It’s great on salads, or in fish and pasta dishes. But the health benefits of olive oil, beyond the taste of your cooking, are even greater. If you want to improve your lifestyle a little, then by all means, try using olive oil more often!
If you want a healthier life, try to adopt the Mediterranean diet that’s been scientifically proven to work for centuries. There’s plenty of health benefits of olive oil, one of the key ingredients of the diet. And scientists keep researching the properties of this oil. If you want to learn more about what olive oil does and also what other cooking oils you can use, read this primer on it.
6 health benefits of olive oil
1. It’s loaded with good fats
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats or MUFA. They’ve been known to lower your total cholesterol and the bad (LDL) cholesterol levels. MUFA also normalize possible blood clotting and make your arteries less clogged. This means you’ll have a stronger, healthier heart and heartbeat, and also have a lower risk of heart disease and strokes.
2. There’s plenty of antioxidants in it
It’s rich in vitamin E, carotenoids, and phenols, all of which are strong antioxidants you need. They lower the creation of dangerous free radicals in your body. Free radicals attach to healthy cells, start a negative chain reaction, and can hurt your blood vessels, your DNA sequence, and your genes, which might lead to cancer.
3. Stronger bones
Olive oil intake may improve the calcium amount in your blood, which would lead to a higher bone density and a lower chance of developing osteoporosis down the line. A two-year study from Madrid University showed that people who consumed more olive oil had higher levels of osteocalcin, which is usually an indication of stronger bones. Another study from the University of Athens showed that women who had a diet lower in red meat and high in olive oil have a healthier bone density.
4. Less inflammation
Extra virgin olive oil or EVOO seems to mimic the effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which means that it’s good for people suffering from some auto-immune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. The oleocanthal compound in extra virgin olive oil can inhibit pro-inflammatory enzymes, but also the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
5. Helps prevent high blood pressure
Olive oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which keep your heart healthy by helping to lower your blood pressure. A 2004 study published in the Clinical Nutrition magazine postulated that extra virgin olive oil reduced blood pressure, more than sunflower oil did. Researchers conducted the study on elderly patients treated for high blood pressure. Olive oil also helps prevent high blood pressure conditions.
6. Anti-depressive properties
A 2011 study conducted by The University of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on 12,000 people over a time frame of six years found that a high olive oil intake diet lowered the risk of mental illness. Since trans fats and saturated fats found in processed foods and fast food tend to accentuate or lead to depression, olive oil seems to have the opposite effect: it alleviates some of the symptoms of depression.