The Mediterranean diet has proven to be one of the best ways to eat. This diet ensures a healthier and longer life, thanks to its main component, olive oil.
The inhabitants of the Mediterranean region are among the healthiest and oldest in the world. Olive oil offers many health benefits, but its benefits for brain health are often overlooked.
Here are some of the ways olive oil helps keep your brain healthy and protects it from degeneration:
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants:
Olive oil is very rich in natural antioxidants called polyphenols. Indeed, it contains more than 30 phenolic compounds which are powerful antioxidants and scavengers of free radicals.
The polyphenols They can protect the body and brain from oxidation caused by free radicals and other toxins. Protection against oxidation is particularly important because the brain uses a lot of oxygen, which makes it vulnerable to oxidation.
Olive oil is packed with essential vitamins for the brain.
Vitamins E and K are two important vitamins for brain health, and olive oil is rich in them.
Vitamin E, especially in the presence of vitamin C, helps maintain good memory, slows memory loss, and significantly reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This vitamin can also reduce the damage caused by a stroke by redirecting the blood supply after the event. Harvard University study on this.
On the other hand, the vitamin K helps maintain brain sharpness as one ages and increases brain processing speed. It can also boost your memory, especially remembering words, which is a common problem with age. This vitamin also plays a role in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Olive oil fights depression.
Research has found that replacing unhealthy vegetable oils, such as canola, with olive oil can reduce the risk of depression by almost 50%. Link to cited study.
Based on this finding, the researchers conclude that the risk of depression increases as trans fat intake also increases.
Olive oil also increases levels of two essential brain chemicals.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF).
BDNF is a protein that stimulates the formation of new brain cells and may prevent the negative effects of stress on the brain. Both chemicals promote the formation and restoration of brain cells. One of hundreds of studies on the impressive effects of this protein.
Olive oil also protects against depression, as low levels of BDNF are linked to disease.
Olive oil helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
Olive oil may protect the brain from cognitive decline. Research has shown that consuming more monounsaturated fat improves memory and other cognitive functions in older adults.
Additionally, other research has found that following a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%. Olive oil, as part of the MIND diet, has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 53%. Link to cited study.
the oleocanthalan anti-inflammatory polyphenol found in olive oil, also plays a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease, as it can cross the blood-brain barrier to remove beta-amyloid proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s in the brain.
In addition to its benefits for the brain, olive oil also strengthens the immune system, increases bone density, protects the heart from disease and reduces the risk of diabetes.
Choose the right olive oil.
As mentioned above, olive oil offers many health benefits. However, the type of olive oil is important.
When buying olive oil, be sure to choose only extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is extracted by mechanical and cold pressing, while other types use chemical solvents to extract the juice.
It would also be important to know if it is a first extraction, which further increases its quality.
This means that extra virgin olive oil is of higher quality and contains more polyphenols. Also check the manufacture and expiry dates of the product and avoid those that are more than a year old.
Also, only buy extra virgin olive oil in a dark colored glass, not a plastic one to avoid light and keep bisphenol A (BPA) out of the oil.