Now there’s another reason to love olive oil—and to include it in your diet. A study from the May 1999 issue of Neurology shows that olive oil may be as good for your brain as it is for your heart.
Researchers at the University of Bari in Italy found that 278 elderly people who consumed diets high in mono-unsaturated fat from olive oil were protected from cognitive decline due to aging. The clinical trial participants consumed an average of 46 g of oil (about 3 tablespoons) daily, and more than 17 percent of their daily calories came from monounsaturated fats, with 85 percent from olive oil.
The study concludes that the mono-unsaturated fats in olive oil help boost brain cell structure by satisfying the increased demand for unsaturated fatty acids that accompanies aging.
Solfrizzi, V., et al. “High monounsat-urated fatty acids intake protects against age-related cognitive decline.” Neurology May 12, 1999, 52(8): 1563–1569.