Olive oil is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet and the health benefits of olive oil are unrivalled, and research reveals more benefits nearly every day. Olive oil is used in cosmetics, medicine, cooking, and soaps, and was also used as a fuel for traditional lamps. Olive oil originally came from the Mediterranean, but today it is used worldwide. In the diet, olives can be eaten whole or chopped and added to pizzas and other dishes.
The oil can be used as a dip for bread, for frying,or as a salad dressing. Some people even consume it by the small glassful formedicinal purposes. Olive oil is also being touted as a healthier alternativeto traditional cooking oils.
Thehealth effects of dietary fat are controversial.
However,experts agree that olive oil — especially extra virgin — is good for you.
Here are the amazing health benefits of olive oil!
1. Olive Oil Is Rich in Healthy Monounsaturated Fats.
Olive oil is the natural oil extracted from olives, the fruit ofthe olive tree.About 14% of the oil is saturated fat, whereas11% is polyunsaturated, such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.But thepredominant fatty acid in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid,making up 73% of the total oil content.Studies suggest that oleic acid reduces inflammation and may even have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer (2, 3, 4, 5).Monounsaturated fats are also quite resistant to high heat, making extra virgin olive oila healthy choice for cooking.
2. It’s protects against heart disease
The main type of fat found in olive oil ismonounsaturated fat (MUFA). These fats have been found to lower your totalcholesterol reduce harmful cholesterol levels. It can also help normalise bloodclotting.
Reducing the bad cholesterol in your body means yourarteries will be less clogged, leading to a lower risk of heart disease andstrokes. Replacing butter and margarine with products containing oil will alsocontribute towards healthier cholesterol levels.
3. Extra-virgin olive oil eases inflammation
Extra-virgin olive oil has been found to mimic theeffect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, helping conditions such asrheumatoid arthritis. The compound oleocanthal can inhibit pro-inflammatoryenzymes – as well as the risk of Alzheimer’s.
When studied in relation to rheumatoid arthritis,researchers found the compound had a significant impact on both chronicinflammation and acute inflammatory processes.
4. It helps prevent strokes
Stroke is caused by a disturbance of blood flow toyour brain, due to a blood clot or bleeding. In developed nations, stroke isthe second most common cause of death, right behind heart disease.
A study of 841,000 people found that olive oil wasthe only source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of strokeand heart disease. Another review with 140,000 participants found that thosewho consumed olive oil were at a much lower risk of stroke than those who didnot.
5. It could help fight against depression
According to recent research, olive oil could haveemotional, as well as physical health benefits. A study that included over12,000 people and found that a diet with a higher intake of olive oil andpolyunsaturated fats was associated with a lower risk of mental illness.
Early findings suggest cardiovascular disease anddepression may share common processes related to diet, but studies are stillbeing conducted.
6. It has anti bacterial properties
Olive oil contains many nutrients that can inhibitor kill harmful bacteria. One of these is Helicobacter pylori, a bacteriumthat lives in your stomach and can cause stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.
Test-tube studies have shown that extra virginolive oil fights eight strains of this bacterium, three of which are resistantto antibiotics. A study in humans suggested that 30 grams of extra virgin oliveoil, taken daily, can eliminate Helicobacter pylori infection in10–40% of people in as little as two weeks.
7. Olive oil fights osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease characterised by adecrease in bone mass, which in turn causes the architecture of bone tissue tobecome fragile. This can then increase the possibly of fractures, making eventhe slightest of knocks potentially fatal for sufferers.
Olive oil supplementation was found to positivelyaffect the thickness of bones. Olive oil will not be the only solution in thecontinuing fight against post-menopausal osteoporosis, however scientists haveconcluded that it is a very promising candidate for future treatments of the disease.