How to Increase Your IQ – Part Two

This article continues from (How to increase your IQ - part one) where we described, amongst other things, 7 ways to improve your thinking. Now we look at those points in more detail.

Consistent brain training can significantly improve thinking

If we have new experiences and keep our brains busy, we can delay or maybe even avoid mental ageing and we can support creation of new brain cells. Active people remain mentally quicker and active for longer, that is also how they keep young. The nerve cells that form the brain are in each age adapted to reception of signals. The cells, that actively receive stimuli within the brain, do not die. Quite to the contrary.

Professional research has shown that it is possible to increase and maintain one's IQ for a very long time – possibly even for the whole life – with constant learning. Dr Snowdown who investigated thinking of older School Sisters of Notre Dome nuns in Minnesota discovered that those nuns that were physically and mentally active lived longer and their mind and memory stayed more alert than in the remaining study subjects, they also rarely suffer with senile dementia or Alzheimer's. The nuns who regularly attend courses, teach or watch what is happening around them (things that keep on changing) live and preserve their alert minds longer than their less educated and active colleagues who only clean, shop and work in the kitchen.

Avoid Stereotypes

Both parts of cerebral nerves (dendrites and axons) weaken with age and lack of activity. Problem solving multiples dendrites which results in new connections and a new network of nerves.

We could say that if we continue learning new things, the number of nerve connections in our brain will grow and we become "more clever"! And contrary, once the new abilities because a routine, axons and dendrites can shorten. New stimulating factors renew them and support their regrowth, which is a good reason, especially for older people repeating learnt activities, to change their habits so that they allow regeneration and new growth of vital cerebral parts.

Do Not Waste Time

The sooner you start, the better. Isolation from the world deteriorates thinking and memory. We should be active in our society and follow what is happening in the world, for example through newspapers, magazines, internet, TV or on a radio. We support our brains trough exercise and problem solving. While we may not be able to find a solution, we at least keep our mind fresh and sound.

Importance of Oxygen Supply

To remain mentally active, we must be also active physically. This results in a greater inflow of blood to cerebral and bodily cells. Metabolism increases which results in energy from food being released with the help of oxygen. This energy results from burning of glucose, the main fuel for brain activity. With decreased oxygen, the burning of the fuel slows down which also slows down physical and mental processes. Because of that we cannot effectively think or use our memory.

Nutritions Increase IQ

Obtained from leaves of a ginkgo biloba tree, it is probably the best known extract speeding and strengthening thinking. Ginkgo biloba has truly magnificent effects. It widens blood vessels, protects body and brain from free radicals, increases brain's ability to process glucose, stimulates neuron transfers, supports mental abilities, improves attention, thinking and memory.

Another magic nutrition that effectively transfers oxygen into cerebral and bodily cells is vitamin B-complex. Deteriorating thinking and memory in patients can be improved with addition of B-complex to healthy diet. Unfortunately many people use too little of this vitamin.

Are you one of them? Test yourself to see if you are not damaging your thinking:

Test for Vitamin B Insufficiency

Should you answer YES to three of more of the following questions, you probably do not have sufficient amount of vitamin B. The more you answer YES, the more likely the insufficiency.

  • Do you eat white bread, refined and processes cereals every day?
  • Do you add sugar to baked products or drinks and do you eat cakes or sweets every day?
  • Do you drink alcohol daily without using B-complex?
  • Do you smoke regularly?
  • Do you often eat cooked vegetables?
  • Do you drink at least two cups of coffee each day?
  • Do you frequently east marinated fish?
  • Do you use hormonal birth control? Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • Do you after food use antacids?
  • Do you experience stress at work or at home or as a result of a chronic illness, worries or deep depression?
  • Do you take oestrogens or sulphate-based medication?

Diet for Increased Mental Activity

The scientists discovered that eating protein rich foods (eggs, meat, fish) makes you mentally fresher than eating carbohydrates (fruit, vegetables, grains). The second group of food decreases effectiveness of thinking and induces sleepiness. Why is is it that way?

Essential amino acid tryptophan that the body cannot create and that is found in turkey meat, milk, lentils, peanuts, pumpkins and sesame seeds has difficult absorption and progression into the brain as other amino acids get preference on the transferors. When consuming mainly carbohydrate rich food, tryptophan does not have to compete with other amino acids and it is transferred better.

In addition to ginkgo biloba, vitamin B and proteins, it is also important to have sufficient vitamin C. A connection has been shown between low intake of vitamin C and a low ability to solve problems. Vitamin C improves health of vessels, gums, teeth and bones, it prevents colds and flues, speeds up healing and strengthen the immune system. Its role in the central nervous system, especially brain and spinal cord, is not well known. Some studies show impact of vitamin C on increased IQ. A study has show that students with a high level of vitamin C in their blood had an IQ score 5 points higher than those with a low level of this vitamin.

Avoid Stress

Stress narrows blood vessels, resulting in a decreased blood flow towards the heart. This narrowing can potentially result in a heart attack.

Cardiologist Alan Yeung carried out a study on 26 volunteers a few years ago. For each of them he used a special X-ray method to examine three cardiac arteries, the main vessels leading to the heart. Then he assessed the inside of the vessels as relatively smooth, irregular (with small amount of plaque) or narrowed (almost full of plaque). These vessels were examined again after the participants were exposed to mental stress. During the test, the narrowest vessels (those with most plaque) narrowed by further 24% and those with the smallest amount of plaque by 9%. The scientists verified their results by measuring volumes of blood. The flow decreased by 27% in most and medium damaged vessels. For smooth vessels, it increased by 10%.

The smooth mucous membrane in healthy membranes can widen more and it allows flow of larger volumes of blood. The scientists expect that as soon as adrenaline sends a signal to vessels to narrow down, the smooth mucous membrane of healthy vessels excretes so called endothelial relaxing factor. The healthy vessels excrete this factor so negate the adrenaline which narrows them. This mechanism does not work in the unhealthy vessels. Under stress the brain gets less blood and less oxygen and glucose.

Further Reading