Olive Oil Benefits
Olive Oil Benefits
Olive oil benefits are so significant due to a wide variety of valuable antioxidants that are not found in other oils.
One tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories and 14 grams of fat, but the fat is mostly monounsaturated; it has a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels, and is easily digested.
Antioxidants in olive oil, such as vitamins E and K, and hydroxytyrosol polyphenols found in the oil, provide some kind of defence mechanism that may help to delay ageing, and prevent atherosclerosis, as well as boosting the immune system.
Among its extensive list of phytonutrients, no single category of nutrients is more important than its polyphenols. The polyphenol content of olive oil is amazing.
Olive oil is an oil obtained from the olive tree, and it is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and even as a fuel for traditional oil lamps. Although the olive tree originated in Asia, it has been cultivated for over 3,000 years in Mediterranean countries, where much of the olive crop is used to make olive oil and they have been reaping the amazing olive oil benefits.
Now let’s have a look at the olive oil benefits closer:
Cancer: Research shows that olive oil decreases the amount of bile acid and promotes the constant relining of the bowel. Other researchers have shown that people who get their fat from olive oil can halve their chances of getting colon cancer, which is Britain’s second biggest cancer killer.
Heart disease: People with a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil had a much lower rate of heart disease than those in Western countries, including the UK and America. It is believed that the oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fat, helps to prevent the oxidation of ‘bad’ cholesterol. Evidence from certain studies also suggests that a higher proportion of monounsaturated fats in the diet is linked with a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. This is significant because olive oil is considerably rich in monounsaturated fats, most notably oleic acid.
Ageing: Vitamin E in olive oil is assumed to be responsible for delaying the human ageing metabolism- anti-ageing effect on both skin and bone.
Diabetes: Diabetics or those at risk for diabetes are advised to combine a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet with olive oil. Studies show this combination is superior at controlling blood sugar levels compared to a diet that consists entirely of low-fat meals. Adding olive oil is also linked to lower triglyceride levels. Many diabetics live with high triglyceride levels which put them at risk for heart disease.
Osteoporosis: 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.
Another health benefit of olive oil seems to be its property to displace omega-6 fatty acids, while not having any impact on omega-3 fatty acids. This way, olive oil helps to build a more healthy balance between omega-6 fats and omega-3 fats.
Olive oil is also used to treat ear complaints- to clear blocked-up ears, to prevent hair loss and dandruff- by massaging the scalp, to moisturize the skin, to build strong fingernails and to soften cuticles, being rich in vitamins A, B-1, B-2, C, D, E and Iron.
What Type of Olive Oil?
These days there are an increasing array of organic and boutique olive oils offered for sale, some of them quite pricey. In general, the less processed an oil the more nutrients it contains, although the more expensive it tends to be. Modern doctors and nutritionists have realized that extra virgin olive oil, particularly, contributes significant nutritional value to human health- something many ancient physicians already believed in.
“Extra virgin” olive oil comes from the first pressing of olives, and retains the most flavor and aroma. Most better brands are also advertised as “cold pressed,” meaning they aren’t heated up beyond room temperature during processing. Unsurprisingly, high heat can damage the flavor and nutrients in the oil. “Virgin” olive oil generally comes from the second pressing. Cheaper brands sold as “regular” or “pure” olive oil are made with chemical refining and filtering, which standardize and neutralize flavors and acid contents. They have lower nutrient levels as a result.