Olive oil, more than anything, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, has long been famous for its handful of health benefits, and is even said to be the hidden secret to the longer life expectancies of the Mediterranean population. For these reasons and many more, It's no wonder it has a variety of health benefits.
Here are seven exceptional health benefits from Olive Oil which can help you to lead a fuller, healthier life.
Olive Oil Contains Good Fats, Great For Heart Health
The main kind of fat found in olive oil is monounsaturated fat (MUFA). MUFAs have been found to reduce your total cholesterol and LDL (the bad) cholesterol levels, and may also help normalise blood clotting.
Reducing your LDL cholesterol means your arteries won't be as clogged, leading to a lower risk of heart disease and strokes. Replacing butter and margarine with products containing oil, such as Bertolli with butter, will help increase your intake of MUFA.
Olive Oil Is Jammed with Antioxidants
Olive oil contains vitamin E, carotenoids and phenolic compounds, all of which are powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants are said to help lower the creation of damaging free radicals in the body.
Free radicals are groups of atoms with an odd number of electrons that attach to healthy cells and start a negative chain reaction, and can injure blood vessels, damage DNA and create changes in genes that can lead to cancer.
Olive Oil Can Help Prevent High Blood Pressure
Just as MUFAs can look after the health of your heart, monounsaturated fats found in olive oil also contain high amounts of an essential fatty acid (EFA) called omega-3. Omega-3 and MUFAs have been shown to keep your heart healthy by helping to reduce blood pressure. It is called an EFA because the body cannot make it by itself and therefore we must get it from food sources.
Olive Oil Can Assist In Protecting You From Depression
According to current research, olive oil might have emotional, as well as physical health benefits. The University of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria conducted a study that included over 12,000 people and found that a diet with a higher intake of olive oil and polyunsaturated fats was associated with a lower risk of mental illness.
Early findings indicate cardiovascular disease and depression may share common processes related to diet, but studies are still being conducted.
Olive Oil May Play An Essential Role In Preventing Osteoporosis
There is increasing evidence that olive oil intake may help enhance the amount calcium in the blood, which can have a positive effect on bone density, so it may therefore help prevent osteoporosis from developing.
Olive Oil Can Help Lower the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
Initial studies have demonstrated that an olive oil extract (oleocanthal) may help protect you from the risk of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline, that can often come with aging. More research is needed in that area, but olive oil is also likely to be part of a Mediterranean diet (which also tends to be high in veg, fruit and fish) and there is some evidence that this diet can lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease too.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reduces Inflammation
Extra-virgin olive oil has been found to mimic the effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, helping conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. The compound oleocanthal can inhibit pro-inflammatory enzymes -- as well as the risk of Alzheimer's.
When analyzed in relation to rheumatoid arthritis, researchers found the chemical had a significant impact on both chronic inflammation and acute inflammatory processes, and they consider 3.5 tablespoon dose is equal to a 200mg tablet of ibuprofen.