It is known that olive oil is good for health, especially the extra virgin type due to the way it is processed and the way it maintains its properties, unlike of other varieties of this oil.
This the reason why products like the best olive oil soap in the world are demanded by many. So today, we present the most outstanding benefits of olive oil.
- Rich in Healthy Monounsaturated Fats
Olive oil is extracted from olives (also called olives) which are the fatty fruit obtained from the olive tree. About 24% of its oil is saturated fat and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. However, most of its fat (73%) is monounsaturated, called oleic acid, which is highly beneficial for health.
Among its properties are that it helps reduce cellular inflammation and that it has a beneficial effect on genes related to cancer. Also, the monounsaturated fats in the extra virgin version are very resistant to heat, making it a good option for cooking.
- High Content of Antioxidants
In addition to its fatty acids, olive oil has, in small amounts, vitamins E and K, and a high content of powerful antioxidants.
These antioxidants are biologically active and help fight different diseases related to cell damage caused by free radicals. In the same way, they can reduce inflammation and prevent cholesterol in the blood from oxidizing; a component in the development of heart disease.
Interestingly, the presence of anti-oxidants is also one the olive oil soap benefits.
- Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Chronic inflammation is one of the conditions that precedes many serious diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, and Alzheimer’s.
By having anti-inflammatory properties, it helps fight these health problems. This occurs through the antioxidants it contains. Among them, oleocanthal, which works in the body in a similar way to ibuprofen.
Some scientists calculate that 50 milliliters of this antioxidant (the equivalent of 3.4 tablespoons of olive oil), has an effect similar to 10% of the regular dose of ibuprofen for adults.
Additionally, other studies suggest that antioxidants in olive oil may inhibit certain genes and proteins that cause inflammation.
- Prevents Strokes
A stroke occurs when there is a problem with the flow of blood to the brain, caused by bleeding or a clot.
In developed countries, strokes are the second leading cause of death, after heart disease. A study of more than 800,000 people revealed that olive oil is the only monounsaturated fat associated with reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
- Protects Against Heart Disease
As we already mentioned, heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. However, observational studies carried out several decades ago found that these types of diseases are rare in the Mediterranean Sea area.
This finding led to the development of much research on the so-called Mediterranean diet, which reduces the risk of heart disease, and olive oil is one of the key ingredients in this type of diet.
How does it benefit heart health? It reduces inflammation, prevents cholesterol in the blood from oxidizing, improves the lining of blood vessels and prevents the development of blood clots.
It has also been shown to be helpful in lowering blood pressure, which is one of the main factors leading to heart disease. In one study, people who consumed olive oil were able to decrease the dose of their blood pressure medications by 48%.
The truth is that to date, there have been hundreds of studies that have made it clear that extra virgin olive oil provides important benefits to heart health.
If you suffer from heart disease, or are at risk of suffering from it due to your family history, we recommend that you include olive oil in your daily diet.
- It Does Not Cause Overweight or Obesity Problems
This may surprise you, but eating fat doesn’t make you store fat. There is a huge difference between how bad fats and healthy fats behave in the body, and extra virgin olive oil is one of the good ones.
Various investigations have found a favorable relationship between the Mediterranean diet and weight. In other words, consuming olive oil will not cause you to gain weight and fat. In fact, in a study whose follow-up was 3 years, it was found that eating a diet rich in olive oil favored the loss of fat, due to its antioxidant content.
- It Can Help Fight Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is the most common neurodegenerative disease worldwide. One of the mechanisms of this condition is the accumulation of beta amyloid plaques inside the brain cells.
In a study conducted in mice, it was found that olive oil can help remove these plaques ( 5 ), while other research carried out in humans revealed that the Mediterranean diet (including the consumption of olive oil), is beneficial for proper brain function.
- May Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Extra virgin olive oil appears to be highly beneficial in protecting the body against diabetes. Various studies have found that this healthy fat has a favorable effect on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
An experiment carried out with individuals who do not suffer from diabetes, verified the protective properties of olive oil. In that study, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes decreased by more than 40%.
- The Antioxidants that are Present In Extra Virgin Olive Oil Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Cancer is one of the diseases that causes the most deaths each year not only in the United States, but worldwide.
However, people living in the Mediterranean have a lower risk of cancer and many studies suggest that regular consumption of olive oil as part of their traditional diet has a lot to do with this.
Its antioxidant content reduces the damage caused by free radicals, one of the key factors in the development of cancer. Also, the components in olive oil have been shown to help the body fight cancer cells.
However, to learn more about how the oil can help against cancer, more studies in humans are needed.
- May Be Helpful In Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis.
This terrible autoimmune disease is characterized by damage to the joints, which causes a lot of pain and deformities in the joints.
The exact cause is unknown, but it is related to an unusual reaction of the body’s immune system, in which it attacks healthy cells by mistake.
Consuming olive oil seems to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in people who suffer from this disease. Additionally, it appears to be particularly effective when combined with omega-3 fatty acids, which includes fish oil.
In one study, this blend greatly reduced joint pain, while improving grip strength and morning stiffness suffered by people with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Possesses Properties Antibacterial
Olive oil contains nutrients that can help against the presence of harmful bacteria. One of them is Helicobacter pylori, a stomach bacteria that can cause serious health problems, such as ulcers and stomach cancer.
Studies carried out in test tubes showed that olive oil is effective against 8 different strains of the bacteria, and of which 3 are resistant to antibiotics.
An investigation carried out in humans revealed that as little as 30 grams of extra virgin olive oil can eliminate a Helicobacter pylori infection in between 10 and 40% of cases, in just 2 weeks.
It is an undeniable fact that olive oil should not be missing in your pantry, as it will bring multiple benefits to your health and that of your family.
However, it is very important to take into account that it must be extra virgin olive oil, since it is the type of oil that contains all the nutrients and antioxidants that we have mentioned in this article.
Make sure you read the labels carefully when you go to buy the product, since in many cases they are often misleading, and the oil has actually been diluted with refined oils, which not only do not contribute anything good to your health, but are also harmful.
You could do a little research online beforehand, to find the right oil. Let us know if you consume olive oil regularly and what other healthy fats you include in your daily diet.