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Olive Oil and Mental Health

Dr. Drew Ramsey, M.D. , clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, appeared on the Today show to share information about how olive oil impacts the brain and your overall health.


Dr. Ramsey states that olive oil is "liquid gold" and is a healthy fat we should not be scared of.  Here are some of the health benefits of olive oil along with a Mediterranean style diet according to Dr. Ramsey:

  • Olive oil is full of healthy fats
  • Olive oil is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants such as phenols, flavonoids, anthocyanidins
  • Decreases risk for depression
  • Decreases risk for dementia


Multiple studies have found that olive oil, as part of the Mediterranean diet, has a positive impact on mental health.  Scientists from Spain found that adherents to the Mediterranean diet are 30% less likely to develop depression. Researchers from University College, London came to the same exact conclusion. The Mediterranean diet is not just for prevention. An Australian team found that adopting a Mediterranean diet was effective in improving symptoms of depression.

Dr. Ramsey suggests that you could enjoy olive oil’s healthy benefits and delicious satisfying taste simply by drinking a shot glass, either to supplement or in place of olive oil in your meals.  We loved watching Dr. Ramsey and Carson Daly drink a shot of extra virgin olive oil while Savannah Guthrie and Hota Kotb looked on. 


Watch the full Today show clip here.  

We have lots of ways you can incorporate olive oil into your cooking on our blog. Here are just a few recipes:

Roasted Asparagus with olive oil  
Roasting Whole Cauliflower 
Falafel Pan-Fried in Olive Oil 
Cod Sautéed in Olive Oil with Fresh Tomatoes  
Farro and grilled vegetables  
How to make aioli  
Greek bean soup recipe  
Slow Cooker Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Olive Oil

Or read about three simple ways to add more olive oil to your dishes here.

For more information on olive oil and mental health:

Nutrition and depression at the forefront of progress

A randomized controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression

Association of the Mediterranean dietary pattern with the incidence of depression

Mediterranean dietary pattern and depression: the PREDIMED randomized trial

Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age

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