I’ve always falsely assumed — despite acquiring new skills and talents here and there — I’d be stuck with same IQ forever. I haven’t taken an IQ test in years, but I remember always having a fairly average score. I recently learned there are proven ways to enhance your intelligence that can actually help to improve cognitive skills and bring your IQ up, up, up. A great bonus to this is the more you practice the tricks for improving your intelligence, the more you’ll get out of it — the more you train, the more you gain, as Scientific American put it.
It’s all about the concept of fluid intelligence, as it’s become known in recent years. According to WebMD, fluid intelligence is the ability to reason and solve new problems. In other words, fluid intelligence is our capacity to learn new information, according to Scientific American. It’s often thought of as a strongly hereditary component, however can be increased with effort, as fluid intelligence is trainable. According to WebMD, researchers have shown fluid intelligence is one of the most important factors in learning. The outlet noted it’s linked to successes both academically and professionally for humans. If you’re anything like me and totally intrigued by this concept, let’s start taking some steps to enhancing our brains.
How, exactly, can we begin to see improvements? There are several ways to be successful. Here are six proven ways to enhance your intelligence. Remember that the more you practice these the more you’ll get out of it.
1. Try A Vegetarian Diet
According to Men’s Health UK, a number of studies have linked higher IQ with a vegetarian diet. The outlet spoke to Mensa International’s consultant psychologist Maria Leitner who noted, “Both the lifestyle and nutritional choices of vegetarians are associated with strong intellectual functioning and a slower cognitive decline.”
2. Go For A Run
Another way that our overall lifestyle plays into intelligence is as it pertains to our exercise habits. Psychology Today cited a 2013 study out of Boston University School of Medicine that showed physical activity is good for brain health and cognition. The study also suggested exercise increases certain hormones that may help improve memory.
3. Constantly Challenge Your Brain
As we discussed, fluid intelligence is the ability to reason and solve new problems. According to WebMD, a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported brain exercises for memory (i.e., certain kinds of puzzles, like crosswords) also serve to boost fluid intelligence. Leitner told Men’s Health UK, “Activities which involve a diverse range of skills plus social interaction, are excellent options if you’re aiming to enhance your IQ.” The outlet suggested a game like scrabble. Learning a new skill or language could also help.
4. Take The Right Morning Supplement
Supplements have also proven to help enhance intelligence — as long as you’re taking the right ones. Various studies have been conducted to determine which supplements are most beneficial. According to a study published in the Nutritional Neuroscience journal, the combination of caffeine and L-theanine help improve performance on tasks that are cognitively demanding. A study from The Royal Society journal showed creatine is helping in improving brain performance. Lastly, for those trying to improve memory, try a fish oil supplement, as the omega-3 fatty acids they contain are known to assist with memory, according to a study from the journal PLOS ONE.
5. Try An Intermittent Fast
You may have heard of the powers of intermittent fasting — that is fasting for specific periods of time, followed by eating for a specific period of time, and then repeating. (This could be either in chunks or hours or on a rotating day-to-day basis). One of it’s benefits, according to a study published in the Annals of New York Academy of Sciences journal, is that is helps improve cognitive functioning. Why? According to the journal, this type of fasting increases your Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, or BDNF, which is linked to enhancements in memory, learning and an overall growth in intelligence. If you're going to try to tactic, try sipping on plenty of water and tea during the process.
6. Be A Social Butterfly
Being social is fun, but what’s even better is that it’s good for our brain, too. According to scientist, consultant, and behavior therapist Andrea Kuszewski in her guest blog post for Scientific American, a tip for maximizing brainpower is socializing and networking. Kuszewski noted this is because exposing yourself to others opens your brain to new idea and encourages your brain to remember details like names, food preferences, etc. Your brain is more than likely going to encounter some sort of challenge during these social interactions, and we remember how much our brains like those, right?
If you’re hoping to boost that IQ (and even sharpen your memory!) go ahead and try out some of these proven tactics. By sticking to them, you might find your intelligence soaring in no time.
Image: Bustle Stock Photo