Extra virgin olive oil is one of the main foods of the Mediterranean diet, precious in cooking as a condiment, but even more precious for health thanks to its many properties and its extraordinary benefits.
Numerous scientific research carried out over the last decades has shown that extra virgin olive oil and oils with a high content of biophenols such as pitted oil have truly amazing beneficial effects on human health. Read this article to learn more.
Properties of extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is indispensable during childhood as it contributes to body growth, the process of brain myelination and bone formation. During adulthood, it is effective in preventing artery and heart disorders and lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood. In addition to reducing the risk of heart disease, it has an anti-aging function for the skin and bones, as it is rich in vitamin E, which protects against decalcification, osteoporosis and fractures. It also contains beta-carotene (provitamin A) and a whole range of antioxidant substances such as phenolic compounds.
Let’s see which are the 10 main benefits of extra virgin olive oil for our well-being.
Benefits of extra virgin olive oil
Cardiovascular disease. Extra virgin olive oil reduces the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the good cholesterol (HDL). The risk of suffering from these diseases is consequently reduced in proportion to its consumption.
Tumors. The combination of monounsaturated fats and biophenols reduces the risk associated with the most frequent cancer diseases affecting the intestine, colon, prostate, pancreas, endometrium and breast.
Aging. The preventive effects of extra virgin olive oil with respect to aging and the associated diseases - such as senile dementia, cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis - are linked to its antioxidant content.
High blood pressure. Regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil helps to reduce blood pressure to systolic (maximum) and diastolic (minimum) levels. The key compound here is biophenols.
Diabetes. It has been shown that a diet high in extra virgin olive oil, low in saturated fats and moderately rich in carbohydrates and soluble fibers such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals, is the most effective diet for diabetic patients.
Obesity. Despite the fact that extra virgin olive oil contains 9 calories per gram, Mediterranean populations accustomed to consuming a high quantity have a lower percentage of cases of obesity than populations that use animal fat. The extra virgin olive oil also helps to make tastier a healthy diet based on fruit, vegetables and fish.
Immune system. Olive oil fatty acids have been shown to strengthen the immune system against bacteria and viruses.
Arthritis. Individuals who consume a small amount of extra virgin olive oil have 2.5 more possibilities to develop arthritis, the incidence of which would be related to the content of antioxidants.
Digestive system. Extra virgin olive oil inhibits gastric motility, promoting both digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
Depression. Extra virgin olive oil performs a similar function to most antidepressants, increasing the level of serotonin present in the brain.
After seeing the 10 main benefits of extra virgin olive oil we can say with certainty that it is much more than just a condiment, but a real nutraceutical food extraordinarily effective to protect our health. Do you want to know more about its benefits and its use in the kitchen? Book your free nutritional call with our nutrition coach.