Olive Oil & Brain Health

Olive Oil & Brain Health

For centuries, the liquid gold known as extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has been used for far more than just cooking. Most people know that EVOO is renowned for its culinary excellence but we are just beginning to discover its significant benefits on brain health. Recent scientific research has shed light on how this ancient ingredient can protect our organs from aging and illnesses, improving cognitive functions and promoting a longer life. Let's explore the science behind the benefits of olive oil for the brain.


Nutritional Value

EVOO, also known as extra virgin olive oil, is packed with polyphenols, antioxidants and monounsaturated fats that are essential for brain health. These components work together to combat the neurological decline associated with aging and lifestyle factors.


Key Points to Remember

  1. Antioxidant Benefits: Polyphenols found in EVOO, such as oleocanthal, contain both anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. These help counteract free radicals- the harmful compounds that cause cell damage and contribute to cognitive issues.*
  1. Essential Fats for Brain Health: The monounsaturated fats in EVOO support the integrity of brain cell membranes which are vital for communication between neurons.*
  1. Protection Against Neurological Diseases: Regular EVOO consumption reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease by preventing the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain.*

*(Fazlollahi et al., 2023)


Cognitive Function & Mental Health

Improving Cognitive Abilities: Consuming EVOO can enhance memory, executive function and processing speed. The Mediterranean diet, which includes plenty of extra virgin olive oil, is strongly linked to improving cognitive performance and a lower risk of cognitive decline.*

Emotional Well Being: EVOOs anti-inflammatory properties also help regulate mood and prevent certain mental health issues. Inflammation is a contributing factor to depression. By reducing inflammatory responses, EVOO can play a crucial role in prevention.*

Brain Plasticity Support: The antioxidants in EVOO shield brain cells from harm and also promote neuroplasticity—the brain's ability to create connections and pathways. This adaptability is vital for learning and memory at all stages of life.*

*(Fazlollahi et al., 2023)


A Promising Outlook with EVOO

The significant research into the link between extra virgin olive oil and brain health shows that this natural superfood has the ability to enhance our cognitive functions and protect against neurodegenerative diseases (Fazlollahi et al., 2023). As more and more studies emerge, the extensive benefits of EVOO for the brain are becoming clearer, reinforcing its importance in a diet that promotes health and longevity. Incorporating EVOO into our daily routines offers a highly effective way to support a resilient lively brain as we age. 

Please find several links below outlining some further research and reading on the relationship between EVOO and brain health:


Further Reading and Research

A standout piece in the exploration of the relationship between EVOO and brain health is a systematic review published in Frontiers in Nutrition on 11 October 2023, within the section "Nutrition, Psychology and Brain Health." This article, part of the research topic "Extra Virgin Olive Oil: From Farm to Fork to Health - Recent Advances and Future Directions," offers a comprehensive examination of the existing literature on how olive oil consumption influences cognitive performance.

This article synthesizes the findings from various scientific studies to provide an insightful overview of olive oil's impact on brain function. By reviewing numerous research pieces, it aims to clarify the link between regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and its potential benefits in enhancing memory, attention, and other cognitive processes. It stands as a critical resource for those looking to delve deeper into the scientific evidence supporting olive oil's role in maintaining and improving mental health.

For further research and a more detailed understanding of the connection between olive oil and brain health, this article is an invaluable read:

Read the full article here



Fazlollahi, A., Asghari, K. M., Aslan, C., Noori, M., Nejadghaderi, S. A., Araj‐Khodaei, M., Sullman, M. J. M., Karamzad, N., Kolahi, A., & Safiri, S. (2023, October 11). The effects of olive oil consumption on cognitive performance: a systematic review. Frontiers in Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2023.1218538


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