Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Why It’s the Best Oil for Your Health
Extra virgin olive oil is more than just a tasty addition to your meals; it’s also one of the healthiest cooking oils you can use.
Oils that have been refined or chemically processed often contain harmful ingredients and chemicals, but extra virgin olive oil retains most of its natural nutrients.
Since extra virgin is so healthy, you may be wondering why you should buy organic extra virgin olive oil instead of regular, non-organic extra virgin olive oil.
This article will help you understand how organic extra virgin is better for your health and how to choose the best organic extra virgin olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil improves gut health
While it may seem unusual to think that olive oil can affect your gut, olive oil is incredibly rich in monounsaturated fat called oleic acid.
This type of fatty acid can help improve gut health by slowing down the movement of food through your intestines, preventing bacterial infections, and helping to decrease abdominal pain and other symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Extra virgin also helps to reduce inflammation in your stomach. The high levels of antioxidants found in extra virgin are thought to protect against oxidative stress and certain cancers.
In addition, an extra virgin can lower cholesterol levels, making it an excellent choice for heart health as well as good overall cardiovascular health. Extra virgin olive oil is also known to help reduce the risk of diabetes and protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
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In terms of your skin, extra virgin olive oil is known to improve skin elasticity and keep your skin looking young by helping to prevent wrinkles and premature aging.
Extra virgin olive oil also helps fight acne by keeping your pores clear of dirt and excess oils that can clog them up and cause breakouts. The benefits don’t stop there; extra virgin olive oil can help boost brain health as well.
Improving blood flow to your brain may help protect against stroke damage as well as reduce symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Additionally, extra virgin olive oil has been shown to help prevent cognitive decline in older adults.
In addition to all these health benefits, consuming extra virgin olive oil on a regular basis can make you feel full faster and longer.
This means you’ll be less likely to overeat or consume unhealthy snacks between meals when you have a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil handy! So how much should you be consuming? According to experts at Harvard University, one tablespoon per day is all you need.
Just remember that not all olive oils are created equal; look for extra virgin on your label, as it indicates that it has been produced in a way that preserves its natural flavor and antioxidants.
Additionally, read labels carefully to ensure you are getting 100% pure olive oil with no added ingredients or chemicals.
With so many health benefits, why wouldn’t you want to add more extra virgin olive oil into your diet? If you aren’t already using it regularly, now is a great time to start.
With so many uses and so many ways to benefit from adding more Extra Virgin Olive oil into your life, what are you waiting for? Start incorporating more extra virgin olive oil into your daily routine today. You’ll love all of the amazing things it does for your body.
4 Ways to Enjoy Extra Virgin Olive Oil Every Day (Without Going Overboard)
If you’re looking to incorporate more extra virgin olive oil into your daily routine, there are plenty of easy ways to do so without going overboard.
Here are four simple tips that will help you get started:
1. Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil Daily To replace butter with EVOO in recipes, simply use half butter and half EVOO instead. You can also use it as a substitute for other oils in baking or sautéing.
Just remember that extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point than many other oils; if you plan on using it to cook at high temperatures, make sure you choose an EVOO specifically designed for high-heat cooking.
2. Start Small When adding extra virgin olive oil to your diet, start small and gradually increase your intake over time.
This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed by all of its benefits. For example, try drizzling a little bit on top of salads or adding it to dishes before serving them up.
3. Try Adding Some to Drinks While most people think about food when they think about consuming extra virgin olive oil, did you know that drinking it is another great way? Simply add a few drops to your favorite beverage for added flavor.
4. Ditch Bottled Dressings Most bottled dressings are full of unhealthy ingredients like preservatives and artificial flavors, but you don’t have to give them up completely! Instead, make your own salad dressing using extra virgin olive oil—it will be much healthier (and tastier) than anything store-bought.
Extra Virgin olive oil lowers bad cholesterol levels
Extra virgin olive oil contains high amounts of oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat. In addition to its positive effects on good cholesterol levels, extra virgin olive oil also lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in your blood by up to 15 percent.
Studies show that these low levels might reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
(1) Extra Virgin helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease: While more research is needed, there’s evidence that consuming Extra Virgin may lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
According to one study, people who consumed two tablespoons of Extra Virgin daily had a 65 percent reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s compared with those who didn’t consume any.
(2) Another study showed that participants who ate an ounce or two of nuts—including walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts had a 40 percent reduced risk compared with those who didn’t eat nuts at all.
(3) Even better, nuts are super-easy to incorporate into your diet. Try tossing some into a salad or snacking on them plain as you watch TV after dinner. Extra Virgin Olive Oil prevents cardiovascular disease: Heart attacks and strokes are leading causes of death worldwide, but they can be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices like exercising regularly and eating well.
Evidence suggests that using extra virgin olive oil can help prevent cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease because it has powerful antioxidants that protect against oxidative stress in arteries.
One study found that men who used Extra Virgin Olive Oil were less likely to develop arterial calcification than those who used butter.
(4) This was especially true among men with higher triglyceride levels, which are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Extra Virgin Olive Oil boosts brain health: The antioxidant polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil have been shown to improve cognitive function and prevent neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
They do so by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in your body. This not only makes you feel happier and more alert, but it also helps protect your brain from the damage that could lead to memory loss or dementia later in life.
(5) Extra Virgin Olive Oil protects bones: Osteoporosis affects over 10 million Americans, making bone fractures a common occurrence among older adults.
But recent studies suggest that incorporating extra virgin olive oil into your diet can help reduce bone loss while improving bone density. A 2015 study showed that women who consumed Extra Virgin Olive Oil daily experienced a significant increase in their hip bone mineral density.
(6) Extra Virgin keeps diabetes at bay: Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition characterized by insulin resistance, which occurs when your cells don’t respond normally to insulin, resulting in abnormally high blood sugar levels.
A Mediterranean diet rich in extra virgin may help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to its anti-inflammatory properties and beneficial fatty acids.
(7) If you already have diabetes, adding Extra Virgin to your diet can help improve your overall blood glucose levels and reduce your risk of complications.
(8) Extra Virgin Olive Oil fights cancer: Extra virgin anti-inflammatory properties make it a great weapon in fighting cancer. Studies show that components in Extra Virgin olive oil can inhibit tumor growth by suppressing inflammatory pathways that allow cancer cells to thrive.
(9) Extra Virgin also increases your levels of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that can help fight free radicals and prevent DNA damage.
(10) Extra Virgin promotes weight loss: Extra virgin high levels of mono- and polyunsaturated fats keep you feeling full longer, preventing overeating and boosting satiety.
Research shows that diets high in monounsaturated fats are associated with a decreased risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil has more antioxidants than other oils
Antioxidants are an essential element of a healthy diet. Extra virgin olive oil contains more antioxidants than any other type of oil, so by switching to Extra virgin olive oil you’ll be increasing your intake of these essential nutrients.
Adding Extra Virgin Olive Oil to salads and cooking is a simple way to boost your daily intake of antioxidants. If you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up, try adding some extra virgin olive oil to your next cup of coffee or tea it will instantly add a fresh taste that can perk up even stale brews.
Remember, quality matters when it comes to buying Extra Virgin Olive Oil; look for bottles labeled extra virgin as well as first cold pressing. These designations ensure that you’re getting all of the health benefits possible from one of nature’s most flavorful foods.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil helps lower blood pressure
Olive oil is an excellent source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that has been shown to help lower blood pressure by as much as five points. Studies also suggest it can increase good HDL cholesterol levels by as much as 12 percent and reduce triglycerides by up to 30 percent.
Finally, Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains compounds called polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that may improve heart health even further.
One study found that those who consumed extra virgin olive oil had significantly fewer oxidized LDL (bad) cholesterol particles in their bloodstream than those who consumed refined olive oil.
This suggests that Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s antioxidants are able to effectively neutralize harmful free radicals in your body before they cause damage.
Eating extra virgin olive oil regularly might lead to weight loss: Research shows that people who consume one or two tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil daily lose between two and four pounds over six months more if they follow a low-calorie diet.
Some studies suggest it works because adding healthy fats to your diet helps you feel full faster, so you’re less likely to overeat later on.
Choose high-quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Look for extra virgin or first cold-pressed on labels; these terms indicate that no heat was used during processing, which preserves more nutrients.
Avoid brands with added flavorings, colors, chemicals, and preservatives. Use only a small amount when cooking at high temperatures; heat damages some of its nutrients.
Store in a cool dark place away from sunlight; like most other oils, Extra Virgin Olive Oil can go rancid quickly when exposed to light and air.
Keep in mind that all olive oils aren’t created equal: Extra virgin olive oil comes from freshly picked olives, and producers must adhere to strict standards set by international agencies such as the International Olive Council.
Other grades include pure, fine, and lampante (used for fuel). Bottom line: The more colorless and odorless your Extra Virgin Olive Oil is, the better quality it probably is.
Don’t be fooled by marketing tactics: A recent investigation revealed that many olive oil products labeled extra virgin was not what they claimed to be. For example, several samples labeled extra virgin was actually just plain old refined olive oil.
If you see flavored or infused varieties in stores, make sure there are specific standards for those kinds of products.
Otherwise, you could end up with an inferior product. Make sure to read nutrition labels carefully: Even extra virgin olive oil isn’t as healthy as it sounds. A tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil carries 120 calories and 14 grams of fat, including 1.5 grams of saturated fat.
That means it should be used sparingly and paired with lean proteins and vegetables instead of bread, rice and pasta. Find out why olive oil is best in moderation: Most experts recommend consuming no more than 4 tablespoons per day.
While Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a healthy fat, it’s still high in calories and can contribute to weight gain if you eat too much. In addition, olive oil often contains more sodium than you realize; on average, about 500 milligrams per serving.
Be aware of your intake: While Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a healthier choice than butter or margarine, it’s still high in fat and should be consumed in moderation.
Stick to 4 tablespoons per day for women and up to 6 tablespoons for men. And, be sure to pair it with healthy foods. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is an excellent choice for dipping fresh veggies or drizzling on cooked greens, but it’s not a good substitute for salad dressing or marinades.
Olive oil can add flavor and nutrients to your diet when used in moderation, but it shouldn’t replace other healthy oils in your diets, such as flaxseed and canola oils.
These are good for you in moderate amounts, but olive oil is still a source of fat. Make sure to watch your calorie and fat intake if you choose to use it on a regular basis.
Olive oil is great for you in moderation: While Extra Virgin Olive Oil is packed with antioxidants and other nutrients, it’s still high in calories and should be consumed in moderation. Stick to 4 tablespoons per day for women and up to 6 tablespoons for men.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil protects against heart disease
Extra virgin olive oil can help prevent heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.
A study published in Atherosclerosis in 2011 found that participants who consumed a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil experienced lower total cholesterol levels and lower rates of atherothrombotic events compared with control patients who consumed diets enriched with either canola or sunflower oils.
Extra virgin olive oil also appears to play a role in reducing inflammation and oxidation, which may be key components in preventing heart disease.
The monounsaturated fats present in Extra Virgin Olive Oil are particularly beneficial, as they’re known to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.
The antioxidants present in Extra Virgin Olive Oil have also been shown to reduce oxidative stress, which is one of the major causes of heart disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of extra virgin olive oil can help keep your arteries clear and your heart healthy.
One small 2013 study published in Lipids showed that participants who consumed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil had reduced markers of inflammation.
According to the American Heart Association, inflammation increases your risk for atherosclerosis, which is the hardening and narrowing of your arteries two common factors involved in heart disease.
An earlier study from 2004 found that consuming an antioxidant-rich Mediterranean diet significantly decreased oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in overweight individuals.
These findings suggest that extra virgin olive oil may have significant benefits for heart health. But before you start pouring it on everything, it’s important to note that too much fat including fat from Extra Virgin Olive Oil can lead to weight gain and other serious health problems like diabetes.
Stick to just two tablespoons per day if you want to reap its benefits without increasing your waistline! That being said, adding some Extra Virgin Olive Oil to your diet won’t hurt.
In fact, according to research published in Nutrients in 2016, eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like those found in extra virgin olive oil could even improve symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a hormonal disorder affecting about 5 percent of women between ages 20 and 40.
What’s more? Research suggests that regularly consuming olive oil may help you live longer. In a 2012 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers analyzed data from over 25,000 people living in Greece and found that people who ate greater amounts of olive oil were less likely to die during the course of the study than those who didn’t consume any.
This finding held true even after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, and physical activity level.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil boosts cognitive function
The fatty acids in extra virgin olive oil have been linked to better cognitive health in seniors. In a study, 60 participants over age 70 who had mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease added Extra Virgin Olive Oil to their diets and demonstrated improvements in brain function that could help with memory, language skills, and general cognition.
The antioxidants found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil may also help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. A different study published in Pharmacological Research discovered that oleocanthal an antioxidant compound found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil inhibited beta-amyloid protein clumping, which is thought to be an early step toward Alzheimer’s development.
Although more research is needed on humans, animal studies suggest that oleocanthal has potential as a therapeutic treatment for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
According to Dr. Kwakye Solomon, author of The Herbacine Nutrition Guide, The Mediterranean diet not only provides you with many health benefits; it can actually make your mind sharper by slowing down mental aging by up to two years. The best part about Extra Virgin Olive Oil? You don’t need much to reap its benefits.
Just one tablespoon contains about 100 milligrams of polyphenols, including powerful antioxidants such as hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol. And since just 1/4 cup packs roughly 2 grams of filling fiber, you’ll feel fuller longer while helping lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
All hail olive oil! Studies have shown that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, like those found in extra virgin olive oil, can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Extra Virgin Olive oil also contains oleocanthal, an anti-inflammatory compound that may reduce your risk of heart disease.
In addition to lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, increasing HDL (good) cholesterol, and reducing inflammation in your body all of which protect against heart disease the antioxidants in Extra Virgin Olive Oil help avert damage to cells that line your arteries.
This helps keep them flexible so they don’t narrow or harden over time, which could increase your risk of stroke or heart attack.
In fact, substituting just 5 percent of calories from saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat reduced participants’ risk of developing insulin resistance by 32 percent.
Extra virgin olive oil is packed with polyphenols powerful plant compounds that act as antioxidants and fight free radicals in your body.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil reduces inflammation
The extra virgin olive oil boasts anti-inflammatory properties, which can help lower your risk of developing heart disease and other inflammatory diseases.
According to a 2006 report in BMC Medicine, Extra Virgin Olive Oil reduces levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation that’s been linked to cardiovascular problems and diabetes.
One study found that people who ate more than five tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil daily lowered their CRP levels by up to 25 percent.
Extra virgin olive oil may also protect against oxidative stress, reduce blood pressure and boost immunity by increasing antioxidants in white blood cells.
These compounds destroy free radicals molecules produced during normal metabolism that damage cells and DNA and prevent them from causing damage.
The healthy fats in Extra Virgin Olive Oil are great for your skin, too; they keep it supple and moisturized, even when you’re older.
When choosing an Extra Virgin Olive Oil, make sure it is marked extra virgin on the label; otherwise, it might not be pure enough to reap all these benefits.
Also, look for bottles that don’t have any chemical preservatives as BHT or BHA added. Instead, opt for bottles with natural preservatives like vitamin E or rosemary extract.
A good way to find quality oils is at local farmers’ markets, where you can talk directly with producers about how they produce their oils.
You should store your Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a cool place away from light to preserve its freshness and nutrients.
While we’ve outlined some health benefits here, talk to your doctor before adding extra virgin olive oil into your diet if you take medication regularly or have certain health conditions like high cholesterol or hypertension.
And because most studies on Extra Virgin Olive oil were done using pure oil, talk to your doctor before taking large doses of olive leaf extract or taking regular shots of olive oil.
Too much fat can increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol and lead to weight gain. So stick with small amounts and enjoy all these incredible health benefits.
Taking olives to cure sicknesses has long been practiced around the world, but did you know that olives contain beneficial antioxidants? In fact, recent research shows that olive leaf extract could provide a number of health benefits including treating cancer.
Researchers discovered one particular compound called oleuropein contained in olive leaves prevented cancerous tumor growth.
Further research revealed another substance called hydroxytyrosol was effective at killing off ovarian cancer cells.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil increases longevity
Epidemiological studies, of course, can’t prove that EVOO is increasing longevity. What they can do is offer us clues as to why extra virgin olive oil might be so good for us.
Previous studies have connected Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a lower risk of heart disease, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. Now we know it may also help people live longer.
But how? One way could be by reducing inflammation in our bodies, which previous research has linked to an increased risk of death from all causes.
In fact, a study published in 2010 found that eating more monounsaturated fats like those found in Extra Virgin olive oil lowered levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker linked to higher mortality rates.
Another theory suggests that olive oil might increase longevity by preventing or delaying cognitive decline, in other words, protecting your brain.
A 2012 study published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reported that older adults who consumed foods high in polyphenols, like those found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, were less likely to develop dementia than people who didn’t eat many polyphenol-rich foods.
A third possibility is that EVOO helps protect against oxidative stress because it contains antioxidants such as vitamin E and polyphenols.
Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals build up in your body and cause damage to cells, tissues, and DNA.
Free radicals are naturally produced during normal metabolism but are also created through exposure to toxins like cigarette smoke, radiation, and air pollution.
Studies suggest that free radical damage contributes to aging and age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders.
Foods rich in antioxidants like Extra Virgin olive oil may help neutralize these harmful molecules before they cause damage inside our bodies.
Other recent research shows that Extra Virgin Olive Oil can actually slow down cellular aging by boosting telomerase activity, an enzyme involved in preserving our chromosomes.
This means that consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil may help maintain healthy cell division and prevent mutations from occurring within cells. Telomeres are caps at the end of each strand of DNA that keep chromosomes stable.
They get shorter every time a cell divides until eventually, they become too short to divide any further, at which point cell death usually occurs.