An essential part of cooking found in most people’s kitchen’s could be preventing Alzheimer’s.
So what is this common cooking ingredient you may ask? Extra virgin olive oil.
What’s So Special About Olive Oil?
Olive oil has a protective agent called oleocanthal, that saves the nerve cells from damage caused by Alzheimer’s. This oil is one of the most used ingredients in the Mediterranean diet, so are those consuming this diet on to something?
Can Alzheimer’s Be Prevented Through Diet?
The benefits of the Mediterranean diet were first discovered when there was a link discovered between the prevention of cardiovascular disease and the diet. Other studies have found that olive oil can improve cognitive function and decrease memory loss.
More and more evidence is being uncovered that olive oil can prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. Countries like Greece, located in the Mediterranean have a diet low in processed foods and high in fruits, vegetables, and olive oil. Even if you’re young and not worried about Alzheimer’s now, the accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brain can start at a young age. Take prevention now by exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep.
Are Alzheimer’s Levels Lower in the Mediterranean?
After various studies have been done around the world with Alzheimer’s, it was found that the Mediterranean is less affected by the disease. The direct correlation was in accordance to the effects of oleocanthal (found in olive oil) on the brain, showing a pattern in boosting the production of helpful enzymes in the brain and working as a protective agent.
What is the Primary Diet of the Mediterranean?
The typical Mediterranean diet consists of:
- High in extra-virgin olive oil
- High in fruits
- High in lentils and other legumes
- High in vegetables
- Low in processed carbohydrates
- Low in red meat
- Low in sugar
- Moderate intake of eggs and fish
- Moderate intake of low-fat dairy
- Wine with meals in moderation
How Does Olive Oil Increase Cognitive Function?
The properties in olive oil improve thinking and reduce memory loss. It’s a substance pressed from olives, which contains a lot of healthy antioxidants called polyphenols.
In a study mice were given different types of fat, such as butter, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. During this time the mice navigated mazes and took tests involving memory. In addition, the mice’s levels of oxidative stress were tested. The mice consuming olive oil were the clear winners with the most improved learning and memory.
This evidence leads to the belief that extra virgin olive oil is good for you and that it should be used in your cooking.
Health benefits of olive oil and the Mediterranean diet include:
- Decreasing cancer risk
- Decreasing cardiovascular disease risk
- Decreasing levels of “bad” cholesterol
- Decreasing stroke risk
- Improving cognitive function
- Lowering blood pressure
- Protection from oxidative damage
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Our wide range of services are designed to meet you or your loved one’s daily needs. We offer restaurant style dining options, a variety of physical activities, and give residents the opportunity to live as independently as possible.