Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality of olive oil with significant health benefits. According to the USDA nutritional database, a teaspoon of EVOO contains healthy amounts of Vitamin E, K, monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fats. Among other things, EVOO also fights off deadly diseases that affect the heart and other vital organs. Some of the significant benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil backed by scientific research include the following.
- Rich in Antioxidants: Antioxidants are substances that reduce the activities of harmful oxygen molecules known as free radicals in body cells. As a result, they help to prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other dangerous ailments. Extra virgin olive oil is a rich carrier of antioxidants such as phenolic compounds. They contain over 30 different types of phenolic compounds which are of great benefit to the body.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: A study conducted in 2007 by Japanese researchers reveals that monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, play a notable role in reducing signs of inflammation which is continuously associated with life-threatening conditions like heart diseases, cancer, asthma, and allergies. With a few spoons of extra virgin olive oil, your body can defy inflammation and other medical conditions listed above.
- Anti-bacterial agent: Research has also proven that EVOO is a potent anti-bacterial agent. It is effective against 8 strains of H.Pylori, a harmful bacterium responsible for peptic ulcers and some types of gastric cancer. Out of these 8 strains, 3 are often impervious to many antibiotics. However, adding Extra virgin olive oil to your meal reduces the activities of these bacteria.
- Prevents Heart Diseases: In addition to preventing inflammatory conditions, EVOO also has beneficial effects on the heart health. Research documented by the American Heart Association found that consumption of more than a half spoon of extra virgin olive oil lessens the risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. This Mediterranean staple contributes favourably in managing high blood pressure levels and reduces the need for hypertensive drugs by 48%.
- Reduces Risk of Stroke: Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US, with over 140,000 deaths witnessed annually. It is also a prominent cause of long-term disabilities in thousands of older people. Thanks to EVOO, these figures can be reduced drastically through the regular use of extra virgin olive oil.
- Fights Cancer: Mediterranean region where virgin olive oil is heavily consumed has a lower incidence of cancer than other parts of the world. This is mainly because the antioxidants in EVOO play a primary role in decreasing the risk of breast cancer and cancers of the digestive system.
- Improves Brain Health: Extra virgin olive oil is a rich source of oleocanthal, an antioxidant that protects the brain against Alzheimer’s diseases. Alzheimer’s is a dangerous brain condition that leads to memory loss and other cognitive problems. Research has shown that oleocanthal enhances the clearance of beta-amyloid protein development caused by Alzheimer’s.
- Manages Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis can lead to severe pains and which affects other essential body systems. However, extra virgin olive oil is powerful in treating this condition due to its rich concentration of anti-inflammatory properties. A 2014 research conducted in Spain shows that EVOO reduces inflammation and eliminates oxidative activities associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Maintain A Healthy Weight: A healthy weight is often an indicator of a good lifestyle. A study of 1,100 older adults who adopted a Mediterranean diet, showed a very low risk of obesity. Fats contained in extra virgin olive oil are right for you because they do not contribute to weight gain or obesity.
- Prevents Type 2 Diabetes: The preventive and protective effects of extra virgin oil are also visible in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes. The primary cause of this disease is insulin resistance that results in high sugar levels in the blood. A Saudi Arabia study found that EVOO significantly lowered fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c (glycated haemoglobin) in diabetic patients. In essence, extra virgin olive oil aids patients in keeping blood sugar levels low.
The benefits of extra virgin olive oil to the human body are numerous. Apart from the points listed above, this amazing oil also improves bone health and significant weight loss. It is a healthy alternative to butter, mayonnaise, margarine and dietary fat.