Olive Oil Has An Unexpected Effect On Your Mental Health

By now, most people have heard of the Mediterranean diet and the extreme benefits associated with it, like improved heart health and weight loss. Experts agree that the ingestion of healthy fats and increased fiber intake, as well as the limited intake of sugary foods, attributed to this diet has many proven health benefits (via Eating Well). 

Olive oil, a staple in the Mediterranean diet, has been shown to offer a myriad of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and reducing the risk of chronic medical conditions (via Healthline). But olive oil offers more than just physical health improvements, as Medical News Today shares: Research shows a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) might decrease the risk of depression and anxiety

More and more research suggests that olive oil consumption within the Mediterranean diet is linked to improved depressive symptoms as opposed to a diet high in other oils, like safflower, canola, and soy (via Be Brain Fit).

Olive oil can reduce your risk of depression

According to Be Brain Fit, olive oil plays a role in reduced risk of depression and better brain health. Those who live in areas where the Mediterranean diet is common, like Greece, rarely suffer from depression, dementia, or Alzheimer's. A study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that people living in a Mediterranean area with diets that are rich in olive oil have the fewest occurrences of severe depression, as well as a longer lifespan. 

In a large study involving over 12,000 people called "The Sun Project," researchers had participants use olive oil in place of other unhealthier fats, and the results found that their risk of depression dropped by nearly 50%. The study also found that the more trans fats participants ingested, the higher the risk of depressive symptoms became.

With the surmounting research suggesting olive oil reduces the risk of depression, as well as the other proven health benefits of using the oil in place of other fats, experts agree that this oil can best be described as "liquid gold," (via Town and Country). Furthermore, Healthline goes as far as to claim that extra virgin olive oil is "the healthiest fat on earth."