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! 

The ABCs of MCTs

No matter how much we weigh, each of us needs fat to maintain balance in our diets. Unfortunately, most of us are ingesting the wrong type of fats and far too much of it. MCTs, on the other hand, are a good source of fat that may also help reverse the effects of harmful fats.

MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride. Triglycerides are the main constituents of natural fats and oils. High concentrations in the blood are indicators of a higher risk of stroke. In contrast, medium-chain triglycerides are composed of three fatty acids attached to a glycerol backbone. MCTs are sometimes used to counter the effects of high triglycerides in the blood.

The name refers to the way carbon atoms are arranged in their chemical structure. Typically, fats found in the diet are long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) with 20 or more carbon chains.1 MCTs range from six to 12 carbon chains.2 Due to their shorter chain length, MCTs travel straight from the gut to the liver and do not require bile to break them down. LCTs require the break down first. In the liver, fats are broken down to be either used as fuel or stored as body fat.

Since MCTs enter our cells without having to be broken down, our bodies use them as instant sources of energy that pass through the blood-brain barrier to fuel the brain cells.3 In addition, MCTs may help burn calories more effectively. In one study, the thermogenic effect of a high-calorie diet containing 40 percent fat as MCTs was compared to one containing the same level of LCTs. The thermic effect (calories wasted six hours after a meal) of the MCTs was almost twice as high as the LCTs. With MCTs, 120 calories were used, compared to 66 calories from LCTs over the six hours. A follow-up study demonstrated that MCT oil given over a six day period can increase diet-induced thermogenesis by 50 percent.4

In another study, researchers compared the effects of single meals of 400 calories composed entirely of MCTs or LCTs. The thermogenic effect of MCTs over six hours was 300 percent higher than the LCTs meal. Since the MCTs went directly to the liver, they had no effect on the blood fat level. However, the LCTs elevated blood fats by 68 percent. Researchers concluded that “long-term substitution of medium chain triglycerides for long chain triglycerides [MCT for LCT] would produce weight loss if energy intake remained constant.”5

Athletes sometimes use MCTs for nutritional support during training, to increase exercise performance, for decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass, and for weight loss.6 During exercise, rising lactate levels can negatively impact exercise performance. MCTs may help reduce lactate buildup when taken before exercising and may also help us use more fat instead of carbs for energy.7

One small Chinese study of 40 people with diabetes found that those who consumed MCTs daily had significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference and insulin resistance, compared to those taking LCTs.8 Continuing studies are being done to see how MCTs may help us control blood sugar levels.

MCTs clearly provide numerous health benefits for an Active Wellness lifestyle, but how easy are they to access and consume? Look no further than Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix. Read the labels for both Vanilla and Chocolate flavors and you will see that MCTs are the second ingredients for both flavors.

1, 2 https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-915/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts

4, 5 https://www.sharecare.com/health/fats-nutrients-diet/mtcs-and-ltcs-utilized

3, 6, 7, 8 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-benefits?utm_source=Sailthru%20Email&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=authoritynutrition&utm_content=2018-05-14