Many of us try to keep our minds sharp by doing puzzles and learning new things. But some of the other things we do might lower IQ.

Read on to find out how you may be sabotaging your own intelligence.

Research has found that the following things and habits lower IQ and ruin cognitive functions. Some of these may surprise you while others make perfect sense.

1. Eating a fatty diet

A diet that is high in saturated fat can hamper our brain’s functioning and lower IQ. Studies have shown that fatty diets can impair our cognitive ability, reduce our reaction times, damage our memory, and even cause feelings of depression. Saturated fat found in processed meat, cakes, and biscuits is the worst culprit.

The University of Montreal study found that a high-fat diet can also affect our mood and that eating high-fat foods can be addictive and leave us to craving more.

So to keep your mind sharp, cut out the bacon!

2. Multi-tasking

Earl Miller is a neuroscientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specialises in the area of multi-tasking and divided attention. He warns that:

“The brain is not wired to multitask. When people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly and every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost.”

Just spotting an email mid-task is enough to lower IQ by 10 points! Our frontal lobes can only deal with a certain amount of information at one time. It’s a bit like when you open too many tabs on your browser and your computer freezes.

Multi-tasking means we are less efficient at everything we do. It also means that we do not get deep enough into the task to have real breakthroughs. So, if you want to do deep work, switch off the notifications.

3. Just Googling it

Being able to google information whenever we need it may be having an effect on our memory and cognitive abilities. When we can’t remember something, rather than thinking long and hard until we all the answer, we just ask Google.

Microsoft says our attention spans have suffered, falling from an average of 12 seconds 15 years ago to eight now. In addition, using Satnav may be affecting our spacial awareness as we no longer need to read maps.

4. Reality TV

Okay, this one is not so unexpected. An Austrian study has confirmed something that we’ve long suspected – TV may well be rotting our brains. Well, at least some reality TV.

In the study, some participants were shown a fake reality TV show about a football hooligan. After watching the show, the participants were given a general knowledge test. Those who had watched the show didn’t do as well the test as the participants who had not watched the show.

5. Disrupted Sleep

Studies on hamsters have shown that disruption to sleep patterns can affect our circadian rhythm  – our day and night energy patterns. The effects can last for up to a month and can affect learning and cognitive function. Perhaps this is why so many new parents find it hard to concentrate!

Failing to get a good night’s sleep can have other negative health effects, including increased comfort eating and higher stress levels. Sticking to a regular routine can help to improve learning and cognitive function as well as general health.

6. Being stressed

Having an over-busy schedule and feeling stressed out all the time can have a negative effect on overall health and brain function. When we are stressed, our body is flooded with hormones that affect our ability to think clearly.

Brendan Kelley, MD, a neurologist at The Ohio State University warns that: “High stress levels are not only associated with poorer brain functioning but may even link to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Stress reduction techniques such as exercise and meditation have been shown to help reduce stress and its negative effects.

7. Eating too much sugar

A study at UCLA  showed that steady sugar consumption for as little as six weeks “slows the brain, hampering memory and learning.” High sugar diets were found to affect brain cell functioning and cognitive ability. Allen Towfigh, MD also explains that “Diabetics have higher incidences of dementia.”

And before you think that just cutting down on fizzy drinks will do the trick, bear in mind that fruit is also a source of sugar. The UCLA study used fructose, a simple sugar found in fruits, honey, and vegetables.

This doesn’t mean that eating fruit and veg is bad for you, of course, but just that high sugar foods need to be eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy, balanced diet. In addition, eating omega 3 fatty acids, found in flaxseed oil and oily fish such as mackerel and trout, can protect your brain against damage.

8. Smoking

Smoking, of course, has many harmful effects on the body. However, you may not be aware that it can also affect IQ. And it’s not just a problem if you smoke yourself. Ingesting secondhand smoke is harmful, too.

Children exposed to second-hand smoke could end up with a lower IQ score according to work done by researchers at Central Michigan University. So, avoid being around anyone when they are smoking to protect your brain from its harmful effects.

With so many things that can potentially lower IQ, it makes sense to keep an eye on them and take what action you can to keep your brain healthy and smart.



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This Post Has One Comment

  1. JJRT

    TV itself is used to dowse the mind and lower IQ through frequencies used by tv shows, the music and even the phrases spoken. TV is nothing but a hypnosis machine as well.. I could go on and on yet so many are addicted to this lifestyle, they will run you off the road to get home in time to watch someone pawn off something on tv… Pawn shop stars, i saw it once at a hotel. This is pretty much the only time a use a TV… Yea and i felt dumber for watching it. Repetitious disease commercials are like pet training. or stool pigeon parrot training. Repeat the command, for the treat… The command is to believe and then manifest disease into your body, for the treat, which is the TV show. Ever wonder why USA has probably most sick people in the world? Because everything revolves around TV. How many places do you go or see that do not have a Television? How about how many walls do you notice that are bare of a TV in your favorite shop. Buy, Buy, Buy, Politics and Disease.. Suffer and Sorry until you buy something for joy. Now is none of that works, we have a pill to make you feel happy, but the side effects may cause you to murder masses of people…. eyes might explode or horrendous vomiting. Sometimes I think the human race really is just a poison to the planet. Take a close look at what is important to people nowadays. Sometimes i feel like we do not deserve such a wonderful planet. We piss and shit on it in the name of profit and then point our fingers at the big corporations when they spill oil, yet hop in the car to drive all over the place… TV has really ruined many things and the important ones like, hey, Fukishima is still dumping radiation and killing the Ocean we all depend on, but, pawn shop stars is on… Click….

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