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Mind, body and spirt - trinity of wellness in which food ingredients play a crucial role
According to a report by Innova Market Insights, physical well-being is now intertwined with mental well-being, along with emotional/spiritual well-being.1 The relationship between food, mental wellness and physical health is in fact gaining momentum.
At the onset of COVID-19, when working from home became a norm, many professionals turned to exercise and good nutrition to manage their stress levels and to improve their mental wellness. Not too long ago, there was a phase on social media where people shared pictures and video reels of their pre- and post-COVID weight management journey, coupled with the exercises they did from home and the meals they prepared from their kitchen. Their personal transformation which helped them feel good about themselves has inspired others to take charge of their health.
For most consumers, the COVID-19, a prolonged pandemic , became a reminder for them to take charge of their health, and more specifically to ensure that they build a strong immune system. Consumers are proactively making a change in their lifestyles such as investing in foods that will improve their immunity so that they stay resilient towards illnesses while they live with the pandemic. According to a report by Market Research Future, the demand for gut health and immunity-related products is accelerating in nations like China, India and Japan.2
This change in consumer behavior creates a trinity of wellness – body, mind and spirit in which food ingredients play a crucial role. Our gut health impacts the functions of our body, mind, and immune system. For example, studies have also shown that plant-based diets promote an increase in commensal bacteria as well as a decrease in pathogenic bacteria due to the high content of dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, phytochemicals, and vegetable proteins.3 This also means that good nutrition is important for proper gut microbiota and immune function.
For these reasons, many consumers now make better decisions with what they put in their body to improve the way they feel as well as their gut health and immunity. Consumers in Asia Pacific (APAC) make it a priority to protect their gut health through the food they consume. The Japanese have miso and natto in their diets while the Koreans have kimchi as a mainstay for every meal. These fermented foods, in existence for centuries, are now known for their gut health and digestion benefits and being consumed globally and incorporated in fusion cuisines.4 Three in four Indonesian consumers say that healthier living means, first and foremost, eating a healthy and nutritious diet.
These days, food companies are working hard to innovate with ingredients to keep consumers at the top of their health and without compensating the taste of the food. Roquette has been partnering with food manufacturers globally to discover new products and innovate with formulators every day. NUTRIOSE® is a range of soluble dietary fiber, obtained from non-GMO corn or wheat, and used to supplement most types of foods with fiber. This soluble and non-viscous fiber is incorporated in many products as well as beverages including non-alcoholic drinks. As a result of extensive research and development, clinical studies show that NUTRIOSE® soluble fiber can be considered as a prebiotic that will support gut health and may promote better immunity.
In three human studies, healthy volunteers consumed NUTRIOSE® between 8g and 15g/day. The volunteers’ fecal samples showed increases in beneficial colonic bacteria such as bacteroides and parabacteroides and decreases in potentially harmful bacteria such as clostridium perfringens. Preclinical data have also suggested that NUTRIOSE® may improve digestive well-being through blunting of inflammation and reinforcement of intestinal immunity. In simpler terms, NUTRIOSE® helps keep the consumers’ gut in good shape, and the outstanding digestive tolerance makes it a good partner to fill the fiber gap and contributes to good gut health. Due to its low caloric value and blood glucose management thanks to low glycemic and insulinemic responses, it is an ingredient for those seeking a healthier lifestyle and weight management alternatives.
Today, gut health is paramount, and immunity is top of mind for Asian consumers. Consumers are becoming more educated about what they should be looking for during grocery shopping, and their knowledge goes beyond the simple understanding of ‘high in fiber’. The ingredient list of food and beverages also guides consumers in their choices and journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle.
As a result of extensive research and development, clinical studies show that NUTRIOSE® soluble fiber can be considered as a prebiotic that will support gut health and may support/promote better immunity. Consumers will continue to buy food that will nourish their body so that their exercise regimes will not be put to waste. At the very least, they will feel healthy and satisfied after eating a nutritious meal made up of ingredients that support the functions of their mind, body, and spirit.
1. Mental and emotional wellbeing: Targeting the ‘feel good’ factor and specific mood needs. Innova Market Insights, 2021.
2. Digestive Health Products Market. Market Research Future, 2022.
3. The Effects of a Plant-Based Diet on Gut Health. News Medical Life Sciences, 7 January 2022.
4. 10 Fermented Foods and Their Science-Backed Benefits. Healthgrades, 2022.