Some fruits, plants or roots, such as ginseng, blueberries and chamomile, had a positive impact on cognitive health, said Canadean's director of ingredients Karin Nielsen.
“For example, properties from Panax Ginseng, a root naturally occurring in Asia, appear to fight idiopathic chronic fatigue (nervous exhaustion),” she said.
Cognitive health issues
Cognitive health issues, which included things like Alzheimer’s disease, as well as lesser publicised problems, like generalised anxiety disorder, depression and even migraines, were costing the world's economy billions, she claimed.
“The cost of supplying the world’s population with antidepressants and psychotherapy drugs now exceeds $70bn,” Nielsen added.
Drinks manufacturers could kick-start the soft drinks category by refocusing their attention on beverages with a cognitive function derived from natural ingredients, she said.
The global market value of food and drink products with cognitive health benefits was worth a small, but growing $200M, she said. “For comparison, Canadean valued the global energy drinks market at $40bn in 2013,” Nielsen said.
Almost 48M people suffer from dementia worldwide, according to World Health Organisation figures.