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We’ve all heard the adage, "You are what you eat." But there’s a real connection between the food we consume and the functionality of our brains. In The Healthy Mind Cookbook, chef, nutritionist and author Rebecca Katz reveals the top eight brain-boosting foods. Just remember to add these to your grocery list next time you hit the market.



The herb has vitamin A, which can increase the brain’s plasticity, and vitamin C, which may protect against memory loss. Plus, the scent increases alertness.



Eat these nuts with the skins on--that’s where the powerful antioxidant phenols reside. They're also a good source of magnesium, which may help regulate sleeping patterns.



The darlings of the produce section, avocados are full of carotenoids, which help improve brain performance. Plus, they’re loaded with healthy fats, which keep inflammation under control and lower the risk of heart disease. Heart healthy = brain healthy.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil

It’s all about the good fats here. Extra virgin olive oil has more monounsaturated oleic acid than any other oil, a key element in better memory and higher scores on verbal fluency tests.



Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C, which may elevate your mood, and vitamin K, which can keep your mind sharp in your older years.



They’re high in nitrites, which have been shown to increase blood flow in parts of the brain related to executive functioning. And they’re packed with folate (aids cognitive functioning), which can help delay dementia.


Pumpkin Seeds

Katz calls these nature’s smallest antidepressant. They’re loaded with zinc, a mineral that keeps depression at bay. They also contain glutamate, which produces GABA, a chemical that fights stress in the brain.

Conde Nast Traveler


They're loaded with vitamin B12, an essential for basic cognitive functioning. The mineral calcium can help slow the onset of brain diseases. Plus, anchovies are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can boost the performance of brain neurons.

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