This still-life painting of garlic onions done in oil titled "Heart Health" plays on the idea that foods are not only medicinal but also the act of looking at a painting.
Garlic and onions are considered to be superfoods that contain many heart-protective benefits. They are a class of vegetables containing a high level of organosulfur, which is shown to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. But is looking at a painting of the vegetable also physically beneficial?
Historically, ancient philosophers like Plato believed that the arts were powerful shapers of character, stirring up emotions and influencing our behavior.
It turns out that the philosophers were right. Art is good for your health, not just spiritually but also physically. Heart-healthy benefits start with a calming influence. Looking at art releases Dopamine, a chemical that makes you feel happy, grateful, and connected to others. This experience reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and controls heart palpitations. February is nationally recognized Heart Health Month. We all know sleep, diet, and exercise are essential components of health. Reducing stress is another important component.
The New York Times bestseller book titled "Your Brain on Art," written by Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross, explains how the science of neuroaesthetics proves the correlation between the arts and health. Activities like painting, dancing, and expressive writing are essential to our lives. This knowledge shows that making a cultural shift towards the arts can improve our health, enable us to flourish, and build stronger communities.
If you're tired of staring at blank walls, why not add a little color to your surroundings? Remember: science says it's good for you.