Surprising Side Effects of Eating Chickpeas, According to Science

Roasted chickpeas

If you’re a vegetarian or try to eat plant-based most of the time, you’re likely familiar with chickpeas. This high-protein legume is part of the ‘bean’ family and is a tasty component of many recipes. In just one cup, eating chickpeas offers your body 10 to 15 grams of protein, 9 to 12 grams of fiber, 4 grams of fat, and 34 to 45 grams of carbohydrates. In short: they’re a powerhouse of nutrients.

They can be served soft or crunchy, salty or slightly sweet, and they still offer lots of vitamins and minerals. When you include chickpeas in your meal planning, you’ll give your body a wellness boost. Pay attention to how you feel after eating chickpeas. If you start to have any sort of stomach issues or other symptoms, consult your doctor. Though most people enjoy the taste and benefits of these bite-sized legumes, some may not digest them well.

From what creates addicting hummus to the perfect addition on top of a salad or warm bowl, chickpeas are a mostly healthy addition to your balanced diet. Here, we explore the side effects of eating chickpeas, including the good and the not-so-good. And for even more healthy tips be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

They help with digestion.

Fiber is an essential part of digestion, and yet, some people struggle to get enough of it every day. Luckily, chickpeas soar in this category, particularly with a high dose of soluble fiber called raffinose. This helps you to digest your food more slowly since the good kind of bacteria breaks down the raffinose. Also, bowel movements might be more comfortable and more frequent, according to one study about chickpeas.

Here are 9 Warning Signs You’re Not Eating Enough Fiber.

They can help lower cholesterol.

For optimum vitality and energy, it’s essential to manage your cholesterol. How come? This stat can contribute to heart disease, obesity, strokes, and other serious illnesses. Because chickpeas are packed with soluble fiber, it improves our gut health and thus, lowers our cholesterol levels.

Along with chickpeas, here are 17 Foods That Lower Cholesterol.

They may lower your cancer risk.

Our bodies are impressive things, able to fight disease, create organs during pregnancy and protect us against viruses, environmental factors, and more. When we feed our body nutrient-rich foods, like eating chickpeas, it’s like giving ourselves a helping hand. In fact, when we consume chickpeas, our bodies produce ‘butyrate,’ a short-chain fatty acid. Some studies have shown this fatty acid can fight sick and/or dying cells. Another study goes a step further and says this could lower our overall risk for colorectal cancer!

They give you stronger bones.

Like many other legumes, chickpeas are packed with fiber, magnesium, and calcium. These present many wonders for our body, but one of the most significant is building stronger healthier bones.

Canned chickpeas should be eaten within a year.

As with anything that’s packaged from a manufacturer, canned chickpeas often contain an added preservative to ensure freshness and taste. Though this doesn’t pose a risk most of the time, in some cases, the metal could be problematic. One study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that sometimes, the cans or lids can rust and leak into our food. That’s why it’s best to store canned goods in a dry, dark place and consume them within one year of purchase.

Be careful of botulism.

Though the risk for contracting botulism from canned goods is very low, it’s still there, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Botulism is common when someone cans food at home, and the canning process wasn’t done properly. This serious illness is rare and is caused by bacteria that disrupt the nervous system. Sometimes, when canned foods aren’t stored properly, this bacteria can thrive, particularly in low-salt, low-oxygen, and low-sugar solutions, like chickpeas.

They’re only healthy if you don’t overdo it.

Since chickpeas are healthy, you can have as much as you’d like, right? Not so much. While they are a source of protein, fiber, iron, and zinc, they can also be turned into various snacks and meals that rack up the calories and fat components. Two examples are hummus and falafel, both of which should be eaten in moderation.

They may not be gluten-free—even if they say they are.

If you pay attention to the packaging on chickpeas in Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and any other grocery store, you’ll notice ‘gluten-free’ isn’t printed on their label. But, since legumes don’t contain legumes or other sources of gluten, shouldn’t that messaging be apparent? The reason manufacturers shy away from this language is due to the risk of cross-contamination. Some preserves could be derived from grains, so to be on the safe side, they don’t call it a gluten-free food.

So if you find yourself with a can of chickpeas and you’re ready to reap the benefits of this nutritional superstar, check out our list of 29 Healthy Chickpea Recipes.

Source: Surprising Side Effects of Eating Chickpeas, According to Science | Eat This Not That

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This Inexpensive Action Lowers Hospital Infections And Protects Against Flu Season

Harvard Medical School graduate and lecturer, Stephanie Taylor, is something of an Indiana Jones of medicine. She’s a determined scientist who can’t seem to sit still. Along with a resume full of accolades and publications, she’s a skydiver with 1,200 jumps. She solves haunting medical mysteries. “Anything that seems scary, I say I need to learn more about that,” she explained in a recent interview

While practicing pediatric oncology at a major teaching hospital, Taylor wondered why so many of her young patients came down with infections and the flu, despite the hospital’s herculean efforts at prevention. Her hunch: the design and infrastructure of the building contributed somehow.

Dr. Taylor embarked on a quest to find out if she was right. First, the skydiving doctor made a career jump: She went back to school for a master’s in architecture, and then began research on the impact of the built environment on human health and infection. Ultimately, she found a lost ark.

She and colleagues studied 370 patients in one unit of a hospital to try to isolate the factors associated with patient infections. They tested and retested 8 million data points controlling for every variable they could think of to explain the likelihood of infection. Was it hand hygiene, fragility of the patients, or room cleaning procedures? Taylor thought it might have something to do with the number of visitors to the patient’s room.

While all those factors had modest influence, one factor stood out above them all, and it shocked the research team. The one factor most associated with infection was (drum roll): dry air. At low relative humidity, indoor air was strongly associated with higher infection rates. “When we dry the air out, droplets and skin flakes carrying viruses and bacteria are launched into the air, traveling far and over long periods of time. The microbes that survive this launching tend to be the ones that cause healthcare-associated infections,” said Taylor. “Even worse, in addition to this increased exposure to infectious particles, the dry air also harms our natural immune barriers which protect us from infections.”

Since that study was published, there is now more research in peer-reviewed literature observing a link between dry air and viral infections, such as the flu, colds and measles, as well as many bacterial infections, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding more research. Taylor finds one of the most interesting studies from a team at the Mayo Clinic, which humidified half of the classrooms in a preschool and left the other half alone over three months during the winter. Influenza-related absenteeism in the humidified classrooms was two-thirds lower than in the standard classrooms—a dramatic difference. Taylor says this study is important because its design included a control group: the half of classrooms without humidity-related intervention.

Scientists attribute the influence of dry air to a new understanding about the behavior of airborne particles, or “infectious aerosol transmissions.” They used to assume the microbes in desiccated droplets were dead, but advances in the past several years changed that thinking. “With new genetic analysis tools, we are finding out that most of the microbes are not dead at all. They are simply dormant while waiting for a source of rehydration,” Taylor explained. “Humans are an ideal source of hydration, since we are basically 60% water. When a tiny infectious particle lands on or in a patient, the pathogen rehydrates and begins the infectious cycle all over again.”

These findings are especially important for hospitals and other health settings, because dry air is also associated with antibiotic resistance, which can devastate whole patient populations. Scientists now believe resistant organisms do not develop only along the Darwinian trajectory, where mutated bacteria produce a new generation of similarly mutated offspring that can survive existing antibiotics. Resistant pathogens in infectious aerosols do not need to wait for the next generation, they can instantly share their resistant genes directly through a process called horizontal gene transfer.

According to her research, and subsequent studies in the medical literature, the “sweet spot” for indoor air is between 40% and 60% relative humidity. An instrument called a hygrometer, available for about $10, will measure it. Every hospital, school, and home should have them, according to Taylor, along with a humidifier to adjust room hydration to the sweet spot.

Operating rooms, Taylor notes, are often kept cooler than other rooms to keep gown-wearing surgical staff comfortable. Cool air holds less water vapor than warm air, so condensation can more easily occur on cold, uninsulated surfaces. Consequently, building managers often turn humidifiers off instead of insulating cold surfaces. This quick fix can result in dry air, and Taylor urges hospitals to bring the operating room’s relative humidity up, even when it is necessary, to maintain a lower temperature. Taylor’s research suggests this reduces surgical site infections.

Taylor travels the country speaking with health care and business groups to urge adoption of the 40%–60% relative humidity standard. And she practices what she preaches. “My husband has ongoing respiratory problems and had at least one serious illness each winter. Ever since we started monitoring our indoor relative humidity and keeping it around 40%, even when using our wood stove, he has not been sick. Our dogs also love it because they do not get static electricity shocks when being petted in the wintertime!”

The bad news is that it takes on average of 17 years for scientific evidence to be put into medical practice, according to a classic study. The good news is that Taylor is on the case, and she’s on a crusade against the destruction of bacteria and viruses. She’s not waiting 17 years. Jock, start the engine.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I run an organization called The Leapfrog Group with a membership of highly impatient business leaders fed up with problems with injuries, accidents, and errors in hospitals. I can’t stand the sight of blood but I’ve worked in healthcare over 20 years, including a rural hospital system, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s health policy office, and the National League for Nursing. Follow me on twitter: @leahbinder.

Source: This Inexpensive Action Lowers Hospital Infections And Protects Against Flu Season

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The flu season in the U.S. has already claimed a number of lives in what the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has called one of most severe flu seasons in nearly a decade. “People often forget that tens of thousands of Americans will die each year from influenza infection; the vast majority of those who die are those who have underlying medical comorbidities,” says Dr. Pritish Tosh, an infectious diseases specialist at Mayo Clinic. “They have heart disease or lung disease, and influenza tips them over and they end up dying from their underlying medical comorbidity, or chronic illness.” More health and medical news on the Mayo Clinic News Network http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/

How Many Extra Calories Are You Getting From Food At Work – Bruce Y. Lee

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Apparently a fair number of people take a lot of %#$% at work and eat it too.

Yesterday at the Nutrition 2018 meeting in Boston, Stephen Onufrak, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), presented what he described in a press release as “the first national study to look at the food people get at work.” Nutrition 2018 is the American Society of Nutrition’s annual meeting. Onufrak also indicated that “our results suggest that the foods people get from work do not align well with the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” This is a polite way of saying nutritionally some of it may be %#$%.

For the study, Onufrak and his colleagues analyzed data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey (FoodAPS), administered to a nationally representative sample of American households. The data included what food and beverages 5,222 employed adults had indicated they had purchased and “acquired” for free at work over a 7-day period.

During the week, 8% of respondents had purchased food or beverages at work during the week, and 17% had acquired it for free. Those of you skilled in the art of acquiring food for free know that potential sources include the communal coffee machine, catering for meetings, birthdays and other celebrations, and that person or persons in the office for whom baking is a hobby or emotional outlet.

Free food may sound good but it accounted for 71% of all of the calories acquired at work. (Those who got food or beverages at work, got an average of 1277 calories from work). Also, food from work, whether purchased or obtained for free, tended to be “high in empty calories, sodium, and refined grains and low in whole grains and fruit.” And surprise! The leading foods were “pizza, soft drinks, cookies/brownies, cakes and pies, and candy.” Not exactly broccoli florets and kale.

Thus, with all the pizzas and pies around, what this study suggest is that you may want to shut your pie (you know what) at work. There are a lot of distractions around you such as the conversations that you are having, the other people that are walking around, the cat videos on your computer screen, and oh, of course, the work that you have to do. You may not realize or be keeping track of the extra calories, salt, fat, sugar, and other bad stuff that is going into your mouth.

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Remember, you spend a lot of your waking hours (and in some cases sleeping hours) at work. Thus, workplace food can really affect your diet. What, then, do you do besides convincing the baker in your office to find a different emotional outlet? Here are some possibilities:

  • Don’t talk to or interact with anyone: You can reduce your chances of getting free food by hissing at everyone when they see you. Of course, this could have other negative consequences.
  • Eat selectively: When food comes around, pay attention to its nutritional content.
  • Don’t position yourself close to food: If your desk is in the office kitchen, then that not only is a bit odd (assuming that you don’t do kitchen-related work) but also makes you more likely to eat unconsciously.
  • Convince your workplace to bring or offer healthier options: It may not seem appealing to be known as “that kale guy who took our pizza away” or the woman who “made the workplace grapes again instead of cakes the workplace again.” But in the long run people may thank you.
  • Be careful about drinking at work: Not just drinking alcohol but anything sugar-sweetened. Beverages can be a prominent source of empty calories and sugar.
  • Eat when you are not at work: Don’t regularly rely on free food for your meals.
  • Pack and bring your food: This requires some time, planning, and organization. That’s why fast food is called fast food. One possibility is to form a “foodpool” with some co-workers and take turns preparing food for each other. Just make sure that your “foodpool” doesn’t have more than a hundred people because it may be overwhelming when it is your day to bring the food.
  • Scout out places around the workplace that serve healthy food: This could also get you to walk around more.

Finally, keep in mind, you often get what you pay for nutritionally. Workplaces may try to save money by getting cheaper and more convenient foods and beverages, which tend to be highly processed and higher in salt, sugar, fat, and artificial ingredients. You may still be able to find healthy food at work but may have to work at it.

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