Olive oil is the natural oil extracted from the fruit of the olive tree. It is high in healthy fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins E and K, and anti-inflammatory compounds. The oil was found to be beneficial in various health-related problems such as heart diseases, obesity, dementia, depression, and inflammation.
Before consuming olive oil, you need to know that there are several types of olive oil: extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, and regular olive oil. Research shows that one can reap more benefits from using extra virgin olive oil.
One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil contains:
- Zero sugar, carbs or protein
- Calories – 119
- Fat – 14 (9.8 of which is monounsaturated)
- Vitamin E – 2 milligrams (10 percent DV)
- Vitamin K – 8 micrograms (10 percent DV)
Olive Oil and Breast Cancer
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, extra virgin olive oil can help you lower your risk of breast cancer by 66%.
For the study, researchers from The Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain observed 4,282 women, aged 60 to 80. They were divided into three groups:
First Group: followed a diet rich in olive oil
Second Group: followed a diet rich in dried fruits and nuts
Third group: Followed a low-fat diet.
Participants in the first group who followed a diet rich in olive oil every day for five years were found to have a 66% lowered risk for breast cancer. Meanwhile, no significant changes were found in the remaining two groups.
Earlier studies suggested that this beneficial effect of extra virgin olive oil can be due to its ability to protect the DNA in the cell nucleus and on the presence of polyphenols which can help slow the progression of cancer cells.
Other Reasons To Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil To Your Diet
Natural methods were used to extract extra virgin olive oil. It has a distinct taste and is a rich source of phenolic antioxidants- which is the main reason why it is so beneficial.
Fantastic Source of Antioxidants and Healthy Fats
While regular olive oil is stripped of vital nutrients and antioxidants, extra virgin olive oil retains all the nutrients and antioxidants from the olive fruit.
Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with monounsaturated fat (approximately 73%), which is a heart healthy fat that is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Aside from this, it also contains 30 various types of phenolic compounds, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect the body against free radicals that cause cell damage and contribute to disease and the aging process.
May Help Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
The phenolic compounds present in Extra Virgin Olive Oil aid in glucose metabolism and improve the sensitivity and effectiveness of insulin.
Studies show that daily consumption of olive oil can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 13%. Also, the oil was able to normalize blood glucose in people who already had type 2 diabetes.
Help Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Powerful cardio-protective properties are present in Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s active compounds. It can help lower blood pressure and prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
According to studies, those individuals who ate the most olive oil were 9% less likely to have heart issues and 11% less likely to die early compared to those who ate the least olive oil.
Important Notice: Many commercially sold olive oils are fake so you better always check what’s in the bottle you’re buying. Check out this article: The Olive Oil Scam: If 80% Is Fake, Why Do You Keep Buying It?