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Studies Suggest Olive Oil Reduces Stroke Risk

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Packed with cancer-fighting phenolic compounds, heart-healthy unsaturated fats, powerful antioxidants and the anti-inflammatory oleocanthal, olive oil is its own health arsenal. Short of the fabled Fountain of Youth, olive oil is the closet known alchemy for boosting cognition, fighting Alzheimer’s, and substantially reducing risk of stroke.

As a trusted provider of stroke care for Naples seniors, we wanted to share some information about the correlation between olive oil and stroke risk. After reading further, we have a feeling you might think twice about how you use and consume olive oil!

For years, studies endorsed the benefits of a Mediterranean diet – a diet heavy in nuts, fruits, lean meats and vegetables often supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil. In 2008, researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona pitted the classic Mediterranean diet against the traditional low-fat diet. For five years, they tracked participants’ rates of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular disease. They discovered that those who liberally consumed extra-virgin olive oil, at least four tablespoons per day, showed a 30 percent lower risk of stroke and cardiac arrest.

But what caused the increase in health? Was it the nuts, fruits or oil? In 2011, researchers at the University of Bordeaux and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research decided to prove, once and for all, that olive oil, independent of other Mediterranean-style components, slashes the risk of stroke. In a  study of 7,625 seniors with no history of stroke, those who regularly consumed olive oil had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to their peers who never used the beneficial ingredient. In fact, the more olive oil consumed, the better the protection.

Olive oil has been shown to reduce blood plasma levels of LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol, providing it with a natural ability to protect the heart. It acts like a plumber, preventing plaque deposits from clogging arteries. Some physicians theorize that the oil’s natural anti-inflammatory properties also help to reduce vascular inflammation, which can contribute to plaque buildup and ischemic stroke.

Have new opinions about olive oil? We thought so! For more information about senior health and wellness or to learn about stroke care for an aging parent or loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Naples. We provide reliable, high-quality home care in Naples and the surrounding communities and are available to answer questions 24/7. Call 239-449-4701 and request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.

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