Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

The Olive Oil Hunter News #95

Dark Chocolate Crème Recipe, Spotlight on Dark Chocolate, Easier Melting, Well-being and Online Art Viewing Plus Activities for a Sharper Brain

You might not yet think of dark chocolate and olive oil as the perfect pairing, but this week’s recipe is guaranteed to change your mind. Of course, it tastes delicious—that’s a given for every Olive Oil Hunter Newsletter dish. But it also has a silky mousse-like “mouth feel” with a fraction of the saturated fat of heavy cream and a double dose of polyphenols from the olive oil and the chocolate. It’s an experience to savor. Speaking of experiences, two studies, one on mood and the other on cognitive function, found that very specific actions can give you needed boosts in both areas. Count me in!

Chocolate Crème

  • Chocolate Creme Chocolate Crème

    This pot-de-crème-inspired chocolate dessert is simplicity itself, rich and light at the same time. Enjoy it as is or as the filling for an 8-inch tart—a pistachio crust is sensational. 


    • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
    • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


    Step 1

    Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Heat the half-and-half to a simmer and immediately pour it over the chocolate. Wait 5 minutes and then stir until the chocolate is fully melted.  

    Step 2

    Stir in the olive oil until well-blended.

    Step 3

    Pour into four small dessert bowls or coupe glasses and refrigerate until firm, from 4 hours to overnight.

    Yields 4 servings

Healthy Ingredient Spotlight: Choosing Dark Chocolate

Healthy Ingredient Spotlight

Choosing Dark Chocolate

Chocolate often gets a bad rap because of its high sugar content. For more flavanols—one of the most important polyphenols in cacao—swap semisweet and milk chocolates for varieties made from 70 percent or higher cacao. One ounce of a 70 percent bar has just 13 carb grams, three of which are healthy fiber. Though many chocolates above 85 percent cacao can taste bitter, 70–85 percent is the proverbial sweet spot. Guittard, the San Francisco-area chocolate manufacturer, makes a 72 percent called Coucher du Soleil that’s as sweet as anyone could want.

Healthy Kitchen Nugget: Easier Chocolate Melting

Healthy Kitchen Nugget

Easier Melting

Tempering chocolate is the bane of many home chefs, but it’s chiefly used for getting a glossy finish on icings and on chocolate decorations and fruits dipped in chocolate. It’s not necessary when melted chocolate will be incorporated into ingredients for a filling or batter. Buy coin-shaped wafers because they melt very quickly. Chopping up bars for melting is just a hassle! And chocolate chips are designed not to melt all that well (so they’ll hold up better in cookies). 

When blending cream into chocolate, the above technique is perfect. When you need melted chocolate to add to other ingredients, an easy way is to place three-quarters of the needed amount in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 50 percent for one minute at a time. When the chocolate has melted, add the reserved chocolate to the bowl, let it all sit for a minute, and then fold together—as the additional chocolate melts, it will also bring down the temperature of the microwaved chocolate so you can use it that much sooner.

For Your Best Health: Online Art Viewing Equals Greater Well-being

For Your Best Health

Online Art Viewing Equals Greater Well-being

We know the soothing effects on mood, stress, and well-being that come from viewing art at galleries and museums. But what if you can’t get to an installation as often as you’d like? A new study led by psychologists MacKenzie Trupp, PhD, and Matthew Pelowski, PhD, of the Arts and Research on Transformation of Individuals and Society research group at the University of Vienna, found that a short three-minute visit to an online art or cultural exhibition can lead to significant positive effects. 

As a silver lining of COVID-19, many arts and cultural institutions shifted from stationary buildings to the internet—digital museums and online art galleries became quite popular. This had two effects: First, art and cultural objects could be accessed from your sofa. Second, art had the opportunity to reach a much wider audience than before, including people in rural areas where access is often limited.

For their study, the researchers asked participants to visit art exhibitions accessible via smartphones, tablets, and computers. Before and after the visit, psychological state and well-being were measured to determine the extent to which viewing the art might be beneficial. Results showed that even very brief viewings can have significant effects, leading to lower negative mood, anxiety, and loneliness, as well as higher subjective well-being. These results were comparable to other interventions such as nature experiences and visits to physical art galleries. Upon further investigation, the subjective experiences of individuals became an important aspect to consider. The research team discovered that the more meaningful or beautiful people found the art to be and the more positive feelings they had while viewing it, the greater the benefit.

Fitness Flash: Activities for a Sharper Brain

Fitness Flash

Activities for a Sharper Brain

Studies have shown that physical and mental activity help preserve thinking skills and delay dementia. New research, published online in the July 20, 2022 issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that these benefits may vary for men and women, but are still important for both sexes. 

The study looked at the effects of both types of activities on cognitive reserve in the areas of thinking speed and memory. Cognitive reserve is the buffer that occurs when people have strong thinking skills even when their brains show signs of the underlying changes associated with cognitive impairment and dementia.

“We found that greater physical activity was associated with greater thinking speed reserve in women, but not in men,” says study author Judy Pa, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego. “Taking part in more mental activities was associated with greater thinking speed reserve for both men and women.” Greater physical activity was not associated with memory reserve in men or women.

The study involved 758 people with an average age of 76. Some had no thinking or memory problems, some had mild cognitive impairment, and some had dementia. The participants underwent brain scans and thinking speed and memory tests. To calculate cognitive reserve, their thinking test scores were compared against the changes in the brain associated with dementia, such as the total volume of the hippocampus.

People were also asked about their usual weekly physical activity and reported that they took part in an average of at least 15 minutes per week of activities that elevate heart rates, such as brisk walking and biking. 

For mental activity, they were asked whether they had participated in three types of activities in the past 13 months: reading magazines, newspapers, or books; going to classes; and playing cards, games, or bingo. They were given one point for each type of activity, for a maximum of three points. Participants averaged 1.4 points. 

Dr. Pa reports that each additional mental activity people participated in corresponded to 13 fewer years of aging in the processing speed in their thinking skills—17 years among men and 10 years among women.

“As we have arguably few-to-no effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, prevention is crucial. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of treatment,” she says. “To know that people could potentially improve their cognitive reserve by taking simple steps such as going to classes at the community center, playing bingo with their friends, or spending more time walking or gardening is very exciting.”

Dr. Pa also found that, based on the effects seen in the study, a doubling of the amount of physical activity would be equivalent to an estimated 2.75 fewer years of aging when it comes to women’s processing speed in their thinking skills.

It’s important to note that the study doesn’t prove that physical and mental activities help improve cognitive reserve, only that there’s an association. Also, for women, having the APOE e4 gene, which carries the strongest risk for Alzheimer’s, lessens the effects of the beneficial relationship between physical and mental activities and cognitive reserve. A limitation of the study was that people reported their own physical and mental activity, so they may not have remembered correctly. But spending time on enjoyable activities certainly holds potential and can bring immediate pleasure as well. 

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The Olive Oil Hunter News #92

Glorious Gazpacho Recipe, The Colors of Bell Peppers and Convenience of Canned Tomatoes, More Reasons for a Diet with Deep Colors and The Good Work of Gardening

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. They’re not only an essential component of delicious gazpacho, but they are also part of the theme that runs throughout this issue of the newsletter. Along with other deeply colored fruits and vegetables, they offer antioxidants that can improve so many facets of our health. And there’s even a special bonus to growing them yourself as part of the benefits of gardening. Read on!

Glorious Gazpacho

  • Gazpacho Drinkable Gazpacho

    This perfect end-of-summer dish brings together the best seasonal produce with a no-muss, no-fuss prep. Think smooth: True gazpacho is made to be sipped as a drink, not eaten with a spoon. For an extra boost of fiber, leave the skin on the cucumber.


    • 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes
    • 1 green pepper, stemmed and seeded
    • 1 cucumber, peeled
    • 1/2 medium onion
    • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, plus more for serving 
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
    • Pinch of fine sea salt 
    • 3/4 cup cold water, plus more as needed


    Step 1

    Cut the vegetables into chunks and add them with the other ingredients to a blender. Process until they turn into a smooth liquid. If it’s too thick, add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Pour into glasses and garnish with a few drops of olive oil and vinegar. 

    Yields 4 servings

Healthy Ingredient Spotlight: How to Store Fresh Herbs

Healthy Ingredient Spotlight

The Colors of Bell Peppers

Red, orange, and yellow bell peppers are now nearly as common as green ones, with purple, black, and even white variations making an appearance. What’s the real difference? According to the Mississippi State University Extension Service, it mostly comes down to how long the peppers are on the vine—they all start out green and then, depending on the exact variety, will mature into their predetermined color and get sweeter in taste.

All bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, with two or more times the amount in an orange, and good sources of vitamins B6, K, A, and E, but their nutrients differ slightly with their color. For instance, yellow bell peppers are rich in violaxanthin, and red bell peppers are replete with capsanthin and beta-carotene. Orange peppers are particular powerhouses of lutein and zeaxanthin, states the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. So, as with all fruits and vegetables, reaching for a rainbow of peppers will not only brighten your recipes, but will also give you an array of nutrients.

Healthy Kitchen Nugget: No-mess Marinating

Healthy Kitchen Nugget

The Convenience of Canned Tomatoes

There’s nothing quite like a fresh summer tomato, but you don’t need to put tomato-based recipes on hold once the current crop runs out. Canned tomatoes can come to the rescue! I like to keep a variety in the pantry: whole (peeled), crushed, diced, and puréed. But what about brands? And must they be made from famed Italian plum tomatoes or will California-grown ones be just as tasty?

It’s hard to find a true consensus. Taste tests conducted at popular food sites came up with completely different brands and opinions regarding the winner(s). So, have some fun by putting together your own sampling at home. For a starting point, here are some brand names that stand out: Muir Glen and Bianco DiNapoli, both of which use tomatoes grown in Northern California; Redpack, which is made with tomatoes grown in Indiana; and Cento San Marzano, with tomatoes grown in Italy. 

If you want to try an ultra-premium brand with true San Marzano tomatoes, be sure you’re getting the real thing by looking for the letters DOP on the label—they stand fordenominazione d’origine protetta (or protected designation of origin), and signify that the food was produced, processed, and packaged according to local traditions and rules in the Agro Sarnese-Nocerino, a set geographical zone within the provinces of Salerno, Avellino, and Naples in Italy. 

For Your Best Health: Eye Health

For Your Best Health

More Reasons for a Diet with Deep Colors

Women tend to live longer than men but actually have higher rates of illness. According to new research from University of Georgia, a diet rich in foods with pigmented carotenoids such as yams, kale, spinach, watermelon, bell peppers, tomatoes, oranges, and carrots can help, especially for eye and brain health

“The idea is that men get a lot of the diseases that tend to kill you, but women get those diseases less often or later so they [persevere] but with illnesses that are debilitating,” says Billy R. Hammond, PhD, a professor in the behavioral and brain sciences program in the department of psychology at Georgia and co-author of the study. “For example, of all of the existing cases of macular degeneration and dementia in the world, two-thirds are women…these diseases that women suffer for years are the very ones most amenable to prevention through lifestyle.”

The study, “The influence of the macular carotenoids on women’s eye and brain health,” published in Nutritional Neuroscience, reviewed and analyzed previous research detailing several degenerative conditions, from autoimmune diseases to dementia. Even controlling for lifespan differences, women experience these conditions at much higher rates than do men. “If you take all the autoimmune diseases collectively, women account for nearly 80%. So, because of this vulnerability, linked directly to biology, women need extra preventive care,” Dr. Hammond says.

One reason for this vulnerability has to do with the way women store vitamins and minerals in body fat—this creates a useful reservoir during pregnancy but, with less available for the retina and the brain, increases their risk for degenerative problems.

This is where eating deeply pigmented foods comes in. Two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in specific tissues of the eye and brain and have been shown to directly lessen central nervous system degeneration. “Men and women eat about the same amount of these carotenoids, but the requirements for women are much higher,” says Dr. Hammond. “The recommendations should be different, but there are, generally, not any recommendations for men or women for dietary components that are not directly linked to deficiency disease (like vitamin C and scurvy). Part of the idea for the article is that recommendations need to be changed so that women are aware that they have these vulnerabilities that they have to proactively address, so they don’t have these problems later in life.”

Carotenoids are available via supplements, but Dr. Hammond says getting them through food is a much better strategy for increasing intake (like the orange bell peppers mentioned above). “Components of diet influence the brain, from things like personality to even our concept of self. I don’t think people quite realize what a profound effect diet has on basically who they are, their mood, even their propensity to anger,” he says. “And now of course this is extended to the microbiome and the bacteria that make up your gut—all of these components work together to create the building blocks that compose our brain and the neurotransmitters that mediate its use.”

Fitness Flash: Walking to Manage Osteoarthritis

Fitness Flash

The Good Work of Gardening 

Working with plants may give your mental health a boost, even if you’ve never gardened before. In a new study published in PLOS One, researchers found that gardening lowered stress, anxiety, and depression in 32 healthy women who had never gardened before and attended twice-weekly classes for a month.

“Past studies have shown that gardening can help improve the mental health of people who have existing medical conditions or challenges. Our study shows that healthy people can also experience a boost in mental well-being through gardening,” says Charles Guy, PhD, principal investigator on the study and a professor emeritus in the environmental horticulture department at the University of Florida.

Researchers assigned half of the participants to gardening sessions and the other half to art-making sessions to serve as a point of comparison. “Both gardening and art activities involve learning, planning, creativity, and physical movement, and they are both used therapeutically in medical settings. This makes them more comparable, scientifically speaking, than, for example, gardening and bowling or gardening and reading,” Dr. Guy says.

In the gardening sessions, participants learned how to compare and sow seeds, transplant different kinds of plants, and harvest and taste edible plants. Those in the art sessions learned techniques such as papermaking, printmaking, drawing, and collage. Using assessments measuring anxiety, depression, stress, and mood, the researchers found that both groups experienced similar improvements in mental health over time, with gardeners reporting slightly less anxiety than art makers did.

Despite the small number of participants and short length of the study, the researchers were still able to demonstrate evidence of what medical clinicians would call the dosage effects of gardening—that is, how much gardening someone has to do to see improvements in mental health.

The idea of using gardening to promote better health and well-being—called therapeutic horticulture—has been around since the 19th century. Many of this study’s participants left with a newly discovered passion: “At the end of the experiment, many of the participants were saying not just how much they enjoyed the sessions but also how they planned to keep gardening,” Dr. Guy says.

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Fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil provides multiple health benefits

Polyphenol-rich extra virgin olive oil, on its own and as part of the well-studied Mediterranean Diet, has demonstrated significant positive effects on the body and mind.

Heart: Consuming more than 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil a day translates to a “14% lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 18% lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Replacing 5 grams a day of margarine, butter, mayonnaise, or dairy fat with the equivalent amount of olive oil was associated with 5% to 7% lower risk of total CVD and CHD.”1

Brain: The Mediterranean Diet has positive effects for “both cognitively impaired and unimpaired older populations, especially on their memory, both in the short and long run.” Plus, boosting the diet with additional intake of foods “such as extra-virgin olive oil…might have a more significant impact on the improvement of cognitive performance among seniors.”2

Gut: EVOO lowers levels of bad bacteria and stimulates good bacteria: “The gut microbiota and health of the intestinal environment are now considered important factors in the development of obesity, metabolic disease, and even certain neurodegenerative conditions via the gut-brain axis. Recently, data are emerging which demonstrate that the health-promoting benefits of EVOO may also extend to the gut microbiota.”3

Biological Aging & Bone: People who stick more closely to the Mediterranean Diet “are on average almost 1 year biologically younger than their chronological age, as compared to those with low adherence,” thanks to its polyphenol-rich foods like extra virgin olive oil. Polyphenols are also linked with higher bone mineral density. “In particular, high consumption of extra-virgin olive oil leads to lower risk of osteoporosis-related fractures.”4

Skin: Olive oil works well in beauty formulas and may enhance your skin because it “provides a safe and stable emulsion delivery system. The antioxidant activity of olives makes them a candidate for moderating the effects of the aging process on the skin by limiting biochemical consequences of oxidation.” Simple translation: It seems to help guard against the ravages of the environment.5


  1. Guasch-Ferré, M., et al. “Olive Oil Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk in U.S. Adults.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology, April 2020;
  2. Klimova, B. et al. “The Effect of Mediterranean Diet on Cognitive Functions in the Elderly Population.” Nutrients, June 2021; doi: 10.3390/nu13062067.
  3. Millman, JF, et al. “Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and the Gut-Brain Axis: Influence on Gut Microbiota, Mucosal Immunity, and Cardiometabolic and Cognitive Health.” Nutrition Reviews, December 2021; doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuaa148.
  4. Esposito, S., et al. “Dietary Polyphenol Intake Is Associated with Biological Aging, a Novel Predictor of Cardiovascular Disease: Cross-Sectional Findings from the Moli-Sani Study.” Nutrients, May 2021; doi: 10.3390/nu13051701.
  5. Gonçalves, S. and Gaivão, I. “Natural Ingredients Common in the Trás-os-Montes Region (Portugal) for Use in the Cosmetic Industry: A Review about Chemical Composition and Antigenotoxic Properties.” Molecules, August 2021; doi: 10.3390/molecules26175255.

The Olive Oil Hunter News #85

Grilled Lamb Skewers With Tzatziki Recipe, Spotlight on Yogurt and Mint, and the Top Five Habits for Living Longer

I’m always surprised at how underappreciated lamb is in the US. Whether raised here or in Australia or New Zealand, it’s the red meat most likely to be produced under humane conditions, with so many of the herds being grass-fed. I invite you to try lamb (or try it again if earlier experiences have led you to shy away from it) with a simple yet savory preparation. I’m also sharing the latest findings on a wide variety of topics, from healthy dairy to the top five habits for living longer.

Grilled Lamb Skewers With Tzatziki

  • Lamb Skewers Grilled Lamb Skewers With Tzatziki

    Few foods are as quick to cook and delicious as grilled lamb cubes. Known as arrosticini in the Abruzzo region of southern Italy, it’s one of the most beloved foods, served with olive oil-soaked bread that has also had a quick sear on the grill. In Greece, Turkey, and other countries around the Mediterranean as well as throughout the Middle East, lamb cubes are often called kebabs and slipped from skewer onto pita or another flatbread. No matter what country lays claim to them, adding a dollop of Greek-inspired tzatziki adds creamy zest to this succulent meat.


    For the tzatziki:

    • 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
    • 1 medium cucumber

    For the lamb skewers:

    • 1 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder or leg, trimmed of any sinew and silver skin 
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    • Coarse salt to taste
    • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary needles, chopped (optional)


    Step 1

    To make the tzatziki, in a large bowl, fold together the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, dill, and mint. Grate the cucumber using the side of a box grater with large holes or in a food processor outfitted with the grating disc (I like to leave on the skin for the extra fiber and nutrients). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the grated cucumber onto three or four stacked paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, and roll it all up, squeezing out as much of the remaining water as possible to avoid diluting the tzatziki. Then fold the cucumber into the yogurt mixture. Taste and add more salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice as desired. Keep the tzatziki refrigerated until needed. Right before serving, drizzle the top with olive oil.

    Step 2

    To make the lamb, cut it into 1-inch cubes and transfer them to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and rosemary if using; toss to thoroughly coat the cubes. Thread the cubes onto skewers close together (sides touching). Light your grill and preheat to medium high. Arrange the skewers on the grill grate, working in batches if necessary. Grill until the lamb is cooked through and has picked up some color, about 1 to 2 minutes per side, depending on the heat of your fire. Transfer the skewers to a platter. Serve with coarse salt, olive oil to drizzle, the tzatziki, and your choice of bread.

    Yields 4 appetizer servings

Healthy Ingredient Spotlight: Yogurt

Healthy Ingredient Spotlight

What’s the “Best” Yogurt?

Tons of research has done little to settle the debate over whether it’s better to reach for full-fat, fat-free, or something in between when it comes to dairy. What we do know is that dairy has many important nutrients and that yogurt is especially good for you, thanks to its beneficial bacteria. 

I like the way that a recent Consumer Reports article featuring Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, summed it up:If you’re eating one or two servings a day, it probably makes little difference whether it’s nonfat, low-fat, or full-fat. In addition, trading full-fat for low-fat can backfire. “When people switch from whole-fat to low-fat dairy, they don’t reduce their caloric intake,” Mozaffarian says. “Over months and years, they just naturally make up for that decreased fat by eating more carbs. And arguably, dairy fat is better for you than starch and sugar.”

There’s also some evidence that yogurt does help with weight control…and universal agreement that when you reach for yogurt, it should be plain with no sugar added—adding your own fresh fruit is far better for you than fruit-added commercial varieties. 

Healthy Kitchen Nugget: Mint Magic

Healthy Kitchen Nugget

The Magic of Mint

If your tastebuds have been turned off by the overpowering taste of artificial mint in many foods, experiencing the fresh herb will come as a revelation. Whether spearmint, peppermint, or any of the other 23 species, mint has a deep aroma yet a light, refreshing taste that adds a sweet note to drinks and dishes. 

Mint is integral to many cuisines. Some of my favorite dishes enhanced with mint are Middle Eastern tabbouleh with bulgur, parsley, tomatoes, and cucumbers; Vietnamese summer rolls with shrimp, red pepper and carrot strips, and cilantro; Thai chicken and peanut salad; and North African couscous with pine nuts and raisins. Have fun making your own mint tea by simply steeping a few leaves in boiling water—then enjoy it hot or cold! A perennial plant in many zones across the US, mint is one of the first herbs to rebloom in the spring, so consider adding it to your garden.

For Your Best Health: Diet for Longer Life, Healthier Brain

For Your Best Health

A Diet for a Longer Life, a Healthier Brain

Many studies have looked into the secrets of longevity, and many others have sought ways to preserve brain health. New research published in the journal BMJ investigated both by tracking the impact of healthy behaviors on improving life expectancy and on forestalling Alzheimer’s during those extra years of life. The 2,449 participants were women and men over age 65 involved in The Chicago Health and Aging Project, a study started in 1993 to assess the risk factors for Alzheimer’s dementia in the general population.

The researchers developed a healthy lifestyle scoring system based on five modifiable lifestyle factors: following the MIND (the Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet for brain health, which has been significantly associated with a slower cognitive decline and lower risk of Alzheimer’s; doing cognitive, or brain-healthy, activities; engaging in moderate or vigorous physical activity for at least 150 minutes every week; not smoking; and drinking alcohol in moderate-or-lower amounts (that’s 1 to 15 grams a day for women and 1 to 30 grams a day for men). Participants were given a score from 1 to 5 based on how many of the five lifestyle habits they followed. In addition to filling out regular questionnaires, they had neurocognitive tests every three years, up to six times throughout the study. 

The findings are impressive. As the researchers state, the results “suggest a healthy lifestyle could increase life expectancy among men and women. A healthy lifestyle might also increase the proportion of remaining years lived without Alzheimer’s dementia.”

Here are the key specifics: “On average, the total life expectancy at age 65 in women and men with four or five healthy factors was 24.2 and 23.1 years, of which 10.8% and 6.1% were spent with Alzheimer’s dementia. For women and men with zero or one healthy factor, life expectancy was shorter—21.1 and 17.4 years—and more of their remaining life expectancy was spent with Alzheimer’s dementia (19.3% and 12.0%, respectively). At age 85, these differences were even more notable. This investigation suggests that a prolonged life expectancy owing to a healthy lifestyle is not accompanied by an increased number of years living with Alzheimer’s dementia.”

Fitness Flash: Cognitively stimulating activities

Fitness Flash

Choices Abound!

Just what brain and body activities added up to the above results? Cognitively stimulating activities include reading, visiting museums, and playing games like cards, checkers, crosswords, and puzzles. Excellent moderate or vigorous physical activities are walking, gardening or yard work, calisthenics or general exercise, bicycle riding, and swimming. As many wellness experts say, finding activities that you can become passionate about is the key to sticking with them, so explore as many as you can to see what piques—and holds!—your interest.

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