Nutrition does more than feed the body, it also gives the mind the fuel it needs to make every day as successful and productive as can be. We're going through the alphabet from A-Z to bring you brain-boosting foods that are not only healthy, but full of all the good stuff that makes our minds work at their peak performance.

From avocados to lentils, delicious foods that make our bellies happy are also giving our brains something to signal our mouths to smile about. Here are more mind-boosting nutritious foods to add to your grocery list – mackerel, nuts, and oats.

Mackerel

Holy mackerel! Eating this fish is not only something to entice your taste buds, but it will have your brain fishing for another bite. BBC Good Food recommends oily fish like mackerel to enhance brainpower. "The main sources of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers." The DHA in these fish is, "important for healthy brain function, the heart, joints and our general well-being."

People with low levels of DHA have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, as per BBC Good Food. Plus, DHA, "is thought to help us manage stress and helps make the good mood brain chemical, serotonin."

So order the mackerel at your favorite seafood restaurant or grill or poach a filet at home. You'll not only love the flavor, but the favor this omega-3-packed fish will do to scale things up in the intellectual department!

Nuts

If you're nuts for nuts, then you're in luck, because nuts are brain food that are fun to munch and snack on. According to Forbes, "Nuts, especially walnuts, are extremely good for the brain and nervous system. They also contain vitamin E, which has been shown to prevent many forms of dementia by protecting the brain from free radicals."

There are so many variety of nuts to choose from, so mix and match or find a favorite to stick with. A handful of nuts is satisfying and easy grab any time of day. You may feel nuts, but at least you won't lose your mind!

Oats

Start your day with a warm bowl of oatmeal and you'll set yourself up for a productive and energized day to come. As per Shape, "The primary fuel for your brain is glucose, which comes from carbohydrates such as those abundant in oats. Since your body breaks down the carbs in whole-grain oats very slowly, they help keep you sharp for several hours."

Go for whole grain oats and reap the best of their benefits from head to toe. You'll be filled up and fueled up for a day that's sure to be a success. A bowl to stay on the ball is a meal worth digging your teeth into!

Want more? Check out these tasty and good-for-you treats. And if you missed the last installment, check out how java, kale, and lentils make the grade.

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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.

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