Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, swore by a fruit heavy diet and sometimes dabbled in fruitarianism (a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds). Jobs often referred to his fruit-heavy diet as laying the foundation for his creativity and success.
However, this is Steve Jobs we are talking about here. One of the most creative minds of our time. Could eating fruits lead to increased creativity for the rest of us?
In a study published in Psychological Research, researchers wanted to see if eating fruit with high levels of tyrosine (like avocado, kiwifruit, pineapple, and strawberries) lead to greater concentration and creativity.
Tyrosine is an amino acid that increased increases the brain’s production of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that is believed to positively influence the ability to think creatively.
In the double-blind study, the researchers had 32 participants visit the laboratory twice and drink orange juice on both occasions. Half of the participants were given orange juice infused with additional tyrosine. The other half were given orange juice with a placebo additive. Next, the researchers tested the participants’ ability to solve puzzles surroundings two main aspects of creative thinking: divergent and convergent thinking.
Divergent thinking is the ability to generate solutions to a problem, also called "brainstorming." Convergent thinking follows a particular set of steps to reach a conclusion, what researchers call "deep" thinking.
The results showed that participants who were given orange juice with added tyrosine were better at solving puzzles compared to the placebo group. They found that tyrosine led to higher levels of convergent "deep" thinking among the participants.
The researchers suggest that eating foods rich with tyrosine -- including eggs, cheese, nuts, and oats in addition to the above mentioned fruit -- may be a healthy way to increase deep and creative thinking.
The findings further support giving children a healthy breakfast and fruits throughout the day, as these foods may provide a natural cognitive boost.
After a healthy breakfast, another way to give children a cognitive boost is exercise! By integrating movement, rhythm, and repetition, StepUp programs use interactive videos to help children make permanent progress in reading, math, and handwriting. We all want our children to be happy, successful, well-rounded kids. By combining gross motor skills with early academic skills, StepUp builds children's confidence and sets them up for success!
P.S. If you liked this post, why not get our Learning in Motion email?
Awesome, research-based ideas for learning enrichment. Get on the list.