Generally speaking, when it comes to a new year, a handful of us resolve to make changes to our daily habits in order to be healthier. But let’s be honest, most of us really enjoy cooking and eating exceptional food.
Fortunately for you, there’s one superfood you probably already have in your pantry and are likely using almost every day! Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been proven time and time again to have drastic health benefits.
Usually, the term ‘superfood’ can be a term that is pretty confusing. It seems that in order to be a superfood, an ingredient should fit certain specifications. But, ‘superfood’ does not really have an exact definition. While marketing and media hype can make the whole category of superfoods seem a bit misunderstood, the term has some validity too.
For the most part, your body wants to be fed fresh, nutritious, wholesome food. Just being a bit more intentional about incorporating seasonal produce and nutrient-dense ingredients into your routine can have large health payoffs.
While some superfoods have been stamped as miracle cure-alls without real evidence to their case, wholesome foods are essential in order to achieve the correct levels of:
- And fatty acids
Realistically, there is no such thing as a miracle food, but there is such thing as a specific lifestyle that features plenty of nutrient-dense foods and as a result supports a long and healthy life.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is distinct in that extensive research has been put together based on its purported health benefits. People throughout the world have been consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil long before it was known as a ‘superfood.’ The Mediterranean diet has been highly praised it, and for great reason.
Individuals in the Mediterranean live longer and are much happier. This has been credited in part to the big portions of fruits and vegetables, fish, and healthy fats such as nuts and olive oil in their diets.
In addition, Olive Oil’s rich flavor and versatility are tremendous reasons to incorporate it into your day to day diet. But, if you need a little more convincing, considerable research has been done to uncover the extensive health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, especially when used to replace other fats such as butter, margarine, and refined oils.
Antioxidants and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
High-quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil has high levels of phenolic compounds, an antioxidant which:
- Destroys free radicals
- Kill cancer cells
- And can reduce the risk of heart disease
- And increase longevity
Oleocanthal and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This phenolic compound discovered in Extra Virgin Olive Oilis said to be responsible for the burning or tingling sensation which is experienced when tasting a high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
It has anti-inflammatory properties, and as such can have comparable effects to painkillers and fever reducers.
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAS) and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Monounsaturated fats are the type of fatty acids most commonly discovered in nuts and high fatty fruits, such as olives and avocados. These types of fats are central to the Mediterranean lifestyle, and studies have shown that they can increase the fluidity and elasticity of the cell membranes, and at about 75% MUFA content, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a great source.
The MUFAs in 1-2 tablespoons of Olive Oil per day can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and color cancer.
Vitamin E and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Each tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil has about 1.9 mg of Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that can help protect the body against eye and skin problems and in fact make hair and skin much healthier. In addition, it has also been shown to protect the body from:
- Neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s
- And lung cancer
Vitamin K and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Vitamin K is another fat-soluble vitamin that has its greatest effect on the blood. It is necessary for healthy coagulation and the levels of calcium in the blood. 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil a day will fill 10% of the daily suggested intake of Vitamin K, and can help protect against insulin resistance and a variety of cancers.
How To Add More Extra Virgin Olive Oil To Your Diet
So, now what? How do you take advantage of the highest benefits from Extra Virgin Olive Oil? Usually, the experts suggest that most of us would be best consuming about 2 tablespoons per day. While a handful of us have no problem discovering ways to eat more Extra Virgin Olive Oil, here are some seamless ideas to add it to your daily meals and snacks:
- Add an extra drizzle to a salad, sandwich, or soup
- Use extra virgin olive oil on popcorn
- Fry your eggs in it
- Dress us store-bought hummus with an extra pour of extra virgin olive oil
- Replace butter with Extra Virgin Olive Oil in baking recipes