Deliver Functional Appeal
There are many ways through what we eat that can support improved mood and mental health in a time where excessive worry, anxiety, and stress affects each of us differently. These foods influence the way we feel and think. They are vital for healthy brain functioning, energy levels, contain behavior-modifying ingredients, and resonate with our emotions. Foods like fatty fish, dark chocolate, fermented foods, bananas, oats, berries, coffee, etc., all contain functional compounds that help to support mood regulation and, in general, simply feel better. But these foods are not always enjoyed by everyone, opening an opportunity for the single functional ingredients that make up these foods to be introduced to the consumer in new and innovative formats that allow for everyone to enjoy.
The Benefits of Functional Ingredients
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish such as salmon and tuna, are essential fats that must be consumed because the body cannot produce them alone. One review of clinical trials showed that consuming omega-3’s in the form of fish oil lowers depression scores. Dark Chocolate contains health-promoting flavonoids, which have been shown to increase blood flow to your brain, reduce inflammation, and boost brain health, all of which may support mood regulation. Fermented foods may improve mood since they are rich in probiotics that support gut health and could increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects many facets of human behavior, such as mood, stress response, appetite, and sexual drive. And up to 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced by your gut microbiome. Bananas are high in vitamin B6, which helps synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Bananas and oats provide the fiber that can stabilize blood sugar levels and boost your mood. Other fruits and vegetables are linked to lower rates of depression because of the wide range of antioxidants and phenolic compounds found in these foods. One study associated a diet rich in anthocyanins (found in berries) with a 39% lower risk of depression symptoms. Coffee, containing caffeine, and even decaf coffee provides numerous compounds such as chlorogenic acid that may boost your mood. All of these functional compounds or ingredients are available as single ingredients to be used alone or in combination to develop healthier, more functional foods and beverages for consumers to enjoy and benefit from.
When feeling down or simply overwhelmed by the stressors around you, it is not always easy to “eat” enough of your feelings when these functional ingredients are available in their purified form and added to fortified foods & beverages for a concentrated, more enjoyable consumption experience with all the mood-boosting benefits. If you have further interest in learning more about functional ingredients that can support your mood, please contact your Batory Foods Representative.