The use of cooking olive oil for cooking in Mediterranean societies dates far back in time and is a crucial component in their diet. Olive oil is mainly in making salads, preparing fish, and pasta. Extra-virgin olive oil comes with lots of health benefits including added life expectancies as evidenced by the people of the Mediterranean region. It’s only just now that people are beginning to appreciate the numerous benefits of olive oil to our bodies. Below are some of the health benefits of olive oil to us.
1. Acts as an antioxidants
Olive oils contain Vitamin E, phenolic compounds, and carotenoids which are excellent antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce the creation of destructive free radicals in the body, which tend to attach themselves to healthy cells generating an adverse chain reaction. This reaction results in the destruction of DNA cells, injury to blood vessels and mutation of genes thus resulting in cancerous cells. Studies have shown olive oil fights cancer cells, hence the reason Mediterranean countries experience reduced the risk of some cancers.
2. Olive oil helps in combating depression
Research commissioned by the University of Navarra and Las Palmas de Canaria suggest that apart from physical health benefits, olive oil does have emotional benefits as well. Higher intake of polyunsaturated fats found in fish, vegetable oil and olive oil reduces chances of depression. The results divulge that depression and cardiovascular illnesses share a few joint mechanisms with diet.
3. Olive oil contains good fats beneficial to your heart
Monounsaturated fat present in olive oil lowers cholesterol levels and helps in normalizing the blood clotting process. Reduced cholesterol levels translate to well-drained arteries translating to considerably reduced chances of heart disease and stroke. Olive oil prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, therefore, improving the lining of blood vessels as well as prevention of unwanted blood clotting. Still, on matters heart, research divulged that olive oil lowers blood pressure the potential risk factors for contracting heart ailments.
4. Olive oil contains sturdy anti-inflammatory properties
Diseases such as metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular sicknesses and even obesity are a result of chronic inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil lower your risk of contracting the diseases as mentioned earlier considerably. Some scientists believe that 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin oil have comparable success similar to that of 10% of an adult dose of ibuprofen. Furthermore, other studies revealed that the olive oil antioxidants inhibit genes and proteins that cause inflammation.
5. Olive oil battles osteoporosis
Osteoporosis disease leads to reduced bone density resulting in brittle bones. Research has revealed that consuming olive oil aids in raising calcium levels – the strengthening component in bones – resulting in increased bone strength. Olive oil, therefore, strengthens our bones helping us withstand knocks as well as curbing the development of osteoporosis.