Thursday November 23, 2017

Spinach intake can Boost Sports Performance, says Study

Intake of nitrates, typically found in spinach, can boost sports performance particularly at high altitudes with low oxygen conditions

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Spinach, wikimedia
  • Nitrate, commonly found in green leafy vegetables like spinach, is important for the functioning of the human body, especially during exercise
  • This is probably the first study to demonstrate that a simple nutritional supplementation strategy, i.e. oral nitrate intake, can impact on training-induced changes in muscle fibre composition
  • This leafy plant spinach is also full of protein, Vitamins B, Calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids

London, October 6, 2016: Intake of nitrates, typically found in spinach, can boost sports performance particularly at high altitudes with low oxygen conditions, a study has found.

Nitrate, commonly found in green leafy vegetables like spinach, is important for the functioning of the human body, especially during exercise.

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The study showed that nitrate supplementation in conjunction with sprint interval training (SIT) — short, high intensity exercise — in low oxygen conditions could enhance sport performance.

For the study, a research team from the University of Leuven in Belgium examined 27 moderately trained participants. They were given nitrate supplements ahead of SIT, which took the form of short but intense cycling sessions three times a week.

Further, to assess differences in performance in different conditions, they included workouts in normal oxygen conditions and in hypoxia conditions, which are low oxygen levels such as those found in high altitudes.

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After five weeks, the muscle fibre composition changed with the enhanced nitrate intake when training in low oxygen conditions.

“This is probably the first study to demonstrate that a simple nutritional supplementation strategy, i.e. oral nitrate intake, can impact on training-induced changes in muscle fibre composition,” said Peter Hespel, Professor at the University of Leuven.

Athletes participating in sports competitions require energy production in conditions with limited amounts of oxygen.

In these conditions, performing intense workouts requires high input of fast-oxidative muscle fibres to sustain the power.

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Enhancing these muscle fibre types through nutritional intake could very well boost the performance, the study said.

“It would now be interesting to investigate whether addition of nitrate-rich vegetables to the normal daily sports diet of athletes could facilitate training-induced muscle fibre type transitions and maybe in the long term also exercise performance,” Hespel said.

The observations were published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology. (IANS)

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Attention! Your Heart May be at Risk of an Infection Due to High Manganese Consumption

According to researchers, manganese inactivates a key line of defence against pathogens: the innate immune system's reactive oxygen burst

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Research bodies estimate that the number of fragments of dead cells in the bloodstream increase with higher levels of pollution. Pixabay

New York, September 23, 2017 : Higher intake of dietary manganese – an essential mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts — could lead to infection of the heart by a bacterium, researchers warned.

Staphylococcus aureus (“staph”) is the leading cause of bacterial endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of the heart chamber and heart valves) and the second most frequent cause of bloodstream infections.

As per the study, reported in the journal Cell Host and Microbe, most of the mice that consumed a high manganese diet — about three times more manganese than normal — died after infection with staph.

The researchers, led by Eric Skaar, professor at the Vanderbilt University in the US, found that excess manganese inactivates a key line of defence against pathogens: the innate immune system’s reactive oxygen burst.

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Normally, in response to staph, “neutrophils pour into the site of infection and blast the bacteria with reactive oxygen species,” Skaar explained. However, the excess manganese counters this blast.

“It’s striking that a single dietary change can inactivate one of the most powerful branches of innate immune defence and lead to fatal infection,” Skaar said.

“The human body does a wonderful job of regulating nutrient levels and a traditional Western diet has plenty of minerals in it. The idea of super-dosing nutrients needs to be given careful consideration,” he noted.

Another study, appearing in the journal NeuroToxicology, showed that excessive environmental exposure to manganese can result in neurotoxicity and lower intelligence quotient (IQ) scores in children.

Manganese — known to play a vital role in brain growth and development — is also used widely in the production of steel, alloys, batteries and fertilisers and is added to unleaded gasoline.

The findings showed that increased manganese in hair samples was significantly associated with decline in full-scale IQ, processing speed and working memory.

“Children may be particularly susceptible to the neurotoxic effects of ambient manganese exposure, as their brains are undergoing a dynamic process of growth and development,” said Erin Haynes, Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati in the US. (IANS)

 

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Love Hot Served Food? Caution: These 10 Foods May Turn Toxic Upon Reheating

Here is the rundown of 10 foods that you ought to abstain from reheating to keep its supplements rich

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Reheating some food may be dangerous to health. Pixabay

Sep 01, 2017: Food function as the fuel for your body and you should put every effort to have a robust and healthy food. The foods you devour include supplements, vitamins, fiber, protein, and minerals, which combine to help your body keep going.

Many of us indulge in the practice of reheating the food while eating. But few nourishments could transform into dangerous components in the wake of reheating. The reality will astound you, however, don’t stress.

Here is the rundown of 10 foods that you ought to abstain from reheating to keep its nutrients rich.

1. Rice

Rice. Pixabay

Most of you store rice in the wrong way, which in turn, can be toxic. The spores available in the raw rice can turn into bacteria, which multiply at the room temperature and may induce diarrhea and vomiting.

2. Potatoes

Potatoes. Pixabay

Potatoes are the favorite for many of us, but shockingly, potatoes lose their nutritional value when reheated. Toxic potatoes can breed illness, nausea, and induce food poisoning.

3. Spinach

Spinach. Pixabay

Just like any other green leafy vegetable, Spinach is rich in iron and nitrates. Upon reheating it, the nitrates turn into nitrites which can lead to cancer in living tissue.

4. Oils

Olive Oil. Pixabay

Some oils such as grape seed oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil, hazelnut oil, and avocado oil have extremely low smoke limits.If you reheat them, they become unhealthy to devour.

Also Read: List of 8 Food Items to Battle Depression and Anxiety 

5. Egg

Egg. Pixabay

Reheating eggs at high temperature makes them poisonous and upon devouring them, your digestive system may fall sick.

6. Chicken

Fried Chicken. Pixabay

Chicken, the rich source of protein also create a negative impact after reheating. Eating such chicken may become a problem for you.

7. Turnips

Turnips. Pixabay

Turnips contain nitrates which can become toxic for health if reheated. Ordinarily, turnips are used in preparing soups.

8. Mushrooms

Mushrooms. Pixabay

Here is one thing about Mushroom, everyone should know: It should be utilized on the same day they are cooked, as they are a rich source of protein. Mushrooms upon reheating may change its structure which can be harmful to your body and causes severe heart problems.

9. Beets

Beetroot. Pixabay

Beets also include a high proportion of nitrates, which upon reheating can turn into nitrites and can prove to be problematic for your health.

10. Celery

Celery. Pixabay

Celery also carries a high rate of nitrate. It turns into nitrites after reheating, which increases the risk of methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder.


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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

ALSO READ: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)