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EVOO Improves Cognitive Health
Extra virgin olive oil is known for its rich flavor, unprocessed nature, and incredible health benefits it offers. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), in general, has been a large part of the Mediterranean diet for years. This is also why scientists have now uncovered that individuals who adopt a Mediterranean diet rich in extra virgin olive oil have a reduced risk of cardiovascular risk and several other diseases. But apart from this, one significant benefit of consuming extra virgin olive oil is its contribution to brain health and improving cognitive functioning.
Is olive oil good for Alzheimer’s? Does olive oil and dementia have any correlation? Is olive oil good for your brain?
Several studies confirm that using extra virgin olive oil can help promote brain health, delay cognitive decline, and combat the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
How Does Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) Improve Your Brain Health?
Extra virgin olive oil is so beneficial for our health because of its chemical makeup. Many of its constituents can have a healthy impact on our brain and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Here are a few examples of how olive oil and brain health are related:
1.) EVOO Possesses Several Essential Vitamins
Extra virgin olive oil contains Vitamins E and K in each serving. Vitamin E itself functions as a strong antioxidant agent that can help protect your tissues from oxidative damage. It also offers beneficial effects for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the two most common neurodegenerative diseases today. Vitamin E can also help prevent damage to brain cells caused by free radicals and has been associated with a delay in cognitive decline.
Similar benefits are experienced with foods that contain Vitamin K. Vitamin K plays a crucial role in brain cell development since it is a part of a class of lipids that help in the proliferation and survival of brain cells. Studies also show that vitamin K intake can help improve cognitive performance and also help boost your brain processing speeds.
2.) EVOOs Contain Mental Health Boosting Phylenols
Other large components of EVOO oil are potent antioxidants in the form of polyphenols. The presence of these polyphenols can help influence learning and memory deficits that form as a result of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. These polyphenols also act as anti-inflammatory agents and may help reverse and combat age-related dysfunctions in motor coordination and contextual memory.
Another study also showed that the presence of phenols such as hydroxytyrosol (HT) in extra virgin olive oil might be linked to possible neuroprotective effects in the brain. Hydroxytyrosol is also the only polyphenol that can cross the blood-brain barrier and may combat free radicals in the nervous system. Free radicals tend to form as a by-product of the oxidation/reduction reactions in the body, but excessive free radicals can end up damaging structures inside the brain, correlating to brain aging and an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.
3.) A Decreased Risk of Depression
Extra virgin olive oil benefits include plenty of other health benefits for your mental health, especially for individuals who suffer from depression. Depression is a mental health condition that can strongly influence your mood and health and may even lead to pathological changes in your brain anatomy.
Studies now show that individuals who adopt a diet rich in extra virgin pure olive oil may experience a reduction in the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Similar studies also showed that EVOO can improve depression symptoms in the brain without affecting the brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) in patients who would otherwise be down-regulated.
4.) Improvements in Synaptic Functions
Synaptic function refers to the ability of your brain to transmit nerve impulses from one neuron to the next and, in this way, allow your brain to send messages. Aging and the onset of neurodegenerative diseases may lead to synaptic dysfunctions in humans. However, studies show that the use of virgin olive oil (extra) may help combat this.
Using high-quality EVOO can lead to improved memory and cognition and is further associated with increased synaptic activity in the brain. In short, extra virgin olive oil may have a direct association with improvements in synaptic activity, another significant therapeutic benefit it has to offer!
5.) EVOOs Protect against Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Extra virgin olive oil is rich in phenols and antioxidants. These bioactive components can lead to potential neuroprotective functions in the brain. Where neurodegenerative diseases are becoming an increasingly common public health issue, especially as a side effect of aging, the use of extra virgin olive oil can prove to be a simpler way to combat this.
A study on the effect of extra virgin olive oil on neurodegenerative diseases uncovered that several olive oil components produce positive impacts on neurovascular and cardiovascular systems. The presence of hydroxytyrosol also acts as a free radical scavenger and may help in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.
If we talk about Alzheimer’s in particular, the use of extra virgin olive oil has shown strong positive effects in combating Alzheimer’s disease. Another published report showcased how the use of extra virgin olive oil may help improve synaptic activity, memory, and neuropathology and help combat cognitive decline and cases of dementia.
6.) EVOOs Reverse Learning and Memory Deficits
Finally, using extra virgin olive oil as a part of our daily diet may even influence how we learn and retain information. Olive oil is rich in phenolic compounds and has plenty of potent antioxidants, many of which act as free radical scavengers in the brain. Studies show that polyphenols, the antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil, may help combat learning and memory deficits resulting from aging or diseases.
A similar study also uncovered that individuals who rely on a Mediterranean diet rich in extra virgin olive oil might experience a lower risk of dementia and specific markers of Alzheimer’s disease, an improvement in their learning ability, and overall boosted memory!
So, is extra virgin olive oil good for you? Is olive oil good for the brain?
Thanks to science-backed evidence, we can conclude that it is the best oil for brain health. Using high-quality extra virgin olive oil can indeed boost cognition and brain health.
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