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Chocolate and sex can boost brain: Study

Last updated on: December 04, 2007 11:46 IST

Forget crosswords. If you really want to boost your brain power, eat dark chocolate, consume cold meat and have plenty of sex, if possible every day.

A team of international researchers has carried out a study and found that while dark chocolate and plenty of cold meat for breakfast boost grey matter, sex keeps the brain fit in later life, the Daily Mail reported.

According to the study, those wishing to improve their mental ability should also avoid smoking cannabis, watching soap operas and hanging out with those who moan.

Instead, cuddling a baby, cheating at homework, reading out loud and doing a business degree can boost their mind power. The theories of the researchers are contained in the book Teach Yourself: Training Your Brain.

"What we eat and drink, how we learn at school and what type of moods we have are all crucial. People can make lifestyle choices that will constantly increase our cognitive capacity throughout our adult lives. Mix with people who make you laugh, have a good sense of humour or who share the same interests as you, and avoid people who whinge, whine and complain, as people who are negative will make you depressed," the book's author and one of the researchers, Terry Horne, was quoted as saying.

The book also contains mental exercises and radical thinking on how diet, the environment, stress and other aspects of modern life affect our mental capacity.

The researchers have claimed that sex has a very positive impact, listing seven chemical reactions the brain undergoes during intercourse which actually helps in improving its functioning ability.

The books says that sex raises levels of oxytocin or the 'trust' hormone which increases a person's readiness to think of novel or risky solutions to a problem.

Elements in dark chocolate also prove to be beneficial. Magnesium and antioxidant chemicals increase the supply of oxygen to the brain and reduce the chances of brain damage through a stroke.

Ditching a low-fat diet is also recommended to boost performance.

 The book suggests a breakfast of eggs, fish or cold meat, a lunch of protein-based foods such as oily fish and dark green vegetables, and carbohydrates for dinner -- but not caffeine, alcohol or red meat. Children should not do homework on their own -- minds function better when working with parents or classmates, according to the researchers.

The book also says that speaking in front of a class helps pupils because of the repetition involved. And adults can boost memory by counting aloud to 99 in threes as fast as they can.

The researchers have recommended that readers should seek a concept known as BLISS -- Body-based pleasure, Laughter, Involvement, Satisfaction and Sex -- which all enable the mind to perform well.

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