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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Healthy Mind: Brain-Boosting Foods Star in New Cookbook by Rebecca Katz

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 1:31 PM

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When it comes to discussing the healing properties of food, there is perhaps no better local advocate than Rebecca Katz. The founding director of Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal in Bolinas, and executive chef of the annual Food is Medicine training program sponsored by the Center for Mind Body Medicine at Georgetown Medical School, Katz is out with her fourth book (with co-author Mat Edelson), this time on foods that boost brain activity.

With two prior books on food for cancer patients and one on foods that promote longevity, The Healthy Mind Cookbook: Big-Flavor Recipes to Enhance Brain Function, Mood, Memory, and Metal Clarity, (Ten Speed Press) is not only full of delicious-sounding recipes featuring the usual suspect healthy foods such as lentils, leafy greens and quinoa, but in the book’s “culinary pharmacy” chapter, we learn about such brain-boosting foods as pumpkin and sesame seeds. Herbs that aid brain function include parsley and mint, and in the spice department, we have saffron and cinnamon.

Katz goes into detail discussing exactly how certain foods work and what they do. For example, while some foods like lentils actually help cognitive functioning, others, like cranberries, are known to help memory. And munching on a few pumpkin seeds throughout the day can actually help ward off depression, due to their high zinc levels.
A sampling of the recipes include: Rosemary and Thyme-Smothered Lamb Chops, Kale with Dates and Caramelized Onions and Chocolate Cherry Walnut Truffles.

Chocolate truffles? Yes, you read that right. Katz is a big advocate of eating chocolate, provided that it’s of the darker variety, as it’s full of antioxidants and equally importantly, functions as a mood-enhancer. And who couldn’t use a bit of a mood-enhancing substance every once in awhile, especially when it’s perfectly legal and tastes so good?
Rebecca Katz will be at Omnivore Books in S.F. tonight, Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m.

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About The Author

Alix Wall

Alix Wall

Alix Wall is an Oakland-based freelance writer and certified natural foods chef. Her web site is


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