Food and mood was already a rapidly growing category as our interconnected lives became more stressful, competitive, and 24/7—and that was before the 2020-2023 pandemic. That global health crisis brought with it lockdown sphere, global unrest and economic and political upheaval. The compounding effect of all that stress led one Israeli entrepreneur, Rachel Yarcony, MBA, to pioneer an AI-driven personalized platform that combines advanced technology with functional ingredients to offer tailor-made nutrition that “enhances stress resilience.”

Following a 20-year career of executive roles at Nestlé, SA and Teva Pharmaceutical industries, Ltd., decided that accepting stress as a part of life was counterintuitive to actually living life. “Creating the stressless routine is very challenging,” she says. “It’s a behavioral change…and the best way to change your behavior is to attach it to a new habit, to a current habit that you really love to do. There is one such habit that we all have to do, which is, of course, eating.” Yarcony determined the best way to effect such behavioral change was to use food as a tool for behavioral change.

Yarcony met a scientist at a conference who introduced her to his research into adaptogens, active botanical ingredients that had demonstrated capacities to lower stress. While understanding that she could mitigate her chronic stress symptoms with functional food, she took the next step and recognized that since stress affects each individual differently, her approach needed to engage a personal approach. “Each one of us has a different stress effect,” she explains. “It could be [through] sleep, or…less energy, or less focus or misattention.”

Yarcony’s solution was to approach this challenge through the use of data and technology. Collaborating with a scientific team, myAir built an algorithm that combined physiological data with psychological data to assess different aspects of stress and create nutrition functional recommendations based on the consumer’s stress profile.

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The myAir formulation, while currently applied predominantly to bars, also can be infused into healthy cookies, granola gums, sweets, and other products. The multiple combinations of botanical adaptogens are tailored to meet different stress reactions and their changes throughout the day. They include the formulations Sleepy Gray, Calm Green, Relaxed Purple, Focused Yellow, Energetic Pink, and Comfortable Blue.

The nutrition formulations are supported by an app accessible via smartphones or smartwatches that deliver daily recommendations based on physiological biofeedback and a nutrition plan tailored to the individual stress profile, allergies, diet, and a continuous mind and body feedback loop. The consumer can not only react to each stressful situation according to its type but also anticipate it and address it preemptively as well. “Chronic stress is a fact. And now the question is whether it's going to manage us or we are going to manage it.”