One concept most of us don’t seem to be able to wrap our head around is that besides affecting us physiologically, the food we eat also affects us emotionally and mentally.
Our brain is an organ too and it derives the nutrients it needs from the food we eat to sustain itself, and to thrive.
Simply put its efficiency too depends on what we eat, and only an efficient brain can be a creatively productive brain too.
Secondly, there is a strong relationship between gut health and our cognitive processes and changing our diet can truly help us hack into our creativity better.
Make these 5 changes to increase your chances of getting that eureka moment more often!
Switch to Whole Grains
Unprocessed, complex carbohydrate grains like quinoa, millets and oats deliver B-vitamins, magnesium, protein, fibre, iron, phosphorous and more.
These nutrients increase energy levels, mental alertness, and improve the brain power, and thus ultimately help boost our creativity.
What works specially is the punch of B6 vitamins the whole grains deliver, which helps boost our short-term memory and concentration - prerequisites for creativity. So go on focus on these grains:
- Oats – oats deliver vitamin B 6 , protein and complex carbs, which power our entire body, including the brain.
- Quinoa – high in iron, which is vital for optimum brain function, as 20% of our blood oxygen goes to the brain.
- Brown Rice – is a good source of B-vitamins like riboflavin, which help produce energy for brain cells.
- Amaranth – Amaranth is loaded with calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and B vitamins. It is also unusually high in protein (unusual for grains) and is abundant in lysine, an essential amino acid usually missing from most grains, which is a panacea for the brain.
- Salmon - Salmon is a great brain food to eat because of the omega 3 fatty acids, which improves memory and mood and also help build the grey matter that processes information and signals to the brain. This helps nurture our creative instincts.
- Seaweed- Seaweed delivers essential amino acid tyrosine, which that helps in the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine, which is known to drive our cognitive control and creativity.
- Eggs- Eggs deliver choline, which is used to build cell membranes and plays a crucial role in producing neurotransmitters in the brain. Eggs can help improve memory, brain speed, and boost the processing of sensory experiences.
Have More Fruits
Fruits and vegetables give us a lot of flavonoids, which help increase the blood flow to the parts of the brain related to memory and sharp thinking.
So eating more fruits and vegetables leads to not just better well-being but an increased sense of curiosity and creativity too.
Zero in on these:
- Berries - Next time your want to be at your creative best, eat some berries. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries…any will do! That’s because they are loaded with compounds that help maintain communication between brain cells and help activate BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor). This factor helps in the growth of new neurons that are needed for clear, creative thinking. Plus they help boost our memory too.
- Avocado - These are rich in fatty acid - oleic acid, which helps to build up the coating of insulation found in white matter of the brain. This coating helps information travel in the brain and thus help boost our creative productivity. Add avocado to your salads or mash it up and place on a rye bread and eat.
- Kale - This ‘super food’ is known for many health benefits, including its ability to help the body with hydration and the transport of oxygen – vital for optimal brain function.
- Broccoli - This is rich in vitamin K, which helps to improve our cognitive abilities. Plus it has potassium that also assists the brain in healing and improving itself.
- Spinach - Packed with iron, this leafy vegetable helps to improve memory, concentration and mental functioning.
Munch on Nuts and Seeds
All nuts are high in protein and vitamin E, which help prevent poor memory and improve our concentration levels. Particularly walnuts as they not just better our mood, but also help increase cognitive performance and inferential reasoning.
Similarly, Seeds too contain an abundance of nutrients like thiamine, zinc, Vitamins A and E, and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. things that help to boost our brains functionality.
Pumpkin seeds particularly come with high dose of zinc, which is essential to enhance our memory, critical thinking, and general cognition. Zinc is also an anti-depressant, so it helps banish creativity-killing moods and thoughts.
(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).)
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