Obviously, your diet is one of the major external factors that can impact your intelligence to certain extent. According to the researches, toddlers who were fed a diet packed with high fats, sugars, and processed foods had lower IQs than those fed with pasta, salads and fruit. Even researchers from the University of Bristol said that children with a “healthier” diet may get an IQ boost. The impact of the diet is not just prevalent among the kids but also grown-ups.
There are certain foods that need to be avoided if you don’t want to put a speed breaker in the lane where your intelligence runs. Also there are certain foods that can boost your intelligence and IQ as well.
Sugar: You’ve probably heard that sugar is bad for you. It’s bad for your teeth, your liver and makes you put on weight. Moreover, when sugar is consumed in large amounts (think a whole packet of lollies) over an extended period of time, it alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information.
Salt: Salt also affects your cognitive functioning. In 2011, scientists found that eating a high-salt diet was strongly linked with a faster cognitive decline in elderly people. Adding raw salt to your food is worse than cooking with salt, so when you do eat it make sure it’s cooked in your meal.
Tofu: Research from Loughborough University and Oxford suggests that tofu can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. The results from the researches show that those who consumed a lot of tofu were more at risk for memory loss.
Junk Food: Many reports online suggest that eating junk food triggers symptoms similar to withdrawal, depression and anxiety. And from there it’s often a dark spiral downward as depressive symptoms often prompt a desire to eat junk food, and so on.
Alcohol: A person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have memory deficits that persist long after they regain sobriety. The effects of heavy and long-term drinking on the brain are blackouts, memory lapses and serious brain disorders like Wernicke – Korsakoff Syndrome.
Processed Foods: Science has shown that high-fat processed foods cause damage to the hypothalamus in the brain – the area responsible for monitoring and signalling levels of hunger, thirst and the body’s natural rhythms and cycles.
So steer clear of these, no matter how yummy they look.
Foods That Help Increase Intelligence
Oily fish: More than half of the brain mass is made up of lipids, and over 65% of these are fatty acids that belong to the well-known Omega family. Oil-rich fish like wild salmon, fresh tuna and sardines contain Omega 3 fats that help your brain cells interrelation to each other.
Dairy Products: The American and Australian scientists measured I.Q. of 972 volunteers and came to a conclusion that those participants of experiment, who daily used dairy products, were tested on logical thinking and memory much more successfully, than those who neglected yogurts and cheese. Fatty dairy products are especially useful as our brain more than half consists of fat.
Liver: The brain accounts for around 25% of the body’s oxygen needs. Iron is required to get oxygen to the brain by means of the blood’s hemoglobin. Liver is one of the diet’s assets guaranteed to contain this metal. Additionally, liver is one of the most important sources of Vitamin B. Since the mid-1990s, it has been known that these vitamins, mainly B1, B6, B9 and B12, improve cognitive function and the results of intelligence tests.
Whole Grains: Recent research shows that whole grain diet may be linked to lower risk of the mild cognitive impairment that can progress to degenerative diseases. This type of diet can reduce oxidative stress, inflammation and other vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure. All of that may have a role in increasing risk for brain malfunction and diseases.
Eggs: Eggs contain phospholipids and lecithin, integral to build up membrane of brain cell. In terms of boosting intellect, their value lies mainly in their proteins. Long used as points of reference when analyzing the quality of other dietary proteins, eggs are actually rich in amino acids, vital in the production of the principal neurotransmitters.
Spinach: Studies show that people who take in more vitamin C perform better in tests for attention, recall and memory. Experts suggest eating at least 5 portions of vegetables and/or fruit a day, but the key is to eat a variety.