Six Great Health Benefits of Consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olioveto: Six Great Health Benefits of Consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The health benefits of extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) have long been touted. And as the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil has been associated with healthy longevity. As a matter of fact, EVOOs are the highest quality olive oil available. EVOOs are directly extracted from the olive fruit, without the use of any heat or chemicals.

EVOOs have been known to positively effect:

Stress - Olive oil is rich in antioxidants. Especially vitamin E, long thought to minimize cancer risk. Among plant oils, olive oil is the highest in monounsaturated fat, which doesn’t oxidize in the body. And, it’s low in polyunsaturated fat, the kind that does oxidize.

High Blood Pressure -Recent studies indicate that regular consumption of olive oil can help decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Cancer - The phytonutrient in olive oil – oleocanthal - mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation. Which can decrease the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence. Squalene and Lignans are among the other olive oil components being studied for their possible effects on cancer.

Heart disease– olive oil lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol - LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. At the same time it does not alter the levels of HDL-cholesterol (and may even raise them). This plays a protective role and prevents the formation of fatty patches, thus stimulating the elimination of the low-density lipoproteins.

Diabetes –  Diets rich in olive oil, low in saturated fats, moderately rich in carbohydrates and soluble fiber from fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains is the most effective approach for diabetics. Olive oil in the diet helps lower "bad" low-density lipoproteins while improving blood sugar control and enhancing insulin sensitivity.

Reduced inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis - Additionally, consuming olive oils seems to improve bone mineralization and calcification. This helps calcium absorption, therefore positively effecting the prevention of osteoporosis.

And, according to the experts:

The American Heart Association– states that monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in 2004, approved a health claim for olive oil. This was on the basis that the monounsaturated fat in olive oil may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, when used in place of saturated fat.

Extra Virginity - The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by  Tom Mueller - Real extra virgin olive oil contains powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories which help to prevent degenerative conditions.  Fake extra virgin has next to none of them. Some of olive oil’s positive effects stem from its monounsaturated fat profile, but, more and more, medical research suggests that the polyphenols and the other “minor components” of olive oil, are the main source of oil’s health benefits.  These same substances give a high-quality olive oil its pepperiness, bitterness, and other prized sensory properties; in fact, the oil’s healthful properties are directly proportional to the strength of its flavors, aromas, and other sensory characteristics.  If an oil doesn’t sting at the back of the throat, it contains little or no oleocanthal.  If it isn’t bitter, it’s low in tocopherol and squalene.  If it isn’t velvety in texture, then it’s missing hydroxytyrosol.

Seems pretty clear. For more information, visit the olive wellness institute.

And, be sure to share any of what you have found around EVOO's health benefits in our comments section!

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