Health Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil is the natural oil extracted from olives, the fruit of the olive tree, a crop that is grown mainly in Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Greece and Spain. You’ve likely heard about the Mediterranean diet by now and olive oil is one of the main players in this heart healthy way of eating. The health benefits of olive oil prove it to be one of the best staples to have in your pantry. Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil is the highest-quality olive oil you can get. It is unrefined and contains more nutrients compared to other processed varieties. It is best consumed fresh and you can reap the health benefits by consuming around two tablespoons per day. Drizzle it on a salad, dip your bread into it or just drink it straight.
TOP 10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF CONSUMING EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL:
- Extra virgin olive oil contains 70% monounsaturated fatty acid. As a result, it lowers cholesterol accumulation in the blood and reduces the risk of heart disease.
- A diet rich in extra virgin olive oil, has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Extra virgin olive oil, which is a powerhouse of antioxidants, helps reduce the oxidation effects of LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also helps increase the HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
- Olive oil is known to aid in the process of digestion and helps to clean the digestive tract and improve regularity.
- Daily consumption of at least two tablespoons of phenol-rich extra virgin olive oil can be effective in lowering blood pressure.
- Recent studies have shown that consuming 2 tablespoons of olive oil per day may actually lower your chances of developing gallstones.
- Medical experts suggest that it is difficult to gain weight from the mono-unsaturated fats present in olive oil. Research on extra virgin olive oil has shown positive results with regards to using it for weight loss.
- The relationship between extra virgin olive oil consumption and strokes has been studied extensively. Several large studies demonstrate that people who consume olive oil have a much lower risk of stroke, the second biggest killer in developed countries.
- Olive oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce joint pain and swelling from rheumatoid arthritis. The effects can be increased by combining with fish oil consumption.
- New research suggests that extra-virgin olive oil may help with memory and protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
So, apart from the delicious taste and versatility the health benefits of olive oil make it hard to go past as a must have ingredient in the kitchen!
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