Three Ways Mediterranean Diet & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Boost Brain Health

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Key Three Benefits Mediterranean Diet And Extra Virgin Olive Oil Brings To Brain Health

The Mediterranean Diet, known for its healthy components, is not only great for your body but also good for your brain. Studies have shown that the Med diet can help your brain in three key areas. So, let’s explore them now.

Updated 8th November 2023

The Mediterranean Diet Can Improve Cognitive Capabilities
The Mediterranean Diet Can Improve Cognitive Capabilities


  • Studies show The Mediterranean Diet Can Help Your Brain in Three Key Ways
  • Mediterranean Diet, Including Healthy Fats Like Olive Oil Can Help You Retain Information.
  • The Mediterranean Diet Can Reduce Dementia Risk
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Infused Mediterranean Diet Can Reduce Dementia Risk
  • Polyphenols In Extra Virgin Olive Oil Are Key To Improving Brain Health


The Mediterranean Diet And The Best Olive Oil Can Improve Cognitive Capabilities

Following a Mediterranean Diet, with its emphasis on fresh vegetables, healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, nuts, whole grains, and pulses can largely improve cognitive capabilities, helping you to better retain and remember information.

A recent article cites the 2017 meta-analysis of 17 cohort studies and randomized controlled trials on healthy older adults, published in Advances in Nutrition, which found that those who more closely followed the Mediterranean diet had better cognition.

The article explained that benefits were noticed in measures of delayed recall (the ability to recollect information acquired earlier, per the American Psychological Association, and working memory. The perks seemed more pronounced for people who cooked with olive oil.

While this study only focused on extra virgin olive oil, other nutritious oils, like avocado oil and sesame oil, have similar properties and benefits and are great options for your brain-supporting diet. Eating more fish and less meat is also associated with positive brain outcomes, thanks to fish’s omega-3 fatty acids, which protect blood vessels in the brain, quell damage from oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.

In addition, a 2019 observational study of Puerto Rican adults with diabetes, published in Diabetes Care, found that following the Mediterranean diet, including plenty of the best extra virgin olive oil, was associated with better cognitive functioning, such as memory, after two years. One of the reasons is that it helped improve blood sugar management. (High blood glucose levels in the brain can, over time, contribute to damaging inflammation.) The study’s authors point out that traditional foods in Puerto Rican cuisine, such as homemade soups with vegetables and meat, beans and legumes and fish, fit within the healthy eating pattern of a Mediterranean diet—showcasing how the diet’s principles extend beyond traditional Mediterranean fare.

The Mediterranean Diet And Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Help Prevent Dementia

The Mediterranean Diet And Brain Cognitive Super Powers

One of the most significant benefits health benefits of olive oil and The Mediterranean Diet is its potential ability to prevent dementia, a degenerative brain disease that affects millions of people worldwide. references a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in 2021 found that people who had the greatest adherence to a Mediterranean diet had a 72% decreased risk of developing dementia compared to those with the lowest adherence. In that same study, the higher the score one had on a scale that measured adherence to the Mediterranean diet, the younger, or healthier, their brains seemed.

Another study, published in 2018 in Neurologyfound that those who followed the Mediterranean diet more closely benefited from 1.5 to 3.5 years of protection against Alzheimer’s disease. Though exactly why is still being studied, the Mediterranean diet limits red meat and highly processed foods rich in refined carbohydrates, added sugars and saturated fat. Researchers say these foods are more likely to increase the risk of heart disease, insulin resistance and inflammation, which may speed brain aging.

The Mediterranean Diet And Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Reduce Risk Of Depression

With its anti-inflammatory qualities, the Mediterranean Diet and healthy fats like the best olive oil you can find also significantly reduces the risk of depression, a clinical condition that negatively affects mental health. All three benefits are directly linked to the overall health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, making it a powerful addition to any lifestyle for everyone’s brain well-being.

A 2019 review in Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research analyzed 20 observational studies and six intervention trials. As summarised, the review concluded that 85% of the former studies support the suggestion that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of depression. Inflammation may be one of the factors driving depression, and the Mediterranean diet promotes foods packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients from plant-based oils (including extra virgin olive oil) and nuts, fruits and vegetables. Some vegetables with the highest anti-inflammatory properties include broccoli, tomatoes, edamame, peppers, collard greens and mushrooms.

More specifically, a 2019 study of Iranian adults, published in Nutritional Neuroscience, showed that subjects who adhered to the Mediterranean diet the most had 40% and 39% lower odds for depression and anxiety, respectively, compared to those who were the least able to follow the diet pattern. Specifically, eating more fruits and veggies was found to buoy one’s mood the most. The Mediterranean diet is rich in fiber, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, magnesium and B vitamins, all of which have been shown in prior research to benefit psychological health.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Brain Health

Extra Virgin Olive Oil recently topped a new list of the top foods to protect your brain. The report from The Daily Star lists olive oil as first in a list of 14 foods which can help keep your brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks such as memory and concentration. It says:

The powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols that are found in the oil, including EVOO in your diet may not only improve learning and memory, but also reverse the age- and disease-related changes. The oil also helps fight against ADDLs, proteins that are toxic to the brain and induce Alzheimer’s

The Daily Star

Why Polyphenols Found In Extra Virgin Olive Oil Boost Brain Health

Polyphenols are a type of micronutrient found in many fruits and vegetables. They have numerous health benefits, including the promotion of brain health. Polyphenols help to protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals, and they also help to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation. Additionally, polyphenols have been shown to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of age-related cognitive decline. Because of their many potential benefits, polyphenols are an important part of a healthy diet. Including plenty of polyphenol-rich foods in your diet may help to keep your brain healthy and functioning at its best.

For more information on how Extra Virgin Olive can help protect your brain health, as part of a Mediterranean Diet come explore our range of news articles associated with healthy living.