Trivia Teaser

What is the 'Shakkin' Briggie' near Aberdeen in Scotland?

A bridge
A tree
A pub
A ship

Food For Thought

23
May
2007
 

By Christine Lovatt

There’s a TV quiz show called Eggheads in UK, in which a team tries to beat Britain’s five brainiest people. It made me wonder why clever people are called eggheads.

I discovered that  it started in the USA, when vice-presidential candidate Richard Nixon used it against Democrat Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson, not as a compliment but as an insult. It was a criticism directed at Stevenson and other bookish types considered out-of-touch with ordinary people and lacking in realism and common sense. That meaning has now been replaced by terms such as nerd and geek.

Egghead referred to the high forehead of Mr Stevenson and the popular image of a highbrow academic. Most people, especially women, with hair, may find this image a little narrow, but there aren’t that many words for clever people. There’s brainbox, genius and academic while clever Dick, clever clogs and smartypants are mostly snide insults implying vain show-offs. Yet there’s no shortage of words for a fool – idiot, numbskull, simpleton, jackass, ignoramus, dimwit…..I could go on for another paragraph.

But there’s another connection between eggs and intelligence. New Scientist magazine recently commissioned some experts to come up with some methods of boosting brain power, and one of the most important ways of becoming smarter is diet. Eggs contain choline, the fat-like B vitamin. Studies show that choline enhances memory and minimises fatigue. So go on, have a hearty breakfast of boiled eggs and become an egghead.

Having researched this far, I found myself reading about how different foods help you think clearly. Eating healthy amounts of spinach and broccoli could helping delay the onset of dementia in later life.

In an experiment at the University of Houston, elderly rats fed blueberry extract beat younger rats on memory tests at the University of Houston. Other food that improve mental health include strawberries, walnuts and spinach.

What I want to know is…can these aging rats now solve a Sudoku? They might be getting ready to give you a run for your money…I’ll give you more tips for a sharper brain next week!

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