This is an article by Sarina Raman exploring foods that can boost our creativity.
Creativity block – we’ve all experienced it. The times when you see the cursor repeatedly blinking at the beginning of a Word document…and then five hours pass and it’s still blinking in the same spot. Yeah – been there, done that. Our brain holds our creative network. So whatever we put in (like those sugary but oh so tasty doughnuts), that’s what we get out (five minutes of productivity).
If you want to maximize your time and get in touch with your creative side, try out these seven foods and drinks. Your brain and your homework assignment will be thanking you.
It’s not like you need another excuse to go out and eat sushi. Well, maybe if you already ate sushi three times this week (shhh). Seaweed is actually packed with the essential amino acid, tyrosine.
This plays a major role in the production of various neurotransmitters such as dopamine (AKA it helps control your brain’s reward center and drives creativity). Studies have shown that tyrosine promotes “deep” thinking and taps into your abstract thoughts. So if you are stuck on a problem, chow down some classic sushi rolls or seaweed chips to get your creativity rolling.
Pretty much everyone likes avocado, so here is just another reason why you should fall in love with this wonderful fruit. In order to think creatively, your brain depends on constant blood flow and glucose. This green fruit enhances blood flow and delivers the oxygen needed for your brain cells.
In addition, avocados are a great source of fiber, which reduces hunger. So instead of spending time in your kitchen and contemplating which snack you should whip up, eat these delicious truffles right from the start and you are good to go.
One of the great things about berries is that there are so many to pick from and each of them contains tyrosine. In addition, berries help maintain communication between brain cells and help activate the factor brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. BDNF helps with survival, growth, and differentiation of new neurons, which is needed when it comes to creative thinking.
Fun fact: Steve Jobs went on a fruit diet and he claimed that the fruits he ate greatly impacted his success. But he only ate fruits during that time, which probably deprived him of some essential nutrients. But don’t worry, there are so many fun and easy ways to incorporate berries into your daily diet.
You know when you look at something for too long, you can’t think anymore? It’s like all those creative juices evaporated. Well, researchers at Northwestern University wanted to further study the relationship between alcohol and the Eureka moment.
When a group of students was given alcohol, it was found that the “Aha!” moment was reached sooner compared to students who were not given any liquid luck. Alcohol tends to impede executive thinking and boost up creative thinking. No wonder amazing writers such as Edgar Allen Poe and Ernest Hemingway were also alcoholics…but they also died from that, so drink responsibly.
Looks can be deceiving at times, but the walnut’s appearance does not lie. These nuts, weirdly shaped like tiny brains, are stuffed with numerous benefits that help your creativity. Walnuts are packed with neuroprotective compounds, such as melatonin, antioxidants, and omega-3s, which help limit brain damage during strokes and brain injuries.
Also, a study was conducted in 2011 showing that although walnuts do not improve mood, they help increase cognitive performance and inferential reasoning. So instead of devouring a piece of cake for dessert, try these apple walnut bars to give you all those yummy factors.
Sure, tea doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee, but the amount it has and how it is released are good enough to keep you alert and conserve your stamina. Green tea contains theanine, an important amino acid analogue. Theanine helps improve cognition and reduces stress by promoting the production of alpha waves in the brain.
These alpha waves release the caffeine slowly, rather than in a burst, so you avoid that sudden crash and maintain productivity and creativity. There’s a reason why matcha powder is such a trendy ingredient these days.
The sweetest food is saved for last. Flavanols, a nutrient found in chocolate, increases blood flow to brain by dilating vessels. In addition, dark chocolate contains the perfect amount of caffeine and most importantly magnesium, which helps decrease stress and releases the “happy hormones,” such as serotonin and endorphins.
Now you shouldn’t be eating whole bars of dark chocolate when doing your homework (well you can – no one is stopping you), but if you nom on a slab of this decadent dark chocolate bark, you’ll get the right dosage you need to boost your creativity.