The Zen. Wise. Way.
Elevate Your State of Being…Well™
Our brand name consists of two words…“Zen” & “Wise”. This is our inspiration, our guidepost, and our way. Our purpose, as a company, is to Elevate the State of Being…Well…every day, and throughout the lives, of our broader Community, Associates, Customers and Friends.
Zen embodies a wisdom, as well as a spiritual and physical therapy, for wellness. It recognizes that we are living in a contaminated world and that our bodies are in a permanent state of stress…meaning that what we consume and how we eat impacts our daily health and balance. The nutrients that we choose to consume, nourish ourselves with, and ask our bodies to digest with each meal…either work to maintain our body and mind in balance, provide natural therapeutic benefit, and help us heal…or not.
“Consciously Wise” Nourishment
At Zenwise, we tap into these ancient truths and teachings, validated by the latest proprietary science and clinical support, to create what we refer to as “Consciously Wise Nourishment”. This formulation philosophy presents itself most clearly in the dietary supplements (the “supplemental food”) that we deliver. Our supplements start with nature’s healing, nourishing ingredients that leverage the wisdoms and key tenets of the Zen Diet:
The Core (Gut) Zen recognizes that The Key to Good Health is Gut Health. Our Gut (Digestive Tract) influences most of our key bodily systems and daily sense of wellness. This is where our microbiome (the billions of beneficial…and bad…bacterial microorganisms) is housed. It’s where the food we ingest is digested and converted into bioavailable nutrients that fuel our bodies. The Gut is where approximately 70% of our immune system resides. And it’s the central communication center to our brain (The Gut/Brain Axis), which influences sleep, stress, mood, fitness performance, recovery & energy levels.
Plant Powered Health The Zen Diet encourages plant-powered nutrition and healing. The wisdom of this approach has recently been supported by the scientific findings of the American Gut Project, a University led multi-year study of what Americans eat and how it impacts their gut health and overall wellness. The study recently discovered that the people with the most diverse and well-functioning microbiomes are those that consume 20+ plants per week. It’s also what drives us to find “non-animal” based sources of essential nutrients, like our Vegan Omega 3 (no fish, no fish burps!)
Therapeutic Tea Zen monks understood and appreciated the therapeutic benefits of tea and consumed it daily. They also understood that tea’s benefits can be sourced via many tea forms, with the mainstay being revered Green Tea. Many studies have shown that the flavonoids (plant pigments) in tea provide multiple benefits including the ability to help manage inflammation response. Our Natural Zenwise Green Tea Extract can provide the equivalent flavonoids and antioxidants of 6 cups of tea, in a daily serving.
Traditional and modern science-based wisdom leads the Zenwise research & development teams to formulate and deliver unique digestive enzyme blends, microbiome nourishing pre & probiotics (like our Organic Probiotic Gummies), therapeutic tea extracts and plant-based (certified vegan & vegetarian) supplements that work within the gut to help balance critical bodily functions, enhance immune support (ZenDEFENSE™, BlockAID™) and work synergistically to provide daily relief, support and balance. This focus has allowed us to create some of America’s best-selling and most extensively consumer reviewed dietary supplements…like our daily Zenwise Digestive Enzymes with Probiotics & Prebiotics…with over 25,000 user testimonials.
Why a Healthy Gut Matters
Hippocrates, the “Father of Modern Medicine” and author of the Hippocratic Oath (which every Western doctor recites upon graduation) proclaimed 2,500 years ago that “All disease begins in the Gut”. Modern research confirms that while all disease doesn’t literally start in the gut, many metabolic, autoimmune, and cognitive issues do in fact start with gastrointestinal imbalances. This reinforces the ancient wisdom that optimal wellness cannot be achieved without a healthy gut. The gut (large intestine) hosts trillions of bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms. It’s the base of our immune system, facilitates the majority of neurotransmitter production, influences metabolism, contributes to energy homeostasis, and much more. At Zenwise we’ve spent years studying the Gut and remain fascinated by what we learn and uncover every single day.
Let’s start with the Gut’s primary purpose…Digestion;
When you take a bite of food, what you ingest needs to be transformed into bioavailable nourishment. That’s the work and function of digestion—breaking down food into smaller compounds and changing it chemically so that your body can extract the valuable nutrients and absorb them into your bloodstream (while eliminating the waste).
The Work of Digestion
Proper digestion requires complex processes working efficiently and in tandem, every day and with each meal. The digestive tract is a series of tubes and organs including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. A network of nerves and cells regulates their activity, including the release of various enzymes and digestive juices. As the food is broken down, essential nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream to nourish our body’s cells.
Digestive enzymes (proteins) are a key part of this system, as they do the work of targeting and breaking down the specific foods we eat. These enzymes are available from natural sources (like honey, mangoes, bananas, avocados and fermented foods) and your body produces many of them as well. They are the catalysts by which food converts to nutrients that can be absorbed and utilized in producing energy or repairing and maintaining our physical structure. Different enzymes target and break down different nutrients;
- Amylase breaks down carbs and starches
- Alpha-galactosidase converts the carbs in legumes that cause flatulence
- Protease works on proteins (and helps manage inflammation)
- Lipase handles fats (attention meat lovers!)
- Invertase takes on sucrose (sugar)
- Lactase targets lactose, the natural sugar in dairy (when we all “Scream for Ice Cream”)
- Cellulase manages hard-to-digest fiber in salads, vegetables, grains and seeds (hello, Vegans)
- ALDH is the enzyme present in your liver that changes alcohol from a toxic substance into acetic acid, also known as vinegar (Cheers!)
Your body is producing and releasing digestive enzymes from the day you’re born. But the specific enzymes and the amounts of these enzymes that we produce, naturally, are always changing and are impacted by the specific diets we eat as well as the environments in which we were born and raised.
Additionally, after the age of 20, our bodies begin to progressively produce fewer overall enzymes naturally, which can lead to additional imbalances and difficulties in the digestive tract. As a result, digestive enzymes (the right ones and sufficient quantities of them) are all critical to proper digestion, balance and daily health.
While the gut microbiome is usually stable, in balance and well-functioning, it can change based on outside factors like changes in diet, elevated stress, medicines (e.g., antibiotic usage and the associated diarrhea that can come with it) as well as the simple act of aging. The gut microbiome becomes less diverse as we get older, making us more susceptible to gastrointestinal issues, allergies, obesity, metabolic disruptions and neurological issues related to sleep, stress, and mood.
Favorite Foods (The “Hard 5”)
It probably comes as no surprise that diet plays a key role in the populating and makeup of our individual gut microbiome. And as more of the world shifts to a “western diet”, characterized by increased amounts of hard-to-digest processed fast foods, fried foods, meat and sugar consumption along with decreased amounts of fiber, fruit and vegetables…disruption of our balanced and well-functioning gut microbiomes becomes more common.
The hardest foods to digest are also among our society’s favorites. We call these the “Hard 5” and many people may need help properly digesting them (i.e., having the right digestive enzymes and the right amount for the specific digestive job). The Hard 5 are meat, fried foods (like chicken wings or French fries), dairy treats such as cheese and ice cream, salads (containing hard-to-digest fiber) and alcohol. Alcohol is one of only a few “foods” that get absorbed directly into your bloodstream, from your stomach (aspirin is another). Alcohol can inflame your stomach lining and digestive tract. Women and older adults may be even more susceptible to alcohol related disorders as women’s bodies produce fewer enzymes to break down alcohol and older individuals aren’t able to metabolize alcohol as readily.
A Good Gut Gone Bad
Gastrointestinal woes…heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating…can wreak havoc on your daily life and keep you from doing the things you love and enjoy. In America alone, an estimated 60-70 million people, likely more, experience digestive issues regularly. That helps explain the hundreds of digestive related supplements, medicines, antacids, fiber products and laxatives lining our store shelves. Many of these products may indeed help relieve the after-effects of an unbalanced or disturbed digestive tract, but such products don’t do much to help you before or during the digestive process…or impact the cause of an upset stomach.
For this, it is important to think about proper digestion, before you eat. If you want to properly digest your food and feel good after the fact, it’s important that your digestive tract have the tools it needs, upfront. That’s where supplementation with specific digestive enzymes, beneficial probiotics and prebiotics, and condition-specific botanical ingredients can come in. Digestive disorders happen to everyone, young and old, male and female. In fact, the highest incidence and frequency of digestive upset is reported among young women who are experiencing high levels of stress and not always eating “healthy”.
“A stomach tied up in knots”. “Gut wrenching experience”. “Butterflies in my stomach”. These are common refrains that are directly related to the gut…and to stress. They go hand in hand. That’s because your brain and gastrointestinal system (the gut-brain axis) are intimately linked and continuously “talking” to each other. Stress negatively impacts this line of communication. What this means is that when you’re anxious and worried, you digest food less well. The physiological reason for this is that your body reacts to stress by pumping extra blood to the muscles intended for fighting or fleeing, leaving less blood volume to support the muscles needed for digestion while also secreting fewer enzymes for the digestive process. Consequently, stress slows the entire process involving passage of food and waste through your digestive tract and can produce the unpleasant symptoms we know as heartburn, bloating and constipation. Our DigeSTRESS™ product is specifically designed to address this condition.
Saying Whoa to Stomach Woes
It generally takes 4 hours for your stomach to empty after a full and nutritious meal. Six hours or more if the meal contains a lot of fat. What happens before and during that 4 to 6-hour period helps determine how you will feel after. If your digestive tract is not equipped to properly digest the foods you need, and the foods you love, the after-effects can be uncomfortable. That’s why we say “Zenwise. Then Eat.™” It means adopting a daily “pre-meal” routine to make sure that your body has the full complement of specific digestive enzymes that it needs, before you eat. It also means equipping your gut with the diversity of probiotics (the good bacteria) needed to maintain continuous balance, support a strong immune system, and help your microbiome thrive and stay fully alive.
A Zen Recipe for Well Being…Good for the Gut, Great for the Soul
While we genuinely believe that the key to good health is gut health, the Zen recipe for being well extends holistically through the gut and into the soul…with mind, body and spirit all functioning in concert.
That’s where the prescriptions laid down by the ancient Zen monks (with some help and interpretation from today’s best scientists studying the human condition) come into play. We call it the “Zen. Wise. Way.” and it’s an overall approach toward well-being. These are the truths, learnings, philosophy and key mantras that we live by;
- Listen to Your Body your body (signals) are your best guide to maintaining well-being
- Do (and Eat) What You Enjoy Food is one of the great pleasures of life. Savor it.
- Relax While You Eat Spur a healthy digestion process. Embrace calmness.
- Walk, Then Run Physical activity is any movement that burns calories. Just move.
- Be Mindful Your state of mind while you eat affects your digestion, your mood, your sleep patterns, your metabolism and your energy level. Be conscious.
- Learn from Nature We believe that over many thousands of years, Nature (and the people who have thoroughly studied it) “got it right”. We look to Nature, first, for promoting health and healthful solutions. She’s a marvelous teacher.
The Zenwise Vision…and Mission
At Zenwise we have a vision and a mission to both harness the wisdom of nature but also to harbor it, for the benefit of our ourselves and future generations. At the end of the day, it all comes back to nurturing and protecting the microbiome…of humans and of soil…because if it isn’t in the soil, it won’t be in the plant and if it’s not in the plant, it can’t be in the animal.
Based on this truth, we are working with a variety of Universities, not-for-profits, and agricultural research teams to help restore our agricultural soils to their vibrant, natural, living states and continue to discover the bounty of health solutions that the earth (and dirt) can provide for the benefit of us all. One of the research organizations that we are working with and proudly sponsor is the Rodale Institute, a not-for-profit organization that has been leading the organic food movement for over 50 years and is today working with farmers and food producers to regenerate our soils and change our agricultural practices in a way that replenishes the microbiome of our land. The Zenwise mission is formally stated as follows;
To Harbor and Harness the Wisdom of Nature
- Harbor Zenwise Health is driven to harbor, restore and regenerate the soils, ecosystems and sustainable health of our natural herbal and agricultural ecosystems
- Harness Zenwise dietary supplements leverage the wisdom of nature; harnessing the natural world’s enzymes, pre and probiotics, herbs, minerals, omegas, microbiome & botanical nutrients found in our soils, plants, foods and living in our bodies…which contribute directly to the betterment of human health
Thank you for your interest in Zenwise.