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Here’s why some people develop coffee bubble phobia

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London, July 12: Some people experience intense aversion and anxiety when they see bubbles in a cup of coffee or the holes in a sponge and this condition may be an exaggerated response linked to deep-seated anxiety about parasites and infectious diseases, says a study.

Previous explanations for the condition — known as trypophobia — include the suggestion that people are evolutionarily predisposed to respond to clusters of round shapes because these shapes are also found on poisonous animals, like some snakes and the blue-ringed octopus.

The new research, led by Tom Kupfer of the University of Kent in Britain, suggests that the condition may instead be related to an evolutionary history of infectious disease and parasitism that leads to an exaggerated sensitivity to round shapes.

The team noted that many infectious diseases result in clusters of round shapes on the skin: smallpox, measles, rubella, typhus and scarlet fever, among others. Similarly, many ectoparasites, like scabies, tics and botfly also lead to clusters of round shapes on the skin.

The study, published in the journal Cognition and Emotion, saw the participation of over 300 people with trypophobia.

A comparison group of around 300 university students without trypophobia also took part.

Both groups were invited to view sixteen cluster images. Eight were pictures of clusters relating to diseased body parts (for example, circular rash marks on a chest; smallpox scars on a hand; a cluster of ticks).

The other eight cluster images had no disease-relevant properties (for example, drilled holes in a brick wall; a lotus flower seed pod).

Both groups of participants reported finding the disease-relevant cluster images unpleasant to look at but whereas the university students did not find the disease-irrelevant cluster images unpleasant, the trypophobic group found them extremely unpleasant.

This finding supports the suggestion that individuals with trypophobia experience an overgeneralised response, to the extent that even an image of bubbles on a cup of coffee can trigger aversion in the same way as a cluster of tics or lesions.

IANS

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Kale, beetroot: Nutritious ingredients for healthy food

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New Delhi, April 20: With people becoming more health conscious, several restaurants have started introducing dishes with healthy ingredients like kale, beetroot and quinoa. These dishes offer wholesome goodness as it is not just good on nutrient value but also on taste, say experts.

Rajesh Sawhney, Co-founder of Healthie.in and Rajiv Kumar, CEO of Culinate, have listed some of the healthy ingredients that restaurants and cafes have started using in their dishes:

* Quinoa is a seed that belongs to the spinach/chard family, which is why it is called a pseudo-cereal or pseudo-grain. Quinoa is rich in protein and a lot of other vital nutrients such as magnesium, dietary fiber and vitamin B. It is also a good source of antioxidants called flavonoids and it’s a healthy alternative to rice.

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Quinoa Seeds

* Kale is high in fiber, low on calorie and has zero fat. It is one of the most common ingredients in the healthy dishes prepared by restaurants.

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Kale

 

Apart from being highly nutritious, kale is also high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be added to pasta, green smoothies or can be simply tossed in a salad.

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Kale added to pasta

* Chia seeds are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, iron, and calcium. A 28 gram, or 1ounce, serving of chia seeds also contains 5.6 grams of protein.

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Chia Seeds

Hence, they make it on the menu of most healthy food restaurants. These seeds can be added to smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt.

* Nuts are often counted as good fats and are also rich in fiber and Omega-3. Plant sterols are a substance present in nuts that helps in lowering the cholesterol level in the body.

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Nutty Trail Mix

Nuts are a great source of L-arginine, which make the artery walls more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block blood flow. You can make a nutty trail mix and simply munch on nuts in between meals or add them to your stir-fry.

* Activated charcoal is a natural ingredient that helps in flushing out toxins from the body. It not only helps in the detoxification of the body but also helps in digestive cleansing by alleviating problems like gas and bloating.

Activated charcoal also helps in fighting the signs of ageing.

Healthy restaurants incorporate activated charcoal in their healthy drinks and also in the breads and buns used for their special sandwiches and burgers.

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The BBQ paneer burger at The Rolling Pin features an activated charcoal bun.

* Beetroots contain valuable nutrients that may help lower your blood pressure, fight cancer and inflammation, boost your stamina, and support detoxification.

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It is an amazing source of iron but is often ignored due to its peculiar taste. Beetroots can be added to salads, smoothies or you could even add beetroot to your chapati dough to get that much-needed iron intake.

IANS

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Eat fatty fish to cut your heart disease risk

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London, April 19: Consuming fatty fish four times a week may help increase the amount of good cholesterol and prevent the risk of heart disease, finds a study.

The findings showed that fatty fish increases the size and lipid composition of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles, also known as good cholesterol, in people with impaired glucose metabolism.

Moreover, using daily 30 ml of camelina oil — rich in alpha-linolenic acid, which is an essential omega-3 fatty acid — was also found to decrease the number of harmful Intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL) particles.

The IDL lipoprotein is the precursor of (low-density lipoprotein) LDL, which is also known as the bad cholesterol. Previous studies have shown that long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish have a beneficial effect on lipoprotein size and composition.

Both of these changes can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, said researchers from the University of Eastern Finland.

For the study, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, the team involved nearly 100 Finnish men and women aged between 40 and 72, with impaired glucose metabolism.

Study participants were randomly divided into four groups for a 12-week intervention: the camelina oil group, the fatty fish group, the lean fish group, and the control group.

While people in the camelina oil group, fatty fish group, showed potentially higher HDL and lower IDL cholesterol level, eating lean fish, was not associated with changes in the number, size or composition of lipoprotein particles, the researchers said.

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Poor sleep may raise obesity risk in kids

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London, April 17 (IANS) Besides healthy eating and exercise, getting enough sleep may also be a key factor in managing weight in children and adolescents, a new study has found.

The findings showed that children and adolescents who get less than the recommended amount of sleep for their age are at a higher risk of gaining more weight.

Overall, they were 58 percent more likely to become overweight or obese percent on risk factor for various cardio-metabolic diseases.

“Being overweight can lead to cardiovascular disease and Type-2-diabetes which is also on the increase in children. The findings of the study indicate that sleep may be an important potentially modifiable risk factor (or marker) of future obesity,” said Michelle Miller, from the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK.

For the study, published in the journal Sleep, the team reviewed the results of 42 population studies of infants, children and adolescents aged zero to 18 years which included a total of 75,499 participants.

“The results showed a consistent relationship across all ages indicating that the increased risk is present in both younger and older children,” Miller said.

The prevalence of obesity has increased world-wide and the World Health Organisation has now declared it a global epidemic.

According to the recent recommendations by US-based National Sleep Foundation infants (four to 11 months) must get between 12-15 hours of nightly sleep, toddlers (one-two years) must sleep for 11-14 hours.

Children in pre-school (three-five years) should sleep for 10-13 hours, while school aged children (six-13 years) must get between nine and 11 hours of sleep. Teenagers (14-17 years) are advised to get eight-10 hours.

IANS

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