Olive oil health benefits


Olive oil: ‘the greatest therapeutic’

The nutritional, health, medicinal and body care qualities of olive oil have been known since antiquity. It was not without reason that Homer, the greatest poet of all times, called olive oil “liquid gold” and Hippocrates, the father of medicine, called it the “great therapeutic”. What had been known and applied for centuries in Greece and other Mediterranean countries, twentieth century scientists had come to rediscover through their many studies.

The health benefits of olive oil are nowadays unchallengeable and are documented by several studies and research. Extra Virgin Olive Oil in particular offers the greatest health benefits as it is the least processed.

Olive oil: a protective shield for many diseases

A large number of clinical data show that consumption of olive oil, due to its high proportion of unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fatty acids, and other antioxidant substances like phenol, poly-phenol, chlorophyll, carotid, vitamin E, etc., can, in combination with the following of a ‘Mediterranean Diet’, provide health benefits,  particularly for the heart. Olive oil acts as a protective shield for many diseases and offers excellent protection against heart disease by lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol levels (LDL), and increasing the ‘good’ cholesterol levels (HDL) in the blood which helps clean our arteries.

Replace animal fats and plant oils with olive oil

To achieve these possible benefits, olive oil should replace your saturated fat intake and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. It is well known that olive oil is considerably rich in unsaturated fats. On the contrary, animal fats and most plant oils are poor in unsaturated fats and rich in saturated fats.  That is the reason why many research findings underscore the fact that olive oil is the best choice among all plant oils and animal fats and a necessary ingredient for healthy and balanced nutrition. Most doctors advocate lowering total fat and calories in your diet, and substituting butter, margarine and tropical oils with healthy fats like olive oil.

Olive oil also has anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, antihypertensive as well as vasodilatory effects.

In general olive oil:

1       helps to reduce blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of  heart attacks and strokes;

2       is the best substitute for butter and most seed oils, and has no bad cholesterol;

3       helps to reduce the «bad» cholesterol (LDL) in blood whilst maintaining levels of «good» cholesterol (HDL); eating only two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day for one week can lead to a significant difference in cholesterol levels;

4       contributes to the reduction of triglycerides in the blood;

5       acts to prevent blocking of the arteries and thus reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases;

6       plays an important role in regulating sugar for people who have diabetes;

7       protects the stomach from ulcers and gastritis;

8       is beneficial to the digestive system and acts as a mild laxative;

9       protects against certain types of cancer ( breast, prostate cancers);

10   protects the body from coronary heart disease because of the powerful antioxidants contained;

11   plays a positive role in prevention and cure of thrombosis, arteriosclerosis and skin diseases;

12   helps a better absorption of calcium in the body;

13   contributes positively to the control of blood pressure;

14   contributes to creation of healthy organisms positively influencing the development of the central nervous system and the brain ;

15   prevents the aging of cells and rejuvenates the skin (it is an excellent source of vitamin E which can improve the appearance of skin and hair);

16   reduces the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis;

17   prevents the formation of gallstones because it activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones.