Understanding What Happens To Your Body When You Consume Olive Oil

What is not to love about olive oil? From the exceptional flavor to the rich mouthfeel, olive oil is a welcomed addition to many dishes. However, many may not realize that olive oil isn't just a delicious flavor addition to salads and meats. This oil offers some unique health benefits that other condiments can't come close to.

Olive oil is full of fat -- but don't let that scare you. While ingestion of certain fats, like saturated and trans-fats, are associated with unwanted health effects (think increased risk of heart disease factors), consumption of healthier fats can result in some amazing benefits. Considering olive oil is rich in"healthy" monounsaturated fat, it should not be viewed in the same light as fat sources like lard and butter.

Individuals that live by the Mediterranean Sea, and thus reside in areas that produce olives, tend to eat a large amount of olive oil and reap health benefits. But an important detail to think about is that they consume a whole lot more monounsaturated fat than saturated and trans-fats. In other words, they are consuming olive oil and other"healthier" fat sources while restricting the intake of fried foods, processed foods, and other"unhealthy" fat sources.

If you decide to include olive oil in your diet on a consistent basis, you may be wondering what you can expect to see in terms of your health. Here are 8 things you may experience when you are sneaking into a healthy dose of olive oil in your sauces, sauté pans, and even baked products regularly.

Reduced Risk of Stroke

Each year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke, so it is no surprise why finding a natural way to reduce this risk is desired by many.

Adhering to olive oil as a monounsaturated fat source may be a wise step in reducing risk stroke. In 1 study evaluating 841,000 people, olive oil was the sole source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of stroke.

Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease is another huge risk factor for Americans. As of 2018, there has been sufficient evidence suggesting that olive oil intake may lower the risk of developing this disease that the Food and Drug Administration has granted a Qualified Health Claim supporting this relationship.

Specifically, consuming malic acids in olive oils, such as olive oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease

Decrease Rheumatoid Arthritis disease activity

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease that causes painful swelling in certain parts of the body. Evidence indicates that intake of olive oil may bring about a reduction in inflammation in people managing rheumatoid arthritis, thus possibly resulting in less pain. 

May help support fertility efforts

What you eat can very possibly play a role in your fertility if you are attempting to expand your family. Many studies suggest that both men and women who follow a Mediterranean-style diet, which is full of olive oils, may cause an improved chance of pregnancy.

May Help Reduce Risk of Developing Diabetes

Olive oil consumption has been associated with favorable effects on blood sugar levels. And data indicates that following the Mediterranean diet, which is full of olive oil, leads to a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

May experience softer stools

Living with constipation or hard stools can be uncomfortable, to say the least! Consuming olive oil may help individuals with constipation encounter softer stools and thus, an have an easier time passing stools. Consuming olive oil has been found to be as effective as mineral oil at relieving constipation. And it can taste far better, also.

You may have stronger bones

While calcium-rich foods like milk and tofu are excellent foods to encourage bone health, including olive oil into your diet can be an superb bone-boosting addition to your daily diet plan. In one small study, consuming olive oil appeared to bring about improved bone mineral density in girls. Sounds like a perfect reason to drizzle some olive oil onto a scoop of ice cream.

May eliminate bacteria that causes stomach ulcers

H. Pylori is a type of bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers. Data suggests that taking a daily dose of 30 grams (or two tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil may eliminate H. pylori infection in as little as two weeks. You can get that easily with a glug on your own salad and another on your cooked veggies.