Various highly-refined carbs like those in white rice and white bread are linked to depression and mood swings, and extra sugar can compromise your short-term and long-term memory. The foods listed below affect your brain positively by promoting creativity.
Leafy greens like kale, lettuce, and spinach
Leafy-green vegetables contain a lot of natural chemicals like the antioxidant quercetin, the compound indole-3-carbinol, and the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. These leafy greens are good for the body, because they protect the body’s cells from oxidative stress caused by the sun’s harmful rays and cigarette smoke. They even promote DNA repair, which preserves brain function, and heals the oxidative damage already done to the neurons.
As we know, the neurons in the brain are responsible for transmitting information and processing stimulus. Neurons are important for creativity, because your brain reactivates neural pathways whenever you imagine. These neurons are what your brain uses when you imagine scenes like a sunset over a beach or animals prancing in a prairie for your painting or novel.
Cinnamon, which comes from the bark of Cinnamomum trees, is a spice with a history that dates back to four thousand years ago. In 2000 BC, it was thought of so highly that it was an acceptable gift for royalty and offering for the gods. Today, it receives almost the same star treatment in the food industry because it’s widely in many dishes, particularly desserts, and even in different beverages.
So if you’re stuck in a creative rut, you might want to grab a cup of coffee with cinnamon and maybe pair it up with a classic cinnamon roll. Research has proven that coffee, aside from lessening the brain proteins tied to stress, even increases your energy levels, and this is energy you’ll need when cinnamon gets you out of that creative rut!
Research conducted by scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara suggests that cinnamon improves the circulation of blood to the brain while stabilizing the brain’s tau proteins.
Tau proteins are one of the components of neurons, and these proteins are responsible for the neurons’ structure and function. The problem with these proteins is that they have a tendency to clump together, forming knots that can lead to memory loss, confusion, and an inability to learn new things. The compounds in cinnamon can prevent these tau knots by protecting the tau proteins from oxidative stress.
By adding even just a little sprinkle of cinnamon to your meals, you can protect your tau proteins and clear your head! More than boosting your creativity, cinnamon will even provide you with clarity of mind. Now, you can spend less time wondering where you last put your art supplies. With your improved concentration, you won’t forget where your last chapter left off or what you were planning for your main character!
Olive oil and peanut oil
Olive oil is a fat obtained by pressing whole olives, and although it is mainly associated with Mediterranean cuisine, it is also used in making cosmetic products like soaps and in making medicinal creams for skin conditions like acne and psoriasis. On the other hand, peanut oil is an aromatic oil derived from peanuts. It is most commonly used as a cooking oil, although it is also used in biodiesel technology.
What these two oils have in common is that they both have healthy fats like monounsaturated fatty acids! Your body needs these fats to keep your brain healthy, because they increase the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, for better learning and concentration! This improved brain chemistry is sure to help in your creative pursuits.
With these foods, you can now say goodbye to frustrating writer’s blocks and all those long, painful hours of staring at a blank canvas! But what are the foods that you should avoid? Although Pablo Picasso was known for painting while drunk on absinthe, alcohol is a big no-no! Alcohol impacts your ability to think clearly and causes a “brain fog,” or a feeling of mental disorientation and general confusion. This brain fog caused by alcohol will only make your creative rut worse! Another food to avoid is junk food. Junk foods hinder the brain’s production of dopamine, which is a compound in the body responsible for making you feel happy and motivated. Next time you’re in a creative rut, check your diet!