Experts consistently rank the Mediterranean Diet as one of the world’s healthiest. Other than offering delicious old world flavor, olive oil is one of the diet’s main health components. Here are 4 reasons we can’t get enough:
It’s a “good fat.”
It’s no secret that a diet high in saturated fat can have negative health consequences, from weight gain to diseases. But contrary to the non-fat diet hype, we still need fat to carry important nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K through the bloodstream. Research has actually shown that “good,” fats, such as the monounsaturated fats in olive oil, can also help lower cholesterol, one of the main risk factors for heart disease. With heart disease remaining the #1 killer of Americans, replacing your cooking butter with olive oil could be a simple trick to jumpstart better health.
It’s loaded with antioxidants.
We’ve been hearing a lot about antioxidants in recent years. Antioxidants have great health benefits because they fight the damage caused by free radicals, molecules that accumulate in the body and destroy other cells. Sugar digestion, certain medicines, and pollutants in the environment can all be reasons for increased free-radicals. Although these realities can hardly be avoided, antioxidants can manage the damaging effects, such as cancers and blood vessel disease. Both fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, and as one of the only oils sourced from fruit, olive oil can be a powerful way to fend off cell damage.
EVOO lowers blood pressure.
Several studies, including one conducted in 2015 by The University of California, Davis, have showed that extra virgin olive oil reduces blood pressure significantly. One of the reasons is its high phenolic content, which also promotes healthy arterial functioning and reduces platelet buildup. The study suggested that two tablespoons per day could even be a first intervention before turning to blood pressure medication.
It can prevent metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome, caused by poor diet and exercise, can have symptoms including inflammation, high blood fats, and increased waist circumference. Studies have shown that a diet inclusive of olive oil reduces the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, and is associated with a slimmer waistline.
As you can see, daily dose of olive oil can do much more than boost your meals’ flavor profile. Replace it for your cooking oil, drizzle it on your salads, or add it to your favorite pasta dishes for a health boost your body will thank you for.
Author: Chelsea Raus