Med diet may protect brain

Newswise — A Mediterranean diet may help people avoid the small areas of brain damage that can lead to problems with thinking and memory, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto April 10 to April 17, 2010.

The study found that people who ate a Mediterranean-like diet were less likely to have brain infarcts, or small areas of dead tissue linked to thinking problems.

The Mediterranean diet includes high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals, fish and monounsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil; low intake of saturated fatty acids, dairy products, meat and poultry; and mild to moderate amounts of alcohol.

For the study, researchers assessed the diets of 712 people in New York and divided them into three groups based on how closely they were following the Mediterranean diet. Then they conducted MRI brain scans of the people an average of six years later. A total of 238 people had at least one area of brain damage.

Those who were most closely following a Mediterranean-like diet were 36 percent less likely to have areas of brain damage than those who were least following the diet. Those moderately following the diet were 21 percent less likely to have brain damage than the lowest group.

Olive Oil it is the right stuff

Even though olive trees originated in Asia, they have been a staple in the Mediterranean for over 3000 years. Most of the olive crop in converted to oil as we all enjoy in everyday cooking.

In this process the olives are pitted, smashed and the juice remains. It is then placed in a centrifuge to separate the oil from the water. The oil is then bottles for our consumption.

The benefits of olive oil are worldly known from curing ear infections to lower blood cholesterol levels. In those countries where olive oil is consumed extensively (not here in the USA by the way) such as Greece, Spain and Italy there is a low instance of cardiovascular disease even though there diet is high in fat. Part of the reason these cultures do not develop cardiovascular problems at the same rate as Americas can be there great consumption of Olive oil and there lack of partially hydrogenated fats.

To reduce you chance of cardiovascular disease add olive oil to you diet. Olive Oil contains 77 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, 14 percent saturated fatty acids and 9 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. Olive oil also aids in digestion, relives upset stomach, flatulence and heartburn.

Another benefit of olive oil is constipation relief. Take 1 Tsp of olive oil mixed with lemon juice on an empty stomach. Olive Oil also as mentioned above contributes to the reduction of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels without affecting HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. We need to consume 15% of our total caloric diet with olive oils you main fat source. Replace vegetable oil, butter, salad dressings with olive oil to get the best bang for your buck.

To build strong fingernails Ladies and soften cuticles soak you nails each night in a mixture of 3 parts lukewarm olive oil and 1 part lemon juice.

David Grisaffi