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May 12, 2014
It's never too early or too late in life to take the lead of your own health. So many different health fads come and go but if you take a look at history, our European ancestors found a cure to many ailments. Going back to the Roman times, it was discovered that pressing the olive fruit created a lovely oil that not only tasted wonderful, but it had health benefits too! Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) was used to sustain health not only as a food, but also had topical uses for medicinal and beauty purposes. In historical literature, it was referred to as liquid gold. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is 100% natural. It’s just olive juice that has been pressed out of the highly esteemed healthy fruit – the olive. Unlike other oils, extra virgin olive oil is NOT extracted through use of chemicals or heat. The olives are crushed, pressed, spun and done!
True EVOO is one of life’s simple pleasures that not only offer amazing flavor to salads, vegetables, meats and even desserts, but it also is host to numerous health benefits. True EVOO should taste like fresh olives. Often there is a bite at the back of the throat with EVOO, this indicates a high level of polyphenols including esters of tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol, oleocanthal and oleuropein. Other healthful aldehydic secoiridoids, flavonoids and lignans are found in extra virgin olive oil. Medical studies continue to support the numerous health benefits with the consumption of true EVOO. It has been documented that EVOO aids in the treatment for colon and breast cancer, helps prevent diabetes, lowers high cholesterol and helps fight heart disease. It’s anti-inflammatory properties relieve arthritis and digestion issues. In addition, true EVOO helps balance the metabolism and has a satiating factor that can aid in weight loss. Medical research articles have also unveiled that EVOO is key to warding off osteoporosis, can prevent Alzhiemers and slow the aging process. Read more to learn the science behind the claims.
A Fountain of Youth?
The magic composition of EVOO is the source of at least 30 phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds, or phenols, are substances that plants, such as fruits and vegetables, require for growth and reproduction. These phenols have antioxidant properties and incorporating phenolic compounds into your diet may increase wellness and strengthen your immune system.
Antioxidants, a body’s best friend, are important for good health because they counteract the free radicals in our bodies that alter bodily tissues, therefore, protecting us from the oxidation of proteins and cellular plasma membranes. In addition, EVOO is the only dietary source of hydroxytyrosol, one of the 30 phenols, which slows the aging process in skin and strengthens fingernails and toenails.
A Cure for Inflammation Disease?
Specifically, oleocanthal from extra virgin olive oil is a non-selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase which is like the widely known anti-inflammatory medicine, ibuprofen. It has been suggested that this compound may be responsible in part for the low incidence of heart disease associated with a Mediterranean diet.
These anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants have also been linked to reducing your chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis, stroke and certain cancers. There are countless articles and documented research supporting that regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil, along with following the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, contribute significantly to a healthy life.
Further research has concluded that by including extra virgin olive oil in your diet daily it reduces Alzheimer’s, lowers cholesterol, fends off heart disease and also aids in weight control.
Besides containing the healthy phenols and antioxidants, olive oil lowers both LDLs and triglycerides along with total blood cholesterol, and it does not alter “the good” HDL levels. It hinders the absorption of cholesterol and fosters the absorption of essential minerals like calcium and magnesium. It also helps warding off gallstones and supports the liver in excreting cholesterol. For a healthy digestive tract, incorporate olive oil into your diet as it also suppresses the reflux of food and gastric juices. Olive oil enhances calcium absorption, helping in retaining bone mass and keeping osteoporosis at bay as well as aiding to bone formation and growth in infants and children.
Improves Cognitive Ability?
Lastly, olive oil contributes to a healthy mind. The International Olive Oil Council suggests that olive oil's high monounsaturated fat content may help maintain the structural integrity of brain cell membranes. Higher structural integrity of brain cells can protect against different forms of cognitive decline, including memory loss, Alzheimer's and dementia. The council also notes that the more olive oil a person consumes, the greater the protective effect on cognition will be.
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