From sautéing and salad dressings to grilling, olive oil has proliferated its uses as a superfood. As a healthy fat option, extra virgin olive oil allows us to absorb the required nutrients and vitamins. Unlike, other oils and fats, olive oil is one of the lightest and healthy options available. olive oil has the highest percentage of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat of any edible oil.It not only helps in maintaining a good cholesterol level but also protects us from diseases and increases metabolism. It has been estimated that an average Greek consumes as much as 20 kgs of olive oil in a year, the reason behind their ideal body weight, glowing skin, healthy heart and high resistance to diseases. Over the last decades, consumption of olive oil has increased all over the world owing to their innumerous health.
Some of the most beneficial effects of olive oil are:
- Healthy Heart: Olive oil is recommended as a fat substitute for people suffering from heart or blood pressure diseases. This is because olive oil maintains the health of the cardiovascular system. It contains high levels of biophenols which inhibit the production of bad LDL( low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is the causative agent behind the blockage of blood vessels or atherosclerosis. In turn, olive oil maintains the level of good HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Biophenols, also reduce the blood pressure, hence preventing the advent of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
- Anti-Cancer: Olive oil possesses several antioxidant properties and anti-cancer substances like terpenoid and squalene. The presence of a monosaturated fatty acid called oleic acid, is what increases the anti-cancer properties. Oleic acid is known to support the production of tumor-suppressing compounds in the body. It prevents the formation of tumors and kills the cells of small tumors. Oleic acid is also known to reduce inflammation, thereby increasing resistance to degenerative diseases also. Olive oil can thus prevent the advent of brain, skin, blood, prostrate, uterine and breast cancer. In the case of skin cancer, the antioxidant properties of olive oil counteract the oxidation and damage done by the Sun.
- Pain Killer: With its amazing anti-inflammatory properties, olive oil has been regarded as an impeccable pain killer. Olive oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat that has innumerable benefits. It is usually found in fishes like salmon and trout. Omega-3 fatty acids provides olive oil with anti-inflammatory capabilities which reduce internal swelling and joint pains. Olive oil is also rich in a compound oleocanthal, which reduces the effect of inflammation causing enzymes. With hundreds of pain killers which contain ibuprofen, available in the market, one should preferably go for natural solutions like olive oil which do not pose any side effects.
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- Saver from Diabetes: Apart from decreasing bad cholesterol, olive oil also reduces the blood’s glucose level. The credit again goes to oleic acid which regulates the secretion of insulin in blood and prevents the steep rise in glucose level, especially after meals. Studies have revealed that, after eating a meal with olive oil, there was a 12% decrease in blood sugar level that what would have been after a normal meal. Therefore, olive oil is a healthy option for people suffering from diabetes, as it may help to control their sugar level to a great extend.
- Skin Enhancer: The vitamins, antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties of olive oil do wonders to the skin. The antioxidants, prevent or minimize the oxidative reactions on the skin due to internal processes or due to sunlight. This prevents us from the advent of skin cancer. Antioxidants also prevent premature aging and wrinkling of skin, leading to a long lasting healthy skin. The vitamin content of olive oil which contain Vitamins A,D,E and K nourish the skin and ward off diseases like eczema. Besides, the antibacterial properties kill the bacteria thriving on the skin, thus preventing pimples, acne and other bacterial infections. Moreover, olive oil is a great moisturizer for both winters and summers.
- Sharper Brain: According to research, adults who consumed olive oil on a regular basis had a much greater resistance to degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. Olive oil, with its variety of benefits has been proved to increase cognition and memory. The healthy fat present in it nourishes the brain and it cells. It prevents the degeneration of neurons and promotes their speedy function, thus increasing the swiftness and sharpness of the brain.
It is obligatory to include olive oil in one’s diet. The daily recommended consumption of olive oil is about 23grams. With just 2 spoons of this elixir, we can lead a healthier and flourishing life!
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Elina is a general health writer for Cheap Medicine Shop and holds a diploma in health and fitness studies. She hails from Canada and is specialized in writing about a plethora of diseases, diets and more. Apart from being an ardent writer, Elina is also a dedicated reader and no literary discussion at the workplace is complete without her insightful participation.