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NEWS

Mental health coaching startup Ginger raises $50M

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Ginger, a digital health startup that lets users chat with a mental health coach, raised $50 million in funding in a series D round. Advance Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners led the funding round, with participation from Cigna Ventures, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, and LinkedIn Executive Chairman Jeff Weiner.

David ibnAle, a founding partner with Advance Venture Partners, and Steve Kraus, a partner with Bessemer Venture Partners, will both join Ginger’s board. To date, the company has raised $120 million.

The San Francisco-based startup connects users with coaches through a text-based chat. They can’t provide the same services as a therapist, but they can send users exercises and encourage them to pursue good sleeping habits and meditation, for example.

For patients who would benefit from more care, Ginger can connect them to a video chat with a healthcare provider. The company contracts with psychiatrists and therapists that then work with its coaches.

Like many telehealth startups, Ginger has seen a surge in visits since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the first week of July, it saw a 125% increase in use of its coaching service compared to its averages before the pandemic.

“The goal of this system is to solve for the supply-demand imbalance that exists in mental health,” Ginger CEO Russell Glass said in a phone interview. “Even pre-Covid, there are far more people that have a need that can access it today. It can take weeks to months.”

The service is currently only available to users whose employer or health plan include Ginger as a covered benefit. The company says it has 200 clients, including Delta Air Lines, Sanofi and Chegg. Its insurance partnerships include Optum Behavioral Health, Anthem California and Aetna Resources for Living.

Ginger was initially created in 2011 by two MIT researchers, Anmol Madan and Karan Singh, who started off with the idea of using cell phone activity to predict users’ mental health. For example, if someone was depressed, they might not communicate with others like they normally do, or their daily patterns of going to the work, the gym or the grocery store might change. Novant Health, Kaiser Permanente and 20 other health systems partnered on this early concept.

Since then, the company has pivoted to focus more on providing health coaching and therapy services.  It still uses information “for proprietary analysis and development of personalized behavioral profiles,” according to its privacy policy.

Ginger is one of a number of startups providing mental health services using digital tools. Competitor Lyra Health raised $75 million  earlier this year, and struck a partnership with Starbucks. And UnitedHealth’s Optum subsidiary was reportedly planning to acquire mental health startup AbleTo for $470 million.

Photo credit: Microne, Getty Images

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HEALTH

7 Health Reasons Why Ginger Should Be a Mandatory Part of Your Diet

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Known for its spicy, pungent taste, the ginger stem is one that is found in almost every household within the Indian and Chinese borders. It can elevate the entire flavor profile of a dish while also providing a range of health benefits. While the use of ginger within the Indian and Chinese cuisine can be traced back to the olden times, it wasn’t until the 1st century CE, that this spice made its grand entry into other cuisines, starting with the Mediterranean.

A fun fact about the ginger plant is that most people refer to the bulb as the root when in actuality, it is the stem of the plant that is usually added to Indian food. Today, India is one of the world’s largest ginger producers and produces around 385.33 thousand tons annually. 

Table of Contents

Nutritional Value of Ginger 

For a better understanding of the nutritional value that ginger contains, mentioned below is the nutritional value chart of 1 tablespoon/1 inch piece of ginger: 

  • Calories – 4.8 
  • Carbohydrates – 1.07 grams
  • Proteins – 0.11 grams
  • Dietary Fibre – 0.12 grams
  • Fat – 0.5 grams

In addition to the above division, ginger is also revered for the number of vitamins and minerals that it contains. These include: 

  • Iron 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Phosphorus
  • Folate 
  • Niacin 
  • Vitamin B3 
  • Vitamin B6 
  • Potassium 
  • Magnesium 
  • Zinc
  • Riboflavin 

7 Health Benefits of Ginger 

Since ancient times, Indians have used ginger to treat several conditions ranging from the common cold to sore throat and stomach cramps. Today, hundreds of studies have proven that the health benefits of ginger expand beyond one’s basic ailments. Some of the top health benefits of ginger include:

1. Alleviates Stomach Issues

While ginger has always been used to treat people with digestion issues and stomach pain, there is no medical research to support its medicinal properties. Truth be told, stomach pains are the least of what ginger can help with. It can also be used to ease nausea and reduce the vomiting that usually occurs during pregnancy and after medical treatments such as surgeries and chemotherapy. 

Moreover, it can also relieve period pains, and today, doctors are prescribing it alongside basic period pain reliever drugs like Advil. To support this, a clinical trial was conducted by Giti Ozgoli. At the end of this trial, it was proven that women who ingested ginger capsules four times a day, had the same level of relief as women who ingested drugs four times a day. 

2.Cures Common Cold 

Ginger has always been the number one home remedy for the common cold, and a study conducted in 2013 by Jung San Chang and team, has affirmed its therapeutic capacity. Through this study, it was found that eating fresh ginger could strengthen the respiratory system of the individual and protect them from respiratory viruses like the common cold.

3. Improves Oral Hygiene

Gingerols, an active compound present in ginger, is known for protecting the mouth and preventing the growth of oral bacteria. The growth and spread of this bacteria in the mouth could cause the development of periodontal disease, which is a serious gum disease. Not only does ginger eradicate the bacteria but it also brightens your teeth.

4. Fights Inflammation 

The essential oils present in ginger act as anti-inflammatories and fight against infections that cause stomach inflations. This makes it a great replacement for different drugs that could cause several side effects. 

5. Great For Reducing Blood Sugar Levels

In a study published in 2014, it was proven that individuals with type 2 diabetes who took 1600 mg of ginger powder daily for 12 weeks reported a drop in their total cholesterol and triglycerides while also improving their insulin sensitivity. This means that not only will ginger lower the risk of you developing type 2 diabetes but it will also work towards better management of type 2 diabetes. 

6. Helps Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Ginger is considered to be the powerhouse of antioxidants, and various studies have proven that the addition of ginger to one’s diet can effectively reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is a free radical build-up in the body. Free radicals are toxic substances that are formed by the body’s metabolism, along with different factors. If not eradicated, this build-up could cause cellular damage which could eventually lead to cancer. When ginger is introduced to the diet of the individual, it helps eliminate this build-up and thereby reduces the risk of developing cancer.

7. Helps Soothe Sore and Tired Muscles

While ginger doesn’t act as a miracle cure for your tired muscles, it does work towards soothing the pain in the long run. Studies have found that individuals who included ginger as a part of their daily diets were less likely to experience tired muscles the next day as compared to people without ginger in their diets. 

Healthy Ways to Add Ginger to Your Diet

As you can see, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose when it comes to adding ginger to your everyday meal routine and to help you out, here are two healthy ways to add ginger to your daily diet:

1. Ginger Tea

Ingredients:

  • A chunk of ginger sliced into 1/4th inch pieces
  • 1 cup of water 
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of loose tea

Method: 

  • Add the ginger, water, tea, and the fresh mint to a saucepan placed over a high flame. Once it starts to simmer, reduce the heat to a low flame and let it continue to simmer for 5 minutes (If you want a strong flavor, simmer the water for 10 minutes).
  • Once the tea has finished simmering, remove the pot from the flame and run the tea through a sieve.
  • Pour the desired amount into your mug and stir in a teaspoon of honey and serve.

2. Paneer with Sweet Ginger Sauce

Ingredients: 

  • 250 gm fresh paneer, cut in 1-inch squares
  • 1 cm piece of sliced ginger
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • ½ tsp dried chili flakes
  • Cooked rice (to serve)

The Marinade

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method: 

  • Using a toothpick, create a few holes in the paneer and cut it into bite-sized cubes.
  • In a bowl, add all the ingredients needed for marination and mix.
  • Add the paneer to the marinade and set it aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Over a high flame, add half of the oil to a pan and heat until it starts smoking. Once done, add the ginger and stir fry for a few seconds. To this, add the spinach leaves and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add a little water to this mixture and cook for another 2 minutes. Once the leaves wilt and the stems get slightly cooked (they should still have a little crunch to it), add a little salt and pepper to it and transfer it to a plate.
  • Add the rest of the oil to the pan. When the oil begins smoking, add in the marinated paneer pieces and stir fry till evenly browned. Add the remaining marinade. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and let the gravy simmer and reduce. Sprinkle the chili flakes and spinach to this and toss.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Summary

Ginger is quite literally the spice of life and can not only boost the flavor of your food but also improve your immunity. From treating muscle and joint pain, cold and flu symptoms, stomach pain, menstrual cramps, to skin burns, ginger is one ingredient that is beneficial in curing most ailments. Adding ginger into your daily foods will never be a disappointment when it comes to keeping diseases at bay, strengthening your immunity, and maintaining overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can ginger help you ingest food?

A. Yes, Ginger stimulates saliva secretion and helps with digestion.

Q. Is it Safe to eat ginger when you’re pregnant?

A. Yes in very low doses (1 gram/day) and natural form, ginger is safe to consume in pregnancy.

Q. Is adding ginger to your breakfast shake enough for your daily intake?

A. Yes, but it also depends on what benefits we are looking for, in general, the recommended intake of ginger in its natural form is about 4 grams.

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FOOD

Vegetarian and Vegan Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe

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Recipe by me, photos by Rikki Snyder.

I know this is very uncool of me, but I love canned cranberry sauce. Love it! When Thanksgiving is over and it’s on clearance, I always buy a few cans. I love the satisfying PLLLLOP! it makes as it comes out of the can and I love how it stands up on its own and how you can carve it up into slices, just like a turkey. It is a thing of beauty, cranberry sauce is.

Frozen Cranberries
But just because I enjoy the canned stuff, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate homemade cranberry sauce too. It’s kind of like apples and oranges, though. Two different things! And I love them for different reasons!

Now, if you haven’t made your own cranberry sauce before, you might be thinking that it’s really complicated and not something you’d be able to do in your own kitchen. That’s what I used to think, anyway. But cranberry sauce is one of those magical things that seems like it should be really difficult, but it’s way easier than you’d think. Seriously, guys, if you have the skillset required to open up a can of soup and heat it on the stove, you can make cranberry sauce. I’m pretty sure if he had thumbs, my one-eyed cat could make cranberry sauce.

Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce Ingredients
So make your own cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving this year!

I got the idea for this recipe from Smedette’s Amaretto Cranberry Sauce. Amaretto is not something I usually have on hand and, being cheap, I didn’t want to buy it just for one recipe. But she mentioned that you could use ginger ale instead and since I’m a big fan of ginger, that seemed like a good idea to me.

Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce
The best part about making your own cranberry sauce is the cranberries popping as you cook them. Yes, they pop! And if you think the PLLLLOP! of cranberry sauce exiting a can is satisfying, just wait till you hear cranberries burst open! Because cranberries are naturally full of pectin (which is released when they pop), you don’t need to add anything to make the sauce jelly-like—it happens on its own.

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Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce

Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Homemade cranberry sauce is so easy to make! This recipe is flavored with ginger beer and fresh orange juice.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup ginger beer or ale
  • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp orange zest

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring often and using the back of a wooden spoon to smash cranberries against side of pan.
  3. Remove from heat; sauce will thicken as it cools.

Notes

For a strong ginger flavor, use an extra-spicy ginger ale or beer. Alternately, you can use a weaker ginger ale and throw in a few slices of ginger as the sauce cooks. Be sure to remove them before serving, though!

About

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.



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VIDEO

How I Lost Belly Fat In 7 Days: No Strict Diet No Workout!

How to get rid of your lower belly pooch? Are you familiar with the situation when you want to put on some item of clothing hanging in the back of your closet, but something holds you back from it? Your belly! This problem can be solved. If you wanna know how to do it just watch our new video!

TIMESTAMPS:
What to do to reduce bloating 1:56
How to get rid of water weight 3:40
How to change your lifestyle and reconsider your diet 5:24
Music: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music

SUMMARY:
– Fat isn’t always the culprit when it comes to extra inches around the midsection. If you’ve just recently noticed that you’re not fitting into your clothes the way you did not so long ago, it’s more likely to be a result of bloating and water weight.
– Bloating is definitely not fat. It’s air or gas that collects in your gut and causes the stomach to feel tight, full, and swollen.
– Consuming more ginger is another bloat-reducing trick. You can drink it as a tea or eat it fresh.
– Much sodium (which is the stuff that’s in salt) causes the body to retain more water.
– Your biggest ally when it comes to reducing water weight is…water! Surprising, right? But it’s true; the more water you drink, the less liquid builds up in your body!
– Carbonated drinks make you bloated and gassy.
– The lifestyle changes were a no-brainer. Instead of the elevator, you should take the stairs; instead of parking near the entrance to some place, you should park further away and walk; instead of sitting in front of the TV all evening, you should go for short 15 to 30-minute walks.

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