Benefits of Olive Oil:
Benefits of Olive Oil: With so many different types of oils on the market, it can be hard to keep track of which oils are good for you and which ones aren’t.
Olive oil in particular has earned quite the reputation, with some people claiming that it’s actually toxic and can cause heart disease in some individuals.
However, there are plenty of benefits to olive oil that you may not have known about! Here are 8 benefits of olive oil that you didn’t know about yet! The Benefits of Olive Oil You Might Not Know About.
1) Olive oil fights cancer
Recent studies have shown that extra-virgin olive oil can fight tumors. Extra-virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, a phenolic compound which kills cancer cells in breast cancer patients who consume 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil daily.
The cancer cell death rate was 25% lower than for those who didn’t receive extra-virgin olive oil and other healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.
Dr. Christina McQueen, who led a study on cancer cell death at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville said:
There are no side effects, it is inexpensive and people are already eating it. Basically you’re getting something with your olive oil that helps fight off free radicals that damage DNA – oh yes!
2) Olive oil helps weight loss
A 2012 study published in Pharmacological Research found that monounsaturated fatty acids, which are abundant in olive oil, may aid in weight loss.
Researchers found that rats fed a high-fat diet supplemented with monounsaturated fats didn’t gain as much weight or have as many fat deposits than those given standard diets.
In humans, there aren’t any proven benefits of using olive oil for weight loss, but its calorie density could make it easier to consume fewer calories than other oils.
3) Olive oil reduces pain and inflammation
A 2000 study published in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that olive oil increased blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically those called DHA and EPA. Omega-3s reduce pain and inflammation throughout your body.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that monounsaturated fats like olive oil have been shown to reduce symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis, including pain and swelling.
Olive oil also contains antioxidants which protect your heart from damage. Extra virgin olive oil has been reported to have a positive effect on blood pressure as well.
It doesn’t matter if you use it for cooking or eating—just incorporating more olive oil into your diet is beneficial for your health.
4) Olive oil keeps blood pressure under control
Because olive oil helps keep blood pressure in check, it’s important to make sure you get enough of it. Your body needs a balance between sodium and potassium.
Olive oil can help maintain that balance and prevent high blood pressure. In fact, experts say if more people used extra virgin olive oil as part of their daily diet, many lives could be saved because high blood pressure is one of the leading causes for death in America and around the world.
5) Olive oil strengthens bones
The high levels of oleic acid in olive oil are thought to help lower a person’s risk for developing osteoporosis by increasing bone mineral density.
Oleic acid is also known to be an effective antioxidant. New research suggests that it might actually help fight aging by protecting our cells from damaging, pro-aging free radicals.
A study published in 2012 in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that oleic acid helps protect against cell damage that occurs as a result of oxidative stress (damage caused by free radicals).
It’s thought that extra virgin olive oil contains higher amounts of oleic acid than other types, which may explain why it’s so beneficial for bones.
6) Olive oil improves cognitive health
Study participants with mild cognitive impairment who received olive oil performed better on a test of mental status than those who received canola oil.
Previous research has found that Mediterranean diets high in monounsaturated fats (like olive oil) may protect against Alzheimer’s disease, so give your brain a head start by cooking with extra-virgin olive oil.
Some people might be wary of using it because they assume it’s too unhealthy, but don’t knock it till you try it: olive oil is rich in antioxidants, which are essential for protecting our bodies from cell damage and heart disease.
And there are plenty of healthy ways to use extra-virgin olive oil: Drizzle some on salads or roasted vegetables for an easy side dish.
7) Extra virgin olive oil boosts immunity
Olives are an excellent source of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant. Additionally, several studies suggest that monounsaturated fats found in olive oil help boost immunity.
An Australian study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research found that rats fed a diet rich in monounsaturated fat recovered more quickly from infections and illnesses.
And, a study conducted at St. Luke’s Hospital and Health Network in Missouri demonstrated similar findings among human participants – those with higher levels of monounsaturated fat in their blood showed significantly greater immune function than those who had low levels.
8) Extra virgin olive oils lowers LDL cholesterol levels
While it has long been recognized that olive oil contains many heart-healthy nutrients, studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil also specifically lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
How does it do that? While some evidence suggests that it is a result of a phenolic compound called oleocanthal present in extra virgin olive oil, there are likely other factors as well.
But one thing’s for sure – you can feel good about enjoying all types of olive oil, including extra virgin, in moderation and as part of a healthy diet!