Focus is sometimes elusive and the internet only makes it more difficult. You go from checking your email to a promo you received from Gap, to Gap.com to Athleta.com to exercise pants to spinning classes… And pretty soon you find yourself watching a Nicki Minaj music video at 2 in the morning and wondering how you got here.
The people who have laser-like focus have some tricks up their sleeve; one being proper nutrition. The concept of “brain food” is no myth, in fact, it’s been studied and supported for years by numerous universities. Here are three go-to snacks to cultivate ultimate brain function, and three prompts to get your creativity flowing.
Whole grains help you hang on to energy longer. They’re slow to release glucose, and just like your body performs best on this slow release, your brain does too. Toast a piece of whole-grain bread (the more seeds and nuts the better).
Pair it with sliced or mashed avocado, which is full of unsaturated and monounsaturated fat. These good fats (as opposed to trans fats and saturated fats that are bad) help keep your cell membranes flexible. According to a study published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, these “good fats” provide protection and support to information-carrying nerves.
Prompt: Tim Gurner, millionaire and real estate mogul said on ’60 Minutes: “When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each.” It didn’t take long for the snarky memes to begin, resulting in all kinds of jokes about and from millennials. Write about a time you felt your generation was misunderstood or misrepresented. Tell the story from your point of view.
A Bowl of Blueberries
Blueberries are considered a superfood — packed with Vitamin C and K, as well as soluble fiber. They’re also low calorie and high in antioxidants, essential for intelligence.
Studies reviewed by the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, indicate berries have a big role in protecting the brain. They help neurons communicate and aid in memory and motor function. They’re basically nature’s fruitsnack.
Prompt: In the 1997 slapstick comedy ‘Rocket Man,‘ the obnoxious main character Fred Randall goes to space. He can see the whole Earth through the tiny window in the spaceship. During a live TV broadcast with the president, Randall says “it’s just like a ripe blueberry” and proceeds to sing several renditions of “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands.” Imagine you have this view of the world for just five minutes. How does your perspective change?
A Handful of Nuts
Walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, which is linked to smarter babies and higher cognitive performance in adults. Eating just a handful helps memory, processing and concentration. Almonds and hazelnuts are packed with vitamin E, a crucial antioxidant for the brain’s strength.
And a study out of Loma Linda University found eating nuts strengthens brain wave frequencies. Pistachios produce the greatest gamma wave response. Peanuts produce the highest delta response. This is a lot of science-speak to say nuts are good for brain function.
Prompt: Consider the idiom “come out of their shell.” Write about a time you did this, or watched someone do so. What changed physically, mentally, emotionally? Think about who sets these expectations for introversion versus extroversion and why.
Though being hangry and not having sufficient snacks can cause a lot of problems, sometimes a creativity rut stems from something else. Check out this article about how to free your mind from creative burnout.