The rise in veganism and vegetarian diets and the decrease in meat consumption due to ethical and environmental concerns has enhanced our awareness of common deficiencies when avoiding certain food groups. For example vegans can be at a greater risk of becoming anaemic because of the lack of vitamin B12 and omega-3, which can cause fatigue and the inability to concentrate, especially in young people. There is also an association between veganism and lower bone density, due to reduced calcium intake, which can lead to an increased risk of fractures.
A vegetarian specialist or vegan dietitian specialising in plant based diets can help ensure you are meeting all your nutritional requirements to support your health, whatever diet pattern you choose to follow. Meat, fish and dairy products provide us with many essential nutrients such as B12, iron, omega 3 and calcium, therefore it is essential to find alternative sources of these nutrients, or supplement if necessary; a dietitian will consider all aspects of your diet before making personalised recommendations tailored to your needs..
What we eat affects our cognitive processes, influencing memory, emotions and concentration. Dietary factors can affect the way our brain cells communicate, as well as reducing inflammatory processes and improving blood flow to the brain. There may be links between diet and migraines, and evidence suggests that dietary changes can be beneficial in managing neurological conditions, such as childhood epilepsy, or mental health disorders such as depression
A dietitian can work with you to make sure you are obtaining the optimal level of nutrients to optimise brain functioning like omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols such as flavonoids, vitamins B, D and E, and choline. Improving diet can improve cognitive function throughout our lifespan, as well as lowering risk of age related conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, so get in touch if you’d like to book a consultation!