Whenever someone asks about healthy edible oil options, the first thing that comes to mind is Olive oil. Olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet which is derived from olives. The oils nutritional benefits are unrivaled when compared to other oils.
From lowering risks of cardiovascular diseases to decimating chances of certain types of cancer, olive oils benefits are many and still being discovered.
A study conducted on 46000 participants aged 26 to 49 years. Over 4 years showed that consumption of virgin or extra virgin oil reduced the overall risk of mortality, including incidents of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
So without wasting any more time, let us look at the 8 most prominent health benefits of Olive oil.
8 Health Benefits of Olive Oil
1) Good Fats
Olive oil is known to contain good unsaturated fats. The main fat it contains is monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fats have been found to lower cholesterol levels and also help normalize blood clot levels. When your bad cholesterols are reduced, the body’s arteries will be less clogged. This all leads to reduced risks of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.
2) Powerful Antioxidant
Olive oil comes loaded with antioxidants, vitamin E, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds. All these powerful antioxidants combined work to eliminate the free radicals that might roam freely inside your body. Free radicals aren’t something you want in your body. They are a group of rogue DNA cells that attach themselves to healthy cells, thus causing an adverse chain reaction. The result could be injured blood vessels, damaged DNA, and subtle changes to the genes that may end up causing cancer.
3) Prevent High Blood Pressure
We have talked about monounsaturated fatty acids above; there is more to this particular nutrient than reducing heart disease. Monounsaturated fatty acids also contain omega 3 fats. Omega 3 and monounsaturated fats both work together in lowering blood pressure by cleaning the heart. The body itself can not produce omega 3. It has to be consumed from outside food sources. What can be a better option for omega 3 than Olive oil?
4) Protecting from depression
Depression has got the modern generation in its clutches, with over 300 million people affected worldwide according to the World health organization. Although mental, depression can be associated with a poor diet. A study was conducted by the University of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on 12000 people. It showed that a diet with adequate consumption of olive oil showed lower chances of ever suffering from mental illnesses. It can be concluded that olive oil has both physical as well as mental benefits.
5) Preventing Osteoporosis
Weak bones that easily fracture are a sign of low calcium levels in the body. Olive oil has shown promise of increasing levels of calcium in the body. This can have positive effects on bone density. Hence olive oil may prevent osteoporosis from ever developing in the first place.
6) Reduces Inflammation
Extra virgin oil had for long shown effects on the body that mimic the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs. Olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal that can decimate pro-inflammation enzymes in the body. This means that it can help with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
7) Its effects in Preventing Alzheimer’s
There are initial studies on the matter of Alzheimer’s that show that olive oil can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Although there needs to be more research on this subject for us to back it up with confidence.
8) Helps in Restoring Health of Skin
Olive oil is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and antibacterial properties that can help the skin in multiple ways. Its antioxidant properties can help prevent premature aging, thus restoring the skins former glow. Its antibacterial effects have shown to avoid bacteria from festering on the skin, thus preventing acne and other skin diseases. Olive oil also contains soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K, which can treat a variety of skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
When it comes to cooking oil options, olive oil is hands down one with the most rewards for the human body. Substituting other edible oils with olive oil will start showing positive effects on the body in no time.
It can be consumed directly with our food or can also be used topically to restore the glow of your skin and hair. Beware, as there is a lot of fraud in the olive oil industry. Do your due diligence before opting for an olive oil brand to serve your purposes. Also, note that olive oil is a low heat cooking oil, it is better used as a drizzle on salad and foods as it simply isn’t a good high heat cooking oil. For high heat cooking oil alternatives, you can opt for coconut oil or avocado oil.
Olive oil, while loaded with nutrition, is still oil. It should be taken moderately to ensure you reap its benefits while simultaneously not falling prey to its demerits.