Eat eggs and play Sudoku if you want to be brainier
EATING eggs, playing Sudoku and even listening to classical music can all boost IQ levels, according to scientists.
Switching off mobile telephones, which if rung can distract a brain that was in deep concentration for as long as 15 minutes, is another way to increase intellect.
Scientists were asked to come up with 11 methods to boost brain power which did not involve traditional education.
Among the recommendations were high-protein food, a good night's sleep and physical and mental workouts, as well as music, medicine and even puzzles such as Sudoku. But the stimuli have to be the correct sort according to the geneticists, mathematicians and other experts consulted by the journal New Scientist.
Fizzy drinks should be avoided, but high-protein food such as baked beans for breakfast or eggs at lunchtime are good for the brain. Having breakfast of some sort rather than skipping it altogether enhances mental performance.
Listening to Mozart in particular has been proved to improve the mind's mathematical capabilities, but even having music lessons can boost a child's IQ by two to three points, the scientists said.
Another simple trick is to get a good night's sleep after trying to learn something for a couple of hours, because that is when the brain stores memories for the long term.
Alternatively some drugs can be beneficial. Modafinil keeps the brain alert for 90 hours and a class of drugs called ampakines, currently on trial, are said to be able to restore brain activity which may be lost as people get older.
A spokesman for New Scientist said their suggestions could enhance IQ in people, whatever their education or brain power.
He said: "It doesn't matter how brainy you are or how much education you've had - there are still ways to boost your mental faculties.
"This is New Scientist's guide to getting smarter. Smart drugs could do the trick; classic sonatas seem to stimulate genes in the brain and some technological tricks could boost brain function."
Dr Cynthia McVey, a senior lecturer in psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University, said she agreed with many of the findings.
She said: "There has been evidence that certain types of music can aid learning and concentration. Classical music is thought to open certain pathways in the brain.
"Like a car engine needs petrol, the body needs fuel to get going at the beginning of the day and this includes the brain cells.
"Fizzy drinks can have a negative effect on concentration, too, because of fluctuating sugar levels."
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