Food as Medicine: The Brain-Protecting Benefits of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil


You’ve probably heard that extra-virgin olive oil is good for you, but did you know that it can also help protect your brain against Alzheimer’s disease? Recent research has shown that extra-virgin olive oil can preserve memory and protect the brain against damage caused by Alzheimer’s.

So how does it work? The antioxidants found in extra-virgin olive oil help to prevent the accumulation of plaque in the brain, which is a leading cause of Alzheimer’s. In addition, the monounsaturated fats found in olive oil help to improve communication between brain cells, which is essential for memory function.

So, if you’re looking for a way to protect your brain health, consider adding extra-virgin olive oil to your diet. It’s a delicious way to keep your mind sharp!

Introduction to Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is a type of olive oil that is made from pure, cold-pressed olives. Unlike other types of oils, extra-virgin olive oil is not processed and does not contain any chemicals or solvents.

This type of olive oil has a host of health benefits, including the preservation of memory and the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, a study published in the journal Neurology found that people who ate a Mediterranean diet that included extra-virgin olive oil had a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

How Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Preserves Memory

In order for your brain to function properly, it needs oxygen and glucose. Extra-virgin olive oil helps both of these vital ingredients reach your brain.

A study published in the journal Neurology found that people who regularly consume olive oil have a 38% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The beneficial effects of Extra-virgin olive oil seem to come from its high content of polyphenols. These antioxidants help protect your brain cells from damage and inflammation.

Extra-virgin olive oil is also a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids which are beneficial for your heart and help keep your arteries clear.

The Protective Effects of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Against Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects your memory and ability to think clearly. It’s the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and currently, there is no cure.

But new research suggests that extra-virgin olive oil may play a role in protecting the brain from Alzheimer’s disease. In a study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, scientists found that extra-virgin olive oil preserves memory and protects against damage to the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers looked at two groups of mice. One group was fed a diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil, and the other group was fed a diet without it. After three months, the mice who ate the diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil performed better on tests of memory and learning than the mice who didn’t eat it. They also had less damage to their brains caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

This research suggests that eating a diet rich in extra-virgin olive oil may help protect your brain from Alzheimer’s disease.

Health Benefits of Consuming Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

One of the most incredible health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil is that it can help preserve your memory and protect your brain against Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, research has revealed that those who consume extra-virgin olive oil have a lower risk of developing the devastating effects from Alzheimer’s than those who don’t consume it at all.

The reason behind this lies in extra-virgin olive oil’s ability to decrease inflammation in the brain, enhance connections between neurons, and even preserve neural cell function. According to research, consistent consumption decreases levels of amyloid plaques in the brain—which are thought to be responsible for cognitive decline—and increases levels of beneficial molecules that protect nerve cells in the brain.

All these findings point to extra-virgin olive oil being a powerful tool for preventing cognitive decline and protecting your brain from diseases like Alzheimer’s as you age.

Tips on Purchasing High Quality Olive Oil

When it comes to buying extra-virgin olive oil, the quality matters. Here are some tips that can help you choose the right one:

  • Make sure the product is labeled extra-virgin. This indicates that higher quality olives were used and that the oil was pressed without heat or chemical treatments.
  • Look for a harvest date on the label as freshness is important.
  • Check the bottle and make sure it has been stored in a dark place, as light can affect quality.
  • Purchase olive oil from countries with traditional production methods and look for one that contains antioxidants, such as oleocanthal and oleuropein.
  • Buy certified organic if you are looking for a guarantee of sustainability and purity.
  • Following these simple tips will ensure that you get the most out of your extra-virgin olive oil and reap all its brain health benefits!
Recipes Featuring Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Having learnt about all the brain-protecting benefits of extra-virgin olive oil, now comes the fun part – learning how to incorporate it into your diet! It’s easy to add a few tablespoons to your favorite sauces, marinades, and dressings. You can even try substituting butter with extra-virgin olive oil when cooking or baking.

Try out these Mediterranean recipes using extra-virgin olive oil:

  • Greek salad: Toss a mix of cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, sweet peppers and olives in extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and oregano. To get an extra burst of flavor, squeeze a bit of lemon juice!
  • Eggplant pizza: Slice eggplants thinly and grill them in extra-virgin olive oil for about 5 minutes each side over medium heat. Place them in a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 300⁰F. Add some tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese before popping it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Enjoy your delicious brain-healthy pizza!
  • Fruits & nuts bowl: Drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil over assorted fruits like strawberries and blueberries, then sprinkle with chopped nuts like walnuts or almonds for a tasty breakfast bowl.


It’s clear that extra-virgin olive oil has some impressive benefits for the brain, and it’s a great choice for those looking to protect their memory and reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s. Adding extra-virgin olive oil to your diet is an easy way to get these benefits, and it can be a great way to improve your overall health.


Extra-virgin olive oil ameliorates cognition and neuropathology of the 3xTg mice: role of autophagy.

Lauretti E, Iuliano L, Praticò D., Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2017 Jun 21;4(8):564-574.

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