Boosting Brain Health Across the Lifespan
The following is a sponsored article written by the Egg Nutrition Center – the science and nutrition education division of the American Egg Board.
Whether you’re talking to a pregnant mom who wants the best start for her baby or an older adult who wants to preserve their memory, you can connect with consumers on brain health no matter what stage of life they are in.
In fact, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation’s (IFIC) 2018 Food & Health Survey, brain function – meaning memory, focus, and cognition – ranks 4th when consumers were asked what health benefits they are interested in getting from food and nutrients.
However, consumers may be unaware of what foods to reach for when looking to boost brain health. Here are some ideas to help your shoppers keep their minds sharp.
- Communicate choline benefits. Chances are you’ve heard the buzz around choline and its role in early brain development. Per data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), more than 90% of Americans don’t meet the adequate intake for choline. There is a critical need to increase awareness and consumption of this under-consumed nutrient. Since choline is found mostly in whole foods like eggs, beef and Brussels sprouts consider adding shelf tags to flag food sources or perhaps create a choline-focused meal plan with recipes and coupons that customers can grab when entering the store.
- Offer a brain-boosting foods list for shoppers. This list can include well-known brain foods like fatty fish and berries, plus lesser-known items like turmeric, nuts, and eggs. Retail dietitians can even go beyond the list and discuss surprising brain-boosters like eggs which in addition to choline, provide lutein – a nutrient best known for eye health, but with recent research showing its role in brain health as well.
- Create a shopping tour for new moms and moms-to-be. Each section of the supermarket provides an opportunity to discuss foods that provide important nutrients for the health and well-being of a baby both inside and outside the womb. Retail dietitians can cover food sources that provide essential nutrients during pregnancy, like choline and its link to fetal brain development. The tour can even include a baby-led weaning recipe demonstration and a discussion on baby’s first foods including lutein for brain development and how early introduction of potential allergens, like eggs, can actually decrease the risk of developing an allergy to that food.