Bananas and your Mind

Sometimes people selfmedicate. I personally have friends who take speed to calm down. From a medical perspective that makes sense, because it is practically the same molecule as methylphenidate (or ritalin). Others use (or misuse) products to forget, but even that can help to prevent or mediate (the effects of) a depression.

Now, scientific research has been published that suggests that creative people sometimes comsume certain foodstuffs to counter writersblock or simply overcome another type of temporary lack of inspiration.
The researchers tried to understand whether creativity is enhanced by the amino acid L-tyrosine, a known precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine. The more dopamine, the more brain activity one should expect to see and the higher the level of creativity could be, so the scientists thought.

In the end, there appeared to be no evidence that L-tyrosine had positive effects on divergent (creative) thinking or, as scientists like to tell you: brainstorming. But it did result in an marked improvement in the convergent (analytical) thinking. Because convergent thinking needs more (mental) energy, researchers suggest that the L-tyrosine supports this process[1].

Now, of course, you think that you should dash to the nearest drugstore and buy yourself a jar of L-tyrosine. But no, that is not necessary at all, because L-tyrosine is simply one of the 22 amino acids that your body needs and it hides itself in a lot of common foods, such as chicken, fish, milk, cheese, peanuts, avocados and - yes - bananas.

Which means that, if you will have a difficult meeting with your boss (or your subordinates), you’ll simply need to consume a banana before the meeting.

[1] Colzato et al: Food for creativity: tyrosine promotes deep thinking in Psychological Research - 2014

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