Today, I will be sharing 4 fantastic benefits of using extra virgin olive oil. This traditional organic oil has been used in Mediterranean cuisine for centuries, and for good reason. This dietary staple is incredibly healthy and can be used in various ways. Studies reveal that the antioxidant and fatty acid content contained in extra virgin olive oil can provide powerful health advantages.
How is Olive Oil made And The Different Types?
Olive oil is extracted from olives which are the fruits of the olive tree and the production process is relatively straightforward. Olives are pressed to extract the oil, however, contemporary methods involve mashing the olives and then mixing them together to separate the oil from the pulp, using a centrifuge.
After centrifugation, tiny amounts of the oil stay in the pomace. This leftover oil can be extracted with chemical solvents and is referred to as pomace oil, which are usually cheaper than standard olive oil. Pomace oil has a poor reputation. It is critical to buy the right type of olive oil. There are three primary grades of olive oil available on the market.
You get refined, virgin, and extra virgin olive oil of which extra virgin olive oil is the least refined, and also the healthiest. Extra virgin oil is made by using natural methods for extracting the oil, plus it is standardized for purity.
Extra virgin oil also has a distinct smell and taste, and contains beneficial phenolic antioxidants. It also contains high levels of monounsaturated fats and vitamins E and K. Always have a close look at the food labels and only buy from reputable sellers.
4 Fantastic Benefits of Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Anti-inflammatory Components
One of the primary drivers of many illnesses, is chronic inflammation, including diseases like cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Olive oil is excellent for combating inflammation and contains oleic acid which is a prominent fatty acid that is known for reducing inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein.
However, olive oil’s primary anti-inflammatory benefits are due to the potent antioxidants, especially oleocanthal that works similar to ibuprofen. Bear in mind that chronic, low-level inflammation is not severe and might take years to do real damage. But, extra virgin oil can assist with preventing this from happening, resulting in a lessened risk of developing various inflammatory illnesses, including heart disease.
2. Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart disease are common diseases that result in death worldwide. Various observational studies reveal that death as a result of these illnesses is low in particular areas, especially those surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Incorporating extra virgin oil is useful for combating heart disease due to various mechanisms.
- Lowering Inflammation – Olive oil combats inflammation, a primary driver of heart disease.
- Lowers Oxidation of Bad Cholesterol (LDL) – Olive oil protects LDL elements from oxidative damage, a primary influence that leads to developing heart disease.
- Boosts Blood Vessel Health – Olive oil enhances endothelium function that is the lining of blood vessels.
- Assists With Managing Blood Clotting – Some studies advocate that olive oil can assist with preventing blood clotting which is another primary feature of strokes and heart attacks.
- Reduces Blood Pressure – Certain studies suggest that high blood pressure can be significantly reduced and the need for blood pressure lowering medicine by as much as forty-eight percent.
Numerous human and animal studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil has significant benefits for heart health.
3. Cancer Preventing Properties
Cancer is a primary cause of death and is characterised by the unrestrained growth of cells. Studies have revealed that individuals residing in the Mediterranean countries have a lower risk of developing cancer, and some speculate that this is due to olive oil being a staple in these areas. One key contributor of cancer is oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Because extra virgin oil has a high antioxidant content, it helps with lessening oxidative damage. Oleic acid found in olive oil is incredibly resistant to oxidation and has been shown to pose advantageous effects on genes that are associated with cancer.
4. Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease
One of the most commonplace neurodegenerative diseases in the world and a primary cause of dementia, is Alzheimer’s disease. One element of Alzheimer’s is accumulation of protein tangles which are referred to as beta-amyloid plaques in specific neurons in the brain. A study in mice revealed that material present in olive oil can assist with clearing such plaques. Another controlled study in humans also suggests that a Mediterranean diet with olive oil can boost brain function and lessen the risk of cognitive damage.
Is Olive Oil Used for Cooking?
When you cook with certain oils, the fatty acids can oxidize, which means they react with oxygen and become impaired. The double bonds present in fatty acids are the reason for this. Therefore, saturated fats that don’t have double bonds can resist high heat. Polyunsaturated fats that have numerous double bonds are sensitive to high heat and are harmed. Olive oil is made up of mostly monounsaturated fatty acids that have a singular double bond which means it is relatively resistant to high heat. Olive oil is quite safe for cooking, even when you cook at a relatively high heat.
I hope you have found this article about 4 fantastic benefits of using extra virgin olive oil useful and that you will consider using it as a alternative oil for cooking. There are various ways to use extra virgin olive oil and it can really elevate a dish or salad. Have you been using olive oil as part of your diet? Be sure to share your recipes with me.
Sending you light, love, and healthy vibes.