Olive Oil – A Daily Dose for Brain Health Protection

What scientists have recently learned about the value of healthy fats in a nutritious, well-rounded diet has changed the way people cook, eat, and look at certain foods.  Avocados, fish, eggs, nuts and of course, olive oil are all mainstays of the Mediterranean Diet – which continues to rise to the top of the healthiest diets list.  New research has found that a daily dose of olive oil may boost brain health and help reduce the risk of developing dementia. 

According to a recent Medical News Today article, new research has found a link between study participants who included a half tablespoon of olive oil in their daily diet and a 28 percent reduction in their risk for dementia.  The World Health Organization estimates that more than 55 people globally are living with dementia and as the elderly population soars with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, this number is expected to rise dramatically over the next 20 to 30 years. 

The new large-scale study analyzed data using health records from men and women gathered between 1990 and 2018; study participants were free of any cancers or cardiovascular disease.  Study authors also found that replacing a single teaspoon of margarine or mayonnaise with olive oil was associated with an 8 to 14 percent lower risk of dying as a result of dementia.  Regardless of how closely subjects followed a Mediterranean diet, the benefits of daily olive oil consumption persisted. 

Scientists suggest that olive oil contains nutrients that promote neuro-regeneration including vitamin E and polyphenols with anti-oxidant properties that fight free-radical damage.  Extra-virgin olive oil containing oleic acid has also been found to improve the blood/brain barrier helping to protect healthy brain function and memory and reduce Alzheimer’s biomarkers. 

The Best Olive Oil

In addition to looking for high-quality extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), researchers have found that cold-pressed oil offers the most health benefits.  Although cooking with olive oil is fine, its chemical composition may be altered by high heat.  Consuming olive oil raw – as a salad dressing or drizzled over fish or vegetables is the ideal way to get your daily dose of brain food.  Learn more about how to choose and store olive oil by following this link