How a Vegan Diet Can Improve Cognitive Health | Viva! - The Vegan Charity
How a Vegan Diet Can Improve Cognitive Health

Following a vegan diet can help improve cognitive health!

Over 850,000 people in the United Kingdom have dementia. As time goes on, that number may increase to over 1.6 million. Dementia affects your ability to remember thoughts, old and new memories, and even your language. 


Dementia is a part of Alzheimer’s disease, which impacts the brain through blocked and disconnected nerve cell transmissions. Dementia starts small but develops over time, as patients’ memories increasingly deteriorate.


According to a study done by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, one element that impacts cognitive impairment is what you are eating and your overall dietary choices. Choosing to follow a vegan diet can improve your cognitive health and prevent cognitive decline, such as Alzheimer’s disease. 


Consuming a plant-based diet of vegetables, beans, legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds can decrease your chances of dementia. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, vegan diets can lower your risk of cognitive health conditions by an astonishing 18-33%. 


Not only will following a plant-based diet help improve your cognitive health, but it also has several other benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels and contributing positively to the environment. A vegan diet will allow you to live life to the fullest and enable you to retain your memory as you get older. 

How going vegan will improve your cognitive health


You may have heard it all before, but eating a balanced diet is an essential part of maintaining your health. By consuming a plant-based diet, you are fueling your body with all of the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins it needs to function correctly. 


According to the Harvard Medical School research study on cognitive decline, the following foods can improve brain power and help sustain cognitive and mental health: 


  • Blueberries, strawberries, and other flavonoid berries
  • Kale, spinach, and more leafy green vegetables
  • Walnuts
  • Tea and coffee
  • Omega 3 fatty acids.

Foods high in vitamin B, antioxidants, and vitamin b12 supplements can further boost your cognitive and coronary health. Check out the graph below to see what plant-based foods are best for improving your cognitive health:


Supplementing for B12 and Omega 3 is key


On a vegan diet, you'll sometimes have to supplement vitamins and minerals. Two nutrients you may need to supplement are vitamin B12 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Fish, meat, and other animal products typically contain these nutrients. 


No matter what age you are, supplementing for Omega 3 is necessary for brain development plus overall cognitive health. Omega 3 can decrease risks of mental illnesses like depression or anxiety, both of which are increasing in the United Kingdom. ALA, the third Omega 3 fatty acid, can be found in chia seeds and flaxseeds.


Vitamin B12 is perhaps one of the most crucial vitamins for staying healthy. Supplementation for vitamin B12 strengthens your nerve cell and red blood cell systems and increases cognitive health. It also prevents anaemia, which causes long-lasting fatigue. You can also find B12 in fortified plant-based vegan foods.


For more information on vegan supplements, check out this Vegan Bodybuilding Supplements guide to see what plant-based fitness professionals are supplementing.

Cognitive Health improvements from a Plant-Based Diet


Living a healthy lifestyle through regular workouts is not enough when it comes to your cognitive health. Your diet is an essential part of it all. Adapting to a vegan diet will fundamentally improve your brain health and decrease the risk of Alzheimer's disease. That’s why vegan bodybuilders feel many other benefits after cutting out animal products.. 


Whether you are interested in going vegan or want to improve your health, consuming foods and supplementing nutritional vitamins that promote brainpower is a significant step to doing so. 

About the Author

Charlotte Cliffe is the marketing manager and in-house nutritionist at the leading plant-based protein and vegan supplement brand: Vivo Life. They were voted the UK's best vegan superfood and supplement brand in the VegFest awards. 


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