Does an eating habit affect your intelligence?
How food makes you smart & influences your intelligence
We have heard before that eating certain foods is good for the brain - such as those containing the essential fatty acid omega-3. Omega-3 is found in fatty sea fish, nuts, avocado or linseed oil and is said to be a real brain booster.
In order to actually be able to establish a connection between nutrition and intelligence, studies with a large number of participants are required, and one thing above all: a lot of time.
More: Green vegetables are good for the brain
Investigation since the 90s
It takes a while for food to show its effectiveness on our organism.
- The difficulty also lies in the fact that each person consumes a unique mixture of food, which makes the conclusion of the ingestion of certain food components on a physical development or change a mammoth task.
- Nevertheless, as early as the 1990s, British scientists dared to examine the eating habits of the children of more than 14,500 families.
- This long-term study is still ongoing today.
Read more: 5 reasons to eat more spinach
Early childhood nutrition matters
One result of the study is that children who were not breastfed or who ate mainly processed foods containing sugar and fat at an early stage in their life were slightly less intelligent by the age of eight than children who were given breast milk or who had fresh food grew up with lots of fruit and vegetables.
An Iranian study seems to confirm this result.
- According to this, children who ate junk food performed worse on intelligence tests than healthy eaters.
- Bottom line: Nutrient-poor diet, which mainly consists of ready-made products with a lot of fat and sugar, does not exactly encourage the emergence of a shrewd earth child.
- As always, both investigations are only about connections and not about causalities.
- This means that other factors can also be the cause of more intelligence.
- For example, a higher social status, which is usually accompanied by a higher quality diet.
More on this: What makes too much sugar with children
Less is more?
Let's take a look at research on animals. Such studies are at the bottom of the conclusive pyramid, but still provide a starting point for further research.
- A study with pigeons showed that chicks that were given poor food for a while later had better local memories.
- A study with rats brought the same result. Although these were physically a bit puny after a poor supply phase in the young rat years, they also had a well-developed brain with improved orientation.
These experiments suggest that if there is insufficient food energy, the survival instincts are sharpened in order to make the search for food more successful.
More on this: Sugar intolerance: when sweets make you sick
While seniors, for example, benefit from a slight reduction in calories without losing weight with an increased memory performance, malnutrition or malnutrition in childhood is linked to major problems in intellectual development. However, too many calories also damage the children's brain. As always, it is important to find a healthy middle ground ...
More: Less salt? That's how it works!
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