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.
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.
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.
[…] 2-inch pieces 1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen, thawed) 1/2 cup purple cauliflower florets 1/2 cup chickpeas Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish Lemon wedges Instructions In a small bowl, add saffron thread […] After 15 minutes of cooking, scatter asparagus, peas, cauliflower and chickpeas on top […] the rice to absorb any remaining liquid as well as steam the peas and warm the cauliflower and chickpeas and any other ingredients added […]
[…] (preferably the fire-roasted variety), drained 2 cups short-grain brown rice* 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas 3 cups vegetable broth ⅓ cup dry white wine** or vegetable broth ½ teaspoon saffron threads […] Stir in the chickpeas, broth, wine, saffron (if using) and 1 teaspoon salt […]
[…] class) 1/4 cup water 2 tablespoons chia seeds 2 teaspoons maple syrup For the Blondies 1 can cooked chickpeas or butterbeans, drained and rinsed well 1 cup dates, soaked in warm water for about 10 minutes i […]
[…] Legs x1 bag of Couscous x1 bag of Du Puy Lentils Dried Fruit Mix Spiced Tomato Ragout x1 LATA Cod & Chickpeas in Olive Oil x1 bag of Be Well Mix (nuts, seeds, chocolate, fruit, coriander) 10 pc Rose Turkis […]
[…] Sauce & Chickpea Topping Make the roasted chickpeas: Heat the oven to 425°F. Pat the chickpeas dry with a dish towel, then place them on a sheet pan […] Roast the chickpeas until golden and crisp, about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove chickpeas from the oven and stir in the lemon zest […]
[…] United States, Fabalish creates plant-based, allergen-friendly, organic and clean-label foods from chickpeas and its byproduct aquafaba (chickpea water) […] And from the upcycled chickpeas, they’ve created the first baked and organic falafel on the market – a healthy, tasty, and clea […]
[…] brown rice chicken tortillas and salad salmon and vegetables, with or without noodles curry with chickpeas and brown rice Get more dinner recipes – you can search by type of meal and ingredient […]
[…] Chickpea and spinach curry Ingredients: •Can of chickpeas •Can of diced tomatoes •Frozen spinach •Yellow onion •Garlic •Ginger •Olive oil •Chilli flake […] Fry chickpeas in olive oil on the hot plate for 10 minutes […] Add the chickpeas and onion,garlic and ginger into the pan with the tomatoes, add the frozen spinach and mix it al […]
[…] If you do get a table, get stuck into the “Hummus Komplett” topped with tahini, za’atar, whole chickpeas and a boiled egg; and the spinach and feta shakshuka – with plenty of warm pita to clean the plates […]
Harvest Hash Code Red Goat Sweet potatoes and local veggies topped with herb aioli and a poached egg. Topped with crispy oats and greens. (Sub chickpeas and green goddess dressing to make this vegan) CA$14.00
[…] Instead of stock, this stew relies on the thick liquid from the canned chickpeas, sometimes called aquafaba […] 5 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped ½ teaspoon smoked paprika 3 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, with liquid (or about 4 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas and 1 cup cooking liquid) 2 (12-ounce) jars roasted red peppers, drained and finely chopped ( […] Stir in the chickpeas and their liquid, roasted red peppers and canned tomatoes […]
[…] 1 – 2 tortillas vegan cream cheese a handful of spinach tomato, thinly sliced a small handful of chickpeas 1 – 2 tbsp marinara sauce (or pizza, pasta sauce) SNACK #3 Banana Chocolate Pudding 1-2 Bananas […] a little bit of sweetener if necessary some granola for the top SNACK #4 Raw Falafel Mix a can of chickpeas 1/2 red onion 1 clove garlic juice of 1 lemon a handful of fresh parsley seasonings: sea salt […]
Go to Homepage We’ve rounded up our 60 best, easy dinner recipes! From grilled steak to braised chickpeas to allll the sheet pan dinners—we’ve got you covered […] Yeah, it sounds brunchy, but trust us—try it for dinner! Braised Chickpeas with Chard […]
[…] and one to drink) 1/2 cup halved and pitted Kalamata olives 1/3 cup of raisins 1 x 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 x 28 oz can crushed tomatoes 1 teaspoon lemon peel Juic […] Add the stout, olives, raisins, chickpeas, crushed tomatoes and cilantro and bring to a boil […]
[…] thats reduced on the day I am in the supermarkets Cupboards Staples for One Tinned chopped tomatoes Chickpeas Coconut milk Passata Tinned tuna Tined chopped tomatoes Pesto (red or green) Pasta (your favourit […]
[…] “For over 30 years, common pathogens in chickpeas and other legumes have been controlled by fungicides,” says Vandemark […] “Our approach looked at two different types of chickpeas – kabuli and desi,” says Vandemark […] ” Kabuli chickpeas are larger, have a clear or light beige seed coat, and are typically canned and used to make hummus […]
[…] 60g butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks 100g chicken breast fillet, sliced 40g tinned chickpeas drained and rinsed 4 spring onions, thinly sliced Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped 1 lime […] To serve, place the pumpkin, chicken, quinoa, chickpeas, pepper, coriander, lemon juice and zest in a serving bowl […]
[…] You can find vendors selling sundal(chickpeas and crispy veggies), soan pappadi(fluffy cotton-candy-like sweet), bajji (onion/plantain fritters), […] We used to sit on the floor as a family and eat a giant appalam(deep-fried lentil flour and chickpeas, spiced with pepper and chili powder) […]
[…] Dietitian Mexican Bowl, Alana Haldan, Sprouts and Krauts (shown above) One Pan Pasta with Chickpeas and Tomatoes, Melissa Altman-Traub, RDN Squash Filled with Herbed Quinoa and Cranberries, Sharo […]
[…] Butter chickpeas Serves 4-6 If you are feeling virtuous, feel free to substitute coconut milk for the coconut crea […] each of fennel seeds, ground fenugreek and ground coriander 1 tbsp garam masala 225g (8oz) dried chickpeas 1 ×
‘It’s normal for me to drink Diet Coke at the start of a 6am shift’
Working in a Coca-Cola factory means that most Coke brands are freely available to employees. I’m on my feet a lot and work up quite a thirst. The fridges on site are stocked up with everything from Fanta and Sprite to Coke and its many variants. It is totally normal for me to grab a bottle of Diet Coke at the start of a 6am shift. On a hot day I could get through five or six 500ml bottles. Lately, I’ve tried hard to replace Diet Coke with water, but I just find it so boring! Lockdown was a big help: since I’ve been shielding at home I don’t have easy access to such a large supply. Nowadays I’ll get through a couple of two-litre bottles a week. The caffeine in Diet Coke started to badly affect my stress and anxiety levels. I’ve since switched to caffeine-free Diet Coke and feel a lot better. Anonymous, Coca-Cola factory worker, London
‘The shock when I couldn’t buy Ribena was overwhelming’
We always had cheap cordials when I was growing up, as Ribena was so expensive. When I left home, I started treating myself to Ribena. I would get through the large bottles of it within a few days and refused to drink anything else. I don’t think I realised how bad my addiction was until the young people in the youth centre where I work hid it and it caused me so much anxiety – I couldn’t leave the centre until I found it. I no longer drink Ribena – the only way I could stop was to go cold turkey. I travelled to New Zealand and naively thought I’d be able to get it over there – the shock when I couldn’t was overwhelming. I had no choice, I had to drink something else. Nina, youth worker, Bristol
‘I don’t drink tea, coffee or alcohol and Diet Coke gives me a boost’
I started with Tab – the forerunner of Diet Coke, which I then moved on to when it became available. I don’t drink tea, coffee or alcohol and it gives me a boost. I have known I am addicted for as long as I can remember. As far as I can tell, the only side-effect has been the impact on my teeth. However, I have wondered about donating my body to medical science so that a lifetime of Diet Coke addiction can be assessed! I like to say that this addiction is the only thing I have in common with Donald Trump. Occasionally I have managed to go without Diet Coke but can only do it on non-working days as I get a headache and become irritable. It also makes me prone to falling asleep whenever I sit down. But nothing healthier really appeals as a replacement, so it is hard to abstain indefinitely. Anonymous, healthcare worker, London
‘Weaning myself off caffeine has been a very slow process’
In my early 20s, I could drink six to eight cans of Red Bull a day. When I got pregnant at 30, I stopped; but when my daughter was born she never slept, so I started drinking it again. About five years later, I managed to stop again but instead drank two to three bottles of Lucozade a day. When I started getting palpitations, I decided to switch to Coca-Cola; now my daughter is seven and I just drink one can of Diet Coke a day.
It has been a long journey and a very slow process of weaning myself off caffeine. I don’t drink tea or coffee, so felt I needed to get that pick-me-up from somewhere. At my worst, I would get about three hours sleep a night, drink fizzy drinks all day, then struggle to sleep again at night. Michelle, receptionist, Mansfield
‘I’d often walk miles to a 24-hour supermarket just to buy Pepsi Max’
I remember drinking cans of Coke and Lilt often as a child, but by age 12 I was drinking about a litre of Coke every day. At 14, I switched to Pepsi Max because of tooth decay caused by the sugar. From 16 onwards, I was drinking at least two litres of Pepsi Max a day, with slower tooth erosion but still some decay. Altogether, it has cost me 14 teeth. I realised the amount I was drinking was excessive a long time ago. From the age of 20 onwards, I was drinking two to six litres a day. I’d often get out of bed in the middle of the night due to cravings and walk miles to the nearest 24-hour supermarket just to buy some. The uncomfortable bloating, concerns over possible bone loss, and considerable expense (£6 a day is a lot on low income) finally got me to stop. I quit six months ago after going cold turkey. The cravings and the headaches were strong and every time I had a meal it would trigger the craving. Every time I walked past a drinks chiller I’d be so close to saying sod it, but I knew one sip would inevitably become a can, and then a bottle. Now I no longer crave Pepsi Max at all. Barry, carer, Dundee
‘The craving for a fizzy drink at meal times never leaves me’
I grew up in the 70s when people were not so aware of how bad sugar and fizzy drinks are for one’s health. The tropical weather in the country where I grew up also contributed to consumption of cold drinks, mainly Coke. I got into the habit of drinking a fizzy drink with every meal and, even after moving to England more than 20 years ago, it’s very hard for me to get rid of this habit. There was a time when I drank two cans of Diet Coke a day and believed it to be fine because they don’t contain sugar. For 10 years, I’ve been trying to avoid any sort of fizzy drink, diet or not. Sometimes I succeed and may go a few months replacing them with coconut water, but the craving, especially at meal times, never leaves me. Irene, health professional, London
‘They changed the formula in response to the sugar tax – rendering it far less appealing’
In the moment, you never consider whether an extra can is one too many. I don’t think I realised the amount of Irn-Bru I was drinking was excessive until I stopped. I have now managed to quit altogether. This was due to the drinks maker AG Barr’s response to the sugar tax; the company changed the formula and taste of the drink – rendering it far less appealing and with an odd aftertaste. Now Fanta is my soft drink of choice. Michael, student, Glasgow
‘Diet Coke is the first thing I drink in the morning and the last thing at night’
I have always been a big fan of Diet Coke – when the beast from the east hit and I only had a few cans left in the fridge, I was panicking! While others were desperate to stock up on bread and milk, I went straight for the Diet Coke aisle. I can’t go anywhere without a bottle or a can – if I go somewhere for dinner and they say: ‘We have Diet Pepsi, will that do?’ I think, no, sorry, that won’t do! Nothing tastes the same.
I drink about two litres a day and have tried to quit several times. The only times I have been successful was when I was pregnant. I actually don’t know how to get it out of my life – it’s the first thing I drink in the morning and last thing I drink at night. It makes me anxious if I’m running low. The long-term effects can’t be good and, as a nurse, I should know better. Lindsay Young, nurse, Renfrewshire
‘I was spending lots on coffee, and thought Coke Zero would be a cheaper alternative’
My addiction to Coke Zero developed during my undergraduate studies when I needed a pick-me-up but was spending too much money on coffee. I thought it would be a slightly cheaper alternative. But I ended up drinking more Coke Zero than I ever did coffee, so it was pointless. I have tried cutting down but struggle as I feel groggy if I don’t have any. I have to make sure I don’t drink it too late in the day or I struggle sleeping. Anonymous, Glasgow
“We visited World of Coca-Cola for my birthday and my kitchen is decorated in Coca-Cola colours”
I started drinking full-fat Coke in sixth form because I was too busy with extracurricular responsibilities and lessons to eat properly. The caffeine and sugar kept me going. When I tried to wean myself off it, I switched to Diet Coke. I’ve always hated still or sparkling water and I found that any sweetener other than aspartame tastes horrid – most diet drinks use sucralose. A few years ago I gave up drinking Diet Coke for February as a charity fundraiser, but since then my intake has increased and I drink between six and eight cans a day. I make special trips to buy them in bulk as it works out cheaper. I can tell when a can is getting near its best-before date as the taste changes and I can also tell the difference between Coke and Diet Coke just by smell. We visited World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta for my 29th birthday and my kitchen is decorated in Coca-Cola colours. Is it addictive? I wouldn’t say so. It’s just a preference. The difficulty is retraining your palate to enjoy different flavours, and finding another drink that has the same ease of access. Frances, teacher, Surrey
‘Everything tastes awful after catching Covid – so I’ve been able to quit Dr Pepper’
My family are avid Dr Pepper drinkers so there was always soda in the house but I didn’t really drink a worrying amount until sophomore year of high school, when I started taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses and working 30 hours a week. I did not like coffee or tea, but did not have enough energy to do everything I needed to and felt crushed by pressure. I probably drank an average of six cans a day – and it worked! I graduated top of my class from high school and maintained good grades at the University of Oklahoma while working 35 to 45 hours a week. I’m not healthy, mind you – in particular, my acne is pretty bad and although I have tried to quit numerous times, it was not until about a week ago that I went cold turkey. I was diagnosed with Covid and have been able to utilise the fact that everything tastes awful to implement my own personal Garcia effect (AKA, conditioned taste aversion) on Dr Pepper. Anonymous, student, Oklahoma City
‘When I quit, my skin would change colour very slightly’
As a child, I was allowed one glass of Coke on Sundays, as a treat. By the time we were teenagers, my brother and I had persuaded our parents to add Coke (or Tab Clear) to our grocery list. At some stage it was decided that calorie-free Diet Coke was the better way to go. Fast forward 20 years and I would drink four to six cans a day. I knew it was excessive because everyone told me so. On a couple of occasions when I quit, my skin would change colour very slightly (I am quite pale but the Coke gave me a bit of a yellow-brown undertone). I quit Diet Coke entirely at the beginning of 2020 but replaced it with Fever Tree tonic, which has sugar in it. So I quit Fever Tree at the beginning of 2021. One month in and I’m now addicted to Red Bull. Fresh drinking water is available so I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Anonymous, data analyst, Dorset
‘I can easily have a Coke with every meal’
I have loved drinking Coke since I was young, probably aged 11. Once I got through university, I realised I was gaining weight so I switched to Coke Zero. I can easily have a Coke with every meal and go through two to three litres a day. I realise it’s not the best, but I don’t drink alcohol, smoke or do drugs, so it feels like a relatively harmless vice.
Before lockdown, I had some success in cutting down – I stopped drinking Coke Zero for breakfast and switched to juice, then forced myself to drink more water during the day but I struggle to eat a full meal with just water to drink. Coke somehow “washes down” certain foods quite nicely. Sebastian Groth, auditor, London
‘I’ve become known as the Monster boy to my friends’
When I was 14 or 15, I spent my lunch money on Coca-Cola but I couldn’t tell you why it became so excessive. I remember there was a deal at the time: two 500ml bottles for £1.70. That would lead me to drink six bottles on some days. Six! I remember once forgetting to bring money for lunch and so I went without my caffeine fix all day, and threw up by the time I got home. That’s when I knew it was out of control. Yet Coke was just a gateway to Monster – I drank up to three cans a day at university. I had a bit of a ritual: I would have a Monster by my bed waiting for me, then I would wake up, drink it in the shower, get the train to uni and drink another one before I went to the library. At the beginning of 2020, I vowed to give it up – then the pandemic hit and buying cans of Monster became a weekly ritual. I still drink Monster today, although a lot less. I’ll have one can a day, sometimes two if I have a lot to do. Advertisement
I’ve become known as the Monster boy to my friends. Someone got me a Monster beanie for Secret Santa and, for my lockdown birthday, my friends all drank cans of Monster with me over Zoom to celebrate. I know that people are really disgusted by my habit. I do not like to drink it in public. I feel like I’ll be judged. William, London
‘I’ve probably spent more than £1,200 on Lucozade’
Doing my food shop one day, I just picked up Pink Lucozade Zero – and became instantly hooked. It was on Valentine’s Day last year that I realised how excessive my habit had become: my boyfriend bought me nine bottles (one litre each), and in the space of about two days I had finished them. My addiction was also highlighted during the first lockdown as I used my daily exercise to walk to the shop to pick up a litre bottle of Lucozade. Even if it was pouring with rain, I’d still go. I spent about £400 a year on my addiction, meaning that in total I’ve probably spent more than £1,200 on Lucozade. Change came during the summer when, sitting at the table with my boyfriend’s family, they all had glasses of water and I had a one-litre bottle of Lucozade – it was embarrassing. Over the past two months, I’ve managed to quit completely. Kayley Cornelius, student, Manchester
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The physiological changes that take place around a woman’s period can affect her training. Experts assess when to take it easy – and when you should go hard
When Evgenia Koroleva started learning about her menstrual cycle and the effect it was having on her, week to week, she says: “It blew my mind. Why did I know so little about my body?” A gym owner, Koroleva has since created a training programme based around an individual’s cycle, which she says will optimise results.
Hers is not the first to take the menstrual cycle into consideration when it comes to exercise. Interest has grown hugely in recent years, with elite athletes tracking physiological changes and coaches educating themselves about the effects. For the rest of us, there are apps and cycle trackers, but the area is still woefully under-researched (blame male-dominated medicine and sport).Advertisement
There are also a lot of conflicting results, while almost half of the existing studies are low quality, says Kelly Lee McNulty, a PhD student at Northumbria University, who is investigating the effects of the menstrual cycle on performance, adaptation and recovery. “While performance and training based on the menstrual cycle is such an interesting concept, and very popular at the moment, there’s not enough published high-quality evidence,” she says.
(There is even less on the impact of hormonal contraception on exercise performance, so where we refer here to the menstrual cycle, it is for women who are not on the pill or using an implant.) However, there are generalities that could be helpful for some women. Here is how your cycle may be affecting your workout.
Get to know your cycle
The 28-day cycle is split into two halves – follicular and luteal, either side of ovulation. Very broadly, taking a 28-day cycle as the textbook example, McNulty defines the most-relevant phases as early follicular (days one to five), with low oestrogen and progesterone; late follicular (days six to 12), with high oestrogen and low progesterone; and mid-luteal (days 20 to 23), with high oestrogen and progesterone. “Women are so different; we experience our menstrual cycles differently and a blanket approach is not going to work for everyone,” she says.
Collect your own data, she advises – there are numerous apps, but a notebook is fine – “and then look for patterns”. If one week you can blitz a high-intensity workout and the next you can barely make it through, it doesn’t mean your fitness has gone backwards. If your motivation is suffering, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. It could all simply be hormonal. “Then you’ve got hormone fluctuations daily, so it all becomes more complex,” McNulty says.
Try exercising through the symptoms
“There are more than 150 symptoms, like breast pain, headaches and nausea … potentially, that’s a time to decrease training if you’re not feeling it,” says McNulty. “But then it’s also been shown that moderate-intensity exercise, like yoga, is beneficial for premenstrual symptoms.” Around days three to five of your period, oestrogen starts to increase, “so you might be starting to feel better and up for exercise around that time”. Koroleva says: “Training on your period is a good way to offset your symptoms.”
Push yourself up to week three …
In the late follicular and the mid-luteal phases, oestrogen is higher. McNulty says one of its many effects is to help build muscle mass. “This is when we can really push female bodies,” says Koroleva. “For the first three weeks, we push you in terms of strength training and add cardio to it. Our bodies don’t have a huge amount of testosterone, but it rises during ovulation and this makes it an ideal time to really push, because of the energy levels.”
This is the time when you might set your personal bests and “sail through high-intensity training”, she says. However, it is not a given. “In that mid-luteal phase, progesterone rises; that has its own physiological effects, so you might not notice that difference,” she says. “It’s just being aware of what might work for you.”
There is some evidence that, when oestrogen is high, around the late follicular phase, there is an increased risk of injury, because the hormone makes ligaments and tendons more lax. For instance, an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (in the knee) may be more likely. “It’s something to be aware of, but I would never say not to train,” says McNulty. “But if you know this phase might have certain increased injury risks, you could warm up better.”
Take advantage of oestrogen
While it might make you more prone to injury, oestrogen also provides benefits. It is thought to have a positive effect on mood, “so this might increase your motivation to train,” says McNulty. “It has neuromuscular effects as well, so it can signal to increase your ability to activate your muscles. There is evidence to suggest that our ability to recover from training is improved, as oestrogen is thought to have a protective function against muscle damage.” It also reduces the inflammatory response, so it could reduce muscle soreness. “This might mean that we recover more quickly and therefore adapt to training more readily.”
Oestrogen is also thought to reduce the amount of carbohydrate the body uses as the fuel for exercise, instead burning fat. “In theory, it might be that, when oestrogen is high, your body might use more fats for energy – but, again, there are conflicting research findings,” says McNulty. There is some evidence that the metabolism speeds up towards the end of the cycle (and this may be why you get cravings for carbs). “On any weight-loss programme, the point is to put the body into a calorie deficit,” says Koroleva.
However, if you go too far, it can be counterproductive. “If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re in the second phase of your cycle, if you’re doing high-intensity training and you don’t add carbohydrates and increase your calories, your body can actually start to hold on to the weight. It’s almost counterintuitive, but, because of the hormonal changes, the calories need to increase.”
Don’t overheat in week four
In the mid-luteal phase, progesterone rises along with oestrogen. This may limit some of the effects of oestrogen, but it has its own consequences, says McNulty. “It increases your basal body temperature, so, if you’re doing an endurance sport, you might be struggling in a hot environment a little bit more in that mid-luteal phase and you might have to adopt cooling strategies.” Progesterone is also a “calming hormone”, she says. It may increase sleep, but also can affect the way the brain picks up new skills. Trying to perfect a dance routine, or change your golf technique, may be more difficult during this phase.
Take it easy
“After the third week, taper down and do more restorative exercise, such as yoga or pilates,” says Koroleva. “It’s not the time to try to beat any records or do much strength training. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s a really good time to do long walks and low-intensity training. In a world where we’re surrounded by these super high-intensity workouts and we beat our bodies into the ground, working with your cycle is a much kinder way to look after your body.”
SUBSCRIBE for new videos every week! https://www.youtube.com/user/joannaso… Ladies, WE ARE NOT MEN! Our body does not function like a MAN, we go through our monthly menstrual cycle, hence our hormones go up and down almost every week. Don’t expect to TRAIN LIKE A MAN! Don’t feel bad when you can’t push as hard on certain days but that also doesn’t mean you should just sit back and do nothing. WATCH this video through to understand the Menstrual Cycle and how we women CAN adjust our exercise routine and also food intake to match our body’s internal rhythms and even help with weight loss. Joanna Soh is a certified Personal Trainer (ACE), Women’s Fitness Specialist (NASM) and Nutrition Coach (VN), with over 8 years experience. Link to 28-Day Workout Plan According to
You can increase your carb intake slightly especially after an intense workout. 2) LUTEAL Phase – Day 14 to Day 28 – I like to call this phase the “roller coaster” phase. – this is when all the PMS symptoms start to hit: you might crave for sugar or high fat food, you have bigger appetite, you feel sluggish, you have trouble sleeping, your body retains more water, you feel bloated and you might suffer from mild cramps too. – Your body turns to FAT AS FUEL instead of carbs. – Good news, your body is now burning FAT rather than carbs or glycogen. Focus on steady pace cardio to get the most out of your workout. – This is also when the muscle breakdown increases, hence it takes longer for you to recover from your workout. So choose moderation workout that’s less intense. – You might lose your motivation BUT power through your workout, as much as possible, eat well and you WILL feel better.
We are all very different and it takes time to really understand your body. If you have this knowledge, you’re able to take advantage of the hormonal benefits and overcome the challenges by adjusting and changing your workout routine and also food intake. Again, remember this is a guideline as there is very limited research in regards to training with your menstrual cycle. Give it a try, make changes and see what works for you. __________ MUSIC Daily Beetle by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-… Artist: http://incompetech.com/
We’ve all sat through weary-eyed, leg-cramping power sessions at our desk, chasing a deadline, or busy dealing with endless tasks, emails, and meetings (now zoom meetings) back to back.
If you are one of the millions moving to working remotely in 2021, you are probably working longer hours, putting in more continual desk time, and without the daily commute, more sedentary than ever.
In a recent report released from the National Bureau of Economic Research, researchers discovered that workers are working close to an hour more per day during lockdowns than they were before the pandemic.
So, how do we navigate the new normal and restore our productivity, focus, and well-being?
The secret is to take regular breaks at work.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.” ― Anne Lamott
If you listen to the experts, breaks are essentially little “interventions” that help us gracefully and productively manage the daily grind with rationale and perspective intact.
This complete guide covers all the nitty-gritty about taking breaks at work.
You will learn the importance of taking breaks, how to take effective breaks, what to do on your daily breaks to truly relax and boost your productivity, and a step-by-step guide on how to design a system so that you can easily make breaks a regular part of your routine and stick to it.
Sounds good?Let’s dive in.
Yes, it’s tempting to just want to “power through” one more hour of work. You don’t want to take breaks because you think you can get more done. But did you?
One day you started realizing that your neck, wrist, and back are hurting, despite being an otherwise health-conscious, active lifestyle advocate.
Whether you’re an employee or project stakeholder, hours spent sitting at a desk and staring at a screen puts a strain on your productivity and health.
Take a look.
Our Bodies Suffer
There is a lot of pressure to sit in the office – it’s how you get your work done.
Now that you are probably spending more days working at home, where you don’t need to get up and walk around to talk to people. You are not walking to meetings, you don’t even need to commute.
You are more exposed to the danger of sitting too much.
Researchers have linked sitting for prolonged periods of time to a significantly higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and depression, as well as muscle and joint problems.
Toni Yancey, a professor of health services at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, describes the process: “Sitting shuts down electrical activity in the legs. It makes the body less sensitive to insulin, causes calorie-burning to plummet, and slows the breakdown of dangerous blood fats, lowering ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.”
What’s noteworthy is that:
A recent science advisory from the American Heart Association has shown that going to the gym, running, or your favorite fitness class, doesn’t cancel out the negative impact of time spent being sedentary.
Radical as it might sound, you can’t undo sitting.
While working out and fitness are important if your goal is to maintain or get in the best shape of your life, it cannot reverse the harmful effects of sitting for the rest of the day and moving very little within your office or home.
Despite all the physical damage, what happens to your brain when you don’t take breaks: Your productivity goes downhill…before you notice.
Brain scientists are very aware of the fact that prolonged work is depleting. The “fading” that we experience creates declines in mood and performance.
“We don’t know exactly what in the brain gets depleted, but when you do a cognitively demanding task, it operates as though there’s a ‘mental fuel’ that gets burned up.” – William Helton, PhD, a professor of human factors and applied cognition at George Mason University
Recent studies show that those who give in to some kind of break once an hour perform better than those who just keep at it without a break.
The Power of Taking Breaks
Many people experience “productivity breakthroughs” after going against their instincts to meet a deadline by taking a pause. We emerge refreshed and more resilient after getting up for both brain and movement breaks.
So, how do breaks help us?
Here’s a quick look at the magic taking breaks does to our brain:
Boosted creativity and problem-solving abilities
Better information retention
Prevents decision fatigue
Reevaluate goals and seeing the bigger picture
Better stress management
Besides the juicy benefits that breaks have on our brains, now what if you can double the benefits?
It’s simple – add movement to your breaks.
For those who get the least amount of physical activity, replacing a half hour of sitting time with physical activity was associated with up to a nearly 50% reduction in mortality, according to a new study from the American Cancer Society.
Breaks are a great opportunity to incorporate movement into our workdays to combat the setbacks of a sedentary lifestyle.
Take a look at the most important benefits of movement breaks:
Improve energy levels
Boost mood and relieve stress
Strengthen weakened muscles and bones
Reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
Reduces the risk of injury
Boost memory and focus
It’s pretty clear that taking breaks is a powerful tool that can make us better at what we do, feel physically better, and happier.
High-performing people understand the power of taking breaks and know how to take advantage of effective breaks to become more productive while keeping their health in check.
So, how do you harness the power of taking breaks, so that you come back fully recharged both physically and mentally?
Continue reading to find out the strategy that actually works.
The Secret to Taking Effective Breaks at Work
Although taking breaks at work might seem even harder when we are working from home and being “accessible” every waking minute, understanding how the brain works and taking the initiative to establish boundaries for effective breaks has quickly become the secret weapon to avoid burnout, improved productivity and personal well-being.
“Breaks are crucial,” says Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. “If you’re working day after day and not letting up, you will burn out.”
Understanding the Productivity Cycle
Our focus, energy, and motivation moves in “waves”.
According to Pozen’s findings, taking a 15-minute break following a productivity chunk allows our brains to better consolidate and retain information. Pozen’s findings echo the findings of research done by Tony Schwartz, the author of The Power of Full Engagement, showing that humans naturally move from full focus to fatigue every 90 minutes.
How often should I take a break? And for how long?
There are many studies that have looked at optimal break schedules. Here are some of the most popular, science-supported methods which you could integrate into a workday:
Once Every Hour
Taking a 5 to 15 minutes break at the top of every hour like clockwork can get you ahead of the 75-minute fatigue curve. Plus, a top-of-the-hour break is easy to remember and execute.
Every 75 to 90 minutes
Following the brain’s “full-focus-to-fatigue” cycle, you can ride productivity waves all the way to the end before refreshing with a break for 5 to 15 minutes.
One of the most common ways to implement a schedule with breaks. Start with a to-do list and timer. After setting your timer for 25 minutes, focus on one task at a time until the timer buzzes. You will mark what you’ve completed before taking a non-negotiable 5-minute break. Enjoy a 30-minute break for every four pomodoros.
The 52:17 Method
Work in increments of 52 minutes before 17-minute breaks.
As you can see, all of these techniques essentially follow the same pattern of riding productivity peaks, followed by small breaks – typically 5 to 15 minutes.
In doing this, we can build up new productivity cycles every 60 to 90 minutes without succumbing to the fatigue that naturally comes without breaks.
However, how often you should take a break depends on the nature of your work and how your brain functions. Everyone is different. The key is to experiment and find your own rhythm.
Take breaks The Right Way
Research shows that taking the wrong type of breaks could actually increase fatigue and steal your productivity, such as mindless snacking, online shopping, and mindlessly scrolling on social media.
It’s also tempting to do some work during your breaks, such as checking your email or the message from your manager. It’s a no-no.
If these are the only breaks you are taking, keep reading to find out how to take breaks the right way.
To reap the maximum benefits of a break, you need to give your brain a chance to relax and your body a chance to recharge.
The best practice is to incorporate activities into your breaks that bring you joy and positive vibes.
For example, a short breathing exercise during your break can help lower blood pressure and relieve stress.
9 break ideas that boost your health and productivity
Simple stretches and mobilization exercises to relax and keep your body functioning, ease stiffness from sitting too long, and prevent injuries.
(Home) office-friendly exercises to wake your sleeping muscles up, boost your energy level, and help you gain focus. Studies have shown that a moderate level of cardio activity can boost creativity and productivity for up to two hours.
A short walk outside. Despite the physical benefits, being physically detached from work, and getting some fresh air in your lungs improves your mood and lowers stress.Breathing/meditative exercise helps your body relax and is one of the most powerful ways to relax your brain and regulating your stress response.
Nap. If you are working from home, or work at a progressive company that affords you the luxury of taking a nap in the office. Take advantage of that. In several studies, a nap of as short as 10 minutes can improve your cognitive function and decrease sleepiness and fatigue. Having that afternoon slump? Nap it off. Be aware that naps that exceed 20 minutes might leave you feeling groggy and disoriented. It is best to limit your naps to 10 to 20 minutes.
Talk to someone. Chat with a colleague or a friend (who is also on a break), grab a coffee down the street, take your dog on a walk, call your mom, or play with your kids if you are a parent working from home.
Laugh. Yes, go ahead and watch some funny videos of cats. According to a recent study, laugh breaks can improve your performance.
While it can be fun to work some creative activities into breaks, the goal remains the same if you want to maximize cognitive and physical boosts:
1. Take your mind off work to give your brain a chance to truly relax;
2. Get up from your chair and move around to combat the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
The step-by-step guide to make breaks a regular part of your workday
If you’ve read this far, you probably have a pretty good idea of why you need to take breaks, what to do on your breaks and have a strong intention to do so.
Now you’re thinking, “but how do I implement it to my workday and make it a habit?”
It is surprisingly hard for most people to make the change to integrate breaks into the day, even when it’s something that they intend to achieve.
The problem is that most people fail to follow the instructions that they give themselves.
Let’s be honest, it’s way easier to sit on your chair and mindlessly scroll through your phone, OR, you could be so deep in your work that you don’t have extra mental energy to come up with stuff to do or even think about taking a break.
This is when you need a system to, sort of, automate that part of your day. It’s like having your coach showing up at your door every day at the same time to keep you accountable.
So, how do you design a system that helps you achieve this goal?
The perfect behavior-modification technique for this case is what psychologists call implementation intentions. It is a self-regulatory strategy that has been found to be particularly effective when it comes to situations where there may be immediate costs but significant long-term benefits, such as taking breaks at work.
An implementation intention supports our goal intention by setting out in advance when/where and how I will achieve this goal.
Here’s how :
Step 1: Specify your goal. For example, “I will take a break every hour at work”.
Step 2: Schedule them in your calendar (the When). Alternatively, if you prefer to work in “sprints”, set a timer on your phone or computer. You can set a timer for 30-minutes, go with the 52:17 method, or whichever time is optimal for you.
Step 3: Plan out your break activities ahead to avoid needing to “decide” what to do when it’s break time, such as “Go for a 5-minute walk at 3 pm” (the How)
Step 4: Follow the cues you have outlined in your plan
As a result, your goal will be performed automatically and efficiently, without conscious effort.
What we love the most about this technique is that it frees our cognitive resources for other brain-heavy tasks like study & work, since we don’t need to think about when to take a break and what to do for that break. It’s already planned!
Once you take the first step of planning it out, the automated system that you designed helps to remove the hesitation and deliberation when you want to take a break. It’s like putting your breaks on auto-pilot.
And…if you don’t want to go through the hassle of manually scheduling breaks into your workday, or waste your mental energy on coming up with what to do for your breaks, there are tools that are designed to make your life easier.
“Are there any tools that can help me take breaks?”
We are glad that you asked. Yes, there are.
At StretchMinder, we are obsessed with great tools that make life easier. After all, that’s what we believe what technology should be – making people’s lives easier.
Here are 7 hand-picked tools that help you take breaks:
StretchMinder – A unique blend of break reminder and 7-minute workout. From putting your breaks on auto-pilot with pre-scheduled breaks to providing guided activity routines including Movement, Breathing & Walking exercises, the app takes care of it all with just a few clicks. It is perfect for those who want the easiest way to build a habit of taking breaks and moving more throughout the day.
Focus To-Do– A app that brings Pomodoro Technique and To-Do List into one place, you can capture and organize tasks into your to-do lists, start focus timer and focus on work & study, set reminders for important tasks and errands, check the time spent at work.
Focus Booster – A simple and lightweight timer that automatically records each session. The app features a Pomodoro timer, a mini timer, customizable session lengths, report exports, and manual time entry.
Flow Time – A Chrome Extension to boost your productivity. It works as a Pomodoro-like timer & website blocker that boosts your productivity by making your mind go into the state of flow faster.
Google – If you want to keep things simple, just type “set a timer for X minutes” into Google and set your timer.
Your calendar – Schedule your break slots and set reminders on your calendar to repeat every day.
Your phone – Set a timer with the native timer tool and repeat every day diligently.
On the surface, Eric Lefkofsky’s Tempus sounds much like every other AI-powered personalized medicine company. “We try to infuse as much data and technology as we can into the diagnosis itself,” Lefkofsky says, which could be said by the founder of any number of new healthcare companies.. But what makes Tempus different is that it is quickly branching out, moving from a focus on cancer to additional programs including mental health, infectious diseases, cardiology and soon diabetes. “We’re focused on those disease areas that are the most deadly,” Lefkofsky says.
Now, the billionaire founder has an additional $200 million to reach that goal. The Chicago-based company announced the series G-2 round on Thursday, which includes a massive valuation of $8.1 billion. Lefkofsky, the founder of multiple companies including Groupon, also saw his net worth rise from the financing, from an estimated $3.2 billion to an estimated $4.2 billion.
Tempus is “trying to disrupt a very large industry that is very complex,” Lefkofsky says, “we’ve known it was going to cost a lot of money to see our business model to fruition.”
In addition to investors Baillie Gifford, Franklin Templeton, Novo Holdings, and funds managed by T. Rowe Price, Lefkofsky, who has invested about $100 million of his own money into the company since inception, also contributed an undisclosed amount to the round. Google also participated as an investor, and Tempus says it will now store its deidentified patient data on Google Cloud.
“We are particularly attracted to companies that aim to solve fundamental and complex challenges within life sciences,” says Robert Ghenchev, a senior partner at Novo Holdings. “Tempus is, in many respects, the poster child for the kind of companies we like to support.”
Tempus, founded by Lefkofsky in 2015, is one of a new breed of personalized cancer diagnostic companies like Foundation Medicine and Guardant Health. The company’s main source of revenue comes from sequencing the genome of cancer patients’ tumors in order to help doctors decide which treatments would be most effective. “We generate a lot of molecular data about you as a patient,” Lefkofsky says. He estimates that Tempus has the data of about 1 in 3 cancer patients in the United States.
But billing insurance companies for sequencing isn’t the only way the company makes money. Tempus also offers a service that matches eligible patients to clinical trials, and it licenses de-identified patient data to other players in the oncology industry. That patient data, which includes images and clinical information, is “super important and valuable,” says Lefkofsky, who adds that such data sharing only occurs if patients consent.
At first glance, precision oncology seems like a crowded market, but analysts say there is still plenty of room for companies to grow. “We’re just getting started in this market,” says Puneet Souda, a senior research analyst at SVB Leerink, “[and] what comes next is even larger.” Souda estimates that as the personalized oncology market expands from diagnostics to screening, another $30 billion or more will be available for companies to snatch up. And Tempus is already thinking ahead by moving into new therapeutic areas.
While it’s not leaving cancer behind, Tempus has branched into other areas of precision medicine over the last year, including cardiology and mental health. The company now offers a service for psychiatrists to use a patient’s genetic information to determine the best treatments for major depressive disorder.
In May, Lefkofsky also pushed the company to use its expertise to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The company now offers PCR tests for Covid-19, and has run over 1 million so far. The company also sequences other respiratory pathogens, such as the flu and soon pneumonia. As with cancer, Tempus will continue to make patient data accessible for others in the field— for a price. “Because we have one of the largest repositories of data in the world,” says Lefkofsky, “[it is imperative] that we make it available to anyone.”
Lefkofsky plans to use capital from the latest funding round to continue Tempus’ expansion and grow its team. The company has hired about 700 since the start of the pandemic, he says, and currently has about 1,800 employees. He wouldn’t comment on exact figures, but while the company is not yet profitable he says Tempus has reached “significant scale in terms of revenue.”
And why is he so sure that his company’s massive valuation isn’t over-inflated? “We benefit from two really exciting financial sector trends,” he says: complex genomic profiling and AI-driven health data. Right now, Lefkofsky estimates, about one-third of cancer patients have their tumors sequenced in three years. Soon, he says, that number will increase to two-thirds of patients getting their tumors sequenced multiple times a year. “The space itself is very exciting,” he says, “we think it will grow dramatically.” Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.
I am the assistant editor of healthcare and science at Forbes. I graduated from UC Berkeley with a Master’s of Journalism and a Master’s of Public Health, with a specialty in infectious disease. Before that, I was at Johns Hopkins University where I double-majored in writing and public health. I’ve written articles for STAT, Vice, Science News, HealthNewsReview and other publications. At Forbes, I cover all aspects of health, from disease outbreaks to biotech startups.
To impact the nearly 1.7 million Americans who will be newly diagnosed with cancer this year, Eric Lefkofsky, co-founder and CEO of Tempus, discusses with Matter CEO Steven Collens how he is applying his disruptive-technology expertise to create an operating system to battle cancer. (November 29, 2016)