The Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil is renowned for its health attributes that rank it in the top oils to be consumed by humans. It is recognized as the healthiest type of fat and these health advantages are maximized when a clean diet is followed. One of the most balanced diets that has been proven to protect and promote health is the Mediterranean diet, which is based on premium quality olive oil, vegetables, pulses, grains, moderate consumption of meat etc
Some more information on this natural juice from the olives will convince you to consume olive oil on a daily basis, instead of unhealthy fats or oils that may be high in saturated fats or may even contain trans fats, which are completely unsuitable if you want to have a healthy heart and blood vessels.
Olive oil has the highest content in monounsaturated fat, without having undergone the refining process, which means that it preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins and properties of the olive fruit. Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as it is – freshly pressed from the fruit. The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidant substances. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (good) levels. No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated as olive oil -mainly oleic acid.
Olive oil is very well tolerated by the stomach. In fact, olive oil’s protective function has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs. Consequently, it lowers the incidence of gallstone formation. Other studies have shown reduced risk of colon cancer, related to consumption of other fats.
Studies have also shown that especially Greek olive oil is rich in oleocanthal, which is a phenylethanoid, a type of natural phenolic compound found in extra virgin olive oil. It appears to be responsible for the burning sensation that occurs in the back of the throat when consuming such oil. Oleocanthal is a tyrosol ester and its chemical structure is related to oleuropein, also found in olive oil. Oleocanthal has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is thus suggested that long-term consumption of small quantities may be responsible in part for the low incidence of heart disease and Alzheimer's disease associated with a Mediterranean diet. It is also capable of killing several types of human cancer cells.
Along with the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, come the balanced body weight, normal fat percentage and a lean, fit physique.
Whether you exercise lightly or heavily, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil should be a staple in your diet, used in cooking at low temperatures and drizzled on salads and other vegetables throughout the today. Its polyphenols make sure that you will keep the oxidative stress created by your intense training sessions in check so you can continue to train and grow at your max. If your olive oil has a peppery taste, then you know it is full of polyphenols. It is also indispensable for weight loss regimes.
But while all types of olive oil are sources of monounsaturated fat, EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil, from the first pressing of the olives, contains higher levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed.
Types of olive oil
Look out for these types of olive oil on the Super Market shelves. Choose only the best!
Extra virgin olive oil – considered the best, least processed, comprising the oil from the first pressing of the olives.
Olive Oil – undergoes processing, such as filtering and refining, which takes some nutrients away.
Pomace olive oil – comes from the pressing of the olive pits and undergoes considerable processing.
When buying olive oil you will want to obtain a high quality EXTRA VIRGIN oil. The oil that comes from the first “pressing” of the olive, is extracted without using heat (a cold press) or chemicals, and has no “off” flavors is awarded “extra virgin” status. The less the olive oil is handled, the closer to its natural state, the better the oil. If the olive oil meets all the criteria, it can be designated as “extra virgin”.
The health benefits of eating extra virgin olive oil are well known, but a growing number of people are also finding gains to their well-being by spitting it out.
Oil pulling comes from Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine that emphasizes balance, harmony and interconnectedness and good health is defined as a state of balance between mind, body, soul and senses — not just the absence of symptoms. By extracting bacteria, toxins and fungi from the mouth before they have a chance to integrate into the body, the practice of oil pulling helps the body maintain balance.
Oil pulling believers credit the practice of regularly swishing oil around in your mouth with a range of benefits from whiter teeth to increased energy and healthier skin.
So, from the above you can gather that Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and especially the Greek one, is a Superfood! And at the same time delicious!