Whether it be from a tired mind, busy schedule, multitasking or simply a lack of new ideas, lapses in creativity are all too common. Getting a good night’s sleep or taking a nice long shower can work wonders for some, but for others, it can seem impossible to fight the creative slumps. Luckily, studies show that eating certain foods can actually help boost creativity and innovation.
A study by Harvard Medical School revealed a link between eating healthy whole foods and adequate brain function. The study compared the human body to an expensive car — the car can technically function on any fuel but will perform much better if given high-quality fuel. This is similar to how food affects the human brain.
The study explained that when you eat foods high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it protects the brain from oxidative stress, which can damage brain cells and lead to lowered brain function.
Here are various foods that can improve your brain health and creativity.
Aside from their sweetness, blueberries have great brain-boosting antioxidants. They not only provide vitamins, minerals and fiber, but they also contain anthocyanins, which are found in red, blue and purple berries and can protect the brain from aging and cancers.
A study by Rutgers shows that blueberries create an increased blood flow to the brain, which can improve memory and slow the brain’s aging process. Creativity can stem from childhood memories and experiences, so if your brain has more access to these memories, it can help boost creativity.
Salmon is extremely high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been known to improve memory and mood — something essential for the flow of creativity. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish help increase blood flow to parts of the brain that are in charge of memory and learning abilities.
Recent research shows that people who frequently eat salmon are better at acquiring and understanding new information. Not only can salmon help you with creative slumps, but it can also help prevent degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
It’s true that egg yolks contain more cholesterol than egg whites, however, not many people know that they might be missing out on essential nutrients by excluding the yolks.
Choline is a nutrient essential for healthy brain function. It has been known to reduce inflammation in the brain and helps with maintaining memory and communication between brain cells. Luckily, egg yolks are full of choline and can help boost creativity. So next time you make your morning omelet, don’t ditch the yolks.
It’s commonly said that eating green vegetables is important for your health and can aid in weight loss, but there are other reasons that these vegetables are essential for a healthy body and mind.
Leafy greens such as kale, spinach and arugula are packed with vitamins E and K, beta carotene and folate, which are all amazing for brain function and health. Vitamin E and K work together to prevent damage to the brain from free radicals which have been linked to slow brain aging and improve memory. Beta carotene and folate, which are also found in leafy greens, are also known to slow cognitive decline.
Next time you need a creative boost, try opting for a snack that includes some of these nutritious leafy greens.
Nuts are a delicious and easy snack for at home or on the go. All nuts have their own nutritional benefits, but one outranks the others — walnuts. Walnuts are twice as high than most other nuts in antioxidants, DHA and omega-3 fatty acids.
DHA has been shown to improve brain health in newborns as well as better cognitive function in adults. Just eating a quarter cup of walnuts can provide the recommended daily dose of DHA. Another bonus to eating walnuts is that it can help lower blood pressure. A handful of walnuts could be just what your brain needs to get those creative juices flowing.
Let’s face it, dark chocolate is delicious, but did you know that it can also benefit your brain health? Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and caffeine. While flavonoids increase blood flow to the brain, which can increase long-term memory, the caffeine in dark chocolate can help with short-term brain function. If you’re looking for a sweet treat that will also help boost creativity, dark chocolate is a great option.
Food is fuel for your body as well as your brain. It can be hard to get out of a creative slump, but it’s certainly not impossible. If you’re feeling stuck in your creative endeavors, your brain might be signaling that it’s lacking nutrients. These six foods are delicious ways to feed your brain and keep those creative juices flowing.