Olive oil is the natural oil extracted from olives, a fatty fruit that grows on the olive tree. This oil is loaded with the fatty acid monounsaturated oleic acid, which is associated with many healthy benefits. You can also find respectable doses of vitamin K and E in this wonderful oil. Olive oil is a great choice for cooking due to its many dietary benefits and its resistance to hot temperatures. Keep in mind that to derive the benefits of olive oil, one must consume extra virgin olive oil and avoid inferior products or watered-down oil blends.
Many diseases today are thought to be connected to chronic inflammation. From cancer to heart disease and from diabetes to arthritis, many of these problems arise from or are compounded by inflammation. Consuming olive oil can help to reduce inflammation, thereby reducing the health risks presented by these diseases. The antioxidants contained in olive oil can inhibit some of the genes and proteins in cells that drive or cause inflammation.
Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death, worldwide. Traditionally, heart disease has been less common among people who live near the Mediterranean Sea. As a key component of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is thought to protect individuals against heart disease. Individuals with diets rich in olive oil consumption have been shown to exhibit lower blood pressure (one of the most prevalent risk factors in heart disease and premature death). It’s clear that extra virgin olive oil has benefits for the heart and circulatory system.
Did you know our brains require fatty acids to perform tasks, basic functions, and concentration? Olive oil is a healthy fat that helps improve focus and memory. Olive oil is even believed to play a role in combating the cognitive decline that often accompanies aging.
So how much extra virgin olive oil should you incorporate into your diet? Recommendations may differ depending on your size, gender, or weight, but anywhere from 1-4 tablespoons daily should be consumed to derive the benefits. Of course, check with your family physician before making any changes to your diet. Considering the many benefits of consuming olive oil, this is a great addition to any healthy diet.