often results in eating less processed foods, which are generally full of preservatives and unhealthy ingredients commonly found in bacon, cold cuts, dried meats, canned meats, etc. The good news is that plant-based proteins are easily accessible. Legumes are widely known to provide high amounts of protein, e.g., organic tofu, lentils, black beans, lima beans, organic peas, chickpeas and so on. Nuts and seeds— such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds—are also known sources of protein.

Some surprising sources of plant-based proteins are potatoes, spinach, organic corn, avocado, broccoli and brussel sprouts. Even less known but considered superfoods by nutritionists for their nutrient density and high protein content are organic barley grass and organic algae such as spirulina and chlorella.

Nikken continues to be a pioneer in organic nutrition. One of our first organic nutritional supplements contains multiple benefits other than providing plant-based protein: Kenzen Jade Greenzymes® is made with a proprietary blend of organic young barley grass, organic acacia and organic pearl barley.

For weight maintenance, convenience and a plant-protein boost, there’s nothing better than Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix! Our exclusive formula contains plant proteins from organic peas, organic moringa powder, organic spirulina, organic chlorella, organic broccoli, organic spinach and organic rice. Why not drink a toast to our collective health and planet every morning?

Are you eating enough of the right kind of protein for your health?

Protein is essential to good health. You need it to make the building blocks of the body, including muscle, bone, and blood. But how much protein does the average person need in order to stay healthy?

The answer isn’t as simple as you might think. Most Americans take in about 15 percent of their calories from protein, which is well within recommended daily requirements. However, some research suggests that higher-protein diets may help you maintain a healthy weight or preserve muscle health with aging.

The bottom line is that healthy diets are based on healthy foods, and some of those foods should be lean protein. The body breaks down the protein into amino acids and uses them to build muscle. Any protein left over is available to fuel energy needs. If you decide to boost your daily protein, consider its impact on your diet overall. Each gram of protein contains four calories.

To meet your daily protein requirements, combine small to medium portions of meat, dairy, and nuts with protein-rich whole grains, legumes, and vegetables. Here are some suggestions to guide your choices:

  • Choose protein sources low in saturated fat. Examples are skinless chicken breast, salmon, Greek yogurt, legumes, eggs and nuts, especially almonds and walnuts.
  • Avoid highly processed carbohydrates. Instead, focus on leafy greens and other non-starchy vegetables.
  • Commercial brands of protein powders and shakes may provide amino acids but generally offer limited nutritional value, contain added sugar or other caloric sweeteners, as well as artificial flavoring, color and preservatives. It is imperative to read nutrition facts on labels.
  • Kenzen® Vital Balance Meal Replacement Mix contains only naturally-sourced organic vegetable protein (organic peas and rice), natural detoxifiers, (chlorella, cilantro) plus medium-chain triglycerides, pre- and probiotics, antioxidants from organic moringa and zero-calorie monk fruit as a natural sweetener. Each 120-calorie serving provides 39 percent of the recommended daily intake of protein. It’s a great way to replace fatty meats, and for vegetarians or vegans, is an ideal way to maintain enough protein in their meatless Active Wellness diets!

Why Ecocert is a Big Deal

When something is certified by Ecocert, it means the product has met the strict standards set for its specific category. Ecocert is an inspection and certification body established in France in 1991 by agronomists aware of the need to develop environmentally friendly agriculture and the importance of recognizing those committed to sustainable development in production.

Product categories open for certification include natural and organic cosmetics, natural and organic home perfumes, natural cleaning products, fair trade, ecological outdoor areas, organic textiles, eco-sustainable golf course, reforestation and solidarity, organic and ecological spa, ecological and recycled textiles, climate commitment and biodiversity commitment.

Now an international network dedicated to helping people and their environment, Ecocert is affiliated in 26 countries:

  • Europe: France, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey
  • Africa: Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia
  • Asia: China, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea
  • Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, United States

Still very involved in promoting organic farming, Ecocert today works with French and international institutions in supporting project development. By winning the confidence of professionals and consumers, Ecocert has become a benchmark in organic certification worldwide.

In the EU, Ecocert is accredited by the Cofrac (French Accreditation Committee). In the USA, Ecocert is accredited by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) for the National Organic Program (NOP) and in Japan, Ecocert is accredited by the MAFF (Agricultural Department) for the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS)

Companies voluntarily request Ecocert certification to prove:

  • control and traceability throughout the supply chain.
  • commitment to environmental protection.
  • integrity of raw materials and ingredients.
  • high standards within the specific industry, e.g., food and/or cosmetics.

True Elements® Marine Organic Skin Care is certified by Ecocert, a distinction that very few products — even those labeled as “organic” — can claim. A complete line of products that support the Active Wellness lifestyle, True Elements® skin care products are derived from various seaweeds and abundant in natural minerals that are well absorbed by skin. The entire line is formulated with a combination of ingredients that works synergistically to offer remarkable benefits. True Elements® is synonymous with skin care that is safe to use and made with organic ingredients from sustainable sources.

In a Nutshell, Eat Nuts for Health

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally. Approximately 17.3 million deaths annually are attributed to a cardiovascular incident and the AHA projects that these numbers will increase each year in the coming decades. Lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise play a large role in maintaining heart health, but genetics can also influence risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

In the largest study of its kind, scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who ate a handful of nuts daily were 20 percent less likely to die from any cause over a 30-year period than those who didn’t consume nuts. Their report, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, also found that those who ate nuts regularly were more slender than those who didn’t.

“The most obvious benefit was a reduction of 29 percent in deaths from heart disease,” says Charles S. Fuchs, MD, MPH, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber, senior author of the report. The reduction in mortality was similar both for peanuts and tree nuts, such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, pecans, pistachios and pine nuts.

Higher nut consumption also has been linked to reductions in cholesterol levels, oxidative stress, inflammation, obesity and insulin resistance. The Nurses’ Health Study provided data on 76,464 women between 1980 and 2010, while the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study yielded data on 42,498 men from 1986 to 2010. Participants filled out food questionnaires every two to four years and were asked to estimate how often they consumed one ounce servings of nuts.

Dr. Ying Bao, MD, ScD of Brigham and Women’s hospital and first author of the report explains that “in all these analyses, the more nuts people ate, the less likely they were to die over the 30 -year follow-up period. “Those who ate nuts less than once a week had a seven percent reduction in mortality; once a week, 11 percent reduction; two to four times a week, 13 percent reduction; five to six times per week, 15 percent reduction, and seven or more times a week, a 20 percent reduction in death rate.”

Based on these and other smaller reports, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has concluded that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts “may reduce the risk of heart disease.” So if you like nuts and have avoided them because they’re high in calories and fat, you can rest assured that a handful of nuts every day is good for you. For a tasty nutty treat, incorporate the Kenzen Paleo Bar™ into your daily regimen. They’re part of the Everyday Organic-Based Weight Management packs for a good reason—they’re delicious, help give you energy and depending on the flavor, contain heart-healthy almonds and walnuts or just almonds for Active Wellness.

 

 

 

 

Why go organic?

No one would ingest pesticides given a choice for cleaner food, right? So why doesn’t everyone choose organic food? The main concern with purchasing organic food is cost, because organic farming practices are more expensive than conventional approaches.

“Organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming meets environmental and sustainability goals to:

  • Enhance soil and water quality.
  • Reduce pollution.
  • Provide safe, healthy livestock habitats.
  • Enable natural livestock behavior.
  • Promote a self-sustaining cycle of resources on a farm.

Organic farming adheres to a disciplined commitment to growing food and livestock that is not only safe to ingest but is kind to planet Earth. Take a look at what is not permitted in organic farming:

  • Synthetic fertilizers to add nutrients to the soil
  • Sewage sludge as fertilizer
  • Most synthetic pesticides for pest control
  • Irradiation to preserve food or to eliminate disease or pests
  • Genetic engineering, used to improve disease or pest resistance to improve crop yields
  • Antibiotics or growth hormones for livestock

Instead, organic farming practices may include:

  • Plant waste left on fields (known as green manure) livestock manure or compost to improve soil quality.
  • Crop rotation to preserve soil quality and to interrupt cycles of pests or disease.
  • Mulch to control weeds.
  • Predatory insects or insect traps to control pests.
  • Certain natural pesticides and a few synthetic pesticides, used only as a last resort in coordination with a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certifying agent.
  • Healthy living conditions and access to the outdoors for livestock.
  • Pasture feeding for at least 30 percent of livestock’s nutritional needs during grazing season.
  • Organic foods for animals.

Whether you decide to go organic or not with your fresh foods, you can rest assured that with the NikkenWellness Everyday Organic-Based Weight Management packs designed to promote Active Wellness, you’re getting only organic nutritional supplements. We’re committed to helping you live with optimal health while being kind to planet Earth.