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/

Take Care of Mom the Way She Takes Care of You!

Mothers take care of their families as top priorities and as primary caretakers, they often suffer from self-neglect. It’s up to the family to help take care of mom and to show her she’s loved! Globally, there are different ways to honor mom and various dates for Mother’s Day but in the United States, it is believed to have started in 1905 by a woman named Anna Jarvis. She wanted to remember her mother who passed away that year. By 1908, the first celebration of that holiday took place when Anna Jarvis held a public memorial for her mother.1 In North America and many other regions, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. This year, it’s on May 10.

In truth, mothers should be honored every single day of the year and there are many ways to do it without spending large amounts on symbolic gifts. The little things we do every day really count, and sometimes the simplest gestures do the most good. For example, even young children can be taught how to make a shake, so why not teach them to make shakes for mom? Mom feeds the family, so every family member can contribute and help feed mom and keep her on the Active Wellness path.

With Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix, two scoops in some PiMag® water and you’ve got a nutritious meal in the form of a vanilla shake. Add a scoop of Kenzen Super Ciaga™ powder to the mix and you have a berry shake! You can’t go wrong whether you serve mom at breakfast, lunch or in between meals when she’s working hard. And if mom is the type that likes a lighter meal for dinner, two scoops in some milk or PiMag® water and dinner is served!

You certainly don’t have to wait until Mother’s Day to treat mom to some TLC. KVB is certified organic, a breakthrough in the shake/meal replacement industry. It has “brain food” from organic MCTs from coconut milk, BioFolate™ added to help produce neurotransmitters and naturally-sourced plant protein to keep mom’s metabolism firing to help manage weight and burn fat.Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 8.26.09 AM

Mom needs all the muscle she can get, and KVB helps her maintain and build a lean physique. According to HealthFocus, muscle health/tone is now the top benefit consumers associate with a high-protein diet.2 If mom’s a vegetarian, she’ll appreciate the organically-sourced protein from pea, rice and chlorella. If she’s a die-hard carnivore, KVB can help her incorporate vegetable-protein into her diet and reduce her nutritional footprint.

When you add Kenzen Super Ciaga™ powder to KVB, you really help mom power up! Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 8.37.27 AMWith only 10 calories per serving and no processed sugar, it adds superfruit antioxidants to the protein mix. In fact, both are sweetened with monkfruit, which has no calories but carries its own range of antioxidant goodness. With a high ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of 5,000, Super Ciaga helps to support a healthy immune system as well as cardiovascular health.* It’s a wonderful way to keep mom keep her defense system strong to withstand all the stress that comes with working and taking care of the whole family!

Happy Mother’s Day from Nikken to mothers everywhere! We love you and want you to stay safe!

 

*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.grammarly.com/blog/history-of-mothers-day/

2 https://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/issues/2019-10/view_trendsense/getting-ahead-of-the-curve-perspectives-on-protein–plant-based-beyond?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NUT_FOCUS+%284-29-2020%29+%28Final%29&utm_content=&spMailingID=5294617&spUserID=ODkzNTI1MTM0OTkS1&spJobID=1001396080&spReportId=MTAwMTM5NjA4MAS2

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth the Healthy Way!

For those with a sweet tooth, the last three months of the year may well be the worst. Temptations are everywhere, as brick and mortar shops display sweets galore and we’re bombarded online with images and recipes of holiday dessert. What’s a body to do!

Here are some practical tips to ease cravings for sweets while staying on an Active Wellness regimen:

  • For a quick sugar fix, eat a piece of fruit or a sweet vegetable. Crunchy textures seem to help satisfy cravings, so choose carrots, beets, apples and persimmons. Fruit that is high in natural sugar also satisfies cravings more quickly—for example, grapes, mangoes and pineapples.
  • Berries are delicious and when you freeze them, they take on the characteristics of sorbets. Try blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and any combinations. They’re high in fiber and actually low in sugar. A healthy combination of exotic berries is the basis of Kenzen Super Ciaga®, a great replacement for sodas when blended with seltzer water.
  • Watermelon is wonderful as a base for smoothies and other blended beverages. Add some mint or even basil, and it’s scrumptious.
  • Healthy sweeteners include monk fruit and stevia. They have zero calories and none of the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners—that’s why monk fruit is the sweetener in Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix and stevia is in Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix.
  • Are you a chocoholic? amirali-mirhashemian-RCVIlSXhYI0-unsplashThe good news is that dark chocolate (with 70% or more cocoa) contains healthy plant compounds known as polyphenols. It still contains sugar and fat, so eat a couple of squares and savor it—no bingeing allowed.
  • Dates! They’re nutritious and very sweet, naturally. They’re also rich in fiber, potassium, iron and a source of antioxidants. As a dried fruit, they contain a lot of natural sugar, so eat three or four, not too many.

To keep sugar intake low, here are some habits to develop:

  • Read labels! Hidden sugars lurk in unexpected places. For example, packaged instant oatmeal has virtually no fiber but contains lots of sugar and artificial flavoring. Condiments such as ketchup, barbecue sauce and sweet chili contain a lot of sugar—a single tablespoon of ketchup may contain as much as four grams of sugar, which is about one teaspoon.1
  • It may be counterintuitive, but when trying to decrease sugar intake, go for full fat rather than low-fat or non-fat versions of beverages and desserts. This is because low-fat and non-fat drinks and desserts add more sugar to compensate for the lack of fat. For example, an 8-ounce coffee made with whole milk and no added sugar, contains 2 grams of naturally occurring milk sugar and 18 calories.2 The same amount of a low-fat mocha drink contains 26 grams of added sugar and 160 calories.3
  • Minimize consumption of processed foods. Go natural and organic. Processed foods contain 90% of the added sugars in the average American diet.4 For example, one serving, or approximately 128 grams, of canned pasta sauce can contain nearly 11 grams of sugar.5
  • Choose nutrient-dense whole foods whenever possible. It takes a little more time, but preparing desserts with dried fruit, nuts and seeds provides healthy fats in addition to fulfilling your sweet tooth.
  • Be a good role model for your family. Start your children on an Active Wellness regimen as soon as they can eat solid food. Mashed roasted yams and smashed bananas are great starter foods.

 

1 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/14-ways-to-eat-less-sugar#section1

2 http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/69/2

3 https://starbucks.com/menu/drinks/espresso/white-chocolate-mocha-?foodzone

4 https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/3/e009892

5 http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/soups-sauces-and-gravies/131612

 

Add Delicious Polyphenols into Your Diet and Reap the Benefits

There are more than 500 unique polyphenols. 1 Polyphenols are a category of chemicals that naturally occur in plants. Known as micronutrients, the polyphenols that we get through certain plant-based foods are packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. Nutritionists believe that polyphenols can improve or help treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases.2

Factors that influence the activity of polyphenols in the body include metabolism, intestinal absorption, and the bioavailability of the polyphenol. Although some foods may have higher polyphenol levels than others, this does not necessarily mean that they are absorbed and used at higher rates.3 For example, polyphenols found in actual foods are often more readily absorbed than those encapsulated in supplements.

Different categories of food contain various amounts of polyphenols. Here are some of the more easily accessible sources by food group, with berries having a notably high concentration of polyphenols:

Berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, elderberries, blackberries, cranberries

Other fruit: oranges, apples, grapes, peaches, grapefruit, cherries, black currants, plums, apricots

Vegetables: onions, shallots, spinach, potatoes, black and green olives, globe artichoke heads, broccoli, asparagus, carrots

Nuts: hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts, chestnuts

Seeds: flaxseeds, sesame seeds

Legumes: Soybeans, black beans, white beans

Beverages: Coffee, green tea, black tea, red wine

Fats: dark chocolate, virgin olive oil, sesame seed oil

One of the easiest ways to incorporate polyphenols into the diet is to eat a Mediterranean diet. It emphasizes fruits and vegetables, includes ample amounts of olives, nuts and seeds, adds seafood and lean meat, and goes easy on starchy carbs.

Two Active Wellness formulations make it easy to insert antioxidant polyphenols into your daily regiment:

  • Kenzen Super Ciaga® is an organic superfruit juice concentrate that is not only delicious straight from a shot glass, but also serves as a great mixer with seltzer water to help you kick the soda habit. The numerous high-polyphenol organic berries in the formula are each harvested at the peak of their growth cycle for potency and natural sweetness.
  • Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix contains organic matcha green tea, the most concentrated form of green tea. It’s another way to add antioxidant polyphenols into your daily regimen, and it’s versatile enough to be enjoyed hot or cold.

As you enjoy these delicious drinks, they’ll be busy helping your body cope with the onslaught of free radicals.

 

5 SCiaga plus Ten-4.jpg

1, 3 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319728.php

2 https://www.healthline.com/health/polyphenols-foods

Elderberry: Our BFF

You hear about antioxidant this and antioxidant that. You know antioxidants are good. But why are they good and how do they work? Relative to antioxidants, you hear a lot about free radicals. Here’s why:

Antioxidants are natural substances that may slow or even prevent damage to the body’s cells. Our bodies contain natural antioxidants in the form of vitamins, minerals and hormones. Our immune system uses these natural antioxidants to fight “threats” such as pollutants, toxins, radiation and UV light. Importantly, antioxidants fight and work to reverse the damage caused by free radicals that wreak havoc in our bodies and are the leading cause of premature aging.1

Free radicals are bad cells that are unstable and reactive. They enter our bodies as we breathe in polluted air and cigarette smoke; they creep in from unclean water; they’re generated when we’re under prolonged stress or suffering from illness; they even come in the form of unhealthy diets. Every metabolic reaction that involves oxygen has the potential to generate free radicals and if nothing is done, inflammation and arterial wall damage are the end results.2

Even though our bodies contain natural antioxidants, we obviously need more support to maintain Active Wellness in our increasingly polluted world. That’s where the elderberry can play a starring role.

The elderberry is generally traced back to Hippocrates, the Greek known as the “father of medicine.” He described it as his “medicine chest” for its wide variety of health benefits. Over the centuries, elderberry has been used to treat colds, flu, fever, burns, cuts and more than 70 other maladies. 3

In the year 2007, the US Department of Agriculture looked at the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) or overall antioxidant capability of various berries. That is, which berries were the most effective at attacking damaging free radicals? Elderberry had higher ORAC values than blackberry, blueberry, cranberry, raspberry and strawberry, which also are relatively high in antioxidants.4

With such a high ORAC, it’s no wonder that elderberries are known as excellent immune system boosters. Your local drugstore in the US, Canada and Europe are likely to have an array of elderberry syrups or tablets. Numerous studies have demonstrated that elderberry extract is highly effective in mitigating flu-like symptoms and shortening the duration of colds.5

Research published in the Journal of Nutrition show that elderberry extract helps expedite the process of clearing excess sugar from the bloodstream and into muscles and the liver, thereby helping to maintain normal levels of blood sugar.6 Studies also show that Sambucus (the scientific name for elderberry) has natural diuretic and laxative effects, which helps the body decrease fluid retention and constipation.7

Kenzen Super Ciaga® contains a mighty medley of berries with the powerful maqui berry having the highest ORAC value at 27,600 per 100g serving of fresh fruit. Elderberry, which is an excellent source of vitamins A, B and C, provides substantial support with an ORAC value of 14,500 per 100g serving of fresh fruit. Blueberry, blackberry and raspberry add to the overall ORAC value as well as enhancing flavor with their natural sweetness. Kenzen Super Ciaga® is a delicious way to ingest some powerful antioxidants!

Why not do a little experimentation of your own—Kenzen Super Ciaga® tastes like a treat and acts like bodyguard—create your own recipes!

1, 2 http://www.blackelderberry.info/understanding-antioxidants/

3 http://www.blackelderberry.info/elderberry-history/

4 http://www.blackelderberry.info/sources-of-antioxidants-and-orac/

5, 6, 7 https://draxe.com/elderberry/