What are you grateful for?

2020 has been a year of obstacles for many of us. Those who have avoided illnesses or recovered are simply grateful. Others are mourning the loss of loved ones and reminded of the fragility of life. So what are we grateful for?

In unusually trying times, feeling grateful may not come as easily, but being aware of what we have accomplished can help us overcome resentment for what we miss or want. At the first virtual Nikken convention, our executive team led by Kurt Fulle and Luis Kasuga, voiced why we are grateful. Here are some excerpts from their talks to show how to keep gratitude in motion.

“As a pioneer in the Wellness industry, our priority is always to keep our extended Nikken Family healthy and safe. Nikken has been able to continue supporting our Consultants and Registered Customers, to keep our company operating in all regions of the world and to help you keep your own businesses running.

“There have been massive slowdowns in manufacturing around the world. As a result, we have had to cope with an on-and-off back order situation with some of our products. We appreciate your patience and want you to know that we keep in close contact with each of our suppliers and work around the clock to fulfill your orders.

“Regardless of the surprising number of obstacles that we confronted, we persevered and worked hand in hand with our vendors. As a result, we were able to develop and roll out new cutting edge products, even in the most trying of times. We continue to work towards globalization not only of Nikken products but also of Nikken information technology and Humans Being More training systems.

“Our ability to work as a global team was tested and challenged. And our team in every Nikken region stepped up to the plate. Not a single Nikken operation had to be shut down. Is it business as usual? No, it’s business in as unusual a way as we’ve seen in this lifetime, but most importantly, we continue to move forward.

“Nikken employees in all global regions have been working safely from home, staying healthy and successfully keeping operations running smoothly. Many of you in kind have shown your Nikken spirit by continuing to retail and share our exceptional products as well as introducing new people to our Global Wellness Community. Because of your efforts, our community continues to grow under the most unusual circumstances.

“Together we have stepped out of our comfort zones and succeeded in creating a new type of work and life balance in the midst of unforeseen challenges. Each day we prove that together we can and will create a better future not only for ourselves but also for future generations.”

 “During these trying moments, we can see the best and worst of the human condition. It is a fact that we are human beings and we act to survive, but it is also a fact that we can choose to act humanely. For example, we can bring groceries to people who cannot leave their homes, raise funds for friends who lost everything, support frontline workers, frequently video call loved ones, accompany distressed and sad people in their difficult moments. And we can do it all with a smile. Thanks to creativity and humanity combined, there are thousands of ways to manifest emotional closeness.  This practice is undoubtedly that of “being better human beings.”

At Nikken, we are grateful for all of you. We are grateful you are part of our Global Wellness Community and practicing Active Wellness together.

What are you grateful for?

Give the Gift of Wellness

Most of us think of the approaching season of gifting in conjunction with sales galore. This year many people are not venturing out of their homes. Retail stores therefore are facing the challenge of making their holiday sales entirely online. At Nikken, we’ve been conducting business with our Consultants and Registered Customers online or by phone for years. Simply use the online shopping cart 24/7 or call Customer Service Monday through Friday! It doesn’t get easier than that.

More than ever before, this year is the perfect time to think of giving everyone on your list the Gift of Wellness. Nikken truly has something for everyone when it comes to helping people improve health and fitness, and now is the perfect time to get a jumpstart on your gift list.

Good sleep is critical to Active Wellness. An investment in a supportive mattress and pillow, quality sheets and temperature-controlled covers can help you feel refreshed and energetic at the start of every day. Right now, we have a really good deal for you to take advantage of during the season of giving! The Cozy Winter Packs are 15% off and will be available through the end of the year. They come in three sizes, and not matter which you choose, you’ll be benefiting from substantial savings. Whether you purchase for your own home or as gifts, the Cozy Winter Pack contains Sleep items that are rarely discounted.

•            The King Pack has one king size Kenko Dream® Comforter, two KenkoNaturest® Custom Pillows and two Kenko PowerSleep Masks.

•            The Queen Pack has one queen size Kenko Dream® Comforter, two KenkoNaturest® Custom Pillows and two Kenko PowerSleep Masks.

•            The Twin Pack has one twin size Kenko Dream® Comforter with one KenkoNaturest® Custom Pillow and one Kenko PowerSleep Mask. 

Staying hydrated is key to overall health. During these trying times, drinking lots of filtered water is even more important, as it is known that staying hydrated helps boost our immune systems. Carry an eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle everywhere and drink up! It makes the perfect green gift all year round.

Do you know anyone who doesn’t do much cooking and relies on ready-made food? Unfortunately ready-made in this day and age often means highly processed and full of preservatives and artificial flavoring. Kenzen® Wellness Organic-Based Nutrition can help fill in dietary gaps while elevating your nutrient density. And for both children and adults who don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits, Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix can provide four of the recommended daily servings in one delicious chocolate-flavored scoop. It’s green superfood!

What about a gift that takes care of the body’s largest organ, skin? True Elements® skin care helps cleanse, tone and moisturize skin of all ages with organic ingredients that include seaweed that is rich in natural minerals. These skin care preparations are natural, organic, and free from parabens, GMOs, mineral oils, phthalates, phenoxyethanol, PEG, EDTA, synthetic colorings and fragrances.

Make holiday gifting stress-free with Nikken, and remember to wash your hands and stay safe!

Do You Have a Sleep Disorder?

Sleep disorders are conditions that disturb our normal sleep patterns. Sleeping is a complicated biological process where we are unconscious but the brain and body are still actively functioning. These continuous bodily functions help us stay healthy. When we don’t get enough restful sleep, we feel tired, but even worse, it can affect our physical and mental well-being. Restful sleep is one of the most important facets of Active Wellness.

The term “sleep disorder” refers to conditions that affect sleep quality, timing, or duration and impact a person’s ability to properly function while they are awake. These disorders can contribute to other medical problems, and some may also be symptoms for underlying mental health issues.1

Over four decades, more than 100 specific sleep disorders have been identified and complex methodologies categorize them based on causes, symptoms, physiological and psychological effects, and other criteria.2 However, most sleep disorders can be characterized by one or more of the following four signs:

  • Trouble falling or remaining asleep
  • Difficulty staying awake during the day
  • Imbalances in circadian rhythm that interfere with a healthy sleep schedule
  • Being prone to unusual behaviors that disrupt sleep

Some fairly common types of sleep disorders are insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome (RLS), hypersomnia and parasomnia.3 According to general estimates by the Sleep Foundation, 10 to 30% of adults live with some form of insomnia. Most of us have experienced some form of insomnia—either having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Chronic insomnia occurs when sleepers experience symptoms at least three times per week for at least three months. Insomnia lasting less than three months is known as short-term insomnia.

Sleep apnea is ubiquitous and presents more of a problem, because left untreated, it could lead to serious health issues. It’s not only a sleep disorder but also a breathing disorder where the sleeper stops breathing for 10 seconds or more. There are various forms of sleep apnea, but each warrants checking in with a health practitioner for possible treatment.

Restless leg syndrome causes the sleeper to waken from an urge to move the legs or simply twitching from an irritating sensation, while hypersomnia causes extreme sleepiness during the day, to the point of not being able to function.

Parasomnia is a collective term for unusual behaviors that occur prior to sleep, during sleep, or during the transition period between sleep and waking. These behaviors can occur during different stages of sleep. Sleepwalking and night terrors are examples of parasomnia, as are talking or eating while asleep.

Sleep disorders can be caused by health issues including heart, lung, nerve and pain conditions. They can also be caused by depression and anxiety, certain medications, caffeine, alcohol, irregular schedules, aging and even genetics. It’s best to check in with a health practitioner, just to be on the safe side.

When going to sleep, make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend removing all electronic devices from the bedroom.4

From November 1 through December 31, 2020, the discounted Nikken “Cozy Winter” Packs not only help you to reap the health benefits of a good night’s sleep but also to expand your Global Wellness Community when you share it with others.


1, 2  https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders

3 https://medlineplus.gov/sleepdisorders.html

4 https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html

Sleep Better to Work and Feel Better

What a difference a good night’s sleep can make! We work better, feel better and consciously or not, we treat people better when we’re well rested. In fact, the importance of sleep continues to be a hot topic. Nikken has been advocating for restful sleep with the help of advanced magnetic technology way before it became one of the primary focuses of Active Wellness practitioners!

Just how important is sleep for Active Wellness and overall health? In a 2018 study, Mayo Clinic scientists found that sleep deprivation increases the likelihood of age-related memory loss.1 This follows a 2017 study that linked poor sleep to higher levels of other biological markers associated with age-related brain conditions.2 Another 2018 study even determined that one sleepless night alone can be damaging, leaving behind harmful protein debris in your brain.3

The National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) annual Sleep in America® poll shows Americans feel sleepy on average three times a week, with 62% trying to “shake it off” as their primary response. Those who feel sleepy five to seven days a week report especially high rates of irritability (52 percent), headaches (40 percent), and feeling unwell (34 percent). The Sleep in America poll found when people feel sleepy, more Americans say it’s generally because they’re not sleeping well enough (55 percent) as opposed to not having enough time to sleep (44 percent).4

To help achieve restful sleep, The National Sleep Foundation advises us to focus on maximizing comfort and minimizing distractions:

•            Use a high-performance mattress and pillow, such as the KenkoNaturest® Custom Pillow. This helps with comfort and the support of the spine to avoid achy muscles and joints.

•            Choose quality sheets and blankets. Again, this is to help with comfort and maintenance of suitable temperatures throughout the night. The Kenko® Dream Comforter is ideal to snuggle under during cool nights.

•            Avoid light disruptions. Excess light exposure can throw off sleep and circadian rhythm. Use blackout curtains or a comfortable sleep mask, such as the Kenko PowerSleep Mask, to block out light.

•            Keep noise to a minimum. If you can’t eliminate nearby sources of noise, consider drowning them out with a fan or white noise machine. Earplugs or headphones are another option to block abrasive sounds when you want to sleep.

•            Make sure the room temperature is not too hot or cold by using heaters, fans and air conditioning as necessary. Researchers have found that sleeping in a cooler environment of around 65 degrees Fahrenheit is conducive to restful sleep.5

From November 1 through December 31,2020, the discounted Nikken “Cozy Winter” Packs not only help you to reap the health benefits of a good night’s sleep but also to expand your Global Wellness Community when you share it with others.

1 D. Carvalho et al. Association of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness with Longitudinal Β-Amyloid Accumulation in Elderly Persons Without Dementia JAMA Neurology. Vol. 75, June 2018. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.0049.
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/article-abstract/2674279

2 Sprecher KE et al. Poor sleep is associated with CSF biomarkers of amyloid pathology in cognitively normal adults. Neurology. 2017 Aug 1; 89(5): 445-453.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5539733/

3 Shokri-Kojori E et al. Β-Amyloid accumulation in the human brain after one night of sleep deprivation. PNAS April 24, 2018. 115 (17) 4483-4488;
http://www.pnas.org/content/115/17/4483

4 https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/nsfs-2020-sleep-america-poll-shows-alarming-sleepiness-and-low-action

5 https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/healthy-sleep-tips

Super Yummy and Really Good for Us!

“Everything in moderation.” The essential thought is found in the work of the Greek poet Hesiod (c.700 bc), who wrote ‘observe due measure; moderation is best in all things’, and of the Roman comic dramatist Plautus (c. 250–184 bc), who wrote ‘moderation in all things is the best policy.’1 These wise words are especially prudent when it comes to delicious food that may have high calories or may not be the best for us. When something is delicious and beneficial, double bonus! Such is the case with cacao or cocoa powder.

Cacao beans are a source of flavonoids, with the primary type present being flavanols. Cacao beans come from the fruit of the tree known as Theobroma cacao. Theobroma means “food of the gods” and aptly, cacao beans not only contain flavanols but also nearly 400 other identified compounds.2

Flavanols are a type of plant nutrient found in many foods and drinks, such as tea, red wine, blueberries, apples, pears, cherries, and peanuts. They are particularly abundant in cacao beans. Fermenting, drying, and roasting cacao beans yields cocoa powder, which is used to make chocolate. Flavanols in cocoa have been studied for many years. Decades of research and more than 100 published studies have demonstrated the benefits of daily cocoa flavanol consumption, including supporting a healthy heart, blood pressure, brain health and cognition, circulation and skin health. 3 They have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, prevent blood clots, and fight cell damage.4

With the emerging recognition of the beneficial effects of flavanols, there has been a shift in commercial production towards chocolate forms with high flavanol content.5 Cocoa powder can contain as little as 10% fat and has up to 6% by weight, flavanols. It also has minerals (Magnesium, Copper, Vitamin K and Calcium), protein, and fiber in modest amounts. The main flavanols present in the cocoa powder are catechins and epicatechins.

Italian researchers tested the effects of cocoa flavanols in 90 healthy 61- to 85-year-olds whose memories and thinking skills were in good shape for their ages. Participants drank a special brew of cocoa flavanols each day. One group’s brew contained a low amount of cocoa flavanols (48 mg a day), another’s contained a medium amount (520 mg), and the third’s contained a high amount (993 mg).

After eight weeks, people who consumed medium and high amounts of cocoa flavanols every day made significant improvements on tests that measured attention, executive function, and memory. The findings were published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A similar study by these researchers published in 2012 showed that daily consumption of cocoa flavanols was associated with improved thinking skills in older adults who did have thinking problems, a condition called mild cognitive impairment. And both studies found that cocoa flavanols were associated with reduced blood pressure and improved insulin resistance. 6

Formulated to help people reach their recommended daily allowance of fruit and vegetables, in other words, to eat an Active Wellness diet, Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix was designed with children in mind. It therefore “hid” its four recommended daily servings of veggies and fruits per serving/scoop with delicious chocolate flavor.

When you check out the ingredient listing of Kenzen Total Vegan Drink Mix, you’ll see that the second ingredient is Organic Cacao Powder. The formulation of this powdered green superfood is proprietary, but we can tell you that there are 3.15g of Organic Cacao in each 6.3g serving. That’s a significant amount, based on studies mentioned above, so whether you’re trying to get veggies into a child or feeding your own adult heart and brain, it doesn’t get easier than this!  Just add water and get a delicious chocolate beverage that is really good for the body and mind: triple bonus!

1https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110810105420435#:~:text=The%20essential%20thought%20is%

2, 4,5 https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/590371

3 Kwik-Uribe, Cocoa flavanols: Manufacturing Process & Supply Chain Make or Break Benefits, Nutraceuticals World, July/August 2020, p. 36.

6 https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cocoa-sweet-treat-brain-201502057676

Have You Heard of the “Have a Plant™” Movement?

The Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is promoting the consumption of vegetables and fruits for health. Health means decreasing the risk of certain common but debilitating conditions, including type 2 diabetes, diverticulitis and other digestive issues, hypertension and most notably, cardiovascular disease. Have a Plant™ is PBH’s new behavioral science-based call to action.

Since nearly 90% of Americans fall below fruit and vegetable consumption recommendations1, the PBH suggests the following:

  1. Join the Have a Plant™ Movement by enjoying fruits and veggies you know and love, whether fresh, frozen, canned, dried or 100% juice.
  2. Follow PBH’s social channels to learn creative tips/tricks to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your daily diet.
  3. Take the Have a Plant™ pledge: commit to adding one or more fruit and or vegetable to your routine every day this month: try something new, and experiment. Although this is National Fruit and Veggie Awareness month as recommended by PBH, any month is a good month to make this pledge.
  4. Spread the word on the importance of consuming multiple types of fruits and veggies, since no single vegetable or fruit can supply all your nutrient needs.

The importance of eating fruits and vegetables cannot be overstated. You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to reap the multiple benefits of including a rainbow of plant foods into your diet. Studies show that people who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are more likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases, as mentioned above. Here’s why:

•            Vegetables are low in fat and calories and none have cholesterol.

•             Vegetables and fruits are important sources of potassium, fiber, folate (folic acid) and Vitamins A and C.

•            Diets rich in potassium may help maintain healthy levels of blood pressure.2 Sweet potatoes, white beans, tomato paste, sauce and juice, beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils and kidney beans are rich in potassium.

•            Fiber helps reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease, as well as help ensure proper bowel function. High-fiber foods include peas, broccoli, figs, berries, all types of beans, artichokes, avocado and pears.

•            Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells.3 Foods rich in folate include leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, seeds and nuts, and fortified foods, such as whole grain breakfast cereals.4

•            Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps protect against infections. Vitamin A is found in orange and yellow vegetables and fruits as well as broccoli, spinach and most green leafy vegetables.

•             According to a study conducted by Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals, all fruits and veggies contributed to the benefit but green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and mustard greens most strongly associated with a decrease risk of cardiovascular disease.5

•            Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy. It also aids in iron absorption. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, cauliflower, green and red peppers, cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes and winter squash.

•             A randomized trial known as the Optimal Macronutrient Intake Trial for Heart Health showed fruit and vegetable rich diets lowered blood pressure even more when some of the carbohydrates were replaced with healthy unsaturated fat or protein.6

Have a Plant™ works well with an Active Wellness lifestyle and it’s never too late to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Remember that Kenzen® Super Ciaga is rich in antioxidant fruits, and Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix can help you and your children with four of the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables in each scoop!

1 https://www.producebluebook.com/2019/08/27/how-to-promote-september-as-national-fruits-and-veggie-month/#

2, 3 www.choosemyplate.gov

www.m.activebeat.com

5, 6 www.hsph.harvard.edu

Is Your Appetite Changing with the Seasons?

Have you noticed if your appetite changes with the seasons? Do you eat more when the weather is colder? In cooler weather, your body needs to burn more calories to maintain body temperature. To protect your health and keep you warm, the system that controls appetite signals you to eat more.1

There have been studies done to determine why our appetites vacillate. In one study, subjects consumed about 200 more calories a day beginning in the fall when the days grew darker.2 Another study explained that humans are very light-sensitive and when there is less of it, we tend not only to eat more but also to eat faster!3

Other experts believe the environment causes us to eat more, not the changing season. They believe that being inside all day with less activity and fewer opportunities to exercise, contribute to increased food intake.4 The holiday season is an obvious example of environmental influences in food consumption: we eat certain high-caloric foods during the holidays and even crave them during that time of year.

A common question related to increased food consumption is, “Will I gain weight because I eat more in the cooler months?” The answer may seem obvious; however, it’s not as simple as it may seem. The logic behind this question is that the increased calories will add body fat. This is not necessarily correct, because weight gain depends not only on the amount we eat but also on what we eat.

The role that the hormone insulin plays in fat accumulation helps determine whether or not we gain weight. Insulin is produced when we eat complex or simple sugars. Its main function is to usher sugar into our cells to be used for energy. When our cells are getting enough energy from sugar, insulin will signal the leftover sugar to be stored as fat, so it can be used as needed in the future if food is sparse. Contrary to carbs, dietary fat doesn’t spike insulin and therefore doesn’t get stored as body fat. Instead, it provides a steady energy source, and is excellent for brain health and immunity.5

Another reason some of us eat more during colder weather is simply due to boredom or depression because we can’t get motivated to go out in the cold. Even an advocate of Active Wellness can have a day lacking in motivation once in awhile. Eating comfort foods is a known escape mechanism, so the key is to be mindful and eat because you are hungry. In other words, stay in tune with your body and make sure you actually feel hunger, not boredom.

Also, keep to your exercise routine, whether it’s a daily walk in the cool brisk air or an indoor mat workout. And, remember there’s help to stay on the right food regimen with high protein, low fat options such as Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix to which you can blend in healthy fruits and even veggies. For an antioxidant boost, simply add Kenzen® Super Ciaga powder.

1, 5 https://www.morrisonhealth.com/why-your-appetite-goes-when-temperature-drops-and-what-do-about-it/

2,3,4https://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=does_your_appetite_change_with_the_seasons#:~:text=Turns%20out%2C%20the%20study%20subjects,eat%20more%20and%20eat%20faster.

Be Sure to Take Care of Your Bones While Housebound!

As we are staying home more than usual during these unprecedented times, we tend to be less physically active. We need to make a special effort to get our bodies moving on a daily basis, not only for our health’s sake but specifically to keep our bones strong. Here’s why it’s so important to keep up the practice of Active Wellness:

  • When bones and muscles do not get adequate stimulation, that is, through movement and exercise, bone resorption quickens. Bone resorption refers to bone loss. 1
  • Vitamin D levels are critical for bone health, and staying indoors decreases exposure to the sun, the natural source of vitamin D.
  • We might be making fewer trips to shop for fresh groceries and eating fewer fresh leafy green vegetables, fruits, and dairy products, all good sources of calcium and vitamin D. Eating ready-made or processed foods may deprive us the nutrients that are necessary to help protect, build and maintain bones.
  • Strength-building and weight-bearing exercises provide great stimulation to the bone cells and help to increase bone mineral density and bone size. The good news is that these types of exercises can be accomplished by stair climbing, walking, lifting weights and dancing, all of which can be accomplished indoors.
  • Decreasing contact with others and staying homebound can cause mental stress. Social media shows evidence of increased smoking and alcohol intake by members of various age groups. Unfortunately, smoking and excessive alcohol intake contribute to bone loss and weakening of bones by reducing blood supply to the bones, slowing production of bone-forming cells and impairing the absorption of calcium.2

In summary, there are simple things to do to help maintain bone health. They’re the same habits we should form even when we have the freedom of going out whenever we want:

  • Eat a healthy diet that’s rich in calcium and vitamin D. If your access to fresh food is limited, remember that staples such as canned beans and canned fish contain calcium and protein.
  • Set aside 30 minutes a day to exercise. If you can go outdoors and enjoy sunshine for some of that time, even better.
  • Maintain your body at a weight that is comfortable for you. This is not a time to try and lose a lot of weight. In fact, being too thin makes you more likely to get osteoporosis, but carrying too much weight can increase the risk of falling or leading to a more sedentary lifestyle.
  • Ensure your home environment is free of clutter and any obstacles that may cause you to fall. Now more than ever, staying fracture-free is critical, especially if you already have osteoporosis.3 Minimize the need to go to a hospital.
  • Ensure a daily calcium intake that is age-appropriate.

If you don’t normally take a nutritional supplement to help boost your bone health, this may be the perfect time to start. Why not try Kenzen BDZ® and Kenzen® Calcium Complex? At Nikken, we call them“bone buddies”because they are formulated to work together. Kenzen BDZ™ helps the body absorb calcium with three patented blends that research has shown to help preserve bone structure and strength and to build healthy bones.*

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

 

 

1, 2 https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/what-do-we-need-to-know-about-our-bone-health-during-this-pandemic/articleshow/77588729.cms

3 https://osteoporosis.ca/your-bone-health-during-covid-19/

 

Drink to Your Health with Delicious Tea

Derived from the plant Camellia sinensis, true teas—black, green, oolong, dark and white—are well known for their health benefits. Throughout its nearly 5,000-year history, tea from the Camellia sinensis plant has been believed to help purify the body and preserve the mind. The earliest record of tea’s restorative power dates back to China in 2737 BC.1

Scientists have been testing these theories for decades. To date, researchers have identified and classified the bioactive compounds inherent in tea and thousands of published studies support tea’s ancient health claims. Bioactive compounds that promote health include polyphenolic compounds such as catechins, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), L-theanine, theaflavins, tannins and flavonoids, as well as amino acids, caffeine, lignins and xanthins. Black and green teas are rich sources of phytonutrients, which are responsible for some of their health benefits.2

Tea has been shown to have both short and long-term health benefits for Active Wellness.

  • The antioxidants in true teas are thought to play a role in protecting brain cells and inhibiting oxidative damage. Tea polyphenols are reportedly bioavailable to the brain and may protect neurological function. When researchers compared non-habitual tea drinkers and routine tea drinkers, the “regulars” were found to have greater functional connectivity strength and suppressed hemispheric asymmetry in their structural network, suggesting that habitual tea drinking has a protective effect on age-related brain decline.3
  • Research suggested there is an association between daily tea consumption and the reduced risk of heart disease.4
  • Additional research suggests that the catechins or bioactive compounds in tea, in combination with caffeine, are responsible for increasing energy usage in tea drinkers. This is believed to help in weight management and research suggests tea consumers have a lower weight and waist circumference.5
  • Antibacterial properties of tea may help protect against cavities and gum disease as well as strengthen tooth enamel. Research has demonstrated that two to three cups of green tea daily may play a role in reducing the risk of gum disease.6
  • Tea may boost bone-building markers and improve muscle mass, both of which may reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fracture.7
  • Whereas high caffeine consumption is believed to be a risk factor for reduced bone mineral density, tea drinking has been linked to higher bone density.8

Matcha green tea is one of the true teas highest in catechins and therefore exceptionally beneficial to overall health. Why not take advantage of our “Three for the Price of Two” sale on Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix made with high-grade organic matcha green tea, organic brown rice solids, organic kiwi and stevia leaf extract!

1,2 Goggi, Peter. Tea: A Beverage Steeped in History and Health Benefits, Nutraceuticals World, March 2020, pages 38 and 40.

3 De Bruin EA, etal. Black tea improves attention and self-reported alertness. Appetite, 2011, 56, pages 235-240.

4 Eng Qy, etal. Molecular understanding of epigallocatechin gallate in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Ethnopharmacology, 2017, 210, pages 296-310.

5 Hersel R etal. The effects of catechin rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation, Obesity Review, 2011 July:12(7):e573-81.

6 Kushiyama M etal. Relationship between intake of green tea and periodontal disease. Journal Periodontol, 2009, March; 80(3):372-7

7 Sun K etal, Association between tea consumption and osteoporosis. Medicine, 2017, 96:49 (e9024)

8 Devine A, etal. Tea drinking is associated with benefits on bone density in older women, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007: 86(4)1243-7.

 

Do You Know What Beta Glucans Are?

Medical experts have routinely stated that having a strong immune system is important for all people, especially for those more vulnerable to illness, that is, the elderly, chronically ill and immune-compromised. Consumers are looking for products and ingredients that help immune systems and beta glucans are one of the newest. They’re well-grounded in science with more than 1,000 published articles in the scientific literature attesting to their efficacy.1

Beta glucans are chains of glucose molecules that are naturally present and act as storage depots and structural components in bacteria, fungi, algae and cereals. Their chemical structure and composition as well as their molecular weight affect the extent to which they can stimulate and support the immune system. Beta glucans exert a prebiotic effect on the GI tract: they specifically fuel beneficial GI microbiota, enabling them to flourish and compete against pathogenic bacteria for space and food.

 While we think of the digestive tract primarily as the organ for digesting food and absorbing nutrients, it is also the body’s largest immune organ. Approximately 70% of immune cells reside in the human intestine.3 Feeding and maintaining the health of intestinal cells maintains GI tract integrity so it can act as a physical barrier to invading pathogens.

Because beta glucans are a type of soluble fiber, it can slow down the process of food moving through the intestines. By slowing down the digestive process, the body doesn’t absorb sugar as quickly and this helps stabilize blood sugar levels, an important benefit especially for diabetics. As beta glucans travel through the entire digestive tract, it can help transport cholesterol out, helping to lower levels. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a heart-healthy label for foods that have high amounts of beta glucan, based on this evidence.4

Like many fibers, beta glucans are available in supplement form. They are also found in various types of fungi, such as maitake and reishi mushrooms. Less known ingredients such as inulin and spirulina are also sources of beta glucans. More commonly, beta glucans are found in whole grains, oats, bran, wheat and barley.

Dietary fiber is sourced from plant-based foods, another good reason to incorporate them into an Active Wellness regimen. Many Nikken nutritional supplements contain an assortment of beta glucans. Check out Kenzen® Immunity, Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox, Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0, Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix, Kenzen® Jade GreenZymes®, Kenzen® Digestion 4-20 and Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix.

 

1, 2, 3 Nutraceuticals World, April 2020, pp.24-25

4 https://www.healthline.com/health/beta-glucan-heart-healthy#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1