- in Health
Here is an interesting fact to think about: olive oil was once known as ‘liquid gold’ in the ancient world.
If you are familiar with the world of cooking, this should not surprise you, especially if you use olive oil often. However, it is not just the nutritional aspect that is so good, as olive oil has plenty of benefits. In case you are wondering about what they are, read on.
High content of monosaturated fats
Olive oil comes from olives, which are the fruits from olive plants. The composition in it is saturated at about 14%, and polyunsaturated comprising 11% – made up of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
However, the dominant fatty acid present in the oil is monounsaturated, specifically a type of oil known as oleic acid, which makes up almost 73% of the total content. This is quite high, especially when compared to other oils, and oleic acid is among the best ingredients when reducing inflammation and cancer, according to various studies such as this and this.
If you choose to use it in cooking, it is even better to go for the extra virgin olive oil, as the monosaturated fats are quite resistant to high temperatures.
Very high amounts of antioxidants
Aside from the fat content, olive oil is nutritionally dense. There are significant amounts of Vitamins K and E, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, it also contains impressive levels of antioxidants, which reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
They help to prevent inflammation in body cells, and also lower harmful cholesterol, both which eventually protects you from heart disease.
It has plenty of anti-inflammation properties
The reason many people suffer from various illnesses today is due to inflammation, which is caused by poor nutrition, stress, and so on. In the fast-paced lifestyle we live in, it is essential to eat well to protect your health, and prevent diseases like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity.
The benefits of extra virgin olive oil lie in its anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it has a strong link to better health. Among the most important antioxidants is oleocanthal, which has a similar effect as ibuprofen, a painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug.
In addition, some studies advocate that the acid can reduce the levels of certain inflammatory markers in the cells, therefore inhibiting the proteins and genes responsible for inflammation.
Can help reduce the risk of strokes
A stroke happens when there is an interruption of blood flow to your brain, and it can be due to internal bleeding or blood clots. Strokes are actually a major contributor to deaths in developed countries, taking second place after heart disease.
The relationship between strokes and olive oil has been under study for many years, and all studies reveal that olive oil reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke significantly. I9n fact, it is the only source of monosaturated fat to accomplish this.
Protects against heart disease
In the world, the most common cause of death is heart disease. However, in Mediterranean countries, this does not seem to be the case, and various studies have attempted to do research to answer why.
The answer eventually comes in the form of olive oil. That has brought to light the massive benefits of following a Mediterranean diet, as it is now proven to reduce the risk of getting heart disease by a significant margin.
Among the key ingredients in the diet is extra virgin olive oil, which protects the heart by reducing inflammation, improving the lining of the blood vessels and arteries, protects bad cholesterol from the oxidation process, and prevents excessive clotting of the blood (which leads to stroke and heart attacks).
An interesting effect though, is that it proves to reduce blood pressure, which is actually a major cause of premature death and heart disease. In fact, it even reduces the need to get medication for blood pressure by as much as 48%.
Olive oils has no association with obesity and excessive weight gain
The excessive consumption of fat generally causes weight gain, but this is not the case with olive oil. The reason is likely due to the increased levels of antioxidants in the blood, which promote satiety and weight loss.
Helps to fight Alzheimer’s disease
This illness is actually the most common neurodegenerative condition on a global scale, caused by the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain cells. However, studies suggest that olive oil can remove the plaques, and Mediterranean diets actually help in promoting proper brain function.
It can help treat rheumatoid arthritis
This is an autoimmune condition, and features painful joints that are deformed. The cause is not understood extensively, but it is thought to be due to the immune system mistakenly attacking your normal cells.
Olive oil shows to enhance inflammatory markers, and therefore reduce the stress and pain that accompanies the condition.
It is clear that olive oil has plenty of benefits to your health, both in the short and long term, so you should consider consuming more of it in your foods.