Great Ways To Utilize Olive Oil With Cooking Recipes

Olive oil is an essential part of the healthy Mediterranean diet plan and it tastes extremely delicious on salads, in pasta and on fish.

Olive oil, more than anything, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, has long been known for its handful of health benefits, and is 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 just seven exceptional health benefits from Olive Oil which can allow you to lead a fuller, healthier life.

1. Olive Oil Contains Good Fats, Great For Heart Health

The main type of fat found in olive oil is monounsaturated fat (MUFA). MUFAs have been found to lower your total cholesterol and LDL (the bad) cholesterol levels, and may also help normalise blood clotting.

Lowering your LDL cholesterol means that 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 butterwill help increase your intake of MUFA.

2. 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 harm arteries, damage DNA and create changes in genes that can lead to cancer.

3. 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.

4. Olive Oil Will Assist In Preventing You From Depression

According to recent 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 contained 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 suggest cardiovascular disease and depression may share common processes related to diet, but studies are still being conducted.

5. Olive Oil May Play An Essential Role In Preventing Osteoporosis

There is increasing evidence that olive oil intake may help improve the amount calcium in the bloodstream vessels, which can have a positive effect on bone density, so it may therefore help prevent osteoporosis from developing.

6. Olive Oil Can Help Lower the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

Initial studies have revealed that an olive oil extract (oleocanthal) may help protect you from the risk of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline, that can often include aging. More research is necessary in that area, but olive oil is also very likely to function as part of a Mediterranean diet (which also has been high in veg, fruit and fish) and there is some evidence that this diet can lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease too.

7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reduces Inflammation

Extra-virginolive oil has been found to mimic the effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, helping conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. The compound oleocanthal can impair pro-inflammatory enzymes -- as well as the risk of Alzheimer's.

When analyzed in relation to rheumatoid arthritis, researchers found the compound had a significant impact on both chronic inflammation and acute inflammatory processes, and they believe 3.5 tablespoon dose is equal to a 200mg tablet of ibuprofen.