A 12 year old Indian origin girl from Essex, in the UK, has been making headlines for having an IQ that is probably higher than Einstein’s and Stephen Hawkins’. Lydia Sebastian gained the highest possible score of 162 in the Cattell III B paper by Mensa, which is the society for people with high IQs.
While many factors would contribute to Lydia’s perfect Mensa score, research has proven that a nutritious diet does help the brain function better. No wonder, at some point in our childhood most of us would have been forced to eat cod liver oil capsules in the hope that we become smarter.
Here is a list of food items that will help you boost your brain power, and may help prevent the advent of conditions such as Alzheimer’s later on in life.
Fish: Often called the ultimate brain food, fish, especially the oily varieties, contain omega - 3 fatty acids which are vital for brain development. Salmon, mackerel and tuna are rich in these omega-3 fatty acids, including the vital docosahexaenoic acids (DHA). Apart from being a high source of protein, fish also has essential amino acids, which are needed to construct neurotransmitters in the brain, enabling it to communicate with the rest of your body. Since the body does not build these essential amino acids on its own, you need to supply it through the food you eat.
Eggs: If you have been complaining about your memory not being what it used to be, it’s time you started taking another power food – the unassuming egg. Whether boiled, fried, poached or made in a curry, this versatile food is delicious, but most importantly - it contains choline, a Vitamin B nutrient which is essential for memory improvement.
Nuts: A great source of Vitamin E and high in folate, a mineral that’s essential for brain development, nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, hazel nuts and almonds are great and healthy options to snack up on whenever you feel hungry. A good intake of Vitamin E helps in reducing the decline of cognitive memory, which may come during old age.
Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower: These flowery vegetables are great for pure vegetarians (and those who swear by their meats as well). A good source of Vitamin K, which helps improve cognitive function. Broccoli also contains sulforaphane, a chemical which helps to keep the brain sharp and fight against deterioration, which leads to illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.
Blueberries: Termed a super fruit, these delicious berries are packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals which, apart from helping to protect against cancer and heart diseases, also help in memory improvement, aid thinking ability and also helps to prevent problems such as short term memory loss. A study carried out at the Reading University has also shown that people who take a bowl of blue berries in the morning for breakfast, are more active and have better concentration powers in the afternoon.
Pumpkin and sunflower seeds: Another good snack to munch on when you are hungry, are pumpkin and sunflower seeds. They are a good source of Vitamin E and help give your brain a boost. Pumpkin seeds also have a high amount of magnesium and omega 3, which help to calm the brain.
Tomatoes:These essential kitchen fruits, contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which helps to protect against free radical damage to cells, which are linked to dementia, mainly Alzheimer’s. While cooking reduces the nutrients in many other food items, in tomatoes it actually increases lycopene, as it is released from the vegetable fiber.