Concerning dieting and cognition, Van Praag (2009) found that limited intake reduced the risk of attention deficit. The intake of a variety of dietary supplements enhanced learning for both animals and humans. Specifically, fish oil, teas, fruits, folate, spices, and vitamin improved cognitive functions. While results were only found in rats, particular foods that increased memory are plant-derives foods like grapes, blueberries, strawberries, tea, and cocoa. Van Praag hypotheses that flavanol in plant-derived foods are the primary ingredient responsible for this increase in cognition. When dieting is combined with exercise, epicatechin is very effective in enhancing memory and synaptic plasticity.
Exercise is also an effective mechanism to increase cognition. Past studies have shown that exercise enhances neurogenesis. Neurogenesis refers to the generation of neurons and connections, or synapses, between those neurons. An increase in the number of neurons and synapses equates to an increase in memory generation, memory recall, and learning. Most interestingly, most of the neurogenesis occurs in the hippocampus, the area of the brain most responsible for learning and memory. As shown by the diagram, diet and exercise work simultaneously to enhance cognitive functions.
Diagram of diet & exercise effects on cognition. Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2680508/
Assuming that brain cognition does benefit intelligence analysis in some fashion, diet and exercise does improve cognition (thus intelligence analysis). It appears that analysts would benefit most from a high-fruit diet combined with regular exercise. The duration, frequency, and intensity of exercise are unknown, especially since many of Van Praag’s conclusions are based on rats. However, the genetic similarities between humans and rats, as uncomfortable an idea that is to some, may provide enough grounds for analysts to improve their wellness.
Van Praag, H. (2009, May 12). Exercise and the brain: something to chew on. Retrieved October 14, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2680508/