While similar heart health programmes are popular around the world, the scheme, albeit launching from a small scale, is one of the first to recognise the link between diet and cognitive well-being at both the supply and retail level. The scheme, also called Food for the Brain, allows products that meet its brain-boosting criteria to bear an on-product logo. The criteria includes:
- Low Glycaemic Load and low in sugar
- High in essential fats (omega-3,6 and phospholipids)
- High in vitamins and minerals
- Free from harmful or unnecessary chemical additives or colourings
Croda won Food for the Brain accreditation for its Incromega omega- 3 range. Other products that have won the right to bear the Food for the Brain seal include Scottish specialty biscuit manufacturer, Nairn, for its range of oatcakes, oat bakes and oat biscuits. Functional beverage specialist, CherryActive, can plant the mark on its Montmorency Cherry Juice Concentrate and food supplements manufacturer, Equazen, earned accreditation for its 'eye q' range of omega-3 and omega-6 supplements. "Food for the Brain's aim is to promote the link between learning, behaviour, mental health and nutrition," it said. "The Accreditation process has been set up to recognise products that Food for the Brain Foundation certifies as beneficial for brain function."
"We are proud to have awarded Nairns, CherryActive, Equazen and Croda with Food for the Brain accreditation and hope that highlighting products that benefit the brain will help raise awareness of the strong link that exists between nutrition and the mind," said Patrick Holford, Food for the Brain director. "Our vision is to create a future where optimum nutrition as a way to promote mental health is understood by all and implemented by many. Optimum nutrition plays a key role in brain function, including behaviour, academic performance and promoting mental health." More information about the Food for the Brain audit and accreditation process can be found here . Food for the Brain said its research had concluded:
- Children with learning and behaviour problems improve focus, concentration and school grades when given essential fat supplements; and IQ scores when given multivitamins.
- Eating breakfast and a low glycaemic load (GL) diet, low in sugar, improves behaviour and concentration
- Supplementing essential fats improves depression