The Vegan Diet & Its Effects on the Human Brain

Category : Vegan Diet

Vegan DietThe vegan diet not only has an effect on fat deposits and muscle. It is also going to have a rather impactful relationship with your brain. As you well know, the vegan diet excludes all consumption of animal products, including dairy. However, when balanced in proper moderation, it can actually have a positive effect on your brain. One must properly balance their diet, because if the vegan diet is poorly planned, it can lead to mental health problems and disorders of a neurological stand point.

Vitamin D Considerations

To ensure optimal brain health, a follower of the vegan diet is going to need to ensure that they receive their RDA of Vitamin D. This is particularly important, because Vitamin D does not occur naturally in many types of food. A 2009 study, conducted at the University of Manchester, was published in Scientific Magazine. This study discovered that human adults who do not consume enough Vitamin D on a daily basis tend to process info much slower than adults who do get their RDA of the vitamin. Vitamin D production can also be promoted through exposure to sunlight.

Postpartum & Prenatal

The potential for neurological defects caused by the vegan diet is never more prevalent than it is during a woman’s pregnancy. The CDC recently published a 2009 study from Emory University of Georgia that found women who do not receive enough Vitamin B12 in their diet during pregnancy were much more likely to have a child who suffered from developmental delays. Some pregnant vegan women may need to take a B12 supplement during their pregnancy.

Healthy, Essential Fatty Acids

Healthy essential fatty acids are a necessary component to building brain cells, and they are critical to women who are breastfeeding. Most vegans are going to have to obtain their fatty acids through supplements, since they do not eat meat. If you do not obtain enough fatty acids through your diet, you will be putting yourself at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and other types of cognitive impairment. Some small amounts of essential fatty acids can be found in flaxseed oil and leafy green vegetables.

Additional Considerations

In general, if your vegan diet is properly planned, then your diet will include all the essential nutrients and components to facilitate proper brain development. If a follower of the vegan diet has Celiac disease, then he or she is going to need to consult their primary care physician to determine if they will need supplements to fortify their diets. In addition to these vitamins and nutrients, a vegan is also going to need to ensure that their diet contains plenty of calcium, which is a critical component for developing healthy bones.