Meatless Diets Help Memory Function, New Study Suggests

A growing body of research links plant-based diets with better health


2 Minutes Read

A woman eats salad off of a wooden spoon Plant-based diets are better for memory function than meat diets, a new study suggests - Media Credit: Adobe Stock

Cutting out meat could help to improve memory function, a new study suggests.

Researchers from Birkbeck University recently evaluated 62 adults, some of whom followed a meat-free diet (pescetarian, vegan, or vegetarian) and some of whom followed an omnivorous diet (some had a high meat intake and others had a low meat intake).

The study’s aim was to assess the impact of food choices on memory. Researchers also assessed the participant’s sleep quality.

According to the findings, diet does not seem to impact sleep. However, it may impact a person’s ability to remember things.

The study suggests that eating meat may lead to poorer memory.

To assess memory, researchers evaluated the results of a memory test and a delayed recall test. In the former, pescatarians came out on top. For the second, it was the vegetarians. In both, meat-eaters were at the bottom.

Women performed better in the study in every diet category (aside from the vegetarian group). According to the Birkbeck researchers, this could be explained by the fact that women are less likely to have a high meat diet.

Plant-based diets and improved health

Pinar Sengul, who led the research, said: “A vegan diet is associated with superior cardiovascular and cerebrovascular conditions.” She added: “Mediterranean diets are linked with reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases and improved performance on cognitive.”

The new research isn’t alone. A growing number of studies have linked plant-based diets with better health.

For example, a study published earlier this year suggests that plant protein could lower the risk of frailty in elderly women. Another study, published in February, found that meat-free diets may reduce cancer risk by 14 percent.

Last year, research also suggested that following a whole-food, plant-based diet could reduce the risk of cognitive impairment in the elderly.

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