The benefits of olive oil

by Redazione Fine Taste

If there is one topic on which all scholars agree, it is precisely that of the benefits of olive oil. This article has no ambition other than to highlight the major positive effects on health of this real elixir. Let's see them together.

Olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats

In general, the predominant fatty acid in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which makes up 73% of the total oil content. Oleic acid reduces inflammation and may also have beneficial effects on cancer-related genes. Monounsaturated fats are also quite resistant to high heat, thus making olive oil a healthy choice for cooking too.

Olive oil contains large amounts of antioxidants

These antioxidants are biologically active and may reduce the risk of chronic disease. They also fight inflammation and help protect blood cholesterol from oxidation — two benefits that may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Olive oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties

Chronic inflammation is believed to be a major driver of diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's, arthritis, and even obesity. Olive oil helps reduce inflammation and contributes to a beneficial effect on all health. The main anti-inflammatory effects are made possible by the antioxidants present in olive oil. In particular, the properties of oleocanthal are fundamental, a polyphenol that has been shown to work in a similar way to ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug par excellence. Consider that approximately 50 ml of oleocanthal, equivalent to approximately 3/4 tablespoons, has a similar effect to 10% of the adult dosage of ibuprofen. Furthermore, oleic acid can reduce the levels of important inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein.

Olive oil can help prevent strokes

Stroke is caused by a disturbance of blood flow to the brain, due to a blood clot or bleeding. In developed countries, stroke is the second most common cause of death, just after heart disease. The relationship between olive oil and stroke risk has been extensively studied. Olive oil is the only source of monounsaturated fats associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease. Those who regularly consume olive oil have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don't.

Olive oil protects against heart disease

Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world, but is less common in Mediterranean countries. Our Mediterranean diet has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. Coincidentally, olive oil is one of the key ingredients in this diet and significantly contributes to heart disease protection in several ways. It lowers inflammation, protects "bad" LDL cholesterol from oxidation, improves the lining of blood vessels, and may help prevent excessive blood clotting. Interestingly, it helps to lower blood pressure, one of the strongest risk factors for heart disease and premature death. An olive oil-based diet is therefore certainly recommended for those with heart disease or any cardiological risk factor.

Olive oil is not associated with weight gain and obesity

It is obvious that eating excessive amounts of fat causes weight gain. However, numerous studies have linked the Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, to favorable effects on body weight. High consumption of olive oil is not strictly linked to weight gain: it certainly generates an increase in antioxidant levels in the blood and therefore can be a contribution to weight loss (obviously in the presence of a balanced diet).

Olive oil can fight Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative condition in the world. One of its main characteristics is a buildup of so-called beta-amyloid plaques within brain cells. Again, the beneficial effects of regular consumption of olive oil can have a positive effect on the active maintenance of brain faculties.

Olive oil may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

Olive oil is also highly protective against type 2 diabetes. Several studies have linked olive oil to beneficial effects on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. The Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, contributes to a drastic reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The antioxidants in olive oil have anti-cancer properties

People living in Mediterranean countries have, on average, a lower risk of contracting some cancers. The antioxidants in olive oil can reduce oxidative damage due to free radicals, which is believed to be a major cause of cancer.

Olive oil can help treat rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease characterized by deformed and painful joints. Although the exact cause is not well understood, it involves the entire immune system attacking cells. Olive oil supplements improve inflammatory markers and reduce oxidative stress in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.

Olive oil has antibacterial properties

Olive oil contains many nutrients that can inhibit or kill harmful bacteria. One of these is Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that lives in the stomach and can cause stomach ulcers and stomach cancer. Again, about 30 grams of olive oil, taken daily, can eliminate Helicobacter pylori infection in 10-40% of people in just two weeks.

Make sure you buy the best olive oil

Purchasing the right type of olive oil is extremely important. Extra virgin olive oil better retains some of the antioxidants and bioactive compounds present in olives. For this reason, it is considered healthier than more refined varieties of olive oil.

Don't save on the purchase of high quality extra virgin olive oil: it's better to spend a few euros more for a healthy, genuine product of the highest quality and capable of giving you a unique and surprising taste.

Try our most awarded oils , give yourself a tasty and healthy gift!

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