Having smarts is beneficial in anything that you do. Here is another Q & A with nutritionist Leslie Mallow, but this one aims to keep strivers ahead of the intelligence game:
1. What foods and/or other things make you smarter?
Cold water fish such as salmon are high omega 3 oils, which are a component of cell membranes in the brain, but as of now, [there is] no definitive proof that this makes one smarter. One study on premature infants showed a slight increase in IQ later in life when fed breast milk with omega 3’s over formula without; [this] still needs mote studies. Foods with Choline, also part of cell membranes, may help memory if one is deficient in this vitamin. Eating a wide variety of foods containing all essential nutrients is the best thing one can do for the maturing brain.
2. What increases retention as in the memory?
…DHA and EPA in fish oil support brain function and some preliminary research shows they may help prevent dementia. Ginko has shown to increase blood flow to the brain and may improve memory; Choline, if deficient, may help memory; and vitamin B 12, if low, can affect memory.
3. What, if anything, stunts capacity in the memory?
Low vitamin B 12, low Choline, and being deficient in most B vitamins, especially Thiamin, may affect memory.
4. What is the deal with vitamins?
I believe that taking a multiple vitamin/mineral is a good thing as most people do not eat well enough to obtain the DRI daily. The less expensive ones are fine (One a Day or Centrum) and sometimes the high potency ones from the health food store contain toxic levels of some nutrients. Some supplements are a scam and I would not insist that a resistant individual take them. Many supplements are a waste of money and show no efficacy. I tell people to do research or e-mail me to do it for them.
a) Are taking vitamins equal to eating a good meal?
No, taking vitamins is not like having a meal as there are many other phytochemicals in foods such as antioxidants and fiber that may have a synergistic affect on health. There are many antioxidants that still have not been discovered, etc.
5. What is the role of exercise regarding the brain?
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and helps it to create new neural connections. It has been shown to be helpful in preventing dementia.
6. How important is education to intelligence?
From what I have read, using the brain throughout life helps memory and helps to prevent dementia. Complex thought is necessary, so education may be correlated, for those who continue to take classes and think critically throughout their lifetime. I have read that crossword puzzles and computer games help also. [Increasing intelligence] does not have to be [from] a formal education.
7. What is the significance of thinking patterns to intellect?
…My view is eat well, control stress, have close interpersonal relationships, have work that has meaning, and keep challenging yourself throughout life.
Want more? Check out Malloy’s website, this article, and this one.