Plant extracts and fiber are linked as comprehensive ingredients for mental health and well-being

August 31, 2022 — With stress being a major health concern, with 67% of adults reporting increased stress throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the American Psychological Association, the industry is formulating NPD and components that affect mood.

food ingredients He talks with industry experts from Arjuna Natural, Blue California, and WholeFiber. They delve into the potential Mood Components Space – Where plant extracts such as adaptogens and fiber affect the moods of consumers.

Blue California explains that in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic and now inflation, consumers are concerned about health and financial uncertainties, which can negatively impact mental health and sleep patterns.

The holistic idea of ​​holistic health has led consumers to adopt a multifaceted approach to wellness in general.

“This idea plays a powerful role in the mood component space. More consumers are realizing that all aspects of wellness are interconnected and less isolated. For example, good mental health or support for stable moods can affect immunity and sleep,” says David Tetslav, Director of Marketing in Blue California.

According to Arjuna Natural, the focus on mental health has increased in recent years with increased interest in mood-enhancing ingredients that help manage cognitive health, promote mental and emotional well-being, and improve sleep.

“Popular conditioning enhancers like holy basil, ginseng, and ashwagandha are trending because of their effectiveness in relieving anxiety and managing stress,” explains Benny Anthony, joint managing director of Arjuna Natural.

Solutions for stress, anxiety and brain health
Whole Fiber Details Mood and Sleep Components are new product concepts developed in recent years.

Marianne Van Ess, commercial director and general manager at WholeFiber, stresses that the link between a healthy diet and the prevention of so-called “lifestyle diseases” has been established and is more accepted.

Blue California notes that adaptogens can reduce stress and help the body maintain homeostasis to keep inflammation under control.Get a healthier gut by consuming Adequate and healthy dietary fiber It has a positive effect on health and mental health.”

Meanwhile, Arjuna Naturals adds that ashwagandha shoden has been studied for stress and anxiety.

“Sleep and cognitive health were good with efficacy as subjective and objective markers showing their anti-stress and anti-anxiety benefits, making them a good choice for the mood component space,” Anthony says.

Blue California notes that consumers understand that a good night’s sleep can support other areas of their health and that a lack of it can negatively affect their health.

“To support immunity through improved sleep, consumers are taking steps to seek out foods and drinks to complement their diets, such as conditioners that can help the body adapt to stress.” L-TeaActive L-Theanine from Blue California is ideal for calming moods, relaxation and can support rest. ‘, says Tetzlaf.

Fiber and the gut axis
According to WholeFiber, the human gut is connected to the brain via millions of neurons, which have a very bidirectional relationship, the so-called alimentary canal axis.

“The vagus nerve plays an important role in the gut-brain axis,” says van S. The gut microbes can send signals to the vagus nerve, which can influence inflammatory processes, among other things, in the body. It is hypothesized that mental health can be affected by modification of the gut microbiota.”

“Furthermore, recent research has shown that people with major depressive disorders have a different gut microbiota profile compared to people without these depressive disorders,” she adds.

Supporting general mood, stress, anxiety, and sleep has become very popular in recent years, according to Arjuna Natural.“Reports also indicate positive outcomes of hypnotherapy in people with functional bowel disorders, demonstrating a clear link between the gut and the brain.”

Enhance the concepts of mood components
According to WholeFiber, concepts of mood components can be reinforced by explaining the importance of good nutrition for health, including mental health.

“Natural or whole food products and ingredients that are minimally processed and have a positive impact on gut health are viewed as a positive, natural way to increase health and mental health across the gut-brain axis,” says Van S.

Meanwhile, Blue California adds that as consumers seek support to achieve their overall health goals, there is ample opportunity for F&B brands to explore conditioning adapters such as L-TeaActive L-Theanine to incorporate it into their existing offerings and NPD offerings.

“Antibiotics can greatly reduce this stress and help the body maintain a balance to keep inflammation under control,” Tetzlaf says. “They can help the body adapt to stress and restore physiological balance. As an adaptogen found in tea leaves, L-theanine may help promote feelings of calm by increasing the activity of alpha brain waves.”

It explains that L-theanine is an amino acid that supports relaxation and aids in a healthy stress response by reducing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Conditioners, such as L-theanine, respond to the body’s mental and physical reactions to stress and may help balance hormone levels, evoking calmness and focus. L-theanine is a convenient ingredient to combat stress and increase focus, offered in functional drinks, nutritional supplements and other products with a Relevancy,” Tetzlaf details.

Emerging Mood Enhancers
Regarding emerging ingredients in the mood ingredients space, Arjuna Natural explains that “fatty fish, dark chocolate, bananas, oats, berries, coffee, fermented foods, ashwagandha, and turmeric contain functional compounds that are mood-enhancing ingredients.”

“However, a lot of these are not always enjoyed, which opens up an opportunity for product concepts that can be presented to the consumer in new, innovative and fun formats,” Anthony says.

The company adds that turmeric has always been a good choice due to its anti-inflammatory properties that help improve mental health and mood.

According to WholeFiber, mental health can be affected by modifying the gut microbiota.“Ashwagandha is gaining market interest, particularly in the mood space,” Anthony says. “Ashwagandha is known as an adaptogen that manages stress, reduces anxiety and provides refreshing sleep to rejuvenate the mind and body, and it makes its way in a variety of attractive forms that are gaining momentum.”

Consumer groups prioritize mental health
In terms of consumer groups interested in mood components, Arjuna Natural’s specifics about stress is a topic that looms large across consumer segments working in a competitive workspace, creative thinkers and artists looking for mental and emotional health and emotional well-being.

“Blue California details that moving forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, health-conscious consumers prioritize improving mental health and sleep quality,” Tetzlaf says.

“Consumers understand the importance of overall health and realize that poor sleep and mental health are interrelated and not only affect energy levels and moods but can also directly impact immune health.”

When asked in the 2020 survey, more than 60% of consumers globally said they plan to make improvements to their immunity in the next 12 months. In the same survey, more than 50% across major continents agreed to prioritize mental health, he explains.

Blue California’s Tetzlaf adds: “As the notion of holistic health has suggested that all aspects of wellness are interconnected, the healthy categories of cognition, gut health, and sleep support are gaining traction.”

Ashwagandha is trending because of its ability to relieve anxiety and manage stress.“The consumer market pulls in to find functional drinks with nootropics, postbiotics and adaptogens becoming popular in recent years. Brands are responding by giving the drinks a nutritional advantage to help consumers achieve their health goals.”

“Consumers are aware of the link between a healthy gut, brain health and mood is emerging,” says Van S. “More people are realizing the importance of a healthy gut flora (microbiome) and its impact on health, including mental health.”

Challenges surrounding formulas
According to Arjuna Natural, the primary challenge in mood ingredient regulations remains with the fact that there is no consistent global consensus on rating products ranging from natural health products, complementary medicines, nutritional supplements or dietary supplements, which varies from country to country.

The company adds that new delivery formats such as chewing gum, drink mixtures and bars are gradually taking up market share of capsules and tablets.

“This has presented a challenge for product developers to craft recipes in the correct doses without affecting the sensory aspects of the product,” Anthony says.

“We hope that the science behind ingredients that contribute to health, including mental health, will lead to more options to explain and reach consumers (through health labels or additional FSA claims, for example),” Van S adds.

Written by Nicole Kerr

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