Skipping meals for a day or two every week may be beneficial to your health after researchers found that it may protect against brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Researchers at the National Institute on Ageing in Baltimore said that while eating a restricted diet has already shown to extend the life span of laboratory mice by 40 percent, they found that not only was this true even in humans but it also reduced the effects of conditions that affect the brain.
The researchers said that cutting down your daily calorie intake by 500 calories twice a week can have positive effect on your brain health. The researchers speculated that the benefit could be a link to our ancestors' scrounging capabilities.
"When resources became scarce, our ancestors would have had to scrounge for food. Those whose brains responded best - who remembered where promising sources could be found or recalled how to avoid predators would have been the ones who got the food. Thus a mechanism linking periods of starvation to neural growth would have evolved", Professor Mark Mattson, head of the institute's laboratory of neurosciences, said.