You may have taken a test in school to measure your intelligence quotient (IQ), but that measurement does not have to define your level of intelligence for the rest of your life. There are ways to increase your IQ permanently; if you are committed to lifelong learning and intellectual growth, you will find it easy and beneficial to do so. It takes time, patience, commitment and focus. Put these in action, and you will see your IQ grow.

Keep learning. One of the easiest ways to increase your IQ is by continuously stretching your brain by learning and discovering new things. Be curious, be interested in what happens around you and look out for new things to learn. If you had always thought about earning a second academic degree or taking an adult education class, enroll at your local community college. If training courses are offered at your workplace, sign up for courses that will enhance your performance and keep you learning.

Alter your diet so that you eat food that is not only nutritious but will feed your brain too. Fish, such as salmon and sardines, are known as "brain food" because they have properties that enhance the functioning of the brain. Fish oil supplements containing omega-3 oils also enhance brain function.

Look for foods that are rich in antioxidants, as well as food that contains folic acid, such as spinach, asparagus, green beans, liver, sunflower seeds, peas and lentils. The natural supplement ginkgo biloba is a good memory enhancer and "cognition enhancer," according to the Cambridge Research Institute, School of Applied Sciences.

Avoid excessive intake of alcohol, which can destroy brain cells.

Keep your brain active all the time. When you relax, do puzzles that are not only fun but that exercise your brain. Crossword puzzles, word games and number games like sudoku are good ways to keep your brain working.

While there have been debates about the benefits of listening to classical music to increase IQ , Diane Bales, Ph.D., of the University of Georgia, claims that learning to play a musical instrument is more beneficial to brain function and can create more pathways in your brain.

Take care of your physical health. Get enough sleep each night, eat properly and exercise for about four hours a week. Exercise will increase your fitness and, as it does so, enlarge your arteries, which in turn increases the supply of blood to your brain. This optimizes the functioning of your brain and makes it more receptive to gathering new information. Spend time outdoors, walk around your neighborhood and explore new places.

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Things Needed

  • Puzzles
  • Classical music
  • Vitamins

About the Author

Sunny Martin has worked in communications since the mid-1980s and began blogging in 2010. She writes for eHow and LIVESTRONG.COM, focusing on sport, entertainment and mental health. Martin has a Bachelor of Arts in languages from the University of Cape Town and a Bachelor of Technology in public-relations management from Cape Technikon.