The old way of thinking was that new brain cells are only being created in developing brains in children. And that once you reach the age of an adult, people don’t form new ones.
Thankfully, modern science has proven that this is not true. People can actually grow new brain cells and make a change to get smarter even as an adult.
This process is called neurogenesis.
With so many toxins in our environment such as fluoride that have a negative impact on our health, it’s important that people are aware of good ways to maintain brain health. For more information, read about the potential dangers of fluoride.
What Is Neurogenesis?
Neurogenesis is the process of creating new neurons in the brain. Adult neurogenesis usually occurs in the region of called the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part that is responsible for learning and memory, as well as mood and emotion.
So, by increasing the number of neural cells, people can become smarter by increasing our capacity to learn and memorize. This will help to improve our overall quality of life by helping to improve brain plasticity.
Then the only question left is, how to promote hippocampal neurogenesis?
Ways to Become Smarter
The following 9 items listed are various ways of how to get smarter by stimulating adult neurogenesis.
Studies have shown that an exercise training program can effect neurogenesis in adults. By performing a study on rats, researchers found that aerobic exercise can stimulate the development of new neurons over time.(1)
The process of exercising causes more blood flow and good oxygen delivery to the brain which could even help an adult with a brain injury. By taking MRI scans, they have seen that this creates new blood vessels in the brain which leads to neurogenesis.
Use of Plant-Based Psychedelics
Although scientists have been aware of the ability to help with depression, research is now linking psychedelic medicinal plants such as iboga, ayahuasca, and psilocybin with the ability to stimulate neurogenesis and neural plasticity.
Through different alkaloids present such as harmine, the chemicals in the plants increase adult brain activity and stimulate growth. It’s as if you are learning a new language.
Thinking of new possibilities give the meaning of the phrase “mind-expanding drugs” to the next level!
Nootropics are a class of supplement that improve cognitive function. Most often, they are a combination of herbal parts and extracts.
Although they can be relatively expensive, they might be worth the purchase. There are different brands and companies with varying ingredients, but they are similar in nature.
Nootropics not only work by creating new brain cells, but also to protect the existing ones and to help them from dying off. The effect of this is cognitive function is increased with the net overall growth.
The main medicinal ingredient in turmeric, known as curcumin, effects hippocampal neurogenesis. Scientists aren’t sure why this happens, but prolonged supplementation of curcumin is linked to the production of brain cells.(2)
They believe that since turmeric lowers inflammation and reduces oxidative stress, it serves as a neuroprotector. This protective state puts the brain in the right condition to form new neural cells. Long-term use specifically showed an increase in spatial learning and memory abilities.
Reishi Mushrooms and Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Various types of fungi like reishi mushrooms and lion’s mane are effective in increasing brain activity.
In a clinical study, Lion’s Mane was able to induce Nerve Growth Synthesis in nerve cells. This link gives promise to the mushrooms ability to repair damaged nerve cells.(3)
Also, medicinal mushrooms, like the bitter Reishi mushroom, have shown the ability to support adult brain health and decrease the chances of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Aside from brain health, there are many benefits of medicinal mushrooms. Click the link to check out the full article.
Most neurons will die off rather quickly after being created if they don’t get used. To prevent this from happening, people need to learn something new like a skill.
Things that take effort like learning a new language, new video games, or learning to play a musical instrument are tasks that help to prevent the death of these new cells. All these skills are challenging and fun too!
Another method of learning is by reading books. Most people will never read another book after high school, but books are way to find great information that can help you expand your mind and be smarter. Lots of smart people got that way by reading books.
Either way, try to read or do a challenging activity every day.
Mindfulness practices like meditation are shown to increase gray matter volume and density in the brain. A lot of people say that do not have time to meditate, but smart people know it can be one of the best uses of your time.
Meditation affects various parts of the brain that relate to emotional intelligence. Unfortunately high school only focuses on IQ(intelligence quotient) and not mental health. One of the effects of emotional disorders like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse is a decline in brain activity.
Eat Healthy Fats
Did you know that the human brain is made up of over 60% fat? Fats play a vital role in the creation of stem cells. Cell content such as membranes and walls, as well as the insulation around nerves, are made of fat.
So it makes sense that eating healthy fats will promote healthy brain function and help you get smarter.
Inflammation plays a large role in nervous system function. Due to this, your diet should consist of odd number fats like Omega-3 fatty acids in higher amounts than inflammation causing Omega-6’s. By reducing inflammation, it allows for optimal function and will stimulate neurogenesis. There are many more health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids, check them out in our other article.
Numerous studies show that calorie restriction improves brain function. There are two ways to interpret calorie restriction.
Obesity causes age-related degenerative disorders. The first is by fat loss. So by merely eating less every day to maintain a healthy weight you will improve its function and become smarter.
Secondly, you can use fasting as a way to utilize calorie restriction. In fasted states, your body starts to produce ketones which are helpful to the brain.
Either way, by consuming fewer calories you will get more intelligent.
Research shows you that your intelligence is not limited to a certain level and you can change it. Smart people are only smarter because they work to take care of their mind daily. By looking at the above list, you can identify simple things that you can fit into your lifestyle to start improving one day at a time.
By making small changes to your daily choices over time, you can begin to promote neurogenesis and start creating newly formed brain cells. These will help you to learn and increase your memory. Also, by protecting your brain, you can minimize the death of neural cells. In the end, the effects will make you happier and healthier.