Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is Good For Your Health?

The issue of fats in your diet is highly controversial with people arguing about seed oils, and animal fats. However, most people will agree that extra virgin oil is super healthy.The oil is a major part of the Mediterranean diet and has been a dietary staple for some of the healthiest populations of the world.
A lot of research on Extra Virgin Olive oil has shown that the antioxidants and fatty acids in it have very powerful health benefits.

How is olive oil made?

Olive oil is pressed from olives, which are the fruits of the olive tree. The use of chemicals for extraction of olive oil lowers its quality, so it is always important to consider that while purchasing the oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is the best type as it is extracted using natural methods, leaving it pure and retaining its sensory qualities like smell and taste. It has a distinctive taste and contains high amounts of phenolic acid, which makes it very beneficial.

What is the nutrient composition of extra virgin olive oil?

Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, which can help in fighting serious chronic diseases. The main antioxidants are oleuropein which protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation, and oleocanthal, which is an anti-inflammatory.

100 grams of olive oil contain;

  • Monounsaturated fat: 73%
  • Saturated fat: 13.8%
  • Omega 6: 9.7%
  • Omega 3: 0.76%
  • Vitamin E: 72% of RDA
  • Vitamin K: 75% of RDA

Most of the monounsaturated fat is the 18-carbon long oleic

Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  1. Anti-inflammatory

Chronic inflammation is a leading driver of many diseases, including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, metabolic diseases, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis. One of the oil’s great benefits is its ability to fight inflammation. Oleic acid is the most prominent fatty acid in olive oil and can reduce inflammatory markers such as C-Reactive Protein. Oleocanthal, which is the primary antioxidant in olive oil works like ibuprofen, a popular anti-inflammatory drug. The effect of oleocanthal in 50mls of olive oil has a similar effect to 10% of the ibuprofen dosage for an adult. Chronic inflammation usually starts mildly and takes years or even decades for the damage to be done. Extra virgin olive oil may prevent this from happening.

  1. Protects against cardiovascular disease

The main causes of death in the world are cardiovascular diseases (stroke and heart disease), but it has been shown to be low in some areas especially in the countries around the Mediterranean sea. The Mediterranean Diet has been studied and it has been shown to help in preventing heart disease. According to one study, it reduced stroke, heart attacks and death by 30%.

Extra virgin olive oil protects against heart disease through various mechanisms which include;

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Protects LDL particles from oxidative damage
  • Improved function of endothelium, the lining of the blood vessels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  1. For Weight Loss

According to a study published in 2010 in the Journal of Women’s Health, a diet consisting of olive oil was found to assist in weight loss. The group of women who followed a plant-based diet with olive oil lost 5 percent or more of their weight compared to the ones who followed the National Cancer Institute’s low-fat diet and were more likely to continue with the diet after the study.

  1. Protects against Cancer

Mediterranean countries have been shown to have a low risk of cancer, according to studies and this could be linked to olive oil.

Olive oil also contains oleic acid which is highly resistant to oxidation and has beneficial effects on the genes that are linked to cancer.

  1. Protects against Alzheimer’s Disease.

This neurodegenerative disease is very common and a leading cause of dementia. In Alzheimer’s, there is a build up of protein tangles which are called beta amyloid plaques in some neurons in the brain.
One study in mice showed that there is a substance in olive oil that can help in clearing these plaques from the brain.
In a human controlled trial, a Mediterranean diet, which was enriched with olive oil was found to have favorable effects on the function of the brain, thus reducing the risk of cognitive impairment.

How to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • It can be used for cooking- it is highly resistant to heat damage and very safe even for deep frying according to studies. You can also use it to saute’ your vegetables and meat.
  • Blend it with lemon juice or vinegar and herbs for a homemade salad dressing
  • Pour some olive oil on herbs such as basil, rosemary, and garlic to make an infused dip for raw vegetables or bread.


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