Research Roundup #4: This Week’s Fasting News from Around the Web
THE LATEST NEWS AND RESEARCH UPDATES ON FASTING
Welcome to the Fast Insider News Roundup
Every week, we’re bringing you a round-up of the latest fasting, health, and wellness news to hit the wire. There are many ways that fasting converges with lifestyle to improve change day to day life as we know it. This week, we look at ways to help cope with election-related stress, the heart-healthy benefits of adopting a Pesco-Mediterranean diet with your fast, and the surprising mindfulness boost of an extra half hour of sleep.
Four Ways to Calm Election-Related Stress
Election Day is coming up on Tuesday and the majority of Americans surveyed, report that it’s a significant source of stress, according to a survey by the American Psychological Assn. This stress—which cuts across party lines — is manifesting itself in many ways from anxiety and irritability to full-blown panic attacks and trouble sleeping, as people doom-scroll news on their phones, and find themselves in heated arguments with friends and family members on social media and in real life. Here’s how to better cope with the stress:
Prepare mentally for delayed election results.
Stress is caused by uncertainty and the feeling of being out of control. If you expect a clear answer on election day and don’t get it, that uncertainty is likely to create even more stress. It could be days or even a couple of weeks before there’s a definitive answer, so if you expect that, you’ll likely remain calmer as a result.
Ramp up healthy habits.
Use this stressful time to adopt or increase habits that act as buffers against stress, such as eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, staying active, and maintaining social connections. Rather than getting hyper-focused on votes as they roll in, focus more on things that bring you joy such as a socially distanced walk with a friend, going for a bike ride, or reading a book.
Unplug more from news and social media.
We all need to know what’s going on, but not at all times of the day. Reducing the amount of time spent on your phone scrolling news or social media feeds can help lower levels of stress. Find ways to do more of your daily activities away from a screen and its 24/7 access to news.
Look for signs of hope.
While you can’t control the outcome, you can look for encouraging signs in the landscape, such as more public outcry against racism and police brutality, more civil discussion, and greater voter turnout.
The Best Diet for Fasting
Fasting researchers have for years recommended adopting a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet while fasting. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology affirms that choice, indicating that the Pesco-Mediterranean diet, when combined with intermittent fasting may lower the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in adults in the U.S.
The diet is on its own, a clear winner for heart health, with five prospective dietary studies finding that a pescatarian diet resulted in a coronary artery disease mortality rate that was 34 percent lower than in survey participants than those on a standard meat-eating diet. It emphasizes fish and/or seafood as the primary source of protein, and provides sufficient intake of plants, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil while limiting dairy and eggs. It has been shown to boost high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or so-called “good” cholesterol, and lower blood pressure and inflammation.
When combined with fasting the diet eliminates the grazing on packaged foods high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats, which are linked with negative health outcomes, said Arielle Leben, MS, a registered dietitian at NYU Langone Health. And, she says, it improves cardiovascular health by improving blood pressure, glucose metabolism, and inflammation. Combining the diet with a time-restricted eating window forces the body to use fatty acids stored in excess body fat as fuel rather than glucose, improving those metabolic parameters related to heart health.
This Many More Minutes of Sleep Increases Mindfulness
Boosting the amount and quality of your sleep improves your health on many levels, but did you know adding an extra half hour can also make you more mindful? Mindfulness, or paying more attention to the present moment without judging it, has been shown to improve mood and alleviate the stress that is the culprit behind so many chronic diseases. According to a recent study of nurses published in the journal Sleep Health, adding just 29 minutes of sleep per night improved mindfulness the next day, and greater mindfulness was shown to reduce insomnia during the study’s two-week period.
Fasting.com is committed to investigating and reporting on the many ways fasting, health, nutrition, and wellness can help all of us rise to meet the challenges we face in life and, in doing so, liberates us to live our lives, longer and better. Together, especially when we are healthy and happy, we can address the world’s greatest problems.
Check-in weekly for our research round-up and look forward to even more in-depth fasting science coverage, analysis, and takeaways in the near future.
P.S. We would love to hear your feedback on any of the ideas above as well as any stories you would like to read in the future. Send us a note anytime at email@example.com