10 Foods That Will Unleash Your Brain’s Creative Power
Though the stereotype of the starving artist is common, it is very unlikely that an artist that is actually starving will have the mental capability to produce any work of significant value. Brain cells require twice as much energy from food as any other cells in your body and as every artist relies on their brain, you need to work at making sure it does not go hungry.
Pablo Picasso is one of many successful artists who realised the importance of eating good brain food. His doctor prescribed him a diet of fish and spinach to boost his powers of abstract thinking. Whereas Picasso’s talent almost certainly isn’t solely down to his diet, if you are striving to reach the peak of your creative powers you should start looking after your brain by feeding it properly.
But what food is good for your brain? Below is a list of 10 of the best brain foods that you should eat regularly to help you form new ideas and boost your creativity.
1. Unprocessed foods
It’s important that you seek to get your creative brain fuel from natural, unprocessed food; steer well clear of chemical laden processed foods. Nutrient supplements should also be avoided. Though nobody is certain why, study after study has shown that supplements do not provide the same health benefits as real, unprocessed food.
2. Cold water fish
Fish that come from cold water regions are the best as they are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, the best brain food around. Omega 3 plays a valuable role in improving your brain power by building the circuits that the brain transmissions travel along. Eating more fish will help you to build a better functioning brain. Salmon and mackerel are two cold water fish that have a high level of Omega 3.
3. Cruciferous greens
Cruciferous vegetables – such as broccoli, brussel sprouts and leafy greens (like Picasso’s spinach) – have been shown to encourage a slow rate of cognitive decline which is a natural part of ageing. These vegetables are rich in antioxidants, and as well as providing a short-term boost to your creativity, are a great way to stay creatively focussed throughout your life.
Swapping white flour for wholegrain flour and eating brown rice, oats and barley is a great way to up your antioxidant intake. These wholegrain foods will stop the glucose energy that your brain feeds on from being released too quickly, providing you with a steady stream of mental energy as you work on your masterpiece. Make sure to eat wholegrains for breakfast and you will be rewarded with a slow release of brain food throughout the day.
5. Fresh fruit and vegetables
Because of the low level impact on your blood sugar level, fresh fruit and vegetables will provide you with a steady flow of high quality fuel to your brain. As your brain cannot store glucose, it relies on your bloodstream to provide it with a steady flow. However, this does not mean that you should cram your blood full of low quality sugary foods. Treat your brain like a car engine, provide it with high quality fuel and it will run better for longer periods of time.
6. Beans and pulses
Beans and pulses, such as lentils, are a lean source of protein which will regulate the release of glucose to the brain. Lean sources of protein, as opposed to unhealthy fatty sources found in whole milk products and fatty foods, will not damage your brain. Fried, fatty foods are a low quality fuel and will not give you much advantage in the short term or the long term.
7. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are another fantastic source of protein. Like beans and pulses, they will help your brain to receive a steady flow of creative juice. You should note that in order to optimise brain function it is important to have a balanced diet. Though this list consists of a number of separate groups of foods that are good for your brain, you should not just stick to one. Try to fill half your diet with lean sources of protein and the other half with fruits and vegetables. The two sources will work well together to keep your creativity going strong. Some varieties of nuts are also a source of brain-boosting Omega 3 fatty acids.
Caffeine will help speed up your metabolism and will give your brain a boost in concentration for a short while. However, you should only consume a small amount of caffeine when you feel you need it and never in the morning. Drinking coffee too early might make you prone to crash while you are still trying to be creative, slowing down your brain and making it hard to come up with original ideas. Don’t drink coffee for five hours before you go to bed. Caffeine late in the day will prevent you from sleeping soundly and a good sleep is one of the most important factors in maximum brain function.
9. Green tea
Some studies have shown green tea to be effective at slowing down the ageing process of the brain. However, be warned: green tea is also good at keeping you awake. This might be useful if you have a deadline approaching but remember to get plenty of sleep.
10. Unhealthy treats
Even if you follow a strict creative diet to prolong your creativity, life is too short! Indulging in your favourite unhealthy treats every once in a while will not do you any significant harm and will help release endorphins to your brain making you feel positive. However, don’t overdo it, in both frequency and portion size, or risk putting a limit on your creativity.
So there you have it, 10 of the best foods for your brain that you should eat regularly to boost your creative powers.
This article is meant for guidance only. If you are planning to make changes to your diet you should consult your doctor beforehand. The ten suggestions above should not be relied on as official medical guidance.