Why is olive oil good for you?
Olive oil is a natural juice which preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins and properties of the olive fruit. Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as it is, freshly pressed from the fruit.
Well-documented by numerous studies around the world, the many health benefits of olive oil make it one of the most indispensable ingredients of a healthy diet. Naturally packed with monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, not only can a good extra virgin olive oil lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, research has shown that it also provides a wide range of anti-inflammatory benefits that can positively impact illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and asthma.
Heart Disease and Cholesterol
There are many scientific studies that suggest that olive oil helps prevent and treat heart disease. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while raising HDL ("good" cholesterol) levels. No other naturally produced oil has as high as a percentage of monounsaturated fat as olive oil.
All types of olive oil contain monounsaturated fat, but “extra virgin” olive oils are the least processed forms, so they’re the most heart healthy. Those types contain the highest levels of polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant that also can promote heart health.
Studies show that olive oil may play a part in reducing rates or risk of some types of cancer, particularly colon, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
A study published in the January 2005 issue of Annals of Oncology has identified oleic acid (the main component of olive oil) as having the ability to reduce the effect of an oncogene (a gene that will turn a host cell into a cancer cell). This particular oncogene is associated with the rapid growth of breast cancer tumors. The conclusion of the researchers was that oleic acid, when combined with drug therapy, encouraged the self-destruction of aggressive, treatment-resistant cancer cells, thus helping to combat the cancer. Olive oil has been positively indicated in studies on prostate and endometrial cancers as well.
Healthy Blood Pressure
One of the specific compounds in olive oil that directly combats the build-up LDL cholesterol is called oleuropein. Oleuropein has been found by scientists to prevent the LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and sticking to the arterial walls.
Arthritis and Asthma
It is the monounsaturated healthy fats found in olive oil that are used by the body to produce substances that are relatively anti-inflammatory. By reducing inflammation, these fats may be able to prevent or reduce the severity of diseases like arthritis and asthma because un-inflamed cell membranes are more fluid and better able to move healthy nutrients into the cells and move waste products out.
Olive oil is good for your skin and your hair, as a moisturiser and a conditioner.
We’ve also been known to use it on squeaky doors!
For a healthy diet, try replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats. One of the ways to do this is to use olive oil instead of butter or margarine when cooking. Keep in mind that all oils are high in calories so watch your consumption!