Thought for Food Blog

Gut Feelings: The gut-brain axis and mental health

Posted by Chris Cattini

01-Sep-2017 12:12:02

Our second brain

We have a second brain in our guts. Known as the enteric nervous system, it consists of a mesh-like network of around 100 million neurons lining the entire gastrointestinal tract. These neurons include a range of cell types operating via a complex system of circuitry largely independent of the central nervous system.

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Topics: zinc, sleep, fish, cereals, seafood, bacteria, fruit, vegetables, eggs, fibre, soy, meat, dairy, immune system, amino acids, neuroscience, fatty acids, nuts, tryptophan, gut health, cognitive function, mental health, central nervous system, fermented foods, supplements

Food Trends in India

Posted by Chris Cattini

02-Mar-2017 11:21:53

India is one of the key markets poised for future growth. If the country continues to develop at its current rate, it will become the world’s 5th largest economy by 2025.

The Indian consumer segment is dominated by a large urban mass, including both graduates and blue collar workers, and the country has one of the youngest populations in the world. More than 50% of the consumer base is less than 30 years old, including 440 millennials and 390 million members of generation Z (born after 2000). An increasing number of these young people have higher disposable incomes than their older counterparts and a greater tendency to spend their money rather than save it.

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Topics: rice, labelling, organic, social media, fruit, vegetables, chocolate, alcohol, dairy, food processing, retail and marketing, food production, functional foods, Asia, consumer behaviour, India, fermented foods

Why buy local food?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

09-Dec-2016 12:25:17

Interest in local food is growing. Consumers choose to buy local foods for a wide variety of reasons, including their perceived nutritional superiority and health benefits, advantages for the local economy, and to help protect the environment.

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Topics: labelling, food quality, Christmas, organic, packaging, flavour, nutrients, fruit, vegetables, meat, retail and marketing, food production, environment and sustainability, food economics, consumer behaviour, local foods, plant-based diets

The Hidden Threat in Plant Foods

Posted by Naomi McGrath

16-Feb-2015 13:42:00

Fresh fruit and vegetables form an essential part of a healthy diet. However, while they are undeniably good for us, their consumption may, on occasion, pose a risk to our health. The contamination of plant foods by bacteria tends to be less well known about than that of animal-derived foods, but is, nevertheless, a matter of great importance for food safety.

Bacterial contamination can affect a wide range of fruits, vegetables and other plant-derived foods, and several different species of bacteria may be responsible. Food recalls due to potential bacterial contamination have been issued for several different plant foods over the last few years, including watercress, freeze-dried sliced fruit and even a variety of herbs and spices, with Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella being some of the main culprits.

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Topics: food safety, packaging, bacteria, fruit, pathogens, vegetables, contaminants, food processing

How Does Food Affect Sleep?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

01-Sep-2014 15:50:00

Sometimes, we all have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Stress, noise disturbances and too much stimulation before bedtime can all contribute to us having difficulty drifting off. Sleep is essential for maintaining mood, memory and cognitive functions, and as well as having a negative impact on these factors, a lack of sleep can also have serious consequences for our health. Not only is it crucial for normal functioning of the endocrine and immune systems, a lack of sleep has also been linked with obesity, diabetes, hypertension and depression. Some dietary components have long been known to have a disruptive effect on sleep, but evidence is emerging of other interesting foods that may help us on the way to the land of nod.

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Topics: zinc, milk and milk substitutes, sleep, fish, caffeine, cereals, protein, diabetes, fruit, vegetables, eggs, coffee, obesity, alcohol, meat, magnesium, dairy, immune system, amino acids, tryptophan, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, hormones, cognitive function, mental health

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