Extra Virgin Olive oil is highly regarded as one of the world’s healthiest oils.
It’s known that people who live in regions where Oil is an important part of the diet, live longer and healthier lives than regions that don’t.
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil that’s available and is made by being extracted from the olive fruit without using heat or chemicals.
In this article, we’re going to cover the 8 main health benefits of extra virgin olive oil and why you should include it in your diet.
One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil contains:
- 119 calories
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Saturated fat
- Monounsaturated fat
- Polyunsaturated fat
There are quite a few fats in olive oil but they’re all needed for good health. Now, let’s look at some of the benefits extra virgin olive oil will have on your health and life.
The 8 Main Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Source of Antioxidants And Healthy Fat
Antioxidants are important for your health.
They help prevent damage to your body’s cells that can be caused by hazardous oxygen molecules also known as ‘free radicals’. These free radicals can play a role in your risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other life-threatening illnesses.
Olive oil contains key antioxidants that may play a role in protecting you from these serious, life-threatening illnesses.
In fact, two compounds (hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein) which give extra its taste, have been known to act as powerful antioxidants. This is the same with Vitamin E and K, which are also found in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
2. Reduce The Risk of Heart Attack
Some types of fats, for example, may increase your risk for heart disease, while others may provide a protective benefit. Extra virgin olive oil is one that will provide benefits.
This oil is a great source of healthy, fatty acids that have been shown to help reduce a person’s risk of a heart attack.
It does this by providing the antioxidants that were spoken about in point one and protecting red blood cells.
3. Could Lower The Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Cholesterol is a key factor that can lead to a heart attack or heart disease – it’s also a factor that can result in type 2 diabetes, which is also a result of high glucose levels.
It reduces blood sugar and cholesterol more than other kinds of fats, according to new research.
While you shouldn’t consume tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, it shows big benefits when consumed with a healthy balanced diet.
4. The Best Cooking Oil
While many people will use any type of oil to cook, some are much better than others.
Different oils react differently when they’re used to cook. Some will begin to smoke when they’re heated to high temperatures and begin to emit toxic fumes.
But that’s not the case for this oil.
In one study, several types of olive oil were fried for 24 hours. Scientists found that olive oil was highly resistant to oxidation, with extra virgin olive oil faring even better.
Oh and did we mention, it tastes great with every dish?
5. Make Your Food More Nutritious
Not convinced this oil should be the oil you cook with?
It’s been shown that when you use extra virgin olive oil to cook, you can increase the nutrient content of your food.
This comes back to those antioxidants that our bodies need and the high burning temperatures of the oil. So, while you’re cooking with this oil, the antioxidants don’t break down instead they get absorbed into the food.
One example of this is a study that showed when broccoli was cooked with sunflower oil the beneficial nutrients were reduced but when cooked with extra virgin olive oil, the level of nutrients actually increased!
6. Good For Brain Health
We mentioned the diseases that extra virgin olive oil can prevent and one of those was Alzheimer’s disease. One of the most common forms of dementia. Which causes memory, thinking and behaviors problems.
Extra virgin olive oil was shown to clear these beta-amyloid proteins from the brains of mice, thus helping to prevent Alzheimer’s.
7. Anti-bacterial Properties
It contains many nutrients that can inhibit or kill harmful bacteria.
This includes a bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori, which is found in your stomach and can cause stomach ulcers.
Studies have shown that oil can help in fighting these bacteria and other bad bacteria found in your body.
In fact, a study shows that just 30 grams of oil, when taken daily can eliminate Helicobacter Pylori infection in up to 40% of people in as little as two weeks!
8. Linked to an Overall Healthy Diet
If you haven’t realized already, olive oil is super healthy for you. But this oil is even better since no chemicals were used in the process of transforming and olive into the oil.