What are the health benefits of olive oil?
In recent years, and thanks to the rise of the Mediterranean Diet and the consumption of real food, the health benefits of olive oil have been discovered. Currently, its effects continue to be studied, since it has been scientifically proven that it helps improve our cardiovascular health and is considered an ally against the development of certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer. In addition, olive oil takes care of our skin, the largest organ in our body, and also our hair.
Olive oil is, without a doubt, an ingredient that should not be missing in our daily lives, whether to take care of ourselves on the outside, as well as on the inside! Discover what olive oil is good for and include it in your daily life starting today.
Thanks to its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids (in the picual variety, for example, it can reach up to 80% of its composition), extra virgin olive oil is capable of raising HDL cholesterol levels (good cholesterol) and reduce LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol.
In this way, it benefits the control of high blood pressure and reduces the chances of suffering from certain coronary diseases, such as the appearance of thrombosis, myocardial infarctions, atherosclerosis or even strokes. Find out more about how olive oil can help your cardiovascular health.
Olive oil is largely composed of polyphenols; the natural antioxidants par excellence. Tyrosols are found in olive oil, such as Tyrosol and Hydroxytyrosol, but we also find some that are exclusive to olive oil, such as Oleuropein and Oleocanthal.
These protect our body against oxidative processes, thus preventing premature aging of our cells and organs. Although these oxidative processes are natural and cannot be avoided, they can be slowed down. Certain external factors, such as tobacco, alcohol or pollution, can accelerate these processes.
Biophenols in olive oil are known for their biological activities in preventing diseases and maintaining health. In this way, they provide neuroprotection and could play an important role in slowing down cognitive dysfunction and the neurodegenerative process.
The phenolic compounds in extra virgin olive oil are responsible for these neuroprotective properties. Oleuropein reduces the formation of beta-amyloid plaques (one of those responsible for the development of Alzheimer's); Oleocanthal, for its part, increases the enzymes that degrade beta-amyloid.
Olive oil improves cognitive status, slows cognitive decline and, in this way, may help reduce the risk of dementia, of which Alzheimer's disease is the most common type.
Healthy fats, such as those in olive oil, help maintain blood sugar and insulin levels.
Hydroxytyrosol is capable of reducing and/or preventing vascular problems derived from diabetes mellitus. In this disease, triglycerides can damage blood vessels, which can lead to arteriosclerosis. That is, in people with diabetes mellitus, the indicator of triglycerides takes on greater importance, since they are responsible for major complications that diabetic people usually suffer.
On the other hand, EVOO not only helps control, but also helps use glucose more efficiently, thus preventing the onset of diabetes in healthy people.
A study by the Sapienza University of Rome reveals that Oleuropein is capable of reducing postprandial glycemia, that is, reducing blood glucose levels after meals. Controlling postprandial blood glucose is crucial, since it stimulates insulin production.
Overweight and weight loss
Despite being a fat in itself, extra virgin olive oil is a great ally for losing weight thanks to its high content of healthy fats, which promote the burning of calories.
Oleylethanolamide provides a satiating effect in meals, helps accelerate metabolism and eliminates saturated and trans fats, present in ultra-processed products. The properties of olive oil promote intestinal transit, facilitating the expulsion of fats, promoting digestion and avoiding constipation.
Likewise, oleic acid works to prevent the accumulation of fat in our body.
The antioxidant substances in olive oil, such as vitamin E and oleic acid, are essential to protect our immune system, helping to strengthen its activity.
Additionally, olive oil has antibacterial properties. Olive oil increases the cells involved in our body's defensive system, presents greater resistance to pathogens and offers a better defense against viruses, bacteria and parasites.
The consumption of olive oil is related to the production of certain neuronal substances called enkephalins, which reduce pain.
Oleocanthal is one of the best natural anti-inflammatories, which helps reduce pain associated with joints and muscles. In fact, rheumatoid arthritis reduces its symptoms thanks, in part, to the consumption of olive oil.
In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, extra virgin olive oil reduces inflammation and oxidative stress in individuals with this condition.
Extra virgin olive oil, always in the context of a healthy and balanced diet, provides Omega 3, antioxidants and vitamins.
The compounds in olive oil, such as monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, beta-carotenes and polyphenols, provide antioxidant properties that act against premature aging and intervene in the development of cells, which is decisive for the development of some types of cancers.
Simplifying the concept, the compounds in olive oil decrease the expression of the gene that promotes the appearance of certain tumors, such as breast cancer. In fact, olive oil is considered an ally against breast cancer.
It improves life expectancy
In general, the consumption of extra virgin olive oil improves the life expectancy of all those who use it as their main fat. Several studies around the world have shown that those who consume EVOO, as in the Mediterranean Diet, are likely to live longer than those who consume other types of fats.
In order to benefit from its excellent properties, it is necessary to consume a recommended daily amount of olive oil. Don't forget to follow a balanced and healthy diet and do physical exercise daily to enjoy good health.
Now that we know what health benefits olive oil provides, it is essential to remember that olive oil is not a substitute for any medical treatment and that, if you suffer from any type of illness, it is always advisable to consult with your doctor before starting any parallel treatment at home.