Olive Oil Health Benefits
1. What is olive oil
Olive oil is actually a fat which is obtained from the Olea europaea, the fruit better known as the olive tree. This tree grows in the Mediterranean region. In order to produce olive oil, whole olives are pressed.
Olive oil is often used in medicine, cosmetics, soaps and cooking, and once it was also traditionally used as fuel for lamps. Even though it has roots from the Mediterranean countries, today it is spread worldwide.
2. Olive oil is high in fat, but still healthy
In all kind of olive oil, the main type of fat is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). By replacing saturated and trans fats with fats which are not saturated such as polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and MUFAs, you will gain some health benefits.
PUFAs and MUFAs can help lower your risk of heart disease, lower your total cholesterol levels, normalize blood clotting and control blood sugar which is especially helpful if you have type 2 diabetes. Still, even healthy fats such as olive oil are high in calories and you should use them in moderation.
3. Olive oil reduces risk of type 2 diabetes
Usually, low-fat diets were prescribed to prevent various diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. While it is known that high-fat diets can increase the risk of certain diseases, it seems that type of fat is what actually counts rather than the amount. Today is well known that diet which is rich in monounsaturated fats such as the ones found in nuts, seeds, and olive oil can actually protect from many chronic diseases.
4. Olive oil may prevent strokes
According to a new study, people who consume olive oil on a daily base may be able to protect themselves from a stroke. “Intensive” users of olive oil, who used it for both dressings and cooking, had 41% lower risk of stroke in comparison to people who didn’t use olive oil at all. The study took in a consideration weight, diet, physical activity and other risk factors.
5. Olive oil keeps your heart young
It is known that as we grow older our heart also gets the normal aging process and the arteries might not function as they used to which can cause a lot of health problems. However, the diet rich with olive oil can slow down the aging process of the heart and improve the arterial functions of older individuals.
6. Olive oil can fight osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease which can decrease bone mass and the architecture of bone tissue becomes fragile. This can lead to the possibility of fractures and even the slightest knocks can be potentially fatal. Supplementations made from olive oil positively affect the thickness of bones.