A reader gave me the idea to write this article, as it is often missed by other writers and bloggers. I’ve mentioned tidbits in my past posts, but I’ll now attempt to clarify. Writing takes a fair measure of creativity and ingenuity to execute well. With experience and knowledge, great works can flow from a writer’s fingertips. However, there’s another facet to the equation: one’s health.
When we think of creativity and the ability to write, the brain first comes to mind–pun intended. The brain is a hungry organ, consuming a significant portion of nutrients hosted by the body. If inadequate supplies reach the cranium, our thinking slows, and we may lose motivation or confidence (just to name a few symptoms).
Here’s a list of nutrients that ensure our mind works at its best:
- Protein – The body breaks down this macronutrient into amino acids, which serve in hundreds of chemical reactions related to the brain, specifically neurotransmitters. These transmitters help parts of the brain communicate. They control your ability to focus, remember, and stay motivated. Animals products that are raised humanely and organically are good sources of protein. If you’re a vegan, leafy greens like kale and spinach combine well with almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.
- Fat – Oh no! I said the f-bomb–well not the swear word, but the three letter one. Please humor me for a moment. Over half the brain builds from fat globules. People who consume low-fat diets are at risk for depression, suicide, and poor creative function. We’ve been taught to view fats–particularly saturated fats–with anathema. While not all fats are created equal, the best come from organic family farms. Plant oils such as sunflower or peanut spoil easily and should be stored in dark glass containers. Good sources of fats are avocados, olive oil, hemp oil, whole raw milk (if you can stomach it), ghee, coconut oil, fish, nuts, and seeds.
- B vitamins – Coined the ‘happy vitamins’ since they improve your mood. You’re body/brain needs a broad spectrum of these micronutrients to function. The biggest one is B12. A dearth of B12 induces brain fog, memory issues, and depression, among other things. Source proper B12 supplements in the form of methylcobalamin, not cyanocobalamin, as the first absorbs better (since your body converts cyano into methyl anyway).
- Vitamin D – It’s difficult to absorb enough of this vitamin from the sun. Without D, the brain cannot develop itself properly. Choose D3 over D2, as again, with B12, D3 is closer to the organic substance our bodies utilize from the sun. Vitamin D absorbs best when taken with fat (avocados are an excellent choice).
- Magnesium – Even with vitamin D, sufficient fats, proteins, and B vitamins, your body requires magnesium to finish the chemical cycle. Magnesium plays a part in over 300 reactions in the body. Sufficient supply leads to increased focus, relaxation, and higher energy. Good sources of this nutrient are leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocados, raw cacao, and meat. I personally use a magnesium chloride spray and absorb it through my skin, as the intestines poorly incorporate magnesium.
- Water – The brain holds a lot of water, and it takes only a slight decrease to cause memory and attention issues. Over three-fourths of the US is chronically dehydrated. Aim for half your body weight in ounces to drink daily. Like fats, not all water is equal–be sure to get a filter for your faucet and shower. Tap water clumps together, reducing its bioavailability to the body. Using magnets can help detangle the hydrogen-oxygen molecules. See the links below for more information.
This article isn’t exhaustive, as I expect there are many more to add to the list. I hope this article gave some insight into how vital self-care is for a writer (or anyone really). Feel free to research the topic further using the links below. I’d love to hear any additions you can make. Thank you for reading and good luck. 🙂