A day in the life of the average American adult bears many demands on the brain. They're dealing with hundreds of images from television and social media, work dilemmas and demands, and sometimes education classes at night.
Our brains need to be at the top of their games, but they can often feel sluggish from highly- processed and unhealthy American diets. Here are some snacks and foods that boost brain activity to get us thinking fast and could be included in your CPG products.
1. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are high in omega-3 acids. They can boost brain function and activity. Normally, fats are not good, but our brains are 60% fat and need some fat to stay nourished. Varieties of fatty fish include salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, sardines, and herring. Wild-caught fish are superior to farmed ones because they typically have less mercury, a brain-damaging compound usually found in unhealthy levels of farmed fish.
2. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, which help brain health by getting rid of poor compounds in the blood. Antioxidants feed the brain, and dark chocolate will help you get them without the high amounts of sugar often found in milk chocolate.
Coffee has double brain-boosting compounds: caffeine, which improves alertness (albeit temporarily) and the same kinds of antioxidants that show up in dark chocolate and most fruits and vegetables. Coffee also protects our brains from aging due to degenerative diseases like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.
The mostly monounsaturated fats in nuts also feed the brain and strengthen it so it'll work better. Besides antioxidants that help the brain function better now, nuts also have vitamin E, which helps protect brain cells against Alzheimer's. Even a small number of nuts are protective (1/4 serving size).
Some of the brain-boosting compounds found in eggs include vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and choline, the latter of which stimulates the body to produce neurotransmitters that regulate moods and our memories. Choline is found in yolk, so just eating egg whites will not provide all the benefits of eating the whole egg.
Avocados have high levels of good, monounsaturated fats. They also have folate and vitamin K. These vitamins help with memory and concentration. They also help prevent blood clots in the brain and strokes. Their high-fat content may scare some people, but for those on ketogenic or low-carb diets, they're valuable sources of nutrition.
While some of these foods are best eaten fresh, others can be incorporated into CPG snack products that can boost the brain on the go. CPG products that have brain-boosting ingredients should be included in CPG marketing strategies or into one's CPG brand voice.