If you’re anything like us, then olive oil may be your go-to oil for all things in the kitchen. But if you’re not of Italian descent, or have been riding the coconut oil train, you may wonder if olive oil is as healthy as some claim it is.
The extra-virgin olive oil is certainly the best type among all olive oils on the market. It is extracted by a cold-pressing method to prevent the natural content from being altered by exposure to high temperature. This oil even has lower acidity content compared to its standard virgin counterpart. It is considered the best simply because it retains most of the natural flavor and aroma. It is as well the most commonly used type of olive oil for health purposes.
While it is considered a highly nutritious and healthy oil due to its high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamins A and K (unlike oils like canola, soybean, and vegetable oil, which are problematic), it also contains high levels of certain antioxidants. Below, we explore the 5 main reasons why you should incorporate olive oil into your next dish:
Olive Oil Can Provide Your Body With Healthy Fats. Olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. Olive Oil is a natural oil extracted from olives, the fruit of the olive tree. About 14% of the oils saturated fat, whereas 11% is polyunsaturated, such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. But the predominant fatty acid oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, making up 73% of the total oil content. Studies suggest that oleic acid reduces inflammation and may even have beneficial effects on genes linked to chronic illnesses. Monounsaturated fats are also quite resistant to high heat, making extra virgin olive oil a healthy choice for cooking
Olive Oil Can Reduce Inflammation Caused By Strenuous Exercise. If you are the one who uses the gym as a stress outlet, yet seem to not be able to function very well the days leading after due to being sore, olive oil may just be the key ingredient. Thanks to the oleic acid in olive oil, one can reduce the downtime caused by strenuous exercise. When the body has a large amount of inflammation, it can cause a cortisol release, which causes your body into fight-or-flight mode. This response causes a temporarily ‘pause’ on regular bodily functions and slows metabolism (it can also prime your body for injury, or signal it to store fat.) This persistently elevated cortisol has a detrimental effect on the body. It can lead to anxiety, depression, weight gain, and memory impairment.
It Can Promote Better Digestion. One you swallow your food, your body takes over by secreting acids and other compounds that help break down the food and transports the nutrients it contains throughout your body. According to M. Carmen Ramires-Tortosa and Parveen Yaqoob, authors of “Olive Oil and Health”, olive oil encourages the production of peptides, which supports healthy digestion and aid in nutrient absorption. Regular consumption of olive oil will keep your gut working efficiently by taking what it needs for good health and eliminating the rest in your waste.
Olive Oil Can Boost Your Immune System. Olive Contains Large Amounts of antioxidants. Apart from its beneficial fatty extra virgin olive oil is fairly nutritious. Apart from its beneficial fatty acids, it contains modest amounts of vitamins E and K. The antioxidants are biologically active and may reduce your risk of chronic diseases. They also fight inflammation and help protect your blood cholesterol from oxidation – two benefits that may lower your risk of developing an illness, especially in winter months.
Olive Oil May Boost Your Memory. Those who suffer from memory loss, fall amongst the most neuro-degenerative condition in the world. One of its key features is a buildup of so-called beta-amyloid plaques inside your brain cells. One study, performed on mice, showed that olive oil can help remove these plaques. Additional research within the Mediterranean diet that is rich in olive oil shows benefits for brain function.
Quality can enhance the benefits listed above. Buying a quality olive oil is extremely important. Extra virgin olive oil retains some of the antioxidants and bioactive compounds from olives. For this reason, it’s considered healthier than the more refined varied of olive oil.