We hope you've been enjoying our series on mind-boosting all-natural foods to keep you sharp and on the ball from sun up to sunset. Our last installment, which included goji berries, hazelnuts, and iron-rich foods like spinach, was a hit, so another round of delicious and nutritious foods is just what the doctor (and your boss) ordered so you can keep you going strong on full-throttle mode when the workload won't quit. With these mind-boosting edibles, your body and brain won't quit either!


Let's move on to J, K, and L, keeping the alphabet in time with your appetite! Eating well means doing your body and mind a service rather than filling yourself with junky processed foods and energy-boosters that are full of artificial ingredients. The key to staying laser-sharp and focused is clean and strategic eating. Dig in!

Java

A cuppa Joe is almost always readily available in the office, and if not, there are plenty of places to pick up a cup to tote to work. Or just brew a pot at home and get started before heading out for the day.

According to Huffington Post, "Caffeine, the mild stimulant found in coffee, improves mental acuity. Aside from caffeine's brain boosting effects, coffee's antioxidant richness helps maintain brain health."

Lay off those high-sugar coffeehouse concoctions and go for a regular cup instead. You'll save calories and the crash of that short-lived sugar high. If you have trouble sleeping, cease your coffee consumption mid-day. Otherwise, sip a few cups per day and watch how much better your focus and concentration becomes. Coffee really does have its perks!

Kale

Lots of folks are on a kale kick for its generous health-enhancing properties. As per MindBodyGreen, "(Kale is) a great low-carb vegetable that's rich in vitamins C, K, and A, as well as potassium and iron."

Dr. Axe adds, "Getting regular helpings of leafy green brain foods — like kale, Swiss chard and romaine lettuce — can help keep dementia at bay. Adults who eat a serving of leafy green veggies once or twice a day experience slower mental deterioration than those who eat no vegetables."

So rather than going for the boring iceberg lettuce, choose kale instead. It's much tastier, has higher levels of fiber, and will keep your mind from wilting as the day grows long.

Lentils

On a cool afternoon, or even a warm one, for that matter, opt for a filling bowl of lentil soup for lunch or add lentils to your salads and sauces. They will boost your food's flavor and your mind power the healthy way.

According to Active Beat, "This colorful legume is super rich in folate, a type of B vitamin that enhances brain power and increases the dopamine function within brain, to boost both performance and mood."

Sharecare also recommends lentils for brain-boosting goodness. "Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain. Glucose, a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body, is the only fuel your brain can use. The high fiber content of lentils is a key component in keeping your brain in optimal shape."

Mom always pushed you to eat lentils and she was on to something!

Check out more foods with mind-boosting properties. The a, b, cs, the d, e, fs, and the g, h, is. Plus go for some mackerel, nuts, or oats for a brain boost!

Stay tuned for more mind-boosting health foods that will improve your production and success in the workplace and your life in general.

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The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

Getty Images/Maria Stavreva

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