Achoo and Gesundheit!

Whether you say “gesundheit” or “bless you”, the intent is the same: to wish good (health) to the person who sneezes. Sneezing is a protective reflex that babies are born with, and luckily, it doesn’t disappear with growth or aging. We don’t need to learn how to sneeze and we can never forget how to do it! 

Sneezing may feel annoying, but in reality, it helps the body get rid of things that are irritating or harmful. By sneezing, the body can expel germs and particles from the nose and help protect itself from getting sick.

Sneezing is how the body clears the nose. When pollen, smoke, dust or even fragrances and odours enter the nostrils, each individual’s nose may react differently. If it’s irritating or tickling in some way, the body tries to ease that feeling and does so with an achoo! This way, a sneeze is one of the body’s first defences against invading bacteria and/or viruses. Other foreign particles that can trigger sneezing include mould, mildew, dander and smog.

Sneezes also perform another vital role in the body. In 2012, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania discovered that sneezing is the nose’s natural way to “reset.” They found that cilia, the cells that line the tissue inside the nose, are rebooted with a sneeze. In other words, a sneeze resets the entire nasal environment.1

When we are allergic to something, sneezing is one of the most common reactions as the body tries to clear its airway of the offending allergen. Researchers aren’t sure why some people sneeze multiple times. It may be a sign that your sneezes aren’t quite as strong as a person who only sneezes once. It could also be a sign that you have ongoing or chronic nasal stimulation or inflammation, possibly as a result of allergies.

The most important indoor pollutant is tobacco smoke. It is strongly associated with allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory ailments.2 The most common sources of outdoor pollution include ozone, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.3 These pollutants have been shown to be especially hazardous to adults and children with asthma.

The air that we breathe not only can cause sneezing, but it can also produce runny noses, burning eyes and respiratory distress. An interesting fact is that allergies are more prevalent in highly developed countries in North America and Europe than in less developed nations.4 This suggests that something about contemporary lifestyles may be causing more allergies. 

Some items we tend to overlook that can cause allergies include artificial food colouring, latex (commonly found in medical gloves, adhesive bandages and other medical devices), cosmetics (makeup is often full of chemicals, perfumes and dust mites (that often live in pillows, sheets, mattresses, carpets or even stuffed animals). And of course, the more fumes we breathe in from car exhaust, vehicles that run on diesel and industrial air pollution, the more likely we are to suffer from breathing difficulties.

Indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor air quality. Although we are not in control of outdoor air, we can take steps to make sure our indoor air quality is healthy. Keeping dust to a minimum and washing bedding often, using fragrance-free detergents and cleansers, brushing pets often and disposing of fur – these are all part of an Active Wellness lifestyle – and always use a good air filtration system indoors.

Nikken’s KenkoAir® Purifier with its replaceable HEPA 13 filter, addresses all your needs in regards to indoor air filtration, helping to remove up to 99.95% of dust, moulds, pollen, event pet dander! 

1. https://www.healthline.com/health/why-do-we-sneeze

2, 3, 4. https://www.medicinenet.com/air_pollution_and_allergies__connection/views.htm

19th May 2022

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Do You Have Allergies?

Allergies can be irritating, but they can also be managed, especially if you stick to an Active Wellness lifestyle. An allergy occurs when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance, called an allergen. It could be something you eat, inhale into your lungs or touch. Allergens can cause coughing, sneezing, hives, rashes, itchy eyes, a runny nose and a scratchy throat. Although there is no cure for allergies, you can manage them with prevention and treatment.

Over 150 million people have allergies in Europe.That’s why it’s important to know what you are allergic to and avoid those allergens as much as possible. Some allergens are easier to avoid than others – the main sources of allergens are medication, food, insects, latex, mould, pets and pollen.2

Many people suffer from allergies but don’t know the causes. Because many allergies are irritants but not life-threatening, it’s common practice to take any number of over-the-counter allergy medications. If the medication helps stop the symptoms, then people simply keep taking them without knowing the root cause. The most common side effect to taking allergy medications is sleepiness, so over the years, new formulas have popped up that are “non-drowsy.” Most commonly used are antihistamines, cortisone ointments, decongestants and epinephrine – people with severe allergies carry “epi-pens” so they can self-inject epinephrine to counteract serious allergic reactions.

An Active Wellness lifestyle may not be able to get rid of your allergies; however, being healthy can certainly bolster your overall immune system to help you cope with them. For example, with seasonal allergies from pollen or certain trees, sometimes the allergic reactions disappear. Whether this is your body’s way of adapting over the years or the result of healthy living can’t be proven, but it certainly might be helpful.

There are treatments without using medications. For example, people with airborne allergies may choose to wash out their noses daily with a nasal saline solution or with plain water. Others may choose to diffuse natural scents to help the nasal passages open.

With food allergies, avoiding the known ingredients, generally takes care of any issues. The most common food allergies are to milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.3 Food allergies are different from food intolerances. For example, you can be lactose-intolerant but not allergic to lactose – food intolerance does not involve the immune system. To determine any possible food allergies, track what you eat, when symptoms occur, and what seems to be helpful.

Insects that may cause allergies are generally divided into three groups: stinging, biting, and non-stinging/biting. Stinging insects such as bees, wasps, hornets and fire ants inject a toxic venom when they sting. Biting insects such as mosquitoes, bedbugs, fleas and certain flies may cause itchiness, swelling, rashes and/or pain.

One particularly unusual development that may result from a Lone Star tick bite is becoming allergic to meat. This is because a tick transfers alpha-gal, a sugar, into the person’s bloodstream. When the person’s immune system reacts to it, the meat allergy develops because alpha-gal is also found in beef, lamb and pork.4

Your indoor environment plays an important role in keeping allergens away. Dust mites and pet dander are common offenders that can be filtered out with a good air purifier. Nikken continues to support an Active Wellness lifestyle and helping to prepare ourselves for the allergy season, through its innovative solutions such as the KenkoAir® Purifier. With built in HEPA 13 carbon filters, the KenkoAir® Purifier helps reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies as well as removing dust, pollen, pet dander and odours from indoor air. 

  1. https://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/information-training/facts-and-figures/
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/allergies/
  3. https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/food-allergy-and-intolerance
  4. https://www.allergycliniclondon.co.uk/can-tick-bite-give-you-meat-allergy/

12th May 2022

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Flavoured Water May Help You Drink More but Be Aware What’s In It…

Considering your own health goals and taste preferences can help guide you in making the water choice that works best for you. “Drinking more water, regardless of type, is crucial in improving energy levels, reducing the risk of constipation and bloat, and even improving the look and feel of your skin,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES.1

The consensus of health practitioners is that it’s far better to drink flavoured water than to not hydrate enough due to a dislike of plain water. Hydration experts caution people to stay away from sugary or artificially sweetened beverages. Sugary beverages can add unwanted calories while the multiple negative effects of many artificial sweeteners are the subject of ongoing research.

Flavoured water is simply plain potable water with added ingredients to enhance taste. As people globally become more educated and knowledgeable about the harmful effects of dehydration, the market for flavoured waters has exploded. From carbonated waters with artificial flavourings to filtered water with natural fruit extracts, there are flavours to fit every palate. 

Erin Palinski-Wade says that “while the amount of flavouring added to water is typically too small to provide significant nutritional value, flavoured water can be a benefit in situations where people will consume more water because they prefer the taste with the flavouring added.”2

The ingredients that are added to plain water are what make the difference between a healthy drink versus a less optimal choice. Taste enhancers can be natural or synthetic. “Natural” usually means the ingredient listed is sourced from nature, whereas “synthetic” tends to mean something is made in a lab. Typically, “lab-made” is negatively associated with processed foods and artificial flavourings. Naturally flavoured waters will contain ingredients like fruit extract while synthetically flavoured waters may contain a human-made ingredient that tastes similar to a fruit.

Many people who do not enjoy plain water develop a taste for alkaline PiMag® water. No flavour enhancers are added, but the multiple filtration process removes bacteria, chlorine, contaminants and other particles that can cause tap water to taste less than desirable. Our Organic Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder and Kenzen Jade GreenZymes® can easily be added to PiMag® water for delicious and beneficial hydration throughout the day. Not designed as flavour enhancers, these two nutritional supplements actually boost Active Wellness and overall health. 

Made with organic ingredients, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder and Kenzen Jade GreenZymes® not only may help you drink more water, but also enrich your diets. Made with superfruits such as blueberries, elderberries and acai berries, Super Ciaga® Powder is a convenient way to drink high ORAC antioxidants when mixed with PiMag® water. Jade GreenZymes® mixed with PiMag® water gives you all the goodness of organic barley grass and our proprietary formula – full of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and electrolytes. No wonder it’s known as “nature’s perfect food.”

1, 2. https://www.verywellfit.com/is-flavored-water-good-for-you-5188087

21st April 2022

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Invest in Our Planet: Earth Day 2022

In September 1969, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin worked to bring national awareness of environmental issues. He called for Americans to come together the following spring for a day dedicated to environmental education. His idea was met with great enthusiasm. It has been speculated that spring was chosen for the event to coincide with spring break in schools and universities so that students could participate fully.1

On the 22nd April 1970, Americans marched and demonstrated in the streets for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive rallies across the US. It was estimated 20 million people, from 10,000 elementary and high schools, 2,000 colleges, and over 1,000 communities participated that day.2 Earth Day was born and has taken place every year since. 

By 1990, Earth Day was an event celebrated by more than 140 countries around the globe, mobilizing more than 200 million people. This paved the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. After 10 years, Earth Day 2000 focused on climate change and clean energy. Approximately 5,000 environmental groups and 184 countries participated, reaching hundreds of millions of people.3

The theme of Earth Day 2022 is “Invest in Our Planet.” The goal is to “redirect attention to create a 21stcentury economy that brings back the healing and health of our planet, to protect all of our species, including our own and to provide opportunities for everyone on the planet.” 4

The goal is also “to engage one billion people, including governments and institutions, to act individually and together.”5

Devoted to the planning, organizing and coordinating of events annually, earthday.org’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. For Earth Day 2022, they state, “We need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly) and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet. Everyone fears change but now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods – together, we must Invest in Our Planet.”6

We can all invest in our planet by adjusting our lifestyles. Visit https://www.earthday.org/ for ways to participate – you can join local clean-up teams that are part of The Great Global Cleanup®, a worldwide campaign to remove billions of pieces of waste from neighbourhoods, beaches, rivers, lakes, trails and parks – or plant a tree through the Canopy Project. Every little bit counts. It can be as simple as brushing your teeth without keeping the tap running, taking shorter showers, eating less meat or shopping with reusable bags. In its lifetime, one reusable bag can prevent the use of 600 plastic bags.7

Nikken’s PiMag® products such as the PiMag Waterfall® or the PiMag® Water Bottle not only help filter out bacteria and alkalize water but also help eliminate the use of plastic water bottles, which produce tons of waste that pollute both land and ocean. You can be part of the environmental solution that planet Earth needs!

1, 2, 3. https://bit.ly/3KmXSNX

4, 5, 6. https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2022/

7. https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/celebrations/article/earth-day_Day

14th April 2022

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Hydration and Moisturization: We Need Both for Healthy Skin…

Our skin is composed of 64% water, so keeping it hydrated is necessary for Active Wellness. The word “hydration” is connected to water. Hydrating the skin therefore means increasing its water content. Hydrated skin is smooth, glowing and has an even tone. When skin is dehydrated, it can appear flaky, dull and dry. However, people often tend to confuse dehydrated skin with dry skin. Although used synonymously, there is an underlying difference between the two. Dehydrated skin lacks water, whereas dry skin lacks a fair amount of sebum, which is the oil secreted by the sebaceous glands present in the skin.

How can we tell the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin? The two have notably different indicators. Dry skin may present as itchy, red, flaky and irritated, while dehydrated skin may show up as dull, wrinkly, lined, puffiness and shadows around the eyes, dry mouth and increased sensitivity.1

There are ways to hydrate the skin but there are also ways to moisturize it. Hydration and moisturization actually involve two separate processes. Hydration of the skin occurs when we add water to it. It temporarily fills skin cells to give it a fuller feel. It’s temporary because skin releases water when there is nothing to help retain it – the most obvious way is through perspiration but exposure to wind, sun and other elements expedite the discharge of water.

Drinking a lot of water, in and of itself, cannot help hydrate skin unless you are actually dehydrated. Those who stay hydrated cannot drink copious amounts to help improve skin’s texture or radiance. Skin is actually the last part of the body that water reaches, as it flows to all the other organs first. However, drinking ample amounts of water does help rid the body and skin of toxins.

Moisturization is a necessary partner for hydration, because it involves adding ingredients into the skin to help prevent water loss. When moisture is retained by the skin, it enables skin’s natural ability to renew and repair to occur, improving texture and overall skin health.

Retaining the moisture in the skin is a complex science, but dermatologists generally agree that hyaluronic acid, glycerine, urea, ceramides and antioxidant vitamins A, C and E are among the most beneficial ingredients to add into creams and serums. These ingredients come in many variations and may be known by other “INCI”(International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) names; for example, tocopherol, sodium hyaluronate, ascorbic acid, lipids from oils and seaweeds and so forth.

The TRUE elements® Marine Organic Skincare range takes moisturization to a high level with its emphasis on sustainably farmed seaweeds that contain naturally-occurring antioxidants, beneficial acids, salts and oils. You can feel secure knowing that all TRUE elements® skincare products are COSMOS Organic certified by EcoCert, pH balanced and naturally fragranced. The range does not contain parabens, phenoxyethanol, PEGs, phthalates, EDTA, GMO ingredients or synthetic colouring.

Combining hydration, by drinking enough PiMag® water, and moisturization, by using TRUE elements® Marine Organic skincare, is a bona fide way to maintain high energy levels and vibrant-looking skin.

This month, we are celebrating World Water Day 2022 with state-of-the-art PiMag® Water products at great prices!

BUY ONE, GET ONE HALF PRICE ON:

PiMag® Water Bottle (#88464) – made of 100% recyclable bio green materials.

PiMag MicroJet Shower System (#88465) – cleaner water for softer, cleaner skin.

1. https://skinkraft.com/blogs/articles/how-to-hydrate-your-skin

24th March 2022

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Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible…

World Water Day is celebrated globally once a year to consciously recognize the importance of providing affordable, lasting access to safe water. It became a United Nations observance day in 1993 to focus attention on the global water crisis. Now World Water Day takes place on the 22nd March every year.

The theme for World Water Day 2022 is “Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible.” World Water Day draws attention to water scarcity globally and every year, the theme is based on an important aspect of water. Groundwater is important around the world because it is the most abundant source of freshwater on earth.1 It is water that is located beneath the earth’s surface in the pores and crevices of rocks and soil. These layers of soil, sand, rock and gravel that contain usable quantities of groundwater are called aquifers.

Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere. Out of sight, under our feet, groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives. In the driest parts of the world, it may be the only water people have. Almost all of the freshwater in the world is groundwater, supporting drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming, industry and ecosystems. In many places, human activities over-use and pollute groundwater. In other places, we simply do not know how much water is down there, which means we could be failing to harness a potentially vital water resource.2

Accounting for about 97% of non-frozen fresh water on earth, groundwater is an important natural resource that contributes to human development. Approximately 50% of the world’s population drinks ground water daily, and it is critical for sustaining rural populations that are located away from surface water and infrastructure with manmade plumbing.3

Groundwater is a vital resource that provides almost half of all drinking water worldwide, about 40% of water for irrigated agriculture and about one third of water required for industry. Despite these impressive facts and figures, invisible groundwater is out of sight and out of mind for most people. Human activities, including population and economic growth, as well as climate variability, are rapidly increasing the pressure on groundwater resources. Serious depletion and pollution problems are reported for many parts of the world.4

The assessment of global groundwater resources is one of the core activities of The International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre. (IGRAC) is a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) center that works under the auspices of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and is supported by the Government of The Netherlands. IGRAC facilitates and promotes global sharing of information and knowledge. about groundwater.

Exploring, protecting and sustainably using groundwater will be central to surviving and adapting to climate change and meeting the needs of a growing population. The 2022 World Water Day spotlights groundwater as an invisible yet valuable resource, and strives to enhance knowledge exchange and collaboration to increase awareness of the importance of taking care of our groundwater.

Water is Life and Nikken is doing its part to help people access clean water for Active Wellness – not only for drinking, but also for bathing. From the 17th March, we are focusing on celebrating World Water Day by offering you state-of-the-art PiMag® products at great prices!

BUY ONE, GET ONE HALF PRICE ON:

PiMag® Water Bottle (#88464), made of 100% recyclable bio green materials.

PiMag MicroJet® Shower System (#88465) that helps neutralize chemicals.

1,3. https://www.un-igrac.org/resource/transboundary-aquifers-world-map-2021

2.  https://www.worldwaterday.org/

4. https://www.un-igrac.org/news/groundwater-making-invisible-visible-theme-world-water-day-2022

17th March 2022

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Drink More Water to Improve Health…

How much water to drink for optimal well-being is an individual affair, depending on lifestyle, age, gender and overall state of health. The truth of the matter is that the majority of us can enhance our pursuit of Active Wellness by drinking more water. It is simple enough to do, but positive behaviours require intent, especially in our busy lives. 

Here are some ideas for increasing your daily water intake:

  • Be in touch with how your body feels. Sometimes people become dehydrated because they do not recognize the sensation of thirst. If you are someone who rarely feels thirsty and therefore don’t drink water throughout the day, drink some water in hourly intervals even if you don’t feel thirsty. You will feel a difference with increased energy levels.
  • Set a goal of drinking more water. Write it down. The fact that you have a goal of drinking more water on a daily basis makes it more likely that you will succeed in creating a new positive behaviour.
  • Keep a reusable water bottle with you. When you have a reusable water bottle, you can easily drink water in any setting, whether you’re running errands, traveling or at home, working or at school. Keeping a water bottle handy can also serve as a visual reminder to drink more water. Bonus: A reusable water bottle decreases reliance on single use plastic water bottles and supports the environment. The PiMag® Water Bottle not only helps decrease our carbon footprint but also filters out contaminants from the tap water you fill it with!
  • Consciously replace other beverages with water. Energy drinks and other caffeinated drinks contain water but are less hydrating than plain water. You don’t need to replace every beverage you usually have with water, but even one or two a day can make a difference in overall well-being. For example, a single 8-ounce (240 ml) cup of soda can exceed the recommended daily limit for sugar.1
  • Have a glass of water before each meal. Creating this habit automatically ensures you have at least three glasses of water a day, if you eat three meals.
  • Drink filtered water instead of bottled water or tap water. Bottled water is known to be tap water put into single-use plastic bottles for convenience and profit. Filtering water removes contaminants and bacteria, which improves the taste of water. Better tasting water helps us drink more of it, even crave it. PiMag® water from a PiMag Waterfall® or PiMag® Water Bottle not only tastes great, but is more alkaline and hydrating than unfiltered tap water. Bonus: PiMag® water helps us respect the environment by creating less plastic waste.
  • Try to incorporate foods that are high in water content into your daily regimen. Here are some foods with 90% or higher water content: lettuce (96%), celery (95%), zucchini (95%), cabbage (92%), watermelon (91%), cantaloupe and honeydew melon (90%). Bonus: These fruits and vegetables also contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Drink a glass of water when you awaken. It will help you wake up and become alert.

Even as we consciously drink more water to improve our health, being aware of how much water is used and wasted can help each of us contribute to the preservation of our global freshwater resources. Water is a luxury in many countries, so as part of the Global Wellness Community, let’s strive together for awareness and conservation.

1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-drink-more-water

2. https://medium.com/@aj_jones/the-worlds-freshwater-crisis-is-worse-than-ever-60bce56206a9

3rd March 2022

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Hydrogen Water, Mitochondria and Energy…

The scientific community is now uncovering hydrogen water’s mechanisms of action, which are diverse. They refer to the potential for increasing antioxidant activity, modulating immune regulation and regulating autophagy, circadian rhythm and mitochondria.1 (Autophagy is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells.) Each of these beneficial anatomical activities is believed to help boost overall energy levels and health.

Because hydrogen is such a small molecule, the lightest in the periodic table, it can dissolve more easily throughout the cells as compared with traditional antioxidants.2 Hydrogen has the characteristic of protecting nuclear DNA and mitochondria and can permeate bio membranes to help reduce the risk of lifestyle-related issues caused by oxidative stress.3 In other words, drinking hydrogen-rich water may improve our overall ability to function, which elevates our quality of life.

Mitochondria are specialized structures that perform various jobs inside cells. They’re membrane-bound with two different membranes. These membranes function for the purpose of the mitochondria, which is to generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the cell’s biochemical reactions.4 That means mitochondria are the powerhouses within our cells.

Energy is produced by the conversion of chemicals within the cell. These chemicals go through pathways to be converted. The process of conversion produces energy in the form of a small molecule known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Different cells have different amounts of mitochondria—depending on how much energy they require. For example, the muscles have a lot of mitochondria, as do the liver and kidneys and to a certain extent, the brain, which lives off the energy those mitochondria produce.5

What do these energy-producing mitochondria have to do with hydrogen water? Clinical studies on hydrogen-rich water show that it helps improve mitochondrial function.6 When the mitochondria are functioning at high or optimal levels, our energy levels are correspondingly high. An abundance of energy makes all the difference to how we feel. It impacts our moods, our activity levels, and in essence, creates a domino effect of Active Wellness. When we are energetic, we tend to be happier and more active. When we are more active, each internal organ (heart, liver, lungs, etc.) gets a workout, which helps fight oxidative stress. 

There are ongoing clinical trials on the effects of hydrogen water. From enhancing athletic performance to alleviating muscle fatigue,7 from helping to fight metabolic syndrome8 (a condition characterized by high blood sugar, triglyceride levels and cholesterol) to positively influencing the gut microbiome,9 these research studies appear to support the use of hydrogen water for a variety of reasons, most of which relate to increasing antioxidant activity, helping to reduce inflammation and regulating our immune systems. 

Nikken’s PiMag® PiDrogen Hydrogen Generator is now available to order! Lightweight, compact and portable, it helps neutralize free radicals and supplies an abundance of antioxidants to relieve oxidative stress. Discover more at:  https://bit.ly/3gLtkrW

1. https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2021-05/going-beyond-hype-hydrogen-water

2, 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6096066/

4, 5. https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Mitochondria

6. https://litasenior.com/the-revolutionary-benefits-of-molecular-hydrogen/

7, 8. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/hydrogen-water#benefits

9. https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2021-05/going-beyond-hype-hydrogen-water

17th February 2022

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What’s the Big Deal with Berries?

Within our bodies millions of processes occur every day, such as turning the foods we eat into energy. These processes require oxygen. By-products using oxygen are called oxidants, often referred to as “free radicals”. Free radicals can also be introduced to our bodies through external sources such as tobacco smoke, pollution, and exposure to the sun. In the same way that oxidation can cause rust on the surface of some objects, free radicals can cause damage to cell walls, cell structures and even the genetic material of a cell. If the genetic material of a cell is attacked, this can lead to changes in the body’s DNA “genetic blue print” and has been linked to a number of health conditions.1

Antioxidants work to deactivate free radicals by binding to oxidants, which prevents the damage from occurring. Diets high in antioxidant-rich foods, such as those containing vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin), have been linked to a reduced risk of developing heart conditions.

Berries3 contain a variety of antioxidants, which help keep free radicals under control. Anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol are types of antioxidants found in an assortment of berries. One study showed that blueberries, blackberries and raspberries have the highest antioxidant activity of commonly consumed fruits, next to pomegranates.4

Studies suggest that the antioxidants in berries may help lower inflammation. Long-term inflammation arising from chronic stress, sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy food choices can lead to diabetes, heart conditions and obesity,5 so berries are really important in counteracting those negative effects! But that’s not all that berries can help do.

Test-tube and human studies suggest that berries may protect cells from high blood sugar levels, help increase insulin sensitivity, reduce blood sugar and insulin response to high-carb meals. Importantly, these effects appear to occur in both healthy people and those with insulin resistance.6

Berries are also an excellent source of soluble fiber, which is known to be important for slowing down the movement of food through the digestive tract. This slower movement helps us feel full for a longer period of time. Ideally, this may help us eat less and make weight management easier. One study found that doubling fiber intake could help absorb up to 130 fewer calories per day.7

Unsurprisingly, berries are considered heart-healthy food that may help lower LDL levels and help protect the bad cholesterol from becoming oxidized, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. In a controlled study of obese people, those eating 1.5 ounces (50 grams) of freeze-dried blueberries for 8 weeks noticed a 28% reduction in their oxidized LDL levels.8

Berries are highly nutritious, may provide a variety of health benefits, and are easy to incorporate into an Active Wellness nutritional plan! Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder makes it even simpler if you find it hard to access fresh berries. Simply combine it with PiMag® water or blend into smoothies for an energy and antioxidant boost!

1, 2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16739-antioxidants–heart-health

3. https://nikkeneurope.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/superfruit-with-super-powers/

4, 5, 6, 7, 8. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-reasons-to-eat-berries#:~:text=Berries%20are%20some%20of%20the,cholesterol%2C%20while%20reducing%20oxidative%20stress

11th February 2022

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Resolve to Reuse, Reduce & Recycle to Restore our Oceans…

As members of the Global Wellness Community, each of us is aware of plastic waste. Fortunately, we are capable of decreasing our personal plastic waste. If each one of us is committed to less consumption of plastic packaging, imagine the cumulative outcome for the world! One of the simplest ways is to stop buying and drinking water sold in plastic bottles. Here’s why that is so important.

One component of ocean pollution that’s especially threatening to not only ocean life forms but human life, is micro-plastics. When plastic pollution enters the ocean, large pieces are broken down over time by exposure to sea elements and become tiny particles. These particles, the estimated size of a 5mm sesame seed, break loose from the large “waste patch” and spread throughout the ocean.

Depending on its density, some sink, some float and some just hover in the water column. Because the plastic resembles food, it is eaten by a huge range of animals throughout the food chain, including fish, birds, turtles, whales and even microscopic plankton, eventually working their way up to humans.1

Micro-plastics are extremely difficult to clean out of the ocean, and since they are so tiny, they travel far and wide, basically making their way to every ocean in the world. This is why most ocean anti-pollution projects, such as The Ocean Cleanup, focus on removing larger pieces of waste, before they can degrade.2

Remarkably, in 2019 a then 18-year-old named Fionn Ferreira, invented an effective new method for removing micro-plastics from the oceans. Ferreira was kayaking along the coast in Ballydehob, his hometown in West Cork, Ireland, when he came upon a rock coated in oil. Ferreira noticed that small bits of plastic were sticking to the oil-coated-rock. “In chemistry, like attracts like,” Ferreira noted. He decided to combine vegetable oil and magnetite powder to create a nontoxic ferrofluid, a “magnetic liquid,” or liquid that acts as a carrier for tiny magnetic particles- since ferrofluids and plastics attract when in the presence of water. Ferreira would add his ferrofluid to water samples full of micro-plastics, then remove the ferrofluid using a magnet, taking the micro-plastics with it. After hundreds of tests, Ferreira’s ferrofluid was able to successfully remove at least 87% of micro-plastics from the water samples.3

Since then, while pursuing a Chemistry degree at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, Fionn has established a company focused on micro-plastic removal technology. Early tests on ferrofluids as a tool for cleaning up oil spills have been promising, but Ferreira believes that the only true way to solve the massive problem of ocean pollution is to change our consumption habits.3

Fionn is part of the new generation of scientists that has never known life without plastic pollution. He and other innovative young scientists, such as Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao who developed bacterium to transform plastic into carbon dioxide and water, are committed to restoring our oceans. 

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1. https://www.good.is/articles/end-plastic-pollution-pick-it-up-bin-it-take-three-for-the-sea   

2, 3. https://www.good.is/microplastics-magnet-removal

4. https://nikkeneurope.wordpress.com/2019/11/18/reduce-reuse-recycle/

20th January 2022

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