An antioxidant found in extra-virgin olive oil may help fend off Alzheimer's, according to a new study from Northwestern University and the Monell Center in Philadelphia, which does research on taste and smell.
The compound, oleocanthal, alters the structure of neurotoxic proteins believed to contribute to Alzheimer's -- actually thwarting their ability to damage brain cells.
Curiously, you won't get much oleocanthal from regular olive oil. "Extra-virgin olive oil is the good stuff," says study author Paul Breslin, Ph.D., of Monell. "The stronger the throat sting or peppery note, the more oleocanthal is in there.
EVOO makes a great salad dressing, mayo substitute in sandwiches, and finishing touch on steamed veggies," adds dietitian Diane Welland, R.D., of Springfield, Virginia.