Olive oil has long since been a staple in the Mediterranean cuisine, and considered holy in their culture due to its numerous benefits. It not only tastes delicious with hummus, but also possesses some amazing virtues. Olives are a rich source of antioxidants, that can reduce inflammation, protect the heart and improve brain health.
Scientific evidence validates these phenomenal properties of olive oil. Although opinions can differ, extra virgin olive oil still remains one of the most healthiest foods since thousands of years. It contains Vitamins K and E, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and several other nutrients.
Try to use as much olive oil in your diet as possible. Make sure you buy extra virgin oil as heating olive oil at higher temperatures for a long period of time may reduce its benefits provided by the compound oleocanthal, according to a study on the influence of heat on the biological activity and concentration of oleocanthal from virgin olive oil.
Olive oil is beneficial both internally and externally which means that you can also use it for beauty and skincare along with consuming it. Olive oil tastes delicious in salads and can even help you lose weight as it breaks down fat inside fat cells and improves insulin sensitivity.
Here are a few reasons why olive oil should be an important part of your diet:
Chronic inflammation is usually the culprit behind a number of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndromes, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and even obesity. Olive oil possesses anti inflammatory properties accounting for its amazing health benefits. Many studies suggest that antioxidants like oleocanthal are mostly responsible for reducing inflammation. Research also shows that oleocanthal in 50 ml (3.4 tbsp) of extra virgin olive oil has effects on your body in the same way as 10% of the adult dosage of ibuprofen.
Good for the Heart
Approximately 73% of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids which are extremely beneficial for your heart health. Again, numerous studies have shown that olive oil can reduce inflammation, improve LDL cholesterol levels and prevent unwanted blood clotting.
Olive oil can also improve blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart diseases. Polyphenols in olive oil can dilate arteries and lower blood pressure. In fact, it can lower the need for blood pressure medications by 48%.
Other several studies conducted in the Mediterranean region showed that heart disease around this area was rare and so researchers got interested in analyzing the benefits of a Mediterranean diet and found olive oil to be one of the reasons behind it. Why, simply because people who consumed olive oil on a regular basis were at a lower risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels than those who didn’t.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the sixth leading cause of death in America is Alzheimer’s disease. There is still so much unknown about this disease. A protein plaque called beta amyloid forms in the brain and studies show that oleocanthal in extra-virgin olive oil has the capability to reduce this plaque from the brain in the test subjects. While this may not be definite and requires further testing, there’s no harm in trying to consume more olive oil.
Another research conducted by Temple University revealed that extra-virgin olive oil has an amazing protective effect against memory loss. It can also boost your ability to learn, and decreases the risk of developing conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Olive oil works by reducing brain inflammation and activates the autophagy process, reduction of which is indicative of Alzheimer’s disease.
Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with antioxidants. It contains carotenoids, vitamin E and phenolic compounds, all of which protect against damage to cells caused by free radicals in the body. Polyphenols, most prominently are one of the antioxidants that help with cancer-causing cell damage. Monounsaturated fats also play a role in olive oil’s anti-cancer effects.
A series of researches showed that the people in Mediterranean countries had a decreased risk of developing some kinds of cancers, and their diet rich in olive oil is now believed to be the reason. Studies reveal that phenolic antioxidants fight against oxidative damage from free radicals and protects the body from developing cancer.
Another study done regarding oleocanthal in olive oil showed the potential ability of this compound to combat against cancer cells. The research revealed that oleocanthal damages an essential part of the cancerous cell, which causes it to die in it’s own contents. They also found that the process took only 30 minutes to an hour after applying oleocanthal as compared to the usual 16 to 24 hours it takes for cell death.
Type II Diabetes
Olive oil has also been shown to reduce the risk of type II diabetes as well as treating it with many positive effects of olive oil on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
An experimental study performed on 418 non-diabetic people showed the protective effects of olive oil. In this study, the participants were given a Mediterranean diet with olive oil. It was concluded that they had now a reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by over 40%.
Extra-virgin olive oil is not only helpful in the treatment of diabetes but it can also prevent or delay the onset of type II diabetes. It can improve blood sugar control and boost insulin sensitivity.
To benefit from all the incredible virtues of olive oil, make sure you buy only Extra Virgin olive oil. This is because, only this kind can provide you with all the antioxidants and bioactive compounds. With so much fraud going on in the the olive oil market, it’s easy to find oils that are labelled as extra virgin when in fact they have been diluted with other refined oils. Do some research before choosing the brand you buy!
About the author: Lisa Brown has been helping her readers in successful business and entrepreneurial strategies for the past 3 years. She currently works with uae.ekuep.com, which is the answer to UAE’s growing restaurant industry. Ekuep is the brand that restaurants, bakeries, cafes, juice bars, and more turn to when they want to stock their kitchens with only the best restaurant equipment.