Preventing Alzheimer’s could be easier than you think, it involves a common cooking ingredient.
So what is this special component? Extra Virgin Olive Oil!
Can Olive Oil Fight Against Alzheimer’s?
Olive oil has a protective agent called oleocanthal, that saves the nerve cells from damage caused by Alzheimer’s. This is one of the most used ingredients in the Mediterranean diet, so are they on to something?
Is it Possible to Prevent Alzheimer’s Through Diet?
The benefits of the Mediterranean diet were first discovered when there was a link discovered to 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.
Where are Alzheimer’s Levels the Lowest in the World?
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 Do they Eat in 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
Does this Diet Help Improve 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
The Victorian Assisted Living and Retirement Community
The Victorian is an assisted living and retirement community that makes living independently, while at the same time feeling safe and secure, a reality. We strive to provide the best quality of life for all residents including those suffering from loneliness and depression.
We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact The Victorian today to learn more about our services or tour our community.