Can Diet Enhance Your Creativity?

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Feeling down in the dumps as you face a blank page? Afraid your brain-freeze might not thaw anytime soon? You might try taking a big bite of a red hot chili pepper. The searing chemical reaction you’ll experience is Capsicum stimulating your mouth’s nerve endings.

But a burning mouth is not where you’ll get your bounce from chili peppers. Expect a rush of creativity as the Capsaicin releases endorphins in your brain to extinguish the fire in your mouth. Endorphins are natural painkillers and produce a temporary high. Theoretically, the more chili peppers you eat, the more creative you’ll be. The question is, do you want to suffer that much for your art?

Are there other foods with less fiery characteristics that will lift your spirits, brighten your mind and enhance your creativity?

Brain Function

If you want your brain to function properly, you’ll need amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. One of the essential functions of amino acids is to deliver messages to your brain. Lack of amino acids could be the cause those gaps in thinking that older people sometimes call “senior moments.”

Amino acids start a chain-reaction in your body. They produce the neurotransmitters Dopamine and Serotonin which are vitally important for a healthy nervous system. You can increase the transmission speed of nerve impulses by having an amino acid-rich diet.

You get amino acids from lots of foods, but whole grain bread is one of the best sources. White bread doesn’t do anything for your brain— it’s whole grain bread that supplies the amino acids you need.

Seafood for Serenity

Adding more seafood to your diet will make you happier and give you more energy. Many writers live a very hectic life— many are trying to achieve their first literary success between a full-time job, caring for a family and many other responsibilities. In cases like this the body generates stress hormones and this brings on a tired feeling. When you eat seafood you get a lot of Selenium, a mineral that will give you an upbeat mood. Seafood is rich in Selenium.

Every writer wants to feel motivated and to be able to write quickly and efficiently. If you have an amino acid called Tyrosine coursing through your body, it will release dopamine and epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), brain chemical’s that will change your outlook. Were do you get Tyrosine? Turkey and chicken.

An Upbeat Mood

Feeling irritable or blue? A lack of vitamin C may be your problem. As most people know, foods like oranges and grapefruit which are rich in vitamin C and can boost your epinephrine levels. A lack of vitamin-C-rich foods also inhibits your body’s ability to absorb the iron it needs to fight fatigue. So, if you need to fight fatigue, eat about six oranges per day and you will experience less nervousness and depression. Vitamin C supplements are also helpful.

When you’re in the produce aisle getting all those oranges, don’t forget to pick up some bananas too. They are rich in magnesium, and without magnesium you’re going to find yourself suffering from fatigue, insomnia, and muscle twitching. In more extreme cases you may have a rapid heartbeat or other cardiovascular issues. In severe magnesium deprivation cases, people experience tingling and numbness or even hallucinations and delirium.

Hydrate for Health

Finally, make sure that you have enough water on hand if you want to give your creativity a jolt.

It seems like everyone is walking around with a bottle of water in their hand, and that’s a good thing, especially for writers. Even cases of mild dehydration slows the flow of the blood, and this affects brain function. The right amount of water each day keeps you from feeling lethargic. How much water is enough? Most health care professionals say 8-10 glasses per day are about right. Can you replace some of this water with soft drinks or coffee? No, they may act as a diuretic which actually increases dehydration, and drinks have any caffeine content are more likely to put you on edge than to make you more creative.

So what is the ideal writer’s lunch? Start with a nice shrimp cocktail. Then have a turkey sandwich (chili optional) on whole grain bread, with a orange and banana salad. Enjoy it with a chilled bottle of spring water. Give the meal a few minutes to flood your body with the natural chemicals that will stimulate your creativity, then start writing!

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