Olive Oil: What Makes It Healthy
From olives, the fruit of the olive tree, come the naturally extracted oil, which is olive oil. 24% is saturated fat and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. 73% is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that is ultra healthy.
Oleic acid is by far the most widely distributed and abundant fatty acid in nature. Extra-virgin olive oil, the tastiest cooking oil, is the chief source of oleic acid.
Extra-virgin olive oil has beneficial fatty acids, contains modest amounts of Vitamins E and K, but more importantly, powerful and active antioxidants. Antioxidants fight inflammation and prevent oxidation of cholesterol in the blood, both of which are contributory to heart disease process.
We know that chronic inflammation is the road that leads to multiple adult disease states like, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and even obesity.
The antioxidants in olive oil can reduce free radicals, believed to be one of the leading drivers of cancer.
How about the relationship between olive oil and the risk of stroke?
This has been extensively studied and has already been proved that those who consume olive oil have a much lower risk of developing stroke, the second biggest killer in developed countries. In fact, people of the Mediterranean who consume foods prepared in olive oil have a lower risk for heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower ‘bad cholesterol’, and lower premature deaths. Include also, lower risks for cancers.
Look at the other amazing wonders of olive oil – a couple of studies showed beneficial effects on brain function, though more studies on Alzheimer’s disease are needed. There are studies on its beneficial effects on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, hence, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Here’s another – olive oil and fish oil in one study significantly reduced joint pain, handgrip strength and morning stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
And finally, the bacterial H. Pylori, the one that causes stomach ulcers and stomach cancer, can be eliminated by olive oil in a percentage of people in a matter of weeks.
Living Healthy with Olive Oil
Just remember that a diet rich in olive oil tend to make you live healthy and live longer. Olive oil is a natural staple in Tuscan dishes. Have one with us at IL Bistro, your Seattle Italian restaurant.