Writer’s Block, Dry spell, Brain Fart, Blogstipation. Whatever slang or artist’s terminology you can utter to describe it, you may be one of the millions that feel your creative energy has been sapped this past week, month or who knows how long. Horrible things you wouldn’t wish on your biggest competitors like -
- Music not stimulating your thoughts into productive action.
- A fading memory where sometimes you feel that your college lifestyle is coming back to haunt you… Simple things like names of schoolmates, old vacation places or years, and where you put your !@#$-ing keys are gone to the land of the lost.
- Utter emptiness; searching for fulfillment or inspiration in the form of aesthetic beauty that would bring about the fire inside you to create your passion in whatever gives you a sense of harmonic freedom.
But know there is something nutritionally and holistically that can be done.
Gaining back your inner Picasso starts now with learning about the biochemical that directly affects your mind, memory and creativity.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter created in the parietal lobes of the brain. These lobes control your thinking functions – intelligence and language comprehension even your ability to pay attention.
Acetylcholine controls brain speed, memory, and your ability to take in new sensory experiences. Deficiency causes forgetfulness as memories get partially stored and your brain is unable to connect to incoming stimuli. Brain speed lessens and is noticeably different when just 7 milliseconds are lost. At times, you mentally feel a loss of enthusiasm for life and have memory lapses and maybe the beginning symptoms of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
So if you’re looking to improve your ‘brain age’ this is your #1.
What to do? – Easiest is to increase your choline nutrients. This close relative of the B vitamin (both are made in the liver) is converted into acetylcholine in the body. It creates insulation around your brain cells enabling them to keep the stored info and prevents them from possible damage or dissipation.
What to Eat? – The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for choline is 550 mg/day for men and 425 mg/day for women. For vegetarians, this one is a little more difficult, like for most B vitamins.
- Choline is prevalent in meats especially the liver, but ground beef, chicken, fish and pork all have high amounts, just make sure you’re eating from a good source – grass-fed and free range, organic.
- Eggs contain some of the largest amounts – another reason to eat the yolk since just a single slightly-cooked large one contains about 140mg.
- Nuts are the best choice for non-meat eaters; Pistachios, Almonds, Cashews, Pine nuts, Hazelnuts, and Macadamia
- Other good vegetarian choices include Avocado, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, and whole grain cereals like oats, barley or to a lesser amount, rye.
- For Gluten-Free options, Quinoa offers a whopping 40mg per cooked serving.
Lifestyle – Is it possible to stimulate your creativity? Of course!
- Meditation, stimulating conversations, beautiful postcards, aesthetic pictures of old vacation spots, relaxing music, and yes, exercise.
- Aerobic exercise can restore acetylcholine, exercising 1 hour a day can be extremely beneficial. Ever tried rebounding? It’s a No-Impact exercise that is “68% more effective than jogging”, says NASA in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
- And beware of toxic metals, especially aluminum. Keep an eye on your kitchen and it’s cookware for this zinc-depleting material because everything nowadays seems to be made with it.
Supplements – Choline supplementation is great, but if you’re already eating enough, not necessary. Phosphatidyl choline has been know to cause upset stomachs and diarrhea in some and it’s not recommended for those with Bipolar disorders or the genetic disease, trimethylaminuria. But don’t worry - there are some other options for increasing your brain health! I recommend this Choline bitartrate from Country Life- due to the – No: corn, soy, gluten, dairy. It’s also Kosher and vegan. Yay! Most other brands use either soy in the form of lecithin or a corn cellulose or gelatin pill.
- As mentioned before, B vitamins are essential for a healthy nervous system with B12 being the superhero of the bunch. This Bluebonnet product has a small amount of choline, but most important are the lack of other questionable ingredients – no corn, rice, soy, gluten. It’s also kosher and vegetarian.
- Antioxidants are also extremely beneficial as a brain food and for protecting the cells against free radicals that damage the surrounding membranes. So eat your berries and tomatoes and drink your organic matcha green tea or yerba mate.
- Amino acid L-carnitine assists in building acetylcholine while also promoting weight loss and might help in lowering triglycerides. Again, I found this choice to also be free from soy, corn, gluten etc.
- Huperzine-A is made from the rare herb Chinese Club Moss and preserves acetylcholine. It has a low occurrence of side effects but it shouldn’t be taken regularly, maybe only 2-4 times a week. Same – no corn, soy, gluten…
- Phosphatidyl choline or Phosphatidyl serine both improve memory and the latter has shown to be beneficial to those with depression or MS. This one as a supplement is more difficult due it originating from soy. You can find GMO-free soy, but then you run into Gelatin and Glycerin. Or if you want it sourced from GMO-free Sunflower oil (I didn’t know sunflowers were GM…have to look at that one again…) with no soy you still run into vegetable cellulose – most likely made from corn.
- Gingko Biloba – The Herbalists go-to guy for building brain power. It improves circulation to the brain and increases tissue oxygenation. Also available in a larger size from NOW foods with Gotu Kola and Eleuthero root. Both are free from… you guessed it corn, soy, gluten! Or you could get it as a tincture, using only organic alcohol- the best way to extract the benefits of herbs.
I’ll be waiting for your next masterpiece… If you want to share, your HD is always here for you – I’ll read any intro, absorb any painting or artfully drawn picture, and intently listen to your audio snippets! PG rated please – No 50 Shades of Gray or Explicit Lyrics please, young ‘uns have ways of finding everything - Send ‘em to firstname.lastname@example.org
Go – Create!
The Edge Effect by Eric R. Braverman M.D.
The Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC