In the United States, stroke is the third leading cause of death and three-fourths of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65. Given that this is such a common condition, numerous studies are conducted each year to learn ways we can all reduce our risk. If you like olive oil on your salad or use it when cooking, you’re in luck – this health superstar may reduce your risk of stroke.
According to a 2011 study in the French journal Neurology, participants who consumed copious amounts of olive oil reduced their risk of stroke by 41 percent, compared with those who did not consume much olive oil. In people who consumed moderate amounts of olive oil, their risk was reduced by 20 percent.
Why is olive oil so good for us? It is comprised of monounsaturated acids, which are “healthy fats.” These healthy fats have been found to normalize blood clotting and blood sugar (good news for diabetes!), and reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol. The oil also contains antioxidants known as phenolic compounds, which fight free radicals in the blood stream.
To get more olive oil in your diet, here are a few simple tips:
- First, be sure you purchase “extra virgin” or “virgin” olive oil, which is produced physically, not chemically.
- Use olive oil in place of butter or margarine while cooking.
- Drizzle olive oil over your salad and vegetables as a dressing.