Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death in United States. In fact, we can blame about one in every four deaths on it!
But according to a new, eye-opening report, something the ancient Greeks called “liquid gold” can help SLASH your risk of being a part of this heart disease statistic.
As an added bonus, this “liquid gold” can help protect you against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases!
We’re still enjoying this gift from the ancient Greeks
For this new study, researchers followed about 90,000 healthcare professionals over nearly 30 years. At the study’s outset in 1990, the participants had an average age of 56 years. None of them had heart disease or cancer.
Every four years during the study period, the participants answered general questions about their diet. They also answered specific questions about their consumption of olive oil. (The ancient Greeks called olive oil “liquid gold” because it was so highly prized in cooking and medicine.)
Then, the researchers sorted the participants into four groups, depending on how much olive oil they consumed:
- Never or less than one time per month
- Less than or equal to about 1 teaspoon (tsp) per day
- Between about 1 tsp and ½ tablespoons (tbsp) per day
- More than about ½ tbsp per day
It turns out, those with the highest olive oil consumption were more also physically active, followed a healthier diet overall, and were more likely to have southern European or Mediterranean ancestry.
They also had much better health outcomes.
In fact, compared to those who consumed the least amount of olive oil, those who consumed more than about ½ tbsp per day had a:
- 19 percent lower cardiovascular disease mortality risk
- 17 percent lower cancer mortality risk
- 29 percent lower neurodegenerative disease mortality risk
- 18 percent lower respiratory disease mortality risk
- Up to a 34 percent lower all-cause mortality risk (risk of dying from any cause)
These findings make a lot of sense, as we’ve known for a long time about the benefits of olive oil—and the Mediterranean diet in general.
But the finding that olive oil consumption could also lower your risk of dying from a neurodegenerative disease—including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases—somewhat surprised the researchers.
I guess they haven’t seen all the good research showing that whatever helps improve circulation to the heart…helps improve circulation to the brain, too!
Plus, olive oil is high in polyphenolic compounds that exhibit potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, evidence shows these compounds help flush out neurological toxins and keep brain cells communicating with each other.
Not to mention, experimental studies show that one specific compound, a polyphenol called oleocanthal, reduces brain toxins associated with declines in language skills and memory in humans.
(Tune back in to tomorrow’s Daily Dispatch for another surprising way to slash your dementia risk. It may give you one more reason to see your eye doctor!)
You don’t have to limit yourself to extra virgin olive oil
As I’ve reported before, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) loses some of its healthy fats, phytochemicals, and polyphenolic compounds during the refining process.
So, I suggest you worry less about paying for extra virgin varieties. Instead, focus on finding a trusted brand certified by the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) or the California Olive Oil Council (COOC).
Here are some further guidelines to help you when buying olive oil:
- Look for a dark glass or metal bottle. A dark glass or metal bottle helps protect the oil from light, which causes the oil to decompose. (Never buy olive oil packaged in plastic.)
- Always check the date on the bottle. Some oils can have a shelf life up to three years. But often—it’s only six months. So, always check the date on the bottle.
- Buy only a three-month supply. Since olive oil begins to degrade as soon as you open the bottle and expose it to air, only buy a supply that will last you three months. Then once open, store it in a cool, dark place.
Lastly, this study found that people garnered these remarkable benefits by enjoying more than a half tablespoon of olive oil a day. But I suggest you set your daily target at two tablespoons a day.
The simplest way to hit this daily target is to throw out all your pre-packaged salad dressings.
Then, use olive oil generously on salads, greens, and bread—as the Italians and Greeks do. On greens, simply combine it with a dash of red wine vinegar or fresh-squeezed lemon and top it with some fresh-grated pecorino, parmesan, or romano cheese.
Of course, there are many other safe, effective, and natural ways to support your heart health—in addition to adding more olive oil to your diet. I recommend finding a doctor who’s willing to discuss them with you. I also outline them in my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. To learn more about this comprehensive online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now!