There are foods and ingredients very beneficial to our health.
Today, we are going to talk about one of these essential ingredients: olive oil. The olive oil is undoubtedly one of the key components in the popular and healthy Mediterranean diet.
Several studies have shown the nutritional qualities of the olive oil and confirmed that its consumption has a positive effect on prevention of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. But this is just one of the many benefits of so-called “liquid gold.”
Olive oil can be used in any dish, whether hot or cold, like salads, stews, fish, meat … You have many options, so be sure to include this fantastic ingredient in your diet.
Below you will find all the benefits of olive oil that will help you improve your health.
Benefits Of Olive Oil
A recent study found that it can reduce the risk of circulatory problems in the extremities by up to 66%. It is also reduced by up to 30% your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, diabetes or stroke.
Olive oil regulates cholesterol levels, thanks to monounsaturated fatty acids that help reduce levels of bad cholesterol, and triglycerides. Also, it has phytosterols that raise the level of the so-called “good cholesterol,” which is excellent for your health.
If applied on the skin, you can feel all its moisturizing effect. Thanks to its antioxidants, it can slow the aging of the skin.
This disease affects the bones, and olive oil can prevent loss of bone density, decreasing the likelihood of osteoporosis. Therefore, it is essential to include it in the diet of children during their growth. In adulthood will help to limit the loss of calcium that occurs during aging.
You can control high blood pressure through the polyphenols and oleic acid contained in olive oil, so this is another reason to include it in your daily diet.
Olive oil promotes digestive function and reduces the secretion of gastric acid, which helps in protection against gastrointestinal diseases.
Fight against constipation
Helps fight against constipation as it has a mild laxative effect and improves intestinal absorption of nutrients.
Prevents and controls diabetes
High consumption of saturated fat leads to overweight and obesity, significant risk factors for type II diabetes. Nutritional recommendations for people with this disease, generally include the Mediterranean diet and the consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids, especially oleic acid, present in olive oil.
Its properties reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and cancer. The results of several scientific studies have shown lower percentages of people with cancer in Mediterranean countries (the main consumers of olive oil) compared to other countries.
It has been found that the consumption of olive oil avoids cell death due to its components as antioxidants such as phenols, which attenuate aging, improve cognitive functions and prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Help loosing weight
Extra virgin olive oil can be helpful for people who want to lose weight. This is because it provides satiety and contains healthy fats that can stimulate weight loss.
A recent study found out that people who use olive oil in their diet often have fewer cases of cancer. This is related to its high content of oleic acid, which is the predominant fatty acid in this food. Also, olive oil contains antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols, and squalene, which would also be a fundamental benefit.
Olive oil can be classified into different types:
Olive oil is one of the oldest vegetable fats and is the main source of lipids in the Mediterranean diet. The recommended dose to bring sufficient benefits is 40 g per day, i.e., 2 to 3 tablespoons.
There are also different types of olive oil, depending on climatic conditions, soil type, cultivation practices, fruit maturity, acidity and processing time of the olives after harvest.
Extra virgin olive oil
It has acidity less than or equal to 0.80% and is well evaluated sensitive tests. It is a high-quality product and usually used in finalizing dishes.
Virgin olive oil
Good quality, but maybe poorer of smell and taste compared to extra virgin olive oil. It has acidity between 0.80 and 2%.
Lampante virgin olive oil
It has acidity higher than 2%. It cannot be consumed directly and. For its consumption, it is necessary to refine it. From the lampante oil, two more types of olive oil can be made:
Refined olive oil: it is treated with heat, filtration, and/or chemical processes. Refined oil that is not altered after the refining process is used for commercial purposes, such as for packing sardines or smoked oysters. It has the same calories and health benefits as the better grades of olive oil, but it has no flavor; therefore, it is not the best choice for use as a salad oil or as a condiment.
Refined olive oil can be mixed with other types of olive oil, such as virgin olive oil or extra virgin olive oil. When virgin olive oil is added, the refined oil can be sold as Olive Oil or Pure Olive Oil.
It is good to know that the refining process also removes many of the health benefits that Extra Virgin Olive Oil can offer.
Compound olive oil: it is an inferior quality olive oil, consisting of refined olive oil mixed with other types of oils, such as soybean oil.
5 Tips for Choosing the Most Healthy Olive Oil
If you need to identify a good olive oil, have in mind our tips at the time of purchase. Check out here our tips:
1. Give preference to extra-virgin olive oil:
It contains more nutrients and less acidity. When it is not possible, choose the virgin.
2. Choose the olive oil with acidity up to 0.8%:
The lower the acidity, the purer and better the quality of the olive oil.
3. Choose pure olive oil without mixing with other oils:
You can find the information about the ingredients on the label. Make sure that olive oil is not mixed with refined olive oil or other oils.
4. Pick up the oils from the bottom of the shelf, stored away from the lighting:
Exposure of the oil to light and the sun can oxidize the monounsaturated fats and cause the oil to lose its nutritional qualities.
5. Choose olive oil from dark packaging and glass:
This prevents the light from getting in contact with the oil and losing its nutritional properties. The one I always buy and use is