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Bebe Rexha Opens Up About Bipolar Disorder in New Interview

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SELF magazine 2020 March cover

According to statistcis published on the Mental Health Foundation’s website, bipolar disorder is the fourth most-common mental health problem worldwide. It’s a complex and wide-ranging mental illness characterised by significant, persistent, and pervasive fluctuation in mood from highs (mania or hypomania) to lows (depression). And, in an exclusive interview for Self‘s March 2020 issue, 30-year-old grammy-nominated singer Bebe Rexha discussed the fact that she’s one of those people.

At first, it was difficult for Bebe to come to terms with her diagnosis both in public and in private. She spent years not comprehending or even wanting to know her diagnosis. In April 2019, she shared on Twitter, “For the longest time, I didn’t understand why I felt so sick. Why I felt lows that made me not want to leave my house or be around people and why I felt highs that wouldn’t let me sleep, wouldn’t let me stop working or creating music. Now I know why.” She had a “breakdown” after learning of the diagnosis and said that she wasn’t willing to think there was something “wrong” with her.

“I made an adult decision to take another step to better myself.”

For Bebe, her symptoms of bipolar I came about decades before her diagnosis with what Self describes as “dangerous” mood swings. She’d experience depression prior to her periods — Bebe is now diagnosed with a condition known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder. “A day before [my period started], I would feel like my world was ending, that my life went to shit … I would get into these funks and be really depressed and not want to leave my house,” she explained. And, when Bebe wasn’t down, she’d experience symptoms of mania where, she detailed, “I would get super hyper, and I would text everybody, and I’d just get sloppy. I couldn’t control my emotions, and I was always super anxious, and couldn’t sit still.”

Bebe was concerned about discussing her bipolar diagnosis due to the stigma against mental illness that still exists today, she said. “It’s the war you have inside your head: Will it affect my career? Will people judge me? Will they want to work with me?” she explained. The singer also told Self that she was nervous about her parents’ reactions — they are immigrants from Europe (Albania, specifically), and the cultural outlook on mental health there, Bebe feels, is to “just get over it.” But, they were supportive when she wanted to get help from a therapist and psychiatrist.

“I made an adult decision to take another step to better myself,” Bebe said. It took her a long time, but she finally started treatment — she was concerned that medication would “flatten” her out and change who she was as a creator. However, she said, “I’m still the same person in the studio. [Medication has] maybe helped me be a little bit more insightful and learn things about the world and also allowed me to be a little bit more centred so that I can actually write about my feelings.”

Bebe Rexha SELF

“When my medication started kicking in, I couldn’t believe how I felt. I couldn’t believe that’s how good people could feel.”

Bebe, who revealed that she explores mental health more in her upcoming studio album, admitted that she hasn’t yet worked her way up to the dosage that her doctor prescribed. Medication, she said, “doesn’t take away the sadness or anxiety totally, but I feel so much better.” She continued, “It’s helped me live a more balanced life, less ups and downs. When my medication started kicking in, I couldn’t believe how I felt. I couldn’t believe that’s how good people could feel.” That’s why she’s a proponent of medication, encourageing those with bipolar to stay on top of doses if that’s their form of treatment and to keep open communication with mental health professionals.

Bebe said that she feels as though she’s broken her heart many times throughout her illness, which she will discuss more in a song entitled, “Break My Heart Myself.” But, with the support of her loved ones, therapy, meds, and other forms of self-care like exercise, she’s able to work through it. “There’s nothing to feel bad for,” Bebe said, explaining that she doesn’t want pity. “I’m fine, I’m healthy, I’m working on myself. I’m bettering myself as a human.”

If you or someone you love are experiencing signs or symptoms of bipolar disorder and need help finding help or resources, the NHS Choices, Mind (0300 123 3393) and the Samaritans (116 123) have resources available.

Image Source: Heather Hazzan / Self Magazine



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NEWS

Startup raises $15M to help prevent and treat opioid addiction

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Opioid pills
A startup building tools to prevent opioid addiction closed a $15 million funding round. AxialHealthcare raised the new funds from previous investors, including Oak HC/FT, .406 Ventures, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners and the Sandbox Advantage Fund. The company plans to use the additional funds to build tools to support patients struggling with addiction and connect them with resources in their communities.

“It’s not one size fits all. We want to go really deep into communities and understand exactly how the epidemics affect the community, what providers are there and which providers offer quality care,” said Carter Paine, who became axialHealthcare’s CEO last year. “We plan to use the funding to support our expansion in terms of putting feet on the street in those communities that we serve.”

Nashville-based axialHealthcare originally started as an analytics company, which analyzed claims data to help providers identify patients at risk of addiction. For example, it can show how many other physicians have prescribed a patient opioids in the past, or if they had been admitted to the ER for an overdose. The company struck a partnership with Surescripts in 2018 to add prescription fill data to its platform.

Now, axialHealthcare is building out tools for patients and their families to help them navigate substance use disorder treatment and recovery. For example, it has a tool that directs patients to the top-performing pain care providers. It also helps them connect to community resources, such as transportation, housing or job assistance programs.

“It’s one of the hardest areas to navigate. Patients and families are often just going to Google, which is not enough info on where is there high-quality treatment in community and what is the right level of care for a patient as they deal with this disease,” Paine said.

The startup also has a separate app that directly engages patients, connecting them to a health coach that can support them in their treatment.

“We want to be that trusted support and advocate,” Paine said. “It’s a wickedly hard disease to conquer or to go into remission on. Anyone who has gone through this would tell you they had people they leaned on as they go through recovery.”

Oak HC/FT General Partner Nancy Brown, who joined axialHealthcare’s board in 2016 after her firm led a $16.5 million round in the startup, said the company broadening its tools across the entire spectrum from substance abuse to treatment would allow it to have a bigger impact.

“We have been focused on solutions associated with the opioid addiction crisis since our earlier investment in axial. It became clear that in order to have the substantial and sustained impact we hoped for we needed to broaden our tools to support the entire continuum from prevention to treatment,” she said in an emailed statement. “Carter Paine is an experienced leader who has proven ability to take a disconnected healthcare ecosystem and provide tech enabled services to drive improvement to clinical outcomes and costs at scale.”

Paine joined axialHealthcare last year from his previous startup, NaviHealth, a post-acute care company. AxialHealthcare’s former CEO, John Donahue, became executive chairman of the company last year.

Seven health plans currently use axialHealthcare services, covering a few million members. In addition to building out its platforms, the company plans to build out the number of clients it serves.

Photo credit: VladimirSorokin, Getty Images

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FITNESS

Scottish Parliament Approves Free Period Products Bill

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Menstrual protection.

Scotland is set to become the first country in the world to make tampons and sanitary pads free for all women. A historic, life-changing bill known as the Period Products (Free Provision) Bill passed through the first stage of the Scottish parliament on 25 Feb. and with all parties in support, there was 112 votes in favour, none against, and one abstention.

The goal is to make period products readily available to anyone who needs them — being stocked in community centres, youth clubs, and pharmacies. The bill was introduced to Scottish Parliament by Monica Lennon MSP on 23 April, 2019 but that’s not where her campaign to end period poverty began. In 2017, Lennon launched a period poverty consultation with the goal of modelling a universally accessible system, much like the NHS’s C-card system, which makes condoms, lube, and other sexual health items available for people between 13 and 24 years old. “For too long, menstruation has been a taboo subject,” she said at the time. “My proposals would make Scotland a world leader in tackling period poverty.”

Scotland has led the charge on ending period poverty for years, consistently working to bring Scotland closer to achieving period dignity. In 2018, the country made period products free for all students in schools, colleges, and universities — and England and Wales have since followed suit with similar schemes. Additionally, there are already products available in some community spaces, thanks to additional funding that has been given to local councils by the Scottish government, although this isn’t currently widespread across the entire country.

Now that the bill has passed the first stage, it will move to the second phase, where members of the devolved Scottish government will put forward amendments. Of course, the topic of affordability will come into play, which, according to Reuters would have an estimated annual price tag of £24.1 million. During the debate on Tuesday, Lennon said the passing of the bill would be a “milestone moment for normalising menstruation in Scotland and sending out that real signal to people in this country about how seriously Parliament takes gender equality.”



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HEALTH

Coronavirus: Symptoms, Precautions, and Treatment: HealthifyMe Blog

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In December 2019, a deadly virus struck China. The virus not only paralyzed the country but also threatened the regions around it. The virus spread through chain reactions affecting anyone in the path or in its vicinity. As it was a disease unknown to man, several researches, experiments and attempts were made to find the cure for it. However, all that specialists could find out were its origin and the preventive measures that should be taken. This epidemic, by the World Health Organization (WHO), has been named “COVID -19” and is widely known as “Coronavirus”. 

From December, the virus has spread to several countries both inside and outside of Asia. Till date, the virus has been responsible for more than thirty thousand infections in China and more than two thousand deaths. There have also been a few cases that have been reported in India. Hence, like the popular adage goes “Prevention is better than cure”, we at HealthifyMe would like to make sure that every one of us is hale and healthy. Therefore, we would like to coax you to read below to know more about this deadly virus and how we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from it. 

Outline: 

What is Coronavirus and how does it spread?

Coronavirus contagion

Coronavirus is a family of viruses that typically cause respiratory symptoms. This virus is Zoonotic, which means the disease can be transferred between animals and humans. It belongs to the same class of virus that has caused several outbreaks globally, like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). As per research, it is believed that Coronavirus spreads through the secretory fluids of the respiratory system of an infected person. It commonly spreads when an infected person sneezes, coughs or exhales the infected respiratory droplet. Shaking hands or even touching the infected person or by touching the objects or surface that has been contaminated can act as the carriers of disease and get you infected by it. Current estimates of the incubation period (the period between the infection and the emergence of symptoms) for Coronavirus ranges from 1 to 14 days with the median of 5-6 days. However, more data is required to have more precise and refined information.

What are the symptoms when affected by Coronavirus?

Coronavirus symptoms

From the data that has been revealed, symptoms of Coronavirus infection vary from individual to individual. It can range from no symptoms to milder forms to even fatal forms. 
When infected, the initial symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath

When the symptoms have worsened, it can give rise to:

  • Pneumonia 
  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • Septic shock 

Which needs immediate intervention

High-risk group:

Although it is hard to say which age or community group is more prone to the infection, in terms of vulnerability a person 

  • Who comes in close/direct contact with the infected person
  • Has chronic disease condition like heart disorders, liver diseases, diabetes, and respiratory issues)
  • Children and older adults,

Precautions to Take

coronavirus prevention

Organizations like WHO have given standard recommendations to minimize the chances of infection. 

  • Avoid outside exposure to suspected areas and infected people
  • Wash hands with soap and water. Also, it is advisable to use an alcohol-based sanitizer (Recommended brands include- Lifebuoy: Immunity Boosting hand Sanitizer/Dettol: Original Instant Hand Sanitizer)
  • Keep your hands and fingers away from nose, eyes, and mouth. By doing so, you will eliminate the chances of the virus spreading if it is on your hands. 
  • Cleaning houses and surfaces with ethanol or chlorine-based disinfectants is advised
  • Thorough washing and cooking of meat before consuming is advised
  • While stepping out, make sure to cover your nose and mouth with a mask. Here take a look at how you should wear a mask and the right way to dispose of it

Diagnosis

The detection of Coronavirus is done via respiratory and blood specimens. WHO has released several detection protocols for lab testing, and the results are generally available within a few hours to a few days. Seek help if you have worked with or around 2019-nCoV infected person or suspected areas like workplace or healthcare center. You are suffering from acute respiratory issues like fever, runny nose, cough, and difficulty breathing for more than 10 days.

Treatment

At present, there is no specific treatment, or a vaccine, to treat Coronavirus infection. The scientists from various backgrounds- epidemiology, virology, and biomedical sciences, are working together to come up with an effective solution as fast as possible. 
As of now, the typical medical regimen focuses on relieving the symptoms and providing optimized supportive care to one with severe illnesses. 
One can make sure to get relief from symptoms by:

  • Taking proper rest
  • Lots of fluids
  • Taking counter- medicines for common flu-like symptoms like body pain, cough, and fever.

Make sure that if the symptoms persist for long, to go and see the doctor immediately. 

Frequently asked questions 

Coronavirus FAQ's
Q. How are the symptoms of Coronavirus different from those associated with a common cold or a seasonal flu?

A. The complete clinical picture with regards to Coronavirus is still not fully clear. Cases that have been reported have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. It has been reported by CDC, that the symptoms of Coronavirus may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. As things are not yet clear, it is advised that everyone take the precautionary measures that have been mentioned.

Q. Is it okay to travel amidst the Coronavirus outbreak? 

A. Travelling to infected places must be avoided. However, if travel plans cannot be altered, advanced bilateral communications, coordination,and planning with the concerned authorities should be done.

Q.  Who is at high risk of becoming infected with Coronavirus?

A. Those who have been exposed to people affected with the virus and those ill with respiratory symptoms are most likely to get infected. Like all people suffering illness, patients who may be affected by this virus should be treated with compassion. We should all work to prevent actions that could perpetuate a stigma attached to the virus or appear to be targeted at people from other countries living in our communities.

Q. Can pets at home spread the new Coronavirus?

A. There is no evidence that pets like cats and dogs can be infected with the Coronavirus. It’s always a good idea to wash hands after touching pets to avoid other bacteria though. 

Q. Is there nothing you can do to avoid catching the virus?

A. As a best practice, extreme personal hygiene like washing of hands thoroughly after being in public and avoiding touching the face, eyes or ear lobes can help in staying safe from some viruses and bacteria.

Source: 

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
  2. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html
  4. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-toll/



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NEWS

Babylon Health, physician tussle over triage chatbot’s safety

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After consultant oncologist Dr. David Watkins publicly voiced concerns about the safety of a well-funded startup’s triage chatbot, the company shot back, calling him a “troll on Twitter.”

Prior to his Tuesday appearance on BBC Newsnight, Watkins had highlighted concerns with Babylon Health’s Chatbot for three years, under the Twitter handle of @DrMurphy11.  In particular, he had zeroed in on the startup’s cardiac chest pain results.

One of his examples: For a fictitious, 67-year-old smoker reporting central chest pain, the app suggested a likely diagnosis of gastritis or a sickle cell crisis.

“Sadly, some of the fundamental Chatbot flaws that were initially raised in 2017 are still evident today,” Watkins wrote in a message.

Dozens of other startups are using AI to triage symptoms, but Babylon Health has reached a position of special prominence. The company struck a partnership with Britain’s National Health Service to offer telehealth appointments, and is also working with the NHS to build an app to triage non-emergency medical help. It also raised a whopping $550 million last year, led by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

The company was founded in 2013 by Ali Parsa, a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs and founder of hospital management company Circle Health. Babylon Health once claimed its algorithm performed better than doctors on the Royal College of General Practitioners’ official exam — a test that practicing doctors in the U.K. must pass. But RCGP dismissed the company’s claims as dubious, saying the exam prep materials the company used to test its algorithm didn’t represent the full range of the test.

Keith Grimes, Babylon Health’s Clinical Innovation Director, defended the company’s chatbot in a head-to-head skirmish with Watkins on BBC.

“it’s not giving out fake or false information. It’s giving out safe information to patients to allow them to seek help in the right timing,” he said.

In a statement on Monday, Babylon Health published data on the various searches Watkins had run on its chatbot. The company said of the 100 tests he had raised concerns about, a panel of clinicians investigated them, correcting 20 errors in the company’s AI. Babylon did not confirm which errors it had fixed.

The company also challenged Watkins to be “part of an open, independent analysis of your AI testing.”  Ironically, Babylon has not yet published any peer-reviewed studies of its triage system. Instead, the company pointed to the fact that its technology was validated as safe by the NHS, and that no patients had reported harm from using its service.

Most chatbots require limited regulatory oversight. Babylon is approved as a Class 1 medical device, an approval for low-risk medical devices, such as a cane or contact lenses. As such, the company’s chatbot can provide medical advice, but cannot make a diagnosis.



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FITNESS

How To Do The Garhammer Raise

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The hanging knee raise is a tough exercise, as anyone who has ever done (or tried to do) one can testify. After just a few reps your abs start to ache, and unless your core is in cracking shape it’ll be ablaze by the end of your set.

Now imagine doing that exercise, but giving your abs absolutely no break at all between reps. That’s the garhammer raise. With the hanging knee raise you start with your legs extended beneath you, then bring them up to your chest. The range of motion in the garhammer raise is actually smaller, which might fool you into thinking it’s easier, but allowing your legs to extend fully gives your abs a small break between reps.

There are no breaks with the garhammer raise, which means it’s an absolutely excellent move for anyone looking to carve out a six-pack, or just increase their core strength. Here’s how it’s done.

How To Do The Garhammer Raise

Hang from a pull-up bar and bring your knees up until your thighs are horizontal – this is your starting position. From there bring your knees further up towards your chest as high as you can, then lower your knees slowly back to the starting position. Keep your abs engaged at all times – that’s the key to getting the maximum core benefit out of the move.

You might find that you burn out earlier in a set than you expect with the garhammer raise, such is the challenge of keeping your abs under tension throughout, but you can always switch to the standard hanging knee raise if you are struggling.

Garhammer Raise Variations

Hanging knee raise

Since we mentioned the hanging knee raise several times, it’s only fair that we make sure you know how to do one in case you do need to swap to it when your abs are screaming during a set of garhammer raises.

Hang from a pull-bar with your legs extended. Bring your knees up to your chest, then slowly lower them until your legs are fully extended again. It’s still by no means an easy exercise, and the larger range of motion involved compared with the garhammer raise will recruit more of your core muscles.

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HEALTH

11 Best Bodyweight Exercises For Strength

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Have a goal to build muscle? Bodyweight exercises are a good place to start. You’ll build up strength and get comfortable in the movement patterns without the added stress (and injury potential) of weights. Once you get stronger, you can progress to using weights, increasing your reps, or switching to single-leg or jumping variations. Plus, you can do bodyweight moves anytime, anywhere and pack them into fast, challenging circuits if you want to rev your heart rate.

But not every bodyweight exercise is created equal, so of course we wanted to know which ones are the best for building muscle and getting strong. To find out, we surveyed nine certified personal trainers for their favourite muscle-building, no-weight-needed exercises. Check out 11 of their choices ahead, and add them to your workouts to increase your strength and sculpt those muscles.



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FOOD

Slytherin Common Room at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

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Calling all Slytherin fans! The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is throwing a five-month long “Celebration of Slytherin” and it’s all kicking off on April 5.

The 25-foot tall Slytherin common room set — which was designed to look like a dungeon carved from stone — used in the Harry Potter films will be installed, plus the original costumes of many iconic Slytherin characters and members of the Malfoy family. Not only that, but a series of Voldemort’s costumes will also be on display, showing the evolution of Tom Riddle’s character, from an orphaned child, to the villain we all love to hate. And on the topic of costumes, we fully endorse you dressing up as your favourite Slytherin when you visit the set.

The entire Great Hall will also pay homage to Malfoy’s Hogwarts house, with a sea of green banners suspended from the enchanted ceiling (which denotes a Slytherin victory of the House Cup). But it won’t all be able green, with the teacher’s table framed by Gryffindor banners in reference to the final scenes of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. If you remember, Dumbledore awards Harry’s house with last-minute house points resulting in a Gryffindor triumph.

The “Celebration of Slytherin” will run from April 5 to September 6, 2020, at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, and all of these new installations are included in the regular ticket price.



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Chickpeas: Benefits, Weight Loss, and Healthy Recipes: HealthifyMe Blog

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Chickpeas are the most sought after legume in the world. In fact, they are used in various cuisines including in the Middle East, India, Israel, Spain, and North Africa. This ancient bean has its origins in the Middle East where it was cultivated as early 7,500 years ago. Today, chickpeas have become an essential ingredient in many household kitchens. Also called garbanzo beans and Ceci, chickpeas are small in size. They are usually available in dry form and must be soaked and cooked before consumption. In modern times, chickpeas can be consumed from a can, ground up into a flour, stewed or even pureed.
When cooked, chickpeas have a grainy texture and nutty taste, making them an excellent accompaniment with many other foods. Apart from being very tasty, chickpeas are rich in fibre, minerals, and vitamins. They offer many health benefits like reducing risk factors to diseases, weight management, and improving digestion. Chickpeas are also very high in plant-based protein. This makes them one of the best meat replacement ingredients. Chickpeas are an essential ingredient in vegan and vegetarian diets.

Table of Content

Nutritional Value of Chickpeas

Chickpeas have an extraordinary nutrition profile. In just a single 28 gram serving, there are only 46 calories and only 270 calories in one cup of boiled chickpeas. Nearly 67% of its weight comprises carbs, while the rest of the remaining chickpea consists of protein and fat. Did you know that one cup of chickpeas provides up to 40% of your required amount of daily fibre, as well as 70% of folate and 22% of iron? Chickpeas have a low glycemic index. It means that your body digests this legume slowly, which helps you feel full for long and prevents spikes in blood glucose levels.

Listed below, is the nutritional profile of a 28 gram serving of chickpeas:

  • Calories: 101
  • Carbohydrates: 17 grams
  • Fat: 1.5 grams
  • Fiber: 7.9 grams
  • Protein: 4.8 grams

Benefits of Consuming Chickpeas

There are several health benefits of consuming chickpeas. These are:

1) Reduces blood glucose levels

Reduces blood glucose levels

The American Diabetes Association recommends chickpeas as a source of fibre for people with diabetes. In a 2014 study, it was found that eating 30g of fibre every day could reduce inflammation in individuals living with type 1 diabetes. Ideally, it is recommended that adults consume up to 28.0 grams of fibre a day.
Another 2018 study found that a high fibre diet helped to lower blood sugar levels and minimized the risk of type 2 diabetes. This makes chickpeas an ideal ingredient in a diabetes meal plan.

2) Promotes Bone Health

Chickpeas promotes bone health

Chickpeas contain calcium, iron, and phosphorus; all necessary minerals that promote healthy and strong bone structure. Incorporating chickpeas into your daily diet is an excellent way of preventing osteoporosis.

3) Manages Blood Pressure

Consuming chickpeas on a regular basis can help increase your potassium levels. Potassium helps reduce high blood pressure. In fact, it is recommended that adults should consume 4,700 mg of potassium each day. Chickpeas are naturally high in this mineral and can be easily consumed to meet your daily potassium requirements. A cup of chickpeas (164g), has 474 mg of potassium.
If you’re planning to use canned chickpeas, then pay attention to the sodium level in the ingredient listing. It is always best to cook with dry chickpeas so that you can control and limit the amount of sodium you consume. It is recommended that you keep your sodium level below 2,300 each day to prevent cardiovascular disease.

4) Promotes heart health

Chickpeas promotes heart health

Chickpeas are high in B vitamins, fibre, selenium, iron, and magnesium; ingredients that support heart health. Fibre decreases the risk of developing heart disease because it lowers blood cholesterol levels. In fact, chickpeas have no cholesterol!

5) Helps combat cancer

Cancer is caused  by free radicals. These are toxic substances that accumulate in the body due to poor metabolism. As toxin levels rise, cell damage occurs, causing a variety of health issues, including cancer. Chickpeas contain antioxidants such as beta carotene and selenium. These are vital in removing free radicals. In a single cup of chickpeas, there are 6.1mcg of selenium. The recommended daily requirement of selenium for adults is 55 mcg. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that is capable of protecting the body from developing cancer. When selenium is coupled with fibre, it can help reduce your chances of developing colorectal cancer.

6) Reduces cholesterol

In a 2006 study, it was found that participants who consumed chickpeas on a regular basis had low LDL levels (low-density lipoprotein) compared to those who only ate a wheat-based diet. The researchers pointed out that the high fibre content in chickpeas was responsible for reducing bad cholesterol levels.

7) Improves mental health

Improves mental health

In a single cup of chickpeas, there is 69.7mg of choline. This is an essential mineral for the nervous system and brain function. Choline plays a vital role in learning, memory, mood regulation, metabolism, and muscle control. The daily recommended intake of choline for adults is 400 to 550mg of choline. This varies according to gender and whether you’re breastfeeding or pregnant. In addition, the selenium content in chickpeas supports thinking and memory. In fact, a study examining cognitive decline in the elderly found a decreased level of selenium.

8) Promotes regularity and digestion

Chickpeas are an excellent source of fibre. Consuming these on a daily basis helps keep you regular and promote good gut health.

9) Aids weight management

Aids weight management

If you’re trying to lose weight or stay within a healthy weight range, then chickpeas are your ally. The dietary fibre in chickpeas acts as bulking agents. This means you will feel full for a longer period of time. In addition, their high protein content also contributes to reducing your appetite and therefore limiting your caloric intake.

10) Prevents iron deficiency

Iron is an essential mineral in the body. It helps red blood cells carry and deliver oxygen to the entire body. When there is an iron deficiency present in the body, it can cause tiredness and weakness. Some life-threatening health conditions may arise due to low iron levels. Chickpeas are an excellent source of iron. When consumed with vitamin C, your body is able to absorb this mineral better.

Best Ways to Incorporate Chickpeas

You can easily include chickpeas into your diet. Listed below are two popular recipes that use this popular ingredient.

Hummus- Middle Eastern Dip

Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 60 ml of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 60 ml of tahini
  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • 30 ml of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 45 ml of water
  • paprika for garnishing

Method:

  • In a mixer or food processor, blend together chickpeas, cumin powder, tahini, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. Ensure the mixture is smooth and creamy in texture.
  • Slowly and gradually add olive oil. Keep mixing.
  • Depending on the thickness, add as much water as you like and continue to mix. Do not exceed 45 ml of water.
  • Once the ingredients are well-blended, remove into a deep and wide bowl. Garnish the hummus with some paprika and or cumin and olive oil.

Chickpea Salad

Chickpeas salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of boiled chickpeas
  • 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup of Chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup of cubed cucumber
  • 1 cup of boiled chickpeas
  • ½ sliced onion
  • ¼ cup of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Method:

  • Mix all vegetables and the chickpeas together in a deep bowl.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, mix together lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  • Pour over the cut vegetables and garnish with coriander.

Chickpeas and Weight Loss

Chickpeas and weight loss

Chickpeas are a known ingredient in combating excess weight. They are very low in calories compared to the number of nutrients they provide. If you eat low calorie, high fiber foods like chickpeas on a daily basis, you are highly likely to experience weight loss, especially when combined with some exercise. The high fiber and protein content in chickpeas promote weight loss because both the ingredients increase satiety levels.
In a weight-loss study, it was found that those people who consumed chickpeas regularly were 53% more likely to be fit with a lower body mass index. Another meta-analyses study found that consuming chickpeas every day increased weight loss by 25%.

Summary

Chickpeas are an ancient legume that is gaining much importance in modern society. Although they were first cultivated in the Middle East, chickpeas are consumed worldwide. This small bean has a delicious nutty and buttery flavor, making it an excellent ingredient in many cuisines. Chickpeas also play a vital role in promoting health and preventing diseases. Make chickpeas a part of your daily diet and stay fit for life.



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Benefits assistant HealthJoy raises $30M

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HealthJoy, a Chicago-based startup that makes it easier for employees to access their benefits, closed a $30 million series C funding round. Health Velocity Capital led the funding round, according to TechCrunch, with participation from past investors including U.S. Venture Partners, Chicago Ventures and Epic Ventures.

The company’s app directs patients to a chatbot called JOY, which answers questions about health benefits and routes requests for more information to the right specialists.

HealthJoy also offers services to help users find prescription discounts or cheaper alternatives, and review medical bills for potential errors. It also has a feature that allows members to search providers for a certain procedure, such as a hip replacement, to find high quality, lower-cost providers.  The startup recently added a new service that rewards patients for “shopping” for health services.

Technologists Justin Holland and Doug Morse-Schindler founded the company in 2014. Holland, the company’s CEO, started HealthJoy after trying to search for an affordable MRI provider under his high-deductible insurance plan, and realizing how difficult of a task it was to find one.

Holland had sold his previous startup, FreeCause, which allowed loyalty programs to reward members for their online activity. Morse-Schindler became the startup’s president, after serving as a senior director of AVG Technologies, a subsidiary of Avast that develops anti-virus software.

The startup initially focused its efforts on the individual market, where it served 60,000 members across different ACA insurance plans. In 2016, the company pivoted to focus on employer benefits — a move that appears to have worked out well for HealthJoy.

The new funding will be used to add more features to the virtual assistant, develop new services for HealthJoy and build out its partnerships. So far, HealthJoy works with 500 companies, with the goal of serving more small and medium businesses, according to TechCrunch. The company claims its services can lower healthcare costs and boost employees’ satisfaction with their benefits.

“We keep employees engaged and educated year-round, meaning fewer questions for HR and a better employee benefits experience,” HealthJoy Chief Marketing Officer Rick Ramos wrote in an email. “Our new funding will allow us to drastically improve our product and include additional intelligence into many parts of our product, including our virtual assistant. We want JOY to be more proactive and synthesize more real-time benefits information. We plan to improve every aspect of the member’s journey year-round.”

Health Velocity Capital Partner Saurabh Bhansali will join the company’s board of directors. To date, HealthJoy has raised $53 million, including a $12.5 million funding round the company closed a year ago.

 

Photo credit: ljubaphoto, Getty Images

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