‘Those who followed a vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian diet (who ate only fish) had a significant impact on memory, but no effect on sleep quality. ‘
People who follow a pescatarian (fish only), vegetarian or vegan (plant only) diet may have a memory boost compared to meat eaters, reveals a study conducted by researchers from Birkbeck University.
They aimed to look at the impact of diet on memory and sleep quality. For this, they took a group of 62 adults aged 40 and over who were either vegans, omnivores with low meat consumption, or omnivores with high meat consumption. .
Effects of diet
To test their memory, the California Verbal Learning Test was used, which is considered one of the most widely used neuropsychological tests. Sleep quality was assessed through the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index facility, a self-assessment questionnaire.
The results showed that diet had a significant impact on memory, but did not actually affect sleep quality.
On the memory test, vegetarians performed best, followed by vegetarians and vegans. The last of the omnivores. In a delayed recall test, vegetarians beat vegans with the highest scores, while omnivores with high meat in their diets scored the lowest.
Furthermore, women had significantly higher scores than men in different dietary groups, with the exception of vegetarians. According to the researchers, this may be because women prefer a plant-based diet to men.
The researchers explain, “This pilot study has found that there is a significant effect between female gender preference over male gender in overall memory and a significant effect of diet on short-term memory, with a plant-based diet showing superior performance compared with an animal-based diet.”