Diet Of The Mind: Foods For Fuelling Mental Greatness

04.07.18 Eat, Learn Blog SumoSalad

It can seem like we are constantly bombarded with diets and cleanses for our bodies, but what about our minds? Your mental health is equally as important as your physical health so it’s important to give it the attention and care it deserves.

During the colder months, our energy and motivation can hit an all-time low. We may tend to roll over and pull up the covers vs keeping active, which in turn may lead to poor eating choices, which can have an effect on our mental clarity.

The world-renowned Dr Eva Selhub from Harvard Medical School puts it perfectly:

Unfortunately, just like an expensive car, your brain can be damaged if you ingest anything other than premium fuel.

Think about it. Your brain is always “on.” It takes care of your thoughts and movements, your breathing and heartbeat, your senses — it works hard 24/7, even while you’re asleep. This means your brain requires a constant supply of fuel. That “fuel” comes from the foods you eat — and what’s in that fuel makes all the difference. Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.

Again like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel. Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourish the brain and protect it from oxidative stress — the “waste” (free radicals) produced when the body uses oxygen, which can damage cells.


To keep your energy levels up and help you feel healthy in the long term, your diet needs to feed more than your stomach.

The good news? Naturally nourishing the brain with nutrition is thankfully quite easy to achieve by including a few simple whole foods into your diet!

A daily diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins and good fats can keep your energy levels up and help you maintain strong physical and mental health in the long term.

Here are our top food recommendations to add to your diet to give your body and mind the boost it needs:

Green, leafy vegetables: Aim for six or more servings per week. This includes kale, spinach, cooked greens and salads.
Sumo Solution: Try our Daily Deli Chicken Kaleslaw Salad with walnuts & minted yogurt

Additional (non-starchy) vegetables:
 Try to eat another vegetable in addition to the green leafy vegetables at least once a day. Reach for non-starchy vegetables including cucumber, cauliflower and broccoli which contain a high level of nutrients and low number of calories.

Fish: Eat fish at least once a week. It is best to choose fatty fish like salmon, sardines, trout, tuna and mackerel for their high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
Sumo Solution: Teriyaki Salmon & Snow Pea Grain Bowl – Pepper smoked Tassie salmon, snow peas, broccoli and baby spinach on a bed of steamed brown rice, red and white quinoa and topped with sesame seeds and a teriyaki dressing.

Beans: Include beans in at least four meals every week. This includes all beans, lentils and soybeans.

Poultry: Try to eat chicken or turkey at least twice a week.
Sumo Solution: Check out our Daily Deli or try our Made to Order Vietnamese Chicken Salad Bowl 

Nuts: Try to get five servings of nuts or more each week.

Berries: Eat berries at least twice a week including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries for their antioxidant benefits.

Whole grains: Aim for at least three servings daily. Choose whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and 100% whole-wheat bread.
Sumo Solution: Our Made to Order Commando Nourish Bowl of roasted pumpkin, broccoli, boiled egg, haloumi, on a bed of steamed brown rice and quinoa and mesclun lettuce, topped with pepitas and Japanese sesame and miso dressing. Then power up with your protein of choice – falafel, chicken, beef or salmon!

Include a selection of these natural whole foods, grains and proteins to keep Fuelling Greatness® for your body and mind this winter and beyond!


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