Plant-based diets are rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, phytochemicals and unsaturated fatty acids. Experts said these compounds help boost the growth, connection and survival of brain cells.
One study in 2010 suggested that people who eat only vegetables and fruits may have higher brain activity that support self-control, empathy and interoception compared to people with animal-based products in their daily meals.
“According to some observational data, lifelong vegetarians and vegans actually have a lower risk of developing dementia,” Scott Kaiser, a physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, told Bustle.
There are also earlier studies that provided conflicting findings after analyzing the health of vegetarians. One research showed that vegan diets could help manage mood disturbances, but a separate analysis warned that eating only plants may increase depressive symptoms.In addition, not all vegan diets are created equal. Some forms of the eating plan put people at risk of deficiencies that negatively affect brain health.“If all you ate was pure sugar, that would technically be considered vegan but could be extremely toxic to the brain,” Kaiser said.