Fri 7 August 2020
Local News | 10 extraordinary health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
"An extraordinary golden liquid to adorn food, alleviate injury, give force to the body and light to the night...." Unknown, Greek mythology.
In Greek mythology legend has it that the Goddess Minerva was given powers by the God Jupiter when she presented an olive branch as the most useful gift to humanity. Its many qualities and health benefits have been valued and appreciated throughout the ages. The Greeks and Phoenicians introduced the olive tree to Spain and the Romans developed and improved production techniques and began exporting it all over the world as early as the 1st century B.C.
Due to Spain´s many micro-climates and weather condition variables there is a wider range of olive varieties than in any other country. Spain is the leading country in production and it is the country's third biggest export product. Olives and their oil are an integral part of Spanish history, culture and tradition.
The health benefits are undeniable. In particular Extra Virgin Olive oil. The extraction process is natural so the oil retains its nutrients and antioxidants. The antioxidants are the ones to watch out for. They protect against free radicals which add to the body´s ageing process. People who live in countries where Extra Virgin olive oil is a staple part of the diet, live longer.
10 extraordinary health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil-
- Olive oil is rich in healthy fats- it is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid which reduces inflammation.
- Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and has antibacterial properties- contains vitamins E and K which are active against chronic diseases. It also inhibits and kills various bacteria including H.Pilori.
- Prevents cardiovascular problems- Olive oil protects the heart against oxidation by LDL cholesterol. It lowers blood pressure, protects the lining of blood vessels and prevents excessive clotting.
- Olive oil contains anti-inflammatory properties- like a natural ibuprofen.
- Does not increase weight- unlike other oils, olive oil is easier for the body to process and so does not leave fatty deposits.
- Anti-cancer- the antioxidants prevent oxidative damage and consequently reduce the risk of cancer.
- Benefits brain function- Scientific research has proven olive oil protects against cognitive diseases like Alzheimers and Dementia.
- Fights the symptoms of Arthritis- Relieves oxidative stress and inflammation, improves bone strength, reduces pain and stiffness.
- Protects against Type 2 Diabetes- Olive oil has been found to be beneficial for insulin sensitivity and has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels.
- Reduces the risk of Stroke- The high mono-unsaturated fatty acid content is associated with reduced risk of Stroke.
Olive oil is a bit more expensive than most other oils, however your health and well being is worth it. Try substituting the spread you use on your toast in the morning and pre-prepared salad dressings and mayonnaise for good quality extra virgin olive oil. It tastes better and it will pay dividends.
“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.” – Bethenny Frankel