Take the Stress Out of Your Gut so You Can Truly Give Thanks

You know the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling you get when you‘re nervous or stressed out? Looking forward (not!) to dealing with in-law-itis and other members of the family at annual get-togethers? Overeating? Drinking in excess?

Starting with Thanksgiving, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be hard on the gut. Here are some tips for maintaining a stable gut over the holidays:

  • Drink lots of water. You might overdo the alcoholic beverages, but if you drink lots of water, it will help compensate for the dehydrating aspects of alcohol and sugar. (Yes, most alcoholic beverages contain sugar or convert to sugar.)
  • Chew. No matter how much you eat, if you remember to chew, it will help prevent indigestion because it will slow down the eating process. Swallowing too much too quickly can cause gas and bloat.
  • Going to potlucks? There will be lots of tempting foods that are full of empty calories, so bring something delicious but make it a healthy treat! Think exotic fruit salads and greens.
  • Sleep is more than just necessary rest. Good sleep helps the digestive system function optimally. The body rebalances, detoxes and regenerates during sleep, so get plenty of it.
  • Practice Active Wellness by exercising. If you have a daily routine, try to stick to it. In addition, after each big meal, try to take a walk.
  • When you’re traveling, pack healthy snacks and avoid the fast-food kiosks. For example, bring a shaker bottle with premeasured Kenzen Vital Balance® in it, and you can add water after you pass the TSA checkpoint at any airport for a nutritious meal replacement or snack.
  • If you haven’t already incorporated Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 into your daily regimen, there’s no better time to do so than now. With all four major digestive enzymes in the formula, your stomach will thank you.
  • Take care of your mental state as well as your physical state. Try to set aside a few minutes daily to be alone and inhale and exhale deeply. Oxygen feeds your brain and your gut.
  • Kenzen Lactoferrin™ 2.0 supports both the G.I. tract and mental health with four exceptional organic ingredients.
  • Give thanks. Whether you say it to your family and friends or simply meditate on it, remember what you’re grateful for even in the most trying of times.

All of us at Nikken wish you abundance and thank you for taking the Active Wellness journey with us! You have through November 30 to purchase our Black Friday Cyber Week specials: Kenko Energy Sets and Jewelry Sets! 

New Year, New Approach to Active Wellness

Do you beat yourself up for caving into bad food cravings? Do you blame yourself for lacking will power? Understanding why you have those annoying cravings for sugar, fat, salt and so on, may be just how you can curb them!

In 2008, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) formed the Human Microbiome Project (HMP). Microbiome is defined as “the collection of microbes or microorganisms that inhabit an environment, creating a ‘mini-ecostystem.’”1

The human microbiome, located in the gut, is made up of trillions of bacteria that send messages to the brain. This communication is known as the “brain-gut connection.” Because approximately 70 to 80 percent of the body’s immune tissue is located within the digestive system, boosting your immune system really requires a healthy gut.2

The good news is that you can actually help manage your microbiome and influence the brain-gut connection as well as strengthen your immune system. You can increase the good gut bacteria that sends the brain positive messages and decrease the bad bacteria that causes bad food cravings. In this way, “you are what you eat.”

How to manifest a positive brain-gut connection is relatively simple, but the challenge is getting started. Since good bacteria thrives on fiber and nutrient-dense food, eating that type of food consistently is the key to a healthy brain-gut connection. Good bacteria feeds on fibrous food, digests it and releases a gas up to the brain, telling it that the body is well nourished. When the brain is told that the body is well nourished, it doesn’t think there’s a need to fill in the gaps created by a lack of nutrition. It’s a healthy cycle where nutrient-dense food that is fibrous creates more good bacteria.

On the other hand, bad food leaves nutritional gaps. The gaps are what lead to those unhealthy cravings. Sugar and processed foods contain empty calories rather than useful nutrients and the bad bacteria feeds off of it! In other words, when you avoid foods that generate negative messages from the gut to the brain, you’ll minimize cravings.

Fiber does more than curb cravings. It also helps your mood. The Human Microbiome Project has shown that serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical the body generates, is actually created in the gut, not the brain. More fiber and nutrient-dense food in the gut therefore influences our emotional health as well as our physical well being.

You may be surprised how quickly a healthy gut helps the brain minimize unhealthy cravings and also helps improve your overall health. If you currently don’t eat lots of fibrous foods, integrate them into your daily regimen slowly so that your body has time to adjust. Incorporate it into each meal or snack. The fiber will give a sense of fullness to help you cut back on sugar and processed food.

  • Eat leafy greens, asparagus, any type of bean and root vegetables.
  • Try not to peel apples and pears. Well-scrubbed potato and carrot skins are also fibrous and edible.
  • Do you throw away stems? For example, broccoli stems are full of healthy fiber and taste great in soups and stir-fries. The same is true of kale and spinach stems.
  • Add variety to your diet. Be adventuresome and try vegetables you haven’t had. Or, try new ways of preparing your favorites. Many vegetables are delicious raw while others are easily steamed or sautéed.
  • Be generous in your use of garlic, onions, herbs and spices. They are also sources of fiber and add so much flavor.

The happier your microbiome, the fewer bad food cravings there’ll be. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but the important thing is to get started in helping your gut converse positively with your brain! Best of all, you will discover how delicious these nutrient-dense and fibrous foods are!

To help jumpstart your microbiome, take Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 to assist in processing the additional fiber you eat. Containing a combination of ingredients that tackles fats, proteins, carbohydrates and fiber, Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 supports the assimilation of all types of nutrients.* And to help your circulatory and immune systems work optimally with your gut, take Kenzen® Immunity and Kenzen® Lactoferrin 2.0!

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

1 https://www.hmpdacc.org/hmp/overview/

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/ 

 

 

 

 

Give Thanks, Take Care of the Gut and Share the Love

However we celebrate Thanksgiving, there’s generally an overflow of great home-made food, some of which is served specifically at this time of year. So it’s special and we want to eat as much of it as possible, right? And just like any other meal that offers a bounty of favorite delights, it can derail our best efforts at eating healthy. As most diet gurus profess that an occasional “cheat” day is actually okay. Furthermore, we tend to rationalize that Thanksgiving feasting is a given. Some of us can handle it and some of us, not so much. The difference? Some of us have been pursuing Active Wellness consistently and have more efficient digestive systems.

According to the American Gastroenterological Association Institute, good digestive health describes a digestive system that has appropriate nutrient absorption, intestinal motility, immune function, and a balanced microbiota (the community of microorganisms that live in the gut).1 Digestive health can also impact quality of life, sleep, productivity, exercise or socializing with friends. Scientists now are placing the emphasis on healthy digestive function as the core of good health.

Dr. John Deaton, vice president of science and technology at Deerland Enzymes & Probiotics, says, “The role of digestive enzymes is to break down food-derived fats, carbohydrates and proteins into smaller substances that our bodies can use. Although the body produces its own digestive enzymes, it may not be enough to completely break down cooked or processed foods. The ability to breakdown food into its basic and useful components is of critical concern for consumers interested in functional nutrition for growth, development and supporting healthy aging. Enzyme supplements continue to gain recognition among consumers for their role in digestive health and bioavailability of nutrients from foods.”2

Studies show that there are four enzymes critical to the digestive process. Specific digestive enzymes act on different types of macronutrients: fats, proteins, carbohydrates and fiber. Many digestive products on the market contain only one or two of these notable enzymes and do not provide optimal digestive support. Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 contains all four of these important enzymes, making it a superior formulation for digestion, absorption and weight management.*  Featuring natural ingredients including amino acids, proteins, vegetable fiber- and cellulose-based enzymes, Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 contains vegetable-derived ingredients that safely and gently assist the body’s digestive system.

This Thanksgiving, let’s be grateful for our abundance, indulge but not to excess and edify the Healthy Society Pillar by sharing the bounty of health and opportunity. Remember to take advantage of the Nikken Black Friday free shipping promotion that ends on November 30th.

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

1 Moloughnes, Sean, Digestive Health: Getting to the Guts of Wellness. Nutraceuticals World, November 2017, p.56.

2 Moloughnes, Sean, Digestive Health: Getting to the Guts of Wellness. Nutraceuticals World, November 2017, p. 60.