When you hear the word ‘creative,’ you might automatically think of artists and writers, but in reality, we all could benefit from being a bit more creative on a day-to-day basis. Creativity, or the process of conceptualizing or creating something new, not only benefits your emotional health—it also tends to make life a little more interesting!
Although creativity is often thought of an inherent talent, there are actually ways we can develop and nurture this skill. One of these ways is through our food choices. Here are 5 foods that will boost your creative powers!
Just in case you needed another excuse to eat chocolate: A 2007 study found that eating chocolate could provide a boost to short-term cognitive skills, thanks its high flavanol content. Flavanols, which are a type of flavonoids, are thought to be useful in improving brain function by increasing the amount of oxygen that the brain receives.
After consuming a chocolate beverage, the researchers observed that the subjects had “increased grey matter flow for two to three hours.” As the cocoa is the key flavonol filled-ingredient, chocolate with higher amounts of cocoa, like dark chocolate, might be the most beneficial.
Note: For maximum health benefits, always choose organic, raw, dark chocolate – without sugar added. You can melt it down and sweeten it yourself with coconut crystals, raw honey, or raw stevia.
Apple founder Steve Jobs believed that eating a high-fruit diet helped stimulate his exceptional creative juices, and he could have been on to something. Research has shown that most fruits are rich in the amino acid tyrosine. A recent study showed that participants’ ability to problem solve in the form of figuring out a puzzle improved when they consumed a beverage with added tyrosine.
You can get tyrosine in its natural form by eating more fruit!
The myth of the alcoholic artist may not be purely myth, according to a 2012 study from the University of Illinois. The study examined the problem solving abilities of men when their blood alcohol content was just below the legal limit, versus men who were sober. The researchers found that the intoxicated men to be both more creative, and more ‘insightful,’ than the sober men.
In practical terms, however, it’s probably best to enjoy your red wine when you’re at home writing poetry, and not brainstorming at the office. Also, make sure to keep it to one or two drinks per day – to avoid the dangers that come with too much alcohol.
Move over almonds, there’s a new super-nut in town! Consuming walnuts regularly was recently shown to improve cognitive functioning in humans. The UCLA study showed that eating a handful of walnuts every day could help improve memory, concentration and how quickly the brain processes information.
All of these are important when you’re brainstorming, problem solving, or pursuing something creative.
Although carbohydrates have been getting a bad rap recently, research shows that our brains need them – the healthy ones that is! A study from the University of Toronto found that carbohydrate-rich foods benefited brain function in the short term by quickly delivering glucose to the brain. The subjects who consumed carbohydrates like potatoes and oatmeal showed increased concentration and memory, both of which are important for creative endeavors.
Note: When it comes to oatmeal, choose gluten-free steel-cut oats.
On top of the researched ways they benefit our brains and creative powers, all of the foods on this list have been shown to be healthy in moderation. So, if you’re looking for a boost so you can start a new creative project, be a more effective problem-solver, or if you’re just looking to add some flare and variety into your day-to-day life, try consuming these foods regularly!
-The Alternative Daily