Interconnectivity of Joy and Suffering

Today’s blog is adapted from The Empowerment Paradox by Ben Woodward, a Nikken Royal Diamond Consultant who writes and speaks about entrepreneurship. His insights are appropriate to incorporate into a life of Active Wellness. Here’s what Ben graciously shares:

From a young age, we are taught that suffering should be avoided. Don’t touch the hot stove. Wear a helmet. Be careful when it’s slippery. The problem is not all suffering can be avoided. If we treat suffering as something only to be avoided, we will be unprepared to handle the unavoidable suffering in our lives.

We must reframe suffering as something unpleasant but not without value. After all, it is only through suffering that we can experience and appreciate joy. As a result of winter, we appreciate spring. As a result of illness, we appreciate health. As a result of death, we appreciate life.

The opposing sides are not at war, but tightly joined together—two sides of the same coin. We cannot have one without the other. By understanding the interconnectivity of joy and suffering, you can learn to accept and even embrace the suffering of your life, recognizing it as a potential catalyst for growth and greater joy.

Often it is the lowest, darkest times in life that lead to the greatest personal growth. That was the case for my friend Andy who had an accidental fall that broke his back. The doctors repaired the extensive damage by fusing pieces of his spine, which made matters worse rather than better. He often walked with a cane and sometimes used a wheelchair due to the injuries he’d sustained. I asked him once how often he experienced pain.

“Every day,” he told me.

“Are you in pain now?”

“Yes,” he said, remaining just as calm and composed as ever.

When I inquired further, he told me that it felt like his feet and legs were on fire, and that this was his normal state of being. Sometimes it felt manageable, and other times it overwhelmed him. Remarkably, he also told me this: “I have come to appreciate that breaking my back was the second-best thing that ever happened to me—second only to meeting and marrying my wife. What it has demanded of me has shaped me into a person I never would have become otherwise.”

His story is remarkable not because of his degree of struggle, but because of his response to it. When faced with great pain, or chronic struggle, he was obliged to confront it and be transformed by it. His response ensured that it was for the better.

The way we grow or suffer through the challenges of life depends entirely on our perspective. There is no escaping suffering, yet there is also joy to be found when we are patient, humble, and accepting of our circumstances. But this perspective does not develop overnight. When Andy first broke his back, he wasn’t immediately happy and appreciative. However, the fact remained that his back had been broken. He couldn’t change that, and the working of time and necessity brought him to a place where his heart changed.

In a conversation with my wife, I had explained that we need to let go of our illusions in order to truly be free and to achieve our goals. “Don’t we lose hold of our dreams doing this?” she asked. This was a powerful observation. Many hold onto illusions for fear of losing their dreams.

“No, quite the opposite,” I explained. “As long as we hold onto illusions that keep us from confronting reality, we cannot make a lasting, real change. We may need to adapt, pivot or make some changes to accommodate an unwanted challenge or pain point, but the change makes dreams and goals possible.”

I assure you, better dreams can be created – and more importantly, realized, when we let illusions go, confront reality – even the painful parts of it, and work with conviction and hope towards a bright and wonderful future. The future is certainly bright.

Do You Know the Benefits of Self-Massage?

Who doesn’t have the occasional achy muscle? With most adults, achy muscles are something you learn to live with. Self-massage can be a cost-effective and safe solution, and anyone can do it. Even a little relief can help you feel better. You’re in control of the amount of pressure to exert and can stop it at any time. It may sound clichéd, but self-massage is a way to show yourself a little kindness rather than self-judgment.

Self-massage may ease minor aches in the head, neck, shoulders, abdomen, upper and lower back, glutes and hips.1 There are different types of self-massage, some using just your own hands and others, using some kind of massage tool. Some forms of self-massage include acupressure, Abhyanga from the Ayurvedic tradition, and trigger point.

In the Ayurvedic tradition, self-massage with oil is a way to help keep yourself in optimal health and balance via the skin. Since skin is the body’s largest organ, Ayurveda recognizes it as a vehicle to reach our internal organs.2 The skin acts as a protective shield as well as a gateway to nourishing the body through its pores. Self-massage also helps increase circulation and enhances the body’s ability to detox.3 The body tends to relax during massage and thereby helps reduce anxiety and improve sleep.4

Acupressure and trigger point massage work on the premise that certain spots throughout the body can be unlocked to release trapped energy or nerves. Acupressure works to release “chi” (vital energy as defined by Merriam Webster) or more widely understood as “breath” and “air” that is necessary for the clear flow of blood and therefore circulation. With acupressure, simply press on the pressure points directly and hold for a while (10–100 seconds). With trigger point massage, do the same or apply small kneading strokes, either circular or back and forth.5

 The goal of self-massage with acupressure or trigger points is to achieve a “release.” Release mostly refers to an easing of sensitivity of the pressure/trigger point, and/or a softening of the tissue texture. If you are successful, you may notice a reduction in symptoms within several hours, often the next morning.6

 Self-massage is an Active Wellness practice that can benefit everyone. Now through the end of July, you can get 20% off unlimited purchases of the KenkoTouch®, a state-of-the-art handheld massager with patented DynaFlux® magnetic technology and three speeds that you control. Discover It. Live It. Share It.

 

1 https://www.healthline.com/health/self-massage#types

2,3,4 https://www.jasminehemsley.com/la-vida-veda/2018/9/28/why-self-massage-is-part-of-my-weekly-routine#:~:text=Self%2Dmassage%20brings%20you%20back,your%20skin%20or%20preventing%20injury.

5 https://www.painscience.com/articles/self-massage.php

 

Keep Moving to Stay Mobile

“Use it or lose it” is no joking matter. Practicing Active Wellness requires us to keep moving in order to maintain optimum health and flexibility. Whether we have a daily exercise regimen or freestyle it from day to day, we need to consciously make an effort to exercise our bodies and minds regularly.

When the rules and regulations for social distancing change as often as they have been during the current pandemic, we need to be creative in our approach to exercise. Team sports can be difficult to participate in, and with most gyms still closed, we need to make the best of exercising at home.

There are many ways to keep moving when you are staying indoors. Just as we have become accustomed to using multiple electronic devices, we also use a variety of exercise equipment. The truth is, exercise is simply a matter of moving the body and equipment is not really necessary. Exercise is really about resolve, discipline and keeping your heart rate up for 30 minutes or more each workout session.

Walking around the house, climbing stairs if you live in two stories or more, jogging in place, doing Zumba to a recorded video, dancing to music of your own choice, practicing calisthenics and lifting weights (using real dumbbells or holding canned goods and other makeshift “weights”) can be great habit-forming ways to exercise.

You can even put together your own routine that incorporates cardio with stretches. There are so many online sources of stretches and routines ranging from beginner to advanced levels. You can even start exercising by staying seated and work up to more mobility. The point is to get moving and stay moving.

If you have multiple generations living together, you can devise routines to practice as a group. It’s an easy way to spend quality time as a family and to “play” with the kids while role modeling Active Wellness. “Monkey see monkey do” is a much easier way to help children and the elderly incorporate exercise into their daily lives. Exercise helps get them off the couch and decrease screen time.

If you have exercise equipment at home, such as a treadmill, rowing machine or elliptical, etc, make sure you use them! Exercise equipment often languishes and becomes pieces of furniture; don’t let that happen to yours!

How much exercise should you do? For heart health, the American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking, on most days of the week.1

For 15 easy at-home workout moves, you can check out https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/easy-workout-quick-workout/.

If you have sensitive joints, see https://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/ra-biologic-17/gentle-ra-exercises

Last but not least, remember to use the KenkoTouch® to help your muscles relax after your daily exercise. It’s one more way to give yourself an indoor treat!

 

1 https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/fitness-beginners-guide#1

Use Both Shampoo and Conditioner for Best Hair Results

Did you know it’s normal to lose 100 to 150 strands of hair a day?1 The good news is that we can help prevent excessive hair loss by taking care of both our hair and scalp. Contrary to popular belief, washing hair daily is not the best way to guarantee scalp and hair health. In fact, most hair care specialists will advise not washing daily unless you have unusually oily hair.

Here are some tips for growing and maintaining a healthy head of hair:

  • Don’t wash your hair everyday and whenever you do, apply some conditioner on the ends. Try and use the same brand of shampoo and conditioner.
  • Rinse the conditioner off with cold water, as it is good for both strength and shine.
  • Wash your hair every two to three days for proper regulation of natural hair oils. Not washing daily will help hair regain its natural body and luster and keep the scalp from drying out.
  • Comb wet hair gingerly to prevent breakage. Wet hair is fragile, so run a wide toothed comb from the roots to the ends of your hair as gently as possible.
  • There has been a lot of focus on sulfate in shampoos. Sulfates are the reason most shampoos lather the way they do. Some researchers also suggest that sulfates strip hair of essential oils.2 They’re also why your eye stings when shampoo accidentally gets in that area. If you feel any kind of irritation on the scalp or find your hair drying up over time, then try and buy a shampoo that’s sulfate-free.
  • Although conditioner is usually applied on hair to help detangle after shampooing hair, deep conditioning occurs when it’s applied to the roots and massaged down to the ends and left in for anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour. Then rinse thoroughly and enjoy silky smooth hair.
  • Heat and hair coloring both dry out hair and scalp. Conditioners are critical for protection against heat.3 If you tend towards dry hair to begin with, try to avoid coloring hair and when using a hair dryer, keep it on a cool setting. Removing as much water as possible with a towel and then air drying is even better.4

The Nikken True Elements® personal care line has two hair care products: Shampoo and Conditioner. If you’re used to hair care products with sulfates, you’ll notice right away that True Elements® Shampoo does not produce prodigious amounts of lather. That’s because it’s formulated without sulfates to help moisturize rather than dry out the hair and scalp.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. This adage holds true in many instances and from what Nikken can gather from those who of you who practice Active Wellness, the True Elements® Shampoo is going to be welcomed back with fanfare! For those who are new to the fold, get ready for a Nikken exclusive that contains magnetic particles that promote mechanical stimulation and movement for a deep clean! True Elements® Conditioner remains available and as experts suggest, it’s best to use the same brand of conditioner as shampoo.

Please join us at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89186004002 (meeting ID: 8918600 4002) on July 10, 2020 at 10 am PDT in the US and Canada to hear the details of the return of True Elements® Hair Care.

 

 

 

1,2 https://food.ndtv.com/beauty/how-to-maintain-healthy-hair-the-hacks-youve-been-missing-out-on-1217364

3,4 https://www.allure.com/story/how-to-have-healthy-hair

 

Take Care of Yourself and Stay Healthy

This Fourth of July, our thoughts of freedom may be more pronounced. For those of us who were born into a life of freedom, these trying times may be as close as we come to not experiencing freedom as we know it. Those who enjoy partying, dining out and group activities in general are particularly vulnerable to feelings of deprivation and depression with the current state of affairs. Even homebodies may be craving some human closeness with all the social distancing we have been practicing.

Nikken just launched three products priced at only cost and handling to help us maintain Active Wellness through these trying times and beyond—Kenzen® Face Mask, Kenzen® Hand Sanitizer and Kenzen® Surface Cleaner. The Nikken mission has always been to produce exceptional products that help us create a Wellness Home but some are especially designed to help us maintain indoor health and our sense of independence.

This entire month of July, three items that can help us make the best of indoor living are available at a 20% discount with no purchase limits. They are KenkoSeat® II, KenkoGround®, and KenkoTouch®. Here’s a summary of why they help you maintain Active Wellness while staying indoors:

  • KenkoSeat® II addresses the issue of sitting. Excessive sitting is believed to cause slow metabolism, compromised posture, increased back injuries, chronic pain and many other health risks.1 KenkoSeat II does not pretend to fix any of these issues; however, it is designed to help promote proper posture while seated and is made of breathable materials for ventilation. The Kenko PowerButton® with patented Dynaflux® technology, 100% latex core and 100% nylon cover are a trifecta of back support and relief. (I personally have sat on one for many years as I commuted 84 round trip miles a day and truly believe KenkoSeat II has helped sustain my back.)
  • KenkoGround® serves as an indoor and portable way to reconnect with Mother Nature. When you can sink your feet into real sand, soil, grass or sea water, KenkoGround is the next best thing to help connect with natural energy sources. In these times when even children too often use multiple electronic devices, KenkoGround under our feet when seated or sleeping, draped around our shoulders or touching our skin in some way, can help “ground” us.
  • KenkoTouch® helps us take care of our massage needs ourselves. It’s a simple handheld way to de-stress and help loosen tight muscles. With three speed settings, the same patented DynaFlux® technology found in the KenkoSeat II extends depth of field for greater penetration of the solenoid reciprocating massage.

All of us at Nikken wish you a safe Fourth of July!

1 https://www.businessinsider.com/14-horrible-things-that-can-happen-if-you-sit-at-your-desk-for-too-long-2014-3

Create a Wellness Home

The importance of following basic hygiene measures was highlighted by epidemiology Professor Mark Lipsitch of the Harvard Chan School and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics. In a Facebook Live event held earlier this month, he said, “Slowing the epidemic is what we have to do if we can’t stop it.” Alluding to handwashing, using hand sanitizer if washing is not possible, keeping surfaces clean and especially inhibiting transmission through respiratory droplets, he said, “All those measures, small as some of them may be, help to slow the epidemic. There is a real coalescence between individually self-protective measures and measures that will benefit the community. Basic hygiene and self-protection measures are in fact socially beneficial.”1

Nikken has been helping people around the globe create their Wellness Homes and Active Wellness lifestyles for decades now. In light of current events, we are launching three personal care and household products. These products do not in any way suggest a cure but are designed to help you practice personal and household hygiene. All three products are priced at cost plus handling only, so that they can be shared with everyone in your communities.

Kenzen® Face Mask will be available in black or white, both displaying the Nikken name and logo. This mask is not a medical device, but can help with particulate contaminants and airborne pollution. It does not eliminate your exposure to the risk of any disease or infection. Made with two layers of polyester and cotton materials, it has an opening in between for an extra barrier or filter, if you wish to insert one. It’s a reusable mask: all you do is hand wash in warm water with a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly, then air dry. At only one ounce, it fits comfortably with elastic bands of polyester and rubber that loop over the ears.

Kenzen® Hand Sanitizer is an innovative Nikken product in that it contains Cannabinoids, commonly known as CBD and CBG oils. When you use it to clean your hands, it helps to soothe and relieve in addition. Since it’s THC-free, it’s safe to use as often as needed and works in as few as 15 seconds. It contains 70% Ethyl Alcohol to disinfect and helps eliminate up to 99.99% of common bacteria and germs. It more than meets the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s recommended 60%+ of alcohol and meets the FDA’s healthcare personnel handwashing criteria. Deionized water ensures that Kenzen Hand Sanitizer is made with purified water, and Vitamin E and organic Aloe Vera help moisturize the hands.

Kenzen® Surface Cleaner stays with the Nikken commitment to present products made without chemicals or artificial odors. It helps to eliminate up to 99.99% of common bacteria and germs with the use of 30% citrus essential oils from orange, lemon and grapefruit. There’s no need for cumbersome buckets of water, because the cleaner is sprayed directly onto surfaces such as floors, counters, windows, walls, tiles, wood and plastic and does not require rinsing. It’s recommended for repeat usage and does not stain; however, it may discolor some fabrics, so caution is suggested.

The three products will launch on June 27th . To join us for the launch via Zoom, please go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85867679481 at 10 a.m. PST in the USA and Canada.

Stay up to speed with the latest scientific findings, stay safe and make your home a Wellness Home!

 

1 https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/03/preventing-the-spread-of-coronavirus-starts-with-basic-hygiene/

How Are You Celebrating Father’s Day?

In North America, Father’s Day is celebrated annually on the third Sunday of June. In other countries, such as in Latin America and in Europe, fathers are honored on St. Joseph’s Day, a traditional Catholic holiday that falls on March 19. This year, Father’s Day falls on June 21.

The idea of Father’s Day was initiated by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd from Spokane, Washington, who wanted to establish a day like Mother’s Day for male parents. As one of six children raised by a widower, she wanted to honor her father. She successfully canvassed her idea at local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials, and the first Father’s Day in the United States was celebrated in Washington state on June 19, 1910. By 1916, President Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. Then President Coolidge urged all state governments to observe Father’s Day in 1924.1

During the 1920s and 1930s, a movement rose to combine Mother’s Day and Father’s Day into “Parents’ Day.” Activists assembled on Mother’s Day every year in New York City’s Central Park to rally in favor of Parents’ Day. This push failed when the Great Depression happened. Struggling retailers and advertisers wanted two separate days to promote sales of gift items. Father’s Day was marketed as a “second Christmas for men.”2 By World War II, a different group of activists successfully argued that celebrating Father’s Day was a way to honor American troops and support the war effort; however, it wasn’t until 1972 when President Nixon signed a proclamation that Father’s Day became a federal holiday!

Depending on where you and the fathers in your lives are during these unusual times, you may celebrate differently this year. Whether you are sending love via Zoom or FaceTime, by phone or a traditional card, together in spirit or lucky enough to be physically on site, always honor your dad! The older they get, the more it counts.

This Father’s Day, remind Dad to take care of himself with a daily walk or exercise of some kind, eating healthy and practicing Active Wellness. As mentioned last week,men are 80% less likely to monitor their health through a healthcare source. If you’re able, take your father for a checkup, a walk in the park, or fix him a delicious smoothie with Kenzen Vital Balance®! Father’s Day is not just about giving ties and other gifts. What you give dad in terms of time spent with him is perhaps the most valuable gift of all.

From each of us at Nikken, have a Safe and Happy Father’s Day!

1, 2 https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/fathers-day

Monitoring Health is Key to Men’s Physical and Mental Well-Being

Did you know that men are 80 percent less likely to use a regular source of healthcare, like a primary care physician, than women? In fact, a lot of men go to the doctor only if they’re sick or have a medical emergency.1 Although men’s lifespans are gradually catching up to women’s, not monitoring one’s health is partially to blame for the discrepancy.

The five biggest health risk factors for men are heart disease, stroke, suicide, prostate cancer and lung cancer.2 Prostate cancer is the most common type found in men and the American Cancer Society recommends a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test annually for healthy men starting at age 50 or older.3 Men who eat large quantities of red meat and high-fat dairy products and inadequate amounts of fruits and vegetables have a higher risk for prostate cancer.

Men 50 years and older are also at the highest risk for developing skin cancer, more than twice as likely as women, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. The risk is attributed to more frequent sun exposure and fewer visits to the doctor.4

Although it is not listed on the top five health risk factors, diabetes presents a unique set of complications for men: it increases the risk for lower testosterone levels that can lead to sexual impotence, depression and anxiety.5 Untreated diabetes may lead to a whole range of physical dysfunctions, including kidney damage, heart disease, stroke and vision problems.

Mental well-being is overlooked by many segments of the population, but especially with men. Men experience depression differently than women, in that they report symptoms of fatigue and irritability more often than actual anxiety or depression. They also are less apt to seek help or treatment. Ironically, even though more women attempt suicide, more men actually die by their own doing.6 This is compounded by unintentional deaths resulting from men’s higher rates of smoking and drinking.

If you’re an adult man who hasn’t had a preventative care checkup in more than a year, now is the time to visit your doctor, even if it’s only a phone consultation. Many conditions do not have obvious symptoms and may put you at risk for heart attack or stroke. Some basic tips for men’s health maintenance are to:

  • Protect yourself from injury by wearing helmets, safety glasses, seatbelts, sunscreen and insect repellent when needed.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Pay attention to prostate health. Kenzen® Mega Daily 4 for men addresses men’s health issues, including prostate health. To lower risk of prostate problems, eat a nutritious, balanced, low-fat diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Manage stress by getting restful sleep. Take time for yourself and use meditation, yoga and other ways to maintain a positive mental attitude.
  • Seek help when feeling anxious, unusual fatigue or sadness. Find at least one person you feel comfortable confiding in, even if you don’t speak to a professional therapist.
  • Get regular checkups and screenings from a healthcare practitioner.

It’s important to remember that little boys grow up to be men, so teach them good habits early on! Nikken Active Wellness supports both men and women, and now, there’s Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix that helps boys and girls achieve a good dietary regimen as early as two years old!

 

1 https://mypvhc.com/ways-improve-mens-health/

2, 3 https://www.webmd.com/men/features/mens-top-5-health-concerns#1

4, 5, 6 https://www.clinicaladvisor.com/slideshow/slides/top-10-mens-health-issues/

 

Do You Have Finicky Eaters in Your Family Who Don’t Like Vegetables?

Grandma always said, “Eat your vegetables.” Turns out, Grandma was right. The importance of vegetables to Active Wellness is irrefutable. One of life’s mysteries is why some children simply do not like or refuse to eat vegetables. What’s a parent to do? (Or, are you an adult who doesn’t eat vegetables willingly and regularly?)

Nikken has the solution with Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix. It not only helps you and your kids get your daily allowance of vegetables, but it also helps to keep your digestion working at full blast! With the ratio of one daily serving of fruit to three daily servings of veggies per scoop, it’s designed to be a green superfood for kids but “grown-ups” will be tempted, too!

Organic vegetables in KTVDM come from land and sea: Barley grass, Carrot root, Spirulina, Beet root, Spinach leaf, Watercress leaf and Parsley leaf. Organic fruits in the powder come from Acerola berry extract and Banana, and natural flavors come from organic Cacao and Coconut sugar! There are only 20 calories per delicious serving.

Each of the organic vegetables and fruits are incorporated for specific reasons. For example, organic Barley grass is known by many as “Nature’s perfect food” and the primary ingredient in the flagship Nikken nutritional, Kenzen Jade GreenZymes®.

Organic Acerola berry extract is a superfruit that is known to be one of the richest sources of vitamin C and is considered by the National Institute of Health as a “functional food.”1 A functional food promotes optimal health and is considered helpful in reducing the risk of disease. The acerola berry extract in this formula not only contributes to the recommended daily allowance of fruit but it also helps to provide Kenzen Total Vegan Drink Mix with 210% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.

Organic Spirulina powder is a blue-green algae with 60% protein content, a richer source than most vegetables. It’s also a source of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, as well as a source of beta-carotene. The organic Spirulina adds marine-sourced nutrients to the powder.

If you didn’t know that watercress is known as a powerhouse vegetable, you’re not alone. However, the Center for Disease Control places it at the top of its list of nutrient-dense vegetables!2 It’s a green, leafy vegetable you don’t hear much about and you may not be able to convince your little ones to crunch down on it, let alone take a bite of parsley—something many people think of as a garnish rather than as a nutritious vegetable! But the truth is, both watercress and parsley are natural sources of vitamin K that benefits bone health, vital in growing children. And of course, our formula only uses Organic Watercress leaf and Organic parsley leaf powders.

Organic Carrot Root and Beet Root powders add naturally sourced vitamin C and fiber and are valued for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Both contain phytonutrients that help stimulate the metabolic and digestive systems. They work in tandem with the Probiotic Blend to enhance gut health. Each serving contains 3.5 billion CFUs of probiotics to get the digestion working at capacity plus naturally-occurring ionic trace minerals help to improve the body’s pH balance.

Kenzen Total Vegan Drink Mix 003Your kids won’t care about all the benefits of this naturally-flavored beverage. They’ll care that it’s yummy and tastes like chocolate. You can worry less about getting vegetables and fruits into their diets and feel confident knowing they’re getting a head start with an Active Wellness lifestyle!

 

 

 

1 ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6098779

2 cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/13_0390.htm#table2_down

Fruits and Vegetables Help to Protect Your Health

Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Because of this, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday can help reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes and certain cancers.1

When Harvard researchers combined findings from their studies with several other long-term studies in the U.S. and Europe, and looked at coronary heart disease and stroke separately, they found a similar protective effect: Individuals who ate more than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day had roughly a 20% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, compared with individuals who ate less than three servings per day.2

Fruits and vegetables have many important phytochemicals that help “fight” or defend our bodies from harmful elements. Phytochemicals are usually related to colors — green, yellow-orange, red, blue-purple, and white — combinations of nutrients that work together to promote good health.3

Because they’re low in calories and high in fiber, fruits and vegetables can help us control our weight. By eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer high-caloric foods, it’s easier to control our weight, especially since they are natural sources of energy and the many nutrients we need to keep going. Non-starchy vegetables and fruits like apples, pears and green leafy veggies especially help promote weight loss, and their low glycemic loads help prevent blood sugar spikes that may increase hunger.4

Since no single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients we need to be healthy, it’s important to eat a large variety of differently colored produce. Nutritionists recommend having at least one serving from each category, including dark leafy greens, yellow or orange fruits, red fruits and vegetables, legumes and peas, and last but not least, citrus fruits.5

There’s no magic bullet when it comes to eating well, but there are ways to make it easier. Here are some tips:

  • Keep fruit where you can see it.Place several ready-to-eat washed whole fruits in a bowl or store chopped colorful fruits in a glass bowl in the refrigerator to replace sweets made with added sugars.
  • Cook often and include more vegetables. Salads, soups, and stir-fry are easy ways to incorporate a variety of tasty vegetables into meals.
  • Have chopped celery, carrots, cucumbers, jicama and other vegetables ready to snack on throughout the day. Remember that eating more veggies won’t necessarily help with weight loss unless it replaces foods, which contain refined carbohydrates, for example, white bread, chips or crackers.
  • Fruits and veggies are nutritious in many forms—fresh, frozen, and canned without added salt and sugar. Remember to incorporate canned or frozen produce into smoothies. Kenzen Vital Balance® and Kenzen Super Ciaga™ are ideal organic powders to help you ramp up your smoothies with plant-based protein or superfruit antioxidants.

It’s important to role model an Active Wellness regimen that includes good eating habits, since a child brought up with sound nutrition has a much better chance at becoming a healthy adult!

1,3 https://www.familyeducation.com/life/general-nutrition/why-fruits-vegetables-are-important

2,4,5 https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/