Health Benefits of Olive Oil
The health benefits of olive oil are unrivaled, and research reveals more benefits nearly every day. In fact, we are only just beginning to understand the countless ways olive oil can improve our health, and our lives. Olive oil is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet — an essential nutritional mainstay for the world’s longest-living cultures.
Some Diseases Olive Oil Has Been Found To Be Effective Against:
Olive oil lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. At the same time, it does not alter the levels of HDL-cholesterol (and may even raise them), which plays a protective role and prevents the formation of fatty patches, thus stimulating the elimination of the low-density lipoproteins.
The phytonutrient in olive oil, oleocanthal, mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation, which can decrease the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence. Oleocanthal reduces cancer causing inflammation found in diets rich in sugar, fried and processed foods, alcohol, and toxins such as cigarette smoke. Squalene and lignans are among the other olive oil components being studied for their possible effects on cancer. The antioxidant properties also help counter oxidation from the sun helping to prevent malignant melanoma.
A study in France sowed people who cooked with and consumed olive oil had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who did not.
Just two (2) tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day has helped lower total cholesterol by reducing LDL and triglycerides. Even more, it helps improve HDL. This synergy helps maintain a healthy balance between LDL and HDL.
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin E, long thought to minimize cancer risk. Among plant oils, olive oil is the highest in monounsaturated fat, which doesn’t oxidize in the body, and it’s low in polyunsaturated fat, the kind that does oxidize.
Recent studies indicate that regular consumption of olive oil can help decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
It has been demonstrated that a diet that is rich in olive oil, low in saturated fats, moderately rich in carbohydrates and soluble fiber from fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains is the most effective approach for diabetics. It helps lower "bad" low-density lipoproteins while improving blood sugar control and enhances insulin sensitivity. A Mediterranean diet, high in extra virgin olive oil, has shown to reduce the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50% compared to a low-fat diet.
Olive oil has shown to help reduce levels of obesity by providing healthy fats to improve satiety.
A high consumption of olive oil appears to improve bone mineralization and calcification. It helps calcium absorption and so plays an important role in aiding sufferers and in preventing the onset of Osteoporosis.
Although the reasons are still not fully clear, recent studies have proved that people with diets containing high levels of olive oil are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative condition in the world. One of its key features is a buildup of so-called beta-amyloid plaques inside your brain cells. One study in mice showed that a substance in olive oil can help remove these plaques. Additionally, a human study indicated that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil benefitted brain function. Keep in mind that more research is needed on the impact of olive oil on Alzheimer’s.
Olive oil contains many nutrients that can inhibit or kill harmful bacteria. One of these is Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that lives in your stomach and can cause stomach lcers and stomach cancer. Test-tube studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil fights eight strains of this bacterium, three of which are resistant to antibiotics. A study in humans suggested that 30 grams of extra virgin olive oil, taken daily, can eliminate Helicobacter pylori infection in 10–40% of people in as little as two weeks.
Our hearts naturally begin to deteriorate with age. Spanish researchers discovered that endothelial function of the arteries in the elderly can be improved by the consumption of monounsaturated fats, such as extra virgin olive oil.