Olive Oil Health Benefits For Your Heart & Brain
It’s a staple of the Mediterranean Diet and has been included in the diets of some of the world’s healthiest, longest-living people for centuries — like those living in the blue zones. Why? Because olive oil benefits are extensive and amazing.
Real, high-quality extra virgin olive oil has well-researched anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants and numerous heart-healthy macronutrients.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Benefits Include:
- Lowering rates of inflammation
- Heart disease
- And Obesity
Unfortunately, not all Olive Oil is created the same — not even all of the “Extra Virgin” kinds have the required Olive Oil benefits!
There are several types of olive oil on the market today, including extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil and regular olive oil — but research shows that extra virgin olive oil benefits are more abundant than the other varieties.
Something that a handful of people don’t realize is that it’s common for “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” purchased in a majority of grocery stores to be laced with GMO canola oil and herb flavors. A handful of store shelves are actually lined up with fake olive oil options.
Manufacturers do this in order to make the fake oils taste more like real olive oil, but in fact, they’re far inferior products with way fewer health benefits than the real thing.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Nutrition Facts
Olive Oil is mainly composed of monounsaturated fatty acids, the most critical aspect of which is called oleic acid. Oleic acid is known to be extremely heart-healthy and has the ability to fight free radical damage (or oxidative stress), which has a handful of health implications.
This is more than ever true when compared to compounds discovered in more refined vegetable oils, trans fats or hydrogenated fats.
Diets with high levels of Extra Virgin olive oil, including the better known Mediterranean diet, are associated with “a lower incidence of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer,” according to a large review of clinical studies.
One Tablespoon Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Generally Contains:
- 119 calories
- 14 grams fat (9.8 of which is monounsaturated)
- Zero sugar, carbs or protein
- 8 micrograms vitamin K (10 percent DV)
- 2 milligrams vitamin E (10 percent DV)
So how much Extra Virgin Olive Oil should you aim to consume daily in order to benefit your health? Even though suggestions do differ depending on your specific calorie needs and diet, anywhere from one to four tablespoons seems to be ideal to gain these Olive Oil benefits.
- Alexis Barros