Eat Breakfast on Any Food Regimen

Virtually every advice column about starting the day off right includes a section about always eating breakfast. Yet the trend recently is to skip breakfast in order to practice intermittent fasting to lose weight. Many people show compelling weight loss through intermittent fasting, but what are the long-term ramifications of skipping breakfast?

According to study after study on both children and adults, people who eat breakfast do better on cognitive and memory tests than those who skip it.1 The Journal of the American College of Cardiology also notes that “skipping breakfast could be bad for your ticker. The results found that of the nearly 7,000 people it surveyed over a period of roughly 20 years, those who didn’t eat breakfast had an increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease.”2

As the name suggests, breakfast breaks the overnight fasting period. It replenishes our supply of glucose to boost energy levels and alertness, while also providing other essential nutrients required for good health. It improves our ability to concentrate in the short term, and can help with better weight management, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease in the long term.3

The good news for those who practice intermittent fasting is that in fact, you can have your intermittent fasting and eat breakfast, too, and there is substantial evidence you’d be better off that way. The time window we choose to fast matters. Fasting in the evening and overnight, then eating early in the day is the pattern that has the most profound benefits. “The research is clear that people who eat in the morning and afternoon have healthier blood lipid profiles and better blood sugar control and tend to weigh less than those who eat late in the day. And people who eat breakfast tend to have better overall nutrient intakes than those who skip it. Also, eating during the waking hours, when your mental and physical demands are highest, gives you the fuel to perform at your best.”4

Commonly eaten breakfast foods such as whole grains, eggs, yogurt and fruit are rich in key nutrients such as folate, calcium, iron, B vitamins and fiber. Breakfast therefore potentially provides a lot of your day’s total nutrient intake. In fact, people who eat breakfast are more likely to meet their recommended daily intakes of vitamins and minerals than people who don’t.

 However you choose to start your day, Nikken provides nutritional supplements to fill in the gap. Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix is the perfect breakfast by itself or added to your other foods. Add Kenzen® Mega Daily 4 (formulas for women or for men) veggie-based multivitamins, Kenzen Jade GreenZymes® made with Mother Nature’s perfect food in the form of high-grade barley grass and Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0 to absorb iron and maintain a healthy gut for overall health! Eat an Active Wellness breakfast and feel the right start difference!

1, 4 https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/many-intermittent-fasters-skip-breakfast-heres-why-thats-not-a-good-idea/2018/10/23/976aba7e-d311-11e8-83d6-291fcead2ab1_story.htm

2 https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/intermittent-fasting-breakfast/

3, 5 https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/breakfast

 

Why Iron is so Important to Gut Health

April is recognized as IBS awareness month. IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and is a fairly common disease that afflicts between 10 and 15% of the general population in the United States. IBS affects the digestive system and generally causes stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea, constipation or any combination of symptoms. It’s particularly annoying because the cause may remain unknown and the condition can linger for weeks, months or years.

Evidence is building with researchers that sufferers of IBS may have unhealthy microbiomes—this means their good gut flora (good bacteria) is lacking. When the balance of the gut flora is disturbed, unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms arise. There are new clues that an ongoing disturbance in gut flora could contribute to the onset of IBS.1

Suffering from both anemia and IBS is relatively common and there is a logical reason behind it.2 Anemia is a common blood disorder where there is a shortage of red blood cells. Anemic people are usually fatigued, because red blood cells are the ones that carry oxygen. There are many types of anemia, but the most common type is due to low iron or low vitamin B12 levels in the blood.

Iron is stored in the body in a protein called ferritin; therefore, monitoring ferritin levels can help prevent iron deficiency. Also, it’s important to know why you have low iron or B12 levels. Oftentimes, it’s because you don’t absorb them well. People with IBS and related digestive problems often have a problem absorbing nutrients since both diarrhea and constipation cause malabsorption.3

Since iron supplements can exacerbate IBS symptoms with increased bloating, constipation and sometimes diarrhea4, natural foods that are high in iron may prove easier on the digestive tract. Plant sources of iron include dark leafy greens, potatoes, tomatoes, lentils, soybeans and nuts. Animal sources of iron include beef, chicken liver and egg yolks. Pescatarian options include tuna, mackerel, clams and oysters.

There is a limited amount of time to absorb iron from food—it’s primarily absorbed in the third of the small intestine known as the duodenum. As food transits past the duodenum, there is still an opportunity for iron absorption but less so.5 Given the short amount of time iron from food can be absorbed, helping its chances of absorption are important. That is precisely where Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0 comes in!

Kenzen Lactoferrin 2.0 is not an iron supplement. As noted by nutritionists and researchers, elemental iron is not only hard to absorb but may actually make IBS symptoms worse. The Lactoferrin 2.0 solution is to help the body to better utilize and balance the iron in the body.* This is accomplished with the special delivery system that Lactoferrin 2.0 provides. Lactoferrin is in fact a protein that binds and transports iron, that is, using the iron that’s already in the body rather than adding external sources of iron.Screen Shot 2020-04-15 at 9.52.57 AM

Consumers of Kenzen Lactoferrin 2.0 are diehard fans for life. Whether you have stomach issues or not, properly absorbing and utilizing the iron in your body is bound to accelerate Active Wellness.

* 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 https://www.verywellhealth.com/gut-bacteria-and-ibs-1945285

2, 3 https://ibstreatmentcenter.com/2013/02/how-ibs-can-cause-iron-deficiency-and-anemia-3.html

4, 5 https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/iron-deficiency-anemia/

 

Drinking Water Helps Boost Your Immunity

March 22, 2020 is World Water Day. It’s an annual United Nations observance day that highlights the importance of fresh water and its sustainable management and promotes awareness about everything related to water. Whether you participate in celebratory local events, educational seminars or simply incorporate filtered, not bottled, water usage into your Active Wellness regimen, you can spread the word to help save Planet Earth.

Currently, the number one topic covered by global news media seems to be the pandemic. Schools and businesses are shutting down, events are being canceled and people are self-quarantining. This creates a new level of mental and physical discomfort that promotes a feeling of helplessness. But there are basic things we can do daily to help maintain our wellness. Things, such as washing our hands frequently, observing social distancing and leaving your dwelling only when necessary.

Water plays such an important role in helping to maintain a healthy body. Your immune system is the first defense against germs, bacteria and free radicals. How can you keep that immune system operating at optimal levels? Water helps carry oxygen throughout the body to organs, tissues, and blood cells. Since blood is composed of more than 90% water, water feeds those carrier blood cells.1 Keep your immunity up by drinking plenty of water to help stave off infection. Staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate toxins that may cause illness.2

Lymphocytes are white blood cells located in the lymph nodes in the immune system. Their job is to detect foreign antigens and produce the antibodies to destroy the waste material, which keeps the immune function intact. Drinking water works like a waterfall that helps the body’s digestive system work efficiently to process nutrients while ridding it of waste. In other words, drinking plenty of water helps boost the immune system by preventing the buildup of toxins in the kidneys and the liver.  Add Kenzen® Lactoferrin 2.0, Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox and Kenzen® Immunity for even more support!

All cells and organs need water to function properly. So, drink lots of water and this year, celebrate World Water Day in your own way. Don’t join the panicked crowds lining up to buy single-use bottled water. Simply make sure you and everyone you care about have at least one PiMag Waterfall® at home to filter your tap water. When on-the-go, make sure you have portable eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottles to filter out bacteria and other pathogens wherever you fill up—from water fountains and taps. Drink to your health and to reduced plastic waste for Planet Earth!

Most importantly, remember to change your water filters regularly to insure optimal performance from your Waterfall and Sport Bottle!

1https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814

2https://www.fishertitus.org/health/boost-your-immune-system

 

 

Probiotics Help You Eat Right

Probiotics are in the news now more than ever. From the Greek pro, meaning promoting, and biotics, meaning life, these life-promoting compounds are gaining in usage for good reason. Fermented foods have been shown to be probiotic-rich and may help balance the microbiome and support the immune system!

Our bodies naturally have good or helpful bacteria as well as bad or harmful bacteria. Maintaining the correct balance between these bacteria is necessary for optimal health. This is where probiotics come in. The wrong bacteria in the wrong place can cause problems but the right bacteria in the right place can have benefits. Probiotics are live microorganisms that may be able to help prevent and treat some illnesses.1

Age, genetics and diet may influence the composition of the bacteria in the body. When the bacteria in our bodies are not in balance, we are in “dysbiosis” and may experience certain illnesses linked to the digestive system. Probiotics help shift the balance in favor of good bacteria for healthy digestion. When the digestive tract is healthy, it filters out and eliminates things that can damage it, such as harmful bacteria, toxins, chemicals and other waste products.2

The other way that probiotics help overall health is how they affect the immune system. Since the immune system protects against germs, dysfunction can cause allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders and infections.3 Just like the digestive system, the immune system functions optimally when in balance, and probiotics have been shown to be of benefit.

As we age, changes take place in the gut. These include shifts in the composition of the intestinal microbiota where there is an increase in harmful bacteria and a decrease in good bacteria. The amount of time it takes for food to be processed and leave the digestive system increases as metabolism slows down with age. These changes may result in increased putrefaction in the colon and a greater susceptibility to disease and infection.4

Taking probiotics through natural foods and beverages such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha can easily be part of an Active Wellness diet.kim-deachul-NOAzwcMzZJA-unsplash Dietary and nutritional supplements such as Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0, Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox and Kenzen Vital Balance® contain prebiotics and/or probiotics—they not only help boost the immune and digestive systems, but they also promote healthy minds!  Incorporating them into a daily regimen truly is a no-brainer!

 

 

1, 2, 3 https://www.medicinenet.com/probiotics/article.htm

4 https://www.functionalfoodscenter.net/

What’s the Best Way to Enjoy the Autumn Months?

Traditionally, autumn is the colorful harvest season that precedes the cold winter months. The temperature begins to drop and the air becomes dryer as winds blow and leaves fall. In contrast to Nature’s beautiful brush strokes, autumn is often a time for many people to get sick with colds and flu, and for the digestive system to take a major hit, causing various intestinal disorders. Fortunately, there’s a reason for this and simple solutions.

Each change of season is a transitional period in Nature and our bodies follow suit even if we are unconscious of what’s happening. Autumn is a time when leaves fall and vegetation is either harvested or dies off. During this natural cycle of life and death, mold is released. Even though mold is airborne year round, this extra release can be a stress on the immune system.

Depending on the individual’s state of Active Wellness, the immune system either continues working well or becomes overloaded during autumn. Digestion may not be as smooth and the foods that worked well during the summer may suddenly be overwhelming. Autumn is therefore an ideal time to reduce the toxic load on the immune and digestive systems. In fact, since 60 to 80% of the immune system revolves around the digestive system, the two impact each other a great deal.1

In addition to being the perfect time to incorporate Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox and Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0  into your daily regimen, here are some things to do that may help decrease toxic overload:

  • Minimize exposure to chemical toxins in the environment or in products you might use on a daily basis, including cosmetics, laundry detergent, cleaners, plastics, air fresheners, etc.
  • Try using unscented cleaners and detergents. Scented products often are full of artificial ingredients that tend to burden the immune and digestive systems.
  • Read labels and try eating food without artificial food coloring and preservatives. Processed foods in general may irritate sensitive digestive tracts.
  • Dry cleaning often contains chemicals that not only create breathing issues but also tax the central nervous system, which rules the digestive system! Even if you can’t avoid dry cleaning clothing, be aware and try to allow time for them to air out.
  • Pay attention to food sensitivities. This is a great time of year to eat warming foods, just as summer was a perfect time to eat cooling salads. A rule of thumb is to heed Nature and eat what grows seasonally, for example, pumpkins, squash, root vegetables (like beets and turnips), dark leafy greens, and whatever is locally grown.
  • Store your reusable plastic bags and containers in closed cupboards and air-tight containers. Plastics contain petrochemical molecules that are airborne, especially indoors.
  • Drink filtered water. Chlorine is a harsh chemical placed in many municipal water systems. The PiMag Waterfall® exceeds the standard for chlorine reduction and helps households filter tap water and reduce or eliminate the use of bottled water that becomes trash in landfills.
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends preventing gastrointestinal flare-ups by eating moistening foods, such as tofu, tempeh, spinach, barley, pears, apples, seaweed, mushrooms, almonds, sesame seeds, persimmons and loquat, also known as monkfruit.2
  • Protect skin from the dryness and wind. Use a moisturizer such as True Elements® Youthful Face Cream at night and Nourishing Face Cream during the day. For optimum results, exfoliate first to get rid of flaky skin—True Elements® Radiance Scrub is gentle and soothing.

Try to get plenty of rest and sleep to help keep your immune system happy, and enjoy this beautiful season!dennis-buchner-p_tvAd7HBxo-unsplash

 

1 https://www.no-ibs.com/blog/why-does-ibs-act-up-in-spring-or-fall/

2 https://thehutong.com/what-to-eat-in-autumn/

Do You Know how Prebiotics & Probiotics Help the Gut?

In the past decade, word has gotten out more and more consistently that good bacteria helps us digest food and keep the gut healthy and happy. Simply put, a happy gut is responsible for overall health in a big way—both physically and mentally.

Probiotics are the good bacteria that are found naturally in the gut. Probiotics are actually live cultures, which means they’re active and functional, allowing them to help boost immunity, gastrointestinal health and overall wellness.1 Probiotic bacteria can also be found in yogurt and fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kimchi. Since what we eat and drink passes through our gastrointestinal tract every day, it’s no surprise that our diets affect the gut microbiome. In fact, studies have shown that even a single day of a strict animal-based diet or plant-based diet can alter the composition of the gut microorganisms—but that we typically revert to our regular microbiome once our diets go back to normal.2

Newer research shows that probiotics work more efficiently when assisted by prebiotics. Unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not found naturally in the gut. Instead they are found in non-digestible carbohydrates and fibers that stimulate the growth of good bacteria.3 Prebiotics are found in fibrous components of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Bananas, onions, garlic, leeks asparagus, artichokes, soybeans and whole-wheat grains are examples of foods containing prebiotics. Prebiotics work by supporting the good bacteria that are naturally present in the gut and help them proliferate.

According to the World Health Gastroenterology Organization, one in three people around the world struggle with gut-related symptoms. These symptoms include flatulence, bloating, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, food allergies, incontinence and abdominal pain.4 Though not necessarily life-threatening, these digestive discomforts can significantly alter our ability to practice Active Wellness.

Since some prebiotics are indiscriminate and feed both good and bad bacteria, it makes sense to incorporate the right prebiotics to support both natural and ingested probiotics. Well-established prebiotics like inulin, oligofructose (FOS), and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) help fuel the human gastrointestinal tract, which contains trillions of microbes.5

The synergistic effect of prebiotics with probiotics has led to the emergence of a category referred to as “synbiotics” to promote digestive health and overall wellness. When the correct prebiotics are provided in the exact proportions necessary to maximize the desired health effects of the specific probiotic strains through stimulating the growth and activating the metabolism of health-promoting bacteria, symbiosis occurs.6 Eating whole foods is the best way to obtain prebiotics and add probiotics to the diet.

Nutritional supplementation is also helpful. Take a look at Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0,  Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox and Kenzen Vital Balance®. All three of these Nikken nutritional supplements contain prebiotics and/or probiotics. Sharing these products can help you take advantage of the July promotion, so call your Nikken Consultant or Nikken Customer Service for details. Incorporate them into your daily regimen and help your gut do a happy dance!

1 https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/prebiotics-and-probiotics-creating-a-healthier-you

2 https://foodinsight.org/nutrition-101-prebiotics-probiotics-and-the-gut-microbiome/

3, 5, 6 https://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/issues/2019-04/view_features/flora-amp-fiber-for-a-healthy-microbiome/1931

http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/UserFiles/file/WGOHandbookonDietandtheGut_2016_Final.pdf

 

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!