The Mediterranean diet has been cited time and again by numerous researchers as a model style of eating due to the myriad health benefits that it offers. The nutrient richness of this diet stems from its medium of cooking – olive oil, which experts consider to be the healthiest cooking medium in creation. Organic olive oil has a high concentration of monosaturated fat that is rich in antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins that strengthen the body’s immune system and facilitate the regeneration of muscles and tissue. Olive oil has been regarded as a quintessential health food for its ability to prevent heart diseases, promote healthy digestion, inhibit gallstone formation and a whole lot more. In this article we shall address some key health benefits of olive oil.
Arteriosclerosis is a common heart disease that is rampant in the developed world. Also known as the hardening of arteries, Arteriosclerosis occurs when particles of LDL cholesterol stick to the walls of the arteries as plaque. As a result the blood vessels are narrowed due to the plaque build up, causing more stress on the heart. If left unchecked the outcome can be fatal. Since, olive oil is a monosaturated fat, it has a high concentration of good cholesterol known as HDL, which reduces the LDL content and prevents the formation of plaque in the arteries.
The presence of oleic acid, which is a monosaturated fatty acid in olive oil has been found to inhibit the activity of cancer causing gene. This oncogene is a known cause of breast tumors and cancers in women. The consumption of oleic acid has been found to encourage the self destruction of these cancer cells, thus preventing the onset of cancer. Olive oil has also been useful in the treatment and prevention of colon cancer by protecting the bowels from the detrimental effects of carcinogens.
Reduces Blood Sugar
Virgin olive oil has been recommended as an organic healthy food for diabetics as it contains healthy monosaturated fats that have been found to be more effective in reducing blood sugar levels than a diet comprising entirely of low fat meals. Since diabetics are more prone to heart diseases, a diet which includes olive oil would lower the triglyceride levels and prevent the onset of a heart attack.
Weight Loss Remedy
Although olive oil is high in fats, it contains the healthy variety known as monosaturated fats, which have been found to initiate weight loss in dieters. Monosaturated fats hasten the body’s metabolic rate. As a result the body starts burning up more energy, thus depleting all the excess stored fat in the body at a gradual rate.
Including organic healthy foods such as olive oil has been found to improve the calcification and mineralization of bones in the body. Olive oil facilitates the optimal absorption of calcium in the body, which results in stronger bones and connective tissue. This is mainly why people who are afflicted or have prone diseases are recommended to include organic olive oil in their diet.
According to a recent study conducted in France, older individuals who have extensively consumed olive oil have shown a lowered risk of strokes. The study which observed the dietary patterns of 7,625 individuals that were above the age of 65 for a period of five years, discovered that subjects who consumed olive oil regularly exhibited a 41 per cent lower risk of stroke compared to those who used other cooking mediums.
Apart from its physiological benefits, the consumption of organic olive oil also merits some emotional and mental benefits as well. According to Spanish researchers at the University of Navarra, a diet that is rich in olive oil prevents the development of mental illnesses such as depression. The research made some stunning revelations, citing that volunteers who consumed a high amount of trans fatty acids were more likely to be depressed than those who consumed other fats. On the other hand, volunteers who consumed a diet rich in olive oil were found to be at a lower risk of depression.
According to research conducted at Tel Aviv University in Israel, the Mediterranean diet which uses olive oil as its cooking medium lowers the risk of sarcoma, which is a malignant melanoma of the skin. This is due to the high content of antioxidants present in olive oil, which eliminate the carcinogenic free radicals from the body and prevent the development of skin cancer.
Eating a diet rich in olive oil is thus a delectable way to stay healthy and disease free. This health food can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes including pizzas, marinades, salad dressings and more. Organic virgin oil is most suitable for consumption as it has a higher concentration of nutrients and is free of adulterants and preservatives.