Here’s a way to preserve your memory and help protect your brain against Alzheimer's disease and age-related memory decline: Start cooking with extra-virgin olive oil! That’s the recommendation of medical researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia. They say compounds in extra-virgin olive oil have been shown to protect memory and learning ability. They also reduce the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neuron tangles in the brain – both of which are classic markers of Alzheimer's disease. Most important, the researchers found that extra-virgin olive oil activates a process called autophagy, which helps cells break down and clear out debris and toxins, like plaques and tangles. So protect your memories just by cooking with extra-virgin olive oil.