Unbeknownst to most people, intelligence comes in two different forms. There is crystallized intelligence which is stored information and it grows as you age. The second form is fluid intelligence. Fluid intelligence reaches its peak in early adulthood and then slowly declines over time. Psychologists have recently found that fluid intelligence can be improved, so there is hope! Living a healthy lifestyle is key to maintaining your fluid intelligence and keeping up your IQ. Here are the top 10 healthy ways to increase your IQ:
Be More Active: Participating in just a short 30 minutes of exercise each day shows a positive correlation to increased physical and mental health. Keeping your body healthy is necessary for developing better intelligence. Exercise increases the flow of blood, glucose, and oxygen to the brain which helps with the growth of new brain cells and increases the connections between brain cells-which all aid in increasing your IQ.
Get Enough Sleep: Along with the rest of your organs, the brain works 24/7, working just as hard when you are asleep as when you are awake. Sleeping is when the brain consolidates all the learning that took place that day. Losing out on sleep decreases the benefits of your learning experience that day and decreases your ability to learn and comprehend new material the next day. To have peak cognitive abilities, you need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.
Eat More Omega-3s: Lean meat and fish are full of creatine which aids in the increase of memory and intelligence. Nuts and oily fish, such as herring, salmon, and trout, are full of omega-3 fatty acids with improved memory and brain function. These proteins increase the production of neurotransmitters which increase mental alertness and IQ.
Quit Smoking: This is the first step to maintaining and improving overall brain health. People who smoke two packs a day have twice the likelihood of developing dementia when compared to those that don’t smoke. People who smoke but then choose to quit are found with no increased dementia risk and normal brain activity. Smoking greatly decreases your IQ and leads to innumerable health issues.
Eat Foods High in Antioxidants: There are numerous healthy foods that are great for maintaining brain health. Research shows that following a healthy diet increases IQ. Reducing the number of processed foods, sugary snacks, and fast food that you eat will increase brain health. If you are looking to raise your IQ, focus on adding foods high in amino acids, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have also shown that organic products are higher in antioxidant content.
Drink Alcohol in Moderation: Following the old saying “all things in moderation,” alcohol follows suit, promoting health and longevity. Studies have shown that the elderly who drink alcohol in moderation are able to decrease their risk of developing dementia by 60%. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol does reduce IQ levels, so be smart and only drink in moderation.
Be Social: Focusing on building and maintaining good relationships helps to build your transactive memory. The more diverse your social group, the more you are continually challenged to think in new ways and be creative. Socializing helps you to gain new perspectives and keeps your mind open, enhancing the synaptic activity of the brain and raising your IQ.
Continue Your Education: Research has shown that for every year of school that is completed, your IQ increases an average of 3.5 points. Even if you are graduated, continuing your studies doesn’t mean you have to go back to school. Seeking out new learning opportunities and exposing yourself to new information will raise your IQ just the same!
Read and Do Brain Teasers: Maintaining a high level of mental activity is key to keeping your brain healthy. Studies have shown that you are able to raise your child’s IQ simply by interactively reading to them throughout the week. Reading just 30 minutes a day increases your intelligence and doing brain teasers is a fun way to relax and test your skills!
Travel More: Studies show that people that travel experience 75% more brain stimulation than those that don’t. Traveling increases your creativity and can boost your memory, especially if traveling to a country where a different language is spoken. Learning a new language is a great way to increase your intelligence. Traveling helps you develop your sense of reality and increase your understanding of different cultures.