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I am a mathematician and so I am interested in every way possible to increase all my mental powers and abilities (memory, creativity, concentration, etc). I have tried several different diets and life styles in the past, but I am not sure if these different methods do really affect my work positively.

I was wondering does anyone know anything scientific about the correlation between simple diets and higher thinking abilities? Is there any diet which increases our mental powers?

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Diet and mental powers are a little too complex to directly affect each other. Though the brain runs on glucose. You'd probably want to try to keep your glucose levels steady, with a low/medium GI diet. –  Muz Jan 25 '13 at 0:17

3 Answers 3

Eating healthy in general helps your brain function to it's best ability. Eat plenty of whole grains, oily fish, and things with your essential B vitamins (meats/animal products). I also did a little Google search and I found a study saying blueberries can improve/delay short term memory loss. And also, pumpkin seeds give you plenty of zinc, which is really important in bettering your thinking skills and memory.

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I agree with this except the whole grains, which are actually bad for you. Google "Paleo Diet". –  w00t Jan 28 '13 at 10:12

I have seen a video somewhere about an experiment, two chess players were given proteine-high or carbs high meals before the game; the player that has had the proteine high meal played better. The meal high on carbs made the mind foggy. This is an article I've just found about this subject.

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Please define what you mean by a simple diet.

In any case, while I do believe that there are many diet-related conditions that can impair brain function, actually improving on baseline is probably harder.

While you're growing, it's imperative to have a nutritious diet with little toxins. For example, see how wheat impacts IQ in children.

When you're grown, you can get "brain fog" from toxins created by pathogenic gut bacteria, fungi or even brain infections. If you have an unhealthy gut flora, eating the wrong foods (e.g. lots of grains or fructose or too much protein) will feed the gut flora, which release toxins and impair brain function.

I'm not sure about the influence of blood glucose levels on brain function. Certainly too little is problematic, and some eating patterns (e.g. lots of simple sugars) can give you reactive hypoglycemia. I would (and do) eat starches instead of sugars and eat those starches with fats or acids to lower the GI.

Finally, to maintain your brain tissue you need a good Omega-3 and Omega-6 balance, meaning you should avoid all grain/seed oils as well as foods containing them and eat fatty fish once or twice a week. Cholesterol is also important, eat mussels etc and egg yolks.

Basically, if you follow a healthy diet (like Perfect Health Diet) you'll be doing everything you can to optimally use your brain.

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By simple diet I mean low fat, almost vegi (with 3-4 meat related meal per week) and easy to prepare foods (lots of salads). I am trying to lose wait and I have reduced my food to 1/2 of a normal diet. My body feels so much more comfortable and I really enjoy the feeling. But at the mean time, I am concern about my mental productivity in the long run. In the last 2 years, I have lost about 30 kg and I was wondering does a lower weight helps my brain to get more blood, oxygen and nutritious materials? Should I go back to normal diet? –  Vahid Shirbisheh Jan 28 '13 at 10:44
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low fat can lead to lower satiety and less nutrients (since many nutrients are fat-soluble). If you're feeling fine without hunger there's no issue. Hunger means your body is missing nutrients. Eat lots of very nutritious foods so you need less calories. Take a look at the PHDiet I linked at the bottom, it's really amazing. –  w00t Jan 28 '13 at 11:28
    
Thanks for your answer. –  Vahid Shirbisheh Jan 28 '13 at 11:30
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One more thing to try: Skip breakfast by having only e.g. coffee with cream. (no carbs or protein). Then you're extending your night fast until lunch which can be very beneficial due to autophagy and mild ketosis (ketones are a cleaner source of fuel for your brain). See if you function well during that time. If not you may have issues to address. –  w00t Jan 28 '13 at 11:36
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Actually I've reduced my breakfast to minimum already. It gives me a better morning working hours. –  Vahid Shirbisheh Jan 28 '13 at 11:42

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