5 Main Proven Health Benefits of Olive Oil
There is a lot of debate about the health effects of dietary fat. However, experts have reached an agreement that olive oil (extra virgin in particular) is good/healthy for consumption. In the Mediterranean, the secret to longer and increased qualitative life expectancies is as a result of extra-virgin olive oil. Thus, it’s not a surprise that olive oil has numerous health benefits.
Olive oil is a natural oil extracted from olives, the fruits of olive tree. Olive oil has different fats, but monounsaturated fat, also known as oleic acid is the predominant fat in olive oil. Different reports have proven that monounsaturated fats can lower total cholesterol levels and LDL (bad cholesterol) cholesterol levels. Reducing LDL cholesterol in the body prevents or treats blockages in the arteries, lowering the risk of strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. You can increase your intake of monounsaturated fats to enjoy the health benefits by substituting butter and margarine with products containing olive oil.
Another benefit of monounsaturated fats is that they are resistant to high temperature, making olive oil a healthy cooking choice despite most people feel olive oil has poor resistance to heat. As a matter of fact, olive oil has one of the highest smoking points amongst vegetable oils.
Olive oil contains powerful antioxidants like Vitamin E, carotenoids and phenolic compounds. These antioxidants reduce the production of free radicals and also minimize their effects in the body. Free radicals are highly reactive and unstable atoms that clings to healthy cells and initiate a negative chain reaction, and can injure blood vessels, damage DNA and alter genes that can cause cancer.
The risk of some types of cancers in the Mediterranean is very low, and many researchers consider olive oil may be the reason. Furthermore, all olive oils are not equal; ELY SÉIDE Cuvée Intense Extra Virgin Olive Oil for example holds a higher level of nutrients, this is because the olives were green when picked and sent to press, and it is when green, that they hold the highest levels of antioxidants.
One of the health benefits of extra-virgin oil is its ability to reduce inflammation. Reducing inflammation in the body is important because it is believed that chronic inflammation is the leading cause of certain diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and even obesity. In other words, inflammation occurs when the body responds to foreign or external threats like toxic chemicals, infection or stress. When one of these threats is discovered by the immune system (the body’s defense mechanism), the body’s immunity responds by activating proteins in order to protect cells and tissues.
It’s been discovered that extra-virgin oil can mimic the effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, treating conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. It contains a compound called oleocanthal, capable of inhibiting pro-inflammatory enzymes – and also the risk of arthritis and Alzheimer’s. You can prevent inflammation and strengthen your immune system by adding extra-virgin oil to your diet.
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats which consist of high amount of an essential fatty acid known as omega-3. The body cannot produce these acids, that’s why we need to consume other food sources to get them.
As a result, Mediterranean diet has been researched extensively, and it has shown to improve the quality of health significantly, and the secret behind this is extra-virgin olive oil.
There is no proof that taking olive oil can promote weight gain, but moderate consumption may facilitate weight loss. Different studies have linked Mediterranean diet which is rich in olive oil with favorable effects on body weight.
A report by Prof. Peter Schieberle, Head of the TUM Chair of Food Chemistry, and Director of the German Research Center for Food Chemistry showed a study on different groups that consumed a vegetable oil. The grouped that consumed olive oil showed a higher level of serotonin in their blood. The participants in the study also revealed that they found the food with olive oil very filling. During the duration of the study, no member of this group recorded any increase in body weight or fat.
Aroma is the key
We were surprised at what we discovered when comparing rapeseed oil and olive oil says Schieberle, this is because “rapeseed oil and olive oil contain similar fatty acids.” So the researchers decided to switch focus to a different type of substance – the aroma compounds in olive oil.
In the second part of the study which had two groups, one of the groups was given yoghurt with olive oil aroma extracts, and the second group, which was the control group was given plain yoghurt.
The results were convincing; the calorie intake of the group that consumed yoghurt with olive oil did not change, while the control group had been consuming additional 176 kilocalories per day. According to Schieberle; "The olive oil group adapted their eating habits - but the group consuming plain yoghurt only, was obviously not able to do likewise. We also found that in comparison to the other group, the control group had less of the satiety hormone serotonin in their blood."
After all is said, quality extra virgin olive oil has incredible health benefits. The human body can really benefit from the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of this oil. As a matter of fact, olive oil may be the healthiest oil on earth.
Getting quality olive oil
It is important you buy the right olive oil brand. Do not go for the regular olive oil, it’s advisable you go for the extra-virgin olive oil. Regular olive oil is just a blend, consisting of cold-pressed olives and process oils, while extra virgin olive oil is made from pure, cold-pressed olives. Extra virgin oil is considered a healthier choice than the regular olive oil because it still retains some of the antioxidants and bioactive compounds from olives.
Thus, it is important that you carefully examine the labels before making purchase to ensure you are paying for quality extra virgin olive oil. Please read more on our process and how ELY SÉIDE oils are made to keep their nutrients high.