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/

Prevention is Ideal for Optimal Women’s Health

National Women’s Health Week starts each year on Mother’s Day to encourage women to make health their priority—this year it is the week of May 10 through May 17. The key to maintaining health is getting the necessary care to help prevent disease, disability, and injuries. Preventive care can help detect problems early, when treatment is more effective.

Physical activity is one of the most important things women can do for optimal health. Its many benefits include lowering the risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death for women. In addition to doing at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity, women should also aim to do strengthening exercises that include all major muscle groups at least twice a week.1 Strength and balance training are also important, since one out of four older people fall each year and women fall more often than men.2

Healthy eating is important for everyone, and for women, there are specific needs. In a previous blog we covered several concerns relevant to women’s health, such as breast cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease. Here we are going to discuss one specific need crucial to women’s health: folic acid. Required for optimal health, folic acid also helps prevent major birth defects during pregnancy.3

Folic acid is a tricky supplement. It’s a synthetic form of vitamin B9. The body does not convert it into active vitamin B9 very well, so unmetabolized folic acid may build up in the bloodstream.4 Since folic acid is different from natural folate, it must be converted into an active form before your body can use it. Your genetics affect how quickly this conversion takes place, so folic acid is a hot topic in current nutrition research.5

Synthetic folic acid can disrupt the actions of natural folate as it has a greater capability to bind to folate receptors on the cells. This, in turn, could result in folic acid being preferentially transported into normal healthy cells instead of natural folate. Once inside the cell, folic acid could then compete with natural folates for other binding sites, preventing them from functioning properly and potentially causing changes in normal gene expression or cell growth rates.6

To circumvent the double-edged sword of folic acid (the body needs it but has problems processing it properly and can cause seriously negative effects) researchers have come up with a supplement known as BioFolate™. This supplement formula contains L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF), the active form of folate that is used in the body and considered a healthier alternative to folic acid, which is essential in the production of neurotransmitters. Folate plays a key role in DNA and RNA synthesis, healthy genetic expression, red blood cell production, the metabolism of proteins, cognitive health, cardiovascular health, and more.7

BioFolate™ is an important ingredient added to the new vanilla Kenzen Vital Balance® Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 8.26.09 AMto help make it an exceptional nutritional supplement for Active Wellness.

 

1, 2, 3 https://www.cdc.gov/features/nwhw/

4, 5 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/folic-acid

6, 7 https://www.healthline.com/health/folate-deficiency

 

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

Sneak Peek at Great Nutritional Products Just Around the Corner!

Two popular Nikken nutritional products that have sold out and been eagerly anticipated are Kenzen Super Ciaga and Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix. The good news is they’re coming back very soon. Here’s a sneak peek on the multiple improvements Nikken made to both super foods!

Kenzen Super Ciaga™ Powder has all the goodness of the juice but with only 10 calories per serving. This superfruit antioxidant mix is naturally sweetened with organic monkfruit, which is unusually sweet and has no calories. Since there is no added processed sugar, Super Ciaga has gone from 100 calories in the juice version to only 10 calories per serving with the new powder! The powder is easily mixed with PiMag® water and you can add in Kenzen Jade GreenZymes® for added nutrient-density. You can even add it to the new Kenzen Vital Balance to create a berry-flavored shake! The powder allows you to travel on airplanes with it and you don’t have to refrigerate it after opening!

This advanced Super Ciaga formula is made with a select group of superfruits chosen for their nutrient-density and immune-boosting characteristics. Highly concentrated, it has an exceptional ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value of 5,000, increased from 3,500 in the juice. Incorporated into a daily regimen, Super Ciaga helps support healthy cellular functions, a healthy immune system, healthy heart and blood vessels, natural energy levels and overall well-being.*

Certified organic, Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix (vanilla) is designed to help burn fat, help manage weight, build muscle, boost metabolism, promote healthy brain function and eliminate toxins in the body.* Our new formula contains pre- and probiotics to assist in digestive and immune system activity for people of all ages.* This formula contains 2.4 CFU (colony forming units) probiotics per serving.

Naturally-sourced protein from organic pea, organic rice and organic chlorella help promote the formation of lean muscle mass without the high levels of saturated fat and calories associated with animal protein.* This high quality plant-based protein is perfect for vegetarians and vegans who otherwise may find it difficult to source protein—on the other hand, it’s a great way for carnivores to increase plant intake and decrease protein from animal sources.

Organic Medium-chain Triglycerides (MCTs) sourced exclusively from coconut milk serve as “brain food” to support cognitive sharpness and to assist in burning fat, boosting metabolism and regulating the appetite.* BioFolate™ is added as an essential helper to produce neurotransmitters. It’s truly food for action and food for thought. Sweetened with zero-calorie organic monkfruit and organic stevia, there’s nothing artificial in this formula, making KVB exceptional in the marketplace and in our industry.

This is just a peek at the many improvements on two already stellar nutritional supplements! They’re coming very soon and you’ll see they’re worth the wait! They’ll help you take Active Wellness to the next level!

 

* 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.

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/

Stay Away from Foods with Dyes and Preservatives

October is ADHD Awareness Month. ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and its prevalence has increased in recent decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than seven percent of children and between four and six percent of adults in the United States have ADHD.1 Symptoms of the condition include having a hard time organizing and completing tasks, difficulty concentrating. focusing and listening, impulsivity, forgetfulness, impatience and poor time management.

While there are many drugs that claim to improve ADHD by balancing the brain’s neurotransmitters, these medications can also cause potential side effects including sleep problems, mood swings, loss of appetite, high blood pressure and even suicidal thoughts or actions. 2

Researchers continue to find alternative treatment methods that revolve around lifestyle modifications, many of which fit perfectly with Active Wellness. Here are some things that are believed to help minimize ADHD symptoms when eliminated from the diet:

  • Avoid foods with dyes and preservatives. The Mayo Clinic noted that certain food colorings and preservatives may increase hyperactive behavior in some children, specifically sodium benzoate (commonly found in carbonated beverages, salad dressing and fruit juice products), FD&C yellow no. 5 and no. 6, FD&C red no. 3 and no. 40, D&C yellow no.10, FD&C blue no. 1 and no. 2, FD&C green no. 3, orange B and citrus red no. 2.3 Basically, be careful with anything that has food coloring.
  • Avoid foods with chemical additives such as BHT and BHA. They are generally used to keep the oil in a product from going bad. They’re also found in processed foods such as potato chips, chewing gum, cake mixes, cereal and instant mashed potatoes.4
  • Avoid foods with salicylates. These are natural substances that are actually abundant in healthy foods such as red apples, almonds, cranberries, grapes and tomatoes. Salicylates are also found in aspirin and other pain medications. Research has shown that when salicylates are eliminated from the diets of hyperactive patients, 30 to 50 percent of them showed improvement.5
  • Allergens can be found in healthy foods but they might affect brain functions and trigger hyperactivity or inattentiveness if the body is sensitive to them. To see if any of the following foods can help decrease ADHD, eliminate them one at a time. They are the top eight food allergens: wheat, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, fish and shellfish.6
  • Avoid sugar and gluten. Two studies done in Holland demonstrated that eliminating them improved symptoms in 70 percent of the children in their studies.7
  • Avoid produce grown with pesticides and livestock raised with hormones and antibiotics. Go organic whenever possible to avoid accumulating chemicals, even in low doses, in the body and brain.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following behaviors to calm the mind and ease the tendency for overactivity:

  • Eat lean proteins which help increase focus and provide the building blocks for brain health. Make sure to eat small amounts, as large quantities of protein at one time can overburden the digestive system. Protein powders can be a good source, but whey can be overstimulating for some people, so the safer choice is pea protein. This makes Kenzen Vital Balance® an ideal choice.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water. The brain is made up of 80 percent water and needs to stay hydrated. Caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating and can impair cognition and judgment. Carrying a PiMag® Sport Bottle that can be filled at any tap is a good habit to develop.
  • Eat healthy fats, especially those with omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like salmon, sardines, avocados, walnuts, chia seed and dark green leafy vegetables. Supplement with Kenzen® Omega Green+DHA  to fill in dietary gaps.
  • Get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Limit daily screen time from phones, computers and TV.
  • Cook with herbs and spices. Garlic, oregano and turmeric are believed to boost blood flow to the brain, while there is scientific evidence that shows rosemary, thyme and sage help improve memory.8 Try incorporating Kenzen® Clarity into your daily regimen, as it’s formulated specifically to help maximize cognitive function.*

ADHD can be challenging, but by eating well and avoiding food triggers, both children and adults may be able to improve productivity and decrease or eliminate medications. Whether you may have ADHD or not, Active Wellness is the lifestyle of choice.

*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.healthline.com/health/adhd/foods-to-avoid

2, 3, 4 https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/natural-remedies

5, 6 https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/foods-to-avoid

7, 8 https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-diet-nutrition-sugar/

 

Do Your Children Eat a Lot of “Treats”?

Providing food is a universal act of care in every species within the animal kingdom. Humans above all show affection by preparing and serving a variety of food. Often, certain types of food are given as “treats,” thus assigning them extra value.

Here’s an example of a dialogue between parent and child:

Parent: Finish your dinner and you can have a special treat.

Child: What’s the special treat?

Parent: You can have a frosted cupcake.

The problem here is that the frosted cupcake is given the status of a special treat, so the child perceives it as something highly desirable. The fact that the child has to finish dinner in order to obtain the treat implies that the dinner is something to get out of the way in order to obtain the cupcake. It may seem harmless enough, but this kind of behavior becomes entrenched in the child and carries into his or her adult life and can even perpetuate itself into the next generation. Unfortunately, high-calorie, high-fat and heavily sugared foods are the ones that are generally called treats, while nutrient-dense foods that should be valued, are not. No wonder childhood obesity has become a serious problem in North America.

Obese children are at a higher risk of having chronic health conditions, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems and type 2 diabetes. Onset of diabetes in children can lead to heart disease and kidney failure.1 And more obviously, children with obesity are more likely to become obese adults with numerous health challenges.

According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), obesity threatens the health of today’s children to such an extent that they may, for the first time in U.S. history, have a shorter lifespan than their parents. This crisis has led to increasing interest in the prevention of obesity, starting with childhood. The ADA has compiled a lot of data about childhood obesity, based on ongoing studies and reports. The main areas of review are food and nutrients, eating behaviors, family interactions around food and meals and physical activity vs. sedentary behaviors.2

Since parents and caretakers are largely responsible for providing food for most young children, the “control” is in the adults’ hands. Here are some common sense guidelines:

  • Be a good role model and eat healthy foods.
  • Help children develop good nutritional habits by having healthy food available—lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils and beans.
  • “Out of sight, out of mind,” so don’t purchase beverages with extra sugar. Evidence strongly supports a correlation between obesity in children with a high intake of sweetened beverages.3 Also avoid the availability of snacks with high fat and high sodium.
  • Have family meals together. Reports from the American Dietetic Association show evidence that increased frequency of family meals is associated with a higher consumption of nutritious foods and less of fried food and soft drinks.
  • Encourage children to drink water throughout the day, and provide them with their individual PiMag® Sport Bottle. Children like taking ownership of something special and the PiMag® Sport Bottle will help them receive clean, filtered water. Teach them to fill the PiMag® Sport Bottle with tap water or wherever there is potable water. In doing so, your children will be learning to drink less chlorinated water and at the same time, reduce plastic waste from bottled water.
  • Serve age-appropriate portions, and don’t expect children to “clean their plates” at every meal. On the other end of the spectrum, wait 15 minutes before serving seconds, so children can learn the feeling of fullness.
  • Don’t watch TV during meals or snacks. Distracted eating is the opposite of mindful eating.
  • Don’t use sweets as a reward. The definition of “treat” is really up to the parent, and when kids are taught to choose healthy foods from a very young age, it carries into adulthood.

Now let’s take the example dialogue mentioned above and change it up:

Parent: Finish your dinner and you can have a special treat.

Child: What’s the special treat?

Parent: We’re going to go for a bike ride together before it gets dark.

It’s never too early to start living Active Wellness. Examples of good treats that are 100 calories or less are a medium-sized apple or banana, a cup of blueberries, a cup of carrots, broccoli or bell peppers accompanied by a couple of tablespoons of hummus. A Kenzen Vital Balance® “milk shake” is also a healthy treat, and makes a wonderful breakfast or snack for the whole on-the-go family.