Now, researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), in the United Kingdom, are working to add to this collective knowledge. Haleh Moravej, a senior lecturer in nutritional science at MMU, and a team of students at the university have launched the MetMUnch initiative in order to do so.
Olive oil as part of a healthy, varied and fresh Mediterranean diet and as part of a healthy lifestyle will always be beneficial for physical and mental health.
“Scientists have known for a long time that there is a connection between our gut and brain via nerves, but now we have gut bacteria entering the arena,” Moravej told Olive Oil Times.
“They communicate with the brain in three different ways,” she added, “They send signals up the vagus nerve directly to the brain, influence immune cells in the gut that produce chemicals that travel in the blood, and some can get through the blood-brain barrier to the brain.”
Moravej based the initiative on the principle that microbiota in the human gastrointestinal tract are responsible for proper digestive functioning and a strong immune system. She added that following a healthy eating plan, such as the Mediterranean diet, contributes to a healthy gastrointestinal microbiota.
“The diet contains many foods that are probiotic, which provide good food for the bacteria,” Moravej said. “The foods are plant-based, such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits.”
“All these have beneficial chemicals such as polyphenols,” she added. “Olive oil as part of a healthy, varied and fresh Mediterranean diet and as part of a healthy lifestyle will always be beneficial for physical and mental health.”