Opposite to popular fitness trends that incline to pin dietary fat as a bad source of fat, Olive Oil has been integrated into diets for thousands of years and stands today as one of the few sources of fat that’s adjudged to as healthy.
Whether using it for cooking, salad dressings, or a variety of other culinary purposes, Olive Oil goes far beyond a basic pantry product.
So What Is Olive Oil?
Olive Oil is the natural extract that comes from olives. To get a hold of this extract, olives can be processed an assortment of ways, which also determines whether the final product is considered refined or unrefined.
Unrefined Olive Oil, also identified as Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), is the least processed. This gives the Olive Oil an opportunity to retain a high percentage of its vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties, giving the final product a darker appearance and more robust flavor profiles.
Refined Olive Oil is processed to a higher degree and can even be blended with a handful of other oils from different regions to get the final product. The extra processing removes a countless amount of the beneficial properties from the oil, resulting in a lighter appearance and little to no flavor.
And even though both forms of Olive Oil are thought of as healthy for you, Extra Virgin Olive Oil carries the most benefits.
4 Health Benefits of Olive Oil
1. Olive Oil Has A High Concentration Of Antioxidants
These well known substances have long been enjoyed for their free radical fighting properties. For example, antioxidants work by preventing the oxidation of cells and assisting with blood cholesterol, both of which are leading heart disease risk factors.
Away from benefiting overall heart health, antioxidants have also been known to help with the prevention of other diseases. And although more research still needs to be conducted, the results have led researchers to believe that Olive Oil may assist with atherosclerosis or even cancer thanks to the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of Olive Oil.
2. Olive Oil Is An Outstanding Weight Loss Helper
A handful of the existing weight loss programs encourage participants to shy away from foods that are high in fat. Not only is this false, but Olive Oil has actually been shown to help with weight loss in controlled study groups.
Over the span of a 3-year study, the participants consumed a diet heavy in Olive Oil and enjoyed a number of benefits, decreased weight gain being one of them.
To aid with your weight loss efforts, think about adding Extra Virgin Olive Oil into your daily diet. Of all the macronutrients, fats contain the highest number of calories per gram and also digest at a slow pace. These two factors can help you feel full for a longer period of time, lowering cravings for snacks and junk food.
3. Monounsaturated Fats & Inflammation
Olive Oil is rich in oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat which has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body. And even though inflammation is a natural response, when the body experiences chronic inflammation, studies have shown that it becomes more likely to develop a range of different diseases.
Additionally, the high levels of oleic acid existing in Olive Oil may have beneficial effects on cancer causing genes. Even further studies have dive deeper into its role relating to breast cancer specifically, showing promising results.
4. Cancer Fighting Properties
As one of the leading causes of death in the world, some of the top precautionary measures you can take to prevent cancer are dietary. Inhabitants of the Mediterranean region are found to have lower incidences of certain cancers, which researchers think could be related to the high intake of Olive Oil in their diets.
The antioxidants present in Olive Oil not only assist in preventing inflammation, but they also reduce cellular proliferation, which is believed to be one of the leading causes of cancer.