Food for brain power – Which foods are great for mental health?

May 30, 2018

We all know food is fuel, right?! When we are tired we eat and our energy gets replenished just like magic. It may come as no surprise that our mental energy needs just as much fueling as our physical energy, because guess what, your brain is kinda a big deal. It’s the control centre of your body, keeping the heart beating, lungs breathing and the noggin thinking, moving and feeling. This is a big reason why our meal plans on KIC are full of fresh, wholesome recipes… It’s not just for the pretty insta pics (although there are plenty of those), everything is there to refuel and recharge you so you can give it your best, always.

If your brain needs some boosting, check out some of our fave brain-boosting foods:

Fatty fishes
Don’t be scared of the word fat in this sentence, this is the good kind of fat that we welcome with open arms twice a week. Fatty fish is often on the top of the brain-boosting foods list as they are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s play a large and delicious role in sharpening your memory and improving your mood, as well as protecting your brain. Now, where is our KIC Poke Salmon Bowl…

Great things often come in small packages and these blue fruits are no exception. Besides tasting like nature’s candy, these little bundles of joy are one of the highest antioxidant-rich foods known to humans. They have vitamin C, K and a whole bunch of fibre. Blueberries can help improve your memory and help you to de-stress. Bonus points: they are also extremely delicious! Add them to your breakfast oats, KIC-ass smoothie or just grab and eat them as you go.

Bone broth
Turns out good ol’ trusty bone broth is pretty amazing at healing your gut and in turn, your brain. Bone broth isn’t a one-trick pony either; it’s full of benefits from boosting your immune system to helping improve joint health, and even in some cases helping to overcome food allergies. Bone broth heals your body from the inside out, keeping your immune system functioning properly, improving your memory and just making you feel warm inside.

Turmeric has been doing the health rounds in the last few years and for good reason too. Turmeric is often referred to as one of the ‘spices of life’ – both for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its ability to improve your memory and boost your mood. Get it in by cooking a curry, adding it to any of your veggie dishes for extra colour and flavour, or brewing up a warm cup of turmeric tea. Deeeeeelish.

Leafy greens
Popeye wasn’t just a pretty face, turns out he was onto a good thing with his high spinach diet. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli and mustard greens are high in folic acid. Because deficiencies in folate have been linked to poor moods, depression, fatigue and sleep issues, these guys are a must in any diet! Leafy greens also contain selenium which plays a giant role in your immune system functioning well. Think greens can’t get any better? They are as powerful as they are mighty, with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, protecting your brain as well as providing a serve of vitamin K.

Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds protect the body AND the brain, as well as being a pretty excellent source of iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper. Adding pumpkin seeds to your diet will help with your nerve signaling, learning and memory, and brain function. Try sprinkling some pumpkin seeds over salads, or even nosh on a few for a snack.

Green tea
Green tea will help boost your brain function (and is a bit more gentle than your usual morning cup o’ joe!). Known around the traps to improve alertness, memory, and focus, green tea can also help reduce anxiety. Tick, tick, tick.

Eggs, in particular, egg yolks, are a great source of support for your brain health while also helping regulate your mood and memory. The folate and B12 contained in these little nuggets of joy are known to help ward off depression as well. So get your soldiers ready for dipping, it’s egg time.

Dark chocolate
Not that we need any more reasons to eat dark chocolate, but they don’t hurt either. Dark choc and good quality organic cocoa powder are packed with brain boosters such as flavonoids and antioxidants. The flavonoids in chocolate help protect your brain as well as assisting with your learning and memory. Many studies have shown the link between chocolate and your mood being boosted. So a dose of choc may make you happier for more reasons than one!


Article by Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw founders

All these delicious brain foods feature heavily in our meals and snacks on KIC – check them out at



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