Look after your mind and you’ll reap the benefits in terms of your potential creative output. One way to heighten your creativity is by eating the right foods.
The Envisionary aims to help you build your creative and visionary potential, and part of that is ensuring our minds can be in optimal shape for our creativity to blossom.
Therefore, feeding ourselves the right nutrients is one such way of increasing those creative sparks throughout our day.
Some of these suggestions will come as no surprise. The first 10 follow the usual recommendations of a healthy diet and which will certainly help you heighten your creativity, as well as curiosity and general well-being. The final 5 are some interesting ones that you should consider taking in moderation.
So, here’s 15 foods that will heighten your creativity today:
Table of Contents
The first one goes without saying but despite our brain being 80% water, it’s amazing just how many times we can fail to simply drink enough when we feel tired or become foggy in mind. To continue to function at optimal levels drink water.
When it’s hotter outside you aren’t more sleepy or slower in thought just because it’s hotter, but because your brain needs more water to be replaced to function optimally.
2) Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries…)
Berries don’t just help improve your memory function, they help boost your creativity too. Not surprising when you consider how our hippocampus is central to our memory and imagination.
Berries are connector foods. They help maintain communication between brain cells and also help develop new neurons (by activating BDNF) which we need for creative thinking.
3) Avocados (& Bananas)
Avocados have long been associated with creativity thanks to their oleic acid. This reacts with the white matter of our brain, building up a layer of insulation around it which helps information travel around the brain. By now you should see a pattern. Foods that aid in the travelling of messages between cells equals creativity.
Bananas have less such a connotation with creativity, but I’ve added it here because through my experience it really helped keep my focus going whilst I spent a month solely focused on writing a creative novel, eating 2-3 bananas a day. It also ended up seeing me add a monkey character to the plot, so go figure.
4) Green Vegetables (Kale, Spinach, Broccoli)
We all know kale is a superfood, we all know Popeye ate spinach, and we all know broccoli brings about gas, but all three are also super helpful for boosting our creativity.
Eats these green vegetables and you’ll get a healthy mix of iron (from spinach), vitamin k and potassium (from broccoli), and oxygen transportation (from kale) to transport new thoughts around your mind!
5) Nuts & Seeds (Almonds, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds…)
Pretty much any nuts or seeds you pick will benefit you. They are the ultimate easy snack and far better than picking up a bag of crisps/chips. Walnuts and almonds are particularly helpful for creative output. As for seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds, top the superpowers list.
That said, any nut or seed you pick will have a large variety of nutrients to help improve creativity, concentration, and cognitive improvement, particularly with vitamins A & E, and Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, as well as proteins.
6) Wholegrains (Bread, Pasta, Rice, Oats, Quinoa…)
The difference between refined white bread and wholemeal bread is like night and day. If you consider eyesight as creativity then whole grains will help you see so much clearer during the day than refined grains would at night.
Wholegrains contain a whole load of nutrients that help increase energy levels, mental alertness, and boost your creative brainpower. It’s the B6 vitamins that help heighten your creativity the most because of their boost to our short memory, focus, and energy for our brain cells and eyes.
7) Oily Fish (Salmon, Tuna…)
Need we say more than salmon. It’s been at the top of the healthy fish pile for a long time, probably because it can leap the highest. Or can it leap the highest because of all that supercharged omega 3 fatty acids it holds? If a salmon could paint I imagine it would draw something like Picasso.
Salmon improves mood, which helps creativity flourish, memory, which shares the same hippo’campus’ with imagination, and also helps build the grey matter that processes information and signals to the brain and this is useful for nurturing our creative instincts.
A small mention for tuna too who also contributed to the making of this article, as it too helps boost creativity, as does any fish really. Considering our future diet will generally be more fish based, this is a good thing for all of us. It may lead to fewer idiots doing silly challenges.
Not as disgusting as it first sounded to the 8-year-old me eating it for the first time, but instead a superfood that delivers an essential amino acid tyrosine. This helps in the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine. The pattern continues. Foods that equal travelling cells equals creativity.
9) Egg Yolks
Eggs deliver chickens, or is that the other way around?! Okay, I’ve eating salmon and a handful of nuts so creativity (and stupidity) is in overdrive.
Eggs do deliver choline though. This plays a crucial role in producing neurotransmitters in the brain helping improve memory, brain speed, and boost how we process sensory experiences.
10) Chicken (Lean Meat)
In this list, the egg came before the chicken but both are great for a healthy dose of creativity.
Chicken, or any lean meat for that matter, provides us the building blocks of amino acids and proteins to have enough energy and strength to use our brain, a muscle, to its best capacity.
So, now we get to the more interesting foods which help heighten your creativity.
11) Dark Chocolate (& Sweets)
Okay, this is where the healthy diet gets thrown out the window and replaced with sugary chocolate bars, but be careful. Sugar does indeed act as a trigger towards heightening creative function, but beware. With sugar comes a drop in function, a crash that will see you start a creative project and then fall asleep in the middle, or have a million ideas in a meeting only to forget to write them down and forget them after.
A smarter alternative would be to choose dark chocolate, in moderation. Refined sugar will make you dumber, simply because you spend most of your time on an energy lull needing a pick-me-up again. Dark chocolate can make you smarter as it helps boost your creative problem-solving skills.
On top of that, the antioxidants in it also help reduce anxiety, inflammation, and improve your mood.
12) Coffee & Green Tea (Caffeine)
Similar to the effect of dark chocolate comes caffeine-induced coffee or tea. For centuries people have been benefitting from the herbal and medicinal properties of tea, and if you were to choose between the two (tea and coffee) for purely health reasons then tea wins out (particularly green tea which has the L-Theanine chemical within it that is known to help heighten your creativity as it helps calm the brain), but there’s a reason so many people rely on coffee to get them through a busy day.
Well, partly it’s addictive, partly it’s the rush of adrenaline it brings, like a chemical train of brain movement leading to a creative surge, but again a short-lived one. One where that train likely crashes, so drink in moderation.
So much for all these warning signs and then along comes alcohol, the rebel to the party, fashionably late.
‘Do you drink? Of course, I just said I was a writer’, notes Stephen King. Alcohol has long been linked with creativity, but you don’t need to get blottoed to become creative. A small amount of alcohol is energy to trigger that chemical impulse that alcohol provides.
Remember alcohol is a depressant, not a stimulant, so it’s more a case of lighting the fuse and then putting down the flame.
When I first heard popcorn was good for creativity I went out and bought enough to watch 4 movies straight, only to learn after that it should be the non-salted type. Whoops. After eating it anyway I went out to buy the kernel types and made my own. Even more fun.
For those interested, and not just running out to the nearest supermarket, it’s the whole grains, vitamin B6 and B12 in popcorn that regulate glucose flow keeping you mentally alert for longer, as well as improving your short-term memory and focus.
15) Supplements (Ginkgo Biloba, Theobromine, Ginseng…)
The final food to heighten your creativity isn’t really food but 3 supplements that do a damn good job in helping boost your creative alertness.
Now to be serious for a second, when we consider supplements we are really considering whether we are needing to aid a block somewhere. You could likely just follow the foods above and have an improvement in your creativity in no time, but it could well be that your creativity isn’t flowing because you are blocked in some way, usually by stress.
This is where supplements can come in. Remember supplements aid the healthy diet, not replace it. Have one of these supplements alongside creativity-boosting foods. You may also find certain creativity enhancing chemical boosters in foods listed above, such as Theobromine which is found in chocolate, or L-Theanine in green tea. However, these 3 supplements are usually found in tablet form.
Ginkgo Biloba is a well-known cognitive-enhancing plant that’s been used for thousands of years in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Ginkgo helps stress levels due to reducing high blood pressure and cortisol, so you can keep working and producing creative thinking under stress. It also helps you recall memories better, a key part of creative thinking, as well as improves overall mental functioning and health.
Lion’s Mane is a type of medicinal mushroom that’s a cognitive enhancer. It’s beneficial for overall brain health as it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It also supports the growth of new brain cells, which is vital to your brain development. It helps your creativity by reducing anxiety, enhancing mood, and improving memory and focus.
Red Ginseng isn’t typically associated with heightening your creativity but what it does do is help improve memory and mental performance, with anti-fatigue effects and protection to the body from physiologic stress. If you need something to keep you awake and alert most of the day then this is it (just don’t take it too late or you won’t sleep).
The reason I add Red Ginseng to an article to do with foods that help heighten your creativity is because often people who find they are having trouble with creativity are those who are either aging (it helps reduce age-related mental decline), highly stressed, or just haven’t exercised their minds enough to turn on that creative switch (maybe stuck in a mundane job role that doesn’t promote creative thinking). In that sense, Red Ginseng is a perfect supplement for helping open the floodgates of mental function again and from then creativity will start to emerge again.
In terms of the Red Ginseng I’ve linked to, this particular one is a root extract that contains saponin properties. It may taste a bit bitter but it’s the real deal. I took this whilst living in South Korea with my fiancee who is from there. Her family bank of it and South Korea are really frontrunners when it comes to this type of medicinal supplement. With an aging population, a dust problem, and a workforce that never stops then many rely on Red Ginseng to keep them healthy.
NOTE: Please do your own research before deciding on what supplements to buy. I have provided links to the 3 supplements I have used and recommend these products as safe, trustworthy, and effective.
So, there you have it. Creativity can help your life in numerous ways, but when you eat the right foods and find the right supplements, you will be benefiting your body and mind to help unleash your creative potential that bit further.
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