Health Benefits of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Per Day May Help Keep the Doctor Away
Olive oil bolsters the body's immune system and helps to protect against viruses and is effective in fighting against diseases:
- Breast Cancer: A nutrient in olive oil, oleocanthal, mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation, and can decrease the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence.
- Heart Disease: Olive oil helps lower levels of blood cholesterol which lead to heart disease.
- Oxidative Stress: Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin E, long thought to minimize cancer risk. Among plant oils, olive oil is the highest in monounsaturated fat, which doesn’t oxidize in the body. Olive oil is low in polyunsaturated fat, the kind that does oxidize.
- High Blood Pressure: Recent studies indicate regular consumption of olive oil can help decrease systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
- Diabetes/Obesity: A diet that is rich in olive oil, low in saturated fats, moderately rich in carbohydrates and soluble fiber from fruit, vegetables, and whole grains is the most effective approach for diabetics. Olive oil helps lower “bad” low-density lipoproteins while improving blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity. Although high in calories, olive oil has shown to help reduce obesity.
- Arthritis: Recent studies proved that people with diets containing high levels of olive oil are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
- Osteoporosis: A high consumption of olive oil appears to improve bone mineralization and calcification. By helping with calcium absorption, olive oil plays an important role in aiding people with osteoporosis and in preventing the onset.
- Depression: Studies have found olive oil may also protect against Depression. According a Spanish study from researchers at the University of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, a diet rich in olive oil can protect from mental illness. The data revealed that volunteers that had a high intake of trans fats, a hydrogenated fat, had up to 48 percent more risk of depression compared to volunteers who did not consume these fats. The researchers also discovered that a higher intake of olive oil and polyunsaturated fats found in fatty fish and vegetable oils was associated with a lower risk of depression.