Good news for those that love fasting. There is now scientific proof that starving yourself each day, or a few days of the week is a good thing.Evidence already abounds that timed periods of fasting are beneficial and can boost immunity and control intestinal inflammation. Fasting for health reasons for upwards of six to 24 hours at a time has become increasingly popular especially in the fitness world. But it’s not a new trend—fasting has been around for centuries, even Hippocrates used fasting as a means of promoting weight loss. Fasting alters body mechanisms for the better, says Dr. Courtney Peterson, an Assistant Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Centre. “Fasting lowers levels of inflammation and puts the body into repair mode. Production of antioxidant enzymes increases, and that helps repair and recycle cells.” Traditional medicine Researchers from Emory University Atlanta, USA, say that “Caloric Restriction” in the form of fasting has been used in traditional medicinal practices such as homoeopathy, naturopathy, ayurveda for treating various ailments. The research team found a mechanism of body’s ability to adapt to nutrient scarcity. They noted that limiting nutrients could be a great booster of vaccine-induced immunity and protective of intestinal inflammation. They identified a gene, whose activation in key immune cells was found to be a sign of a robust, protective immune response. The gene, GCN2, General Controlled Non-repressedkinase, which is a known metabolic sensor involved in sensing amino acid starvation and found to regulate the process of autophagy, a response to starvation or stress within cells. The results were published in the journal ‘Science’ earlier. Fasting has become increasingly popular over the years, and many people are becoming more aware that eating less does have incredible benefits when used sensibly. Longevity For instance, it is fact that the less you eat the longer you will live. Studies show how the lifespan of people in certain cultures increased due to their diets. A primary effect of ageing is a slower metabolism, a younger body metabolises faster and more efficiently, so the less less older persons eat, the less toll on their digestive system. Weight loss: Intermittent fasting can be a safe way to lose weight because it allows the body to burn through fat cells more effectively than just regular dieting. Intermittent fasting allows the body to use fat as it’s primary source of energy instead of sugar. Many athletes now use fasting as means to hitting low body fat percentages for competitions. Insulin sensitivity: Fasting has shown to have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity, allowing tolerance of carbohydrates (sugar) better than if you didn’t fast. Speeds up metabolism Intermittent fasting gives the digestive system a rest, and energises the metabolism to burn through calories more efficiently. It regulates digestion and promotes healthy bowel function, thus improving metabolic function. Improves hunger Fasting helps to regulate hormones in the body so that you experience what true hunger is. Nutritionists say obese individuals do not receive the correct signals to know they are full. The longer you fast, the more your body can regulate itself to release the correct hormones, so that you can experience what real hunger is. And when your hormones are working correctly, you get full quicker. Detoxification Fasting can help clear the skin because the body is temporarily freed from digestion and able to focus its regenerative energies on other systems. Not eating for just one day helps the body clean up toxins and regulate the functioning of the liver, kidneys and other parts.