Olive oil is an oil obtained from the fruits of an olive tree. For many years, it has been a part of human diet mainly because of its health benefits that have been proven by many studies written in the pages of many medical journals around the world.
Olive oil boasts a very good nutritional profile. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamin K, and vitamin E as well as mono-saturated fats like oleic acid and palmitoleic acid. It is also free of carbohydrates and cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases.
And here we go. In one study conducted, results showed that olive oil consumption once a week can help lower down platelet activity in obese adults, thus reducing their risk of forming arterial blood clots that lead to a condition called atherosclerosis, the cause of most heart attacks and strokes.
For the study, researchers from the New York University School of Medicines used food frequency surveys to determine how often 63 obese, nonsmoking, and non-diabetic participants with an average BMI of 44.1 consumed olive oil. Based on the data gathered, lowered platelet activation and the lowest amount of platelet aggregation were found to those who consumed olive oil once a week as compared to those who ate the oil less often.
Sean Heffron, the lead author of the study, says:
“People who are obese are at increased risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular events, even if they don’t have diabetes or other obesity-associated conditions. Our study suggests that choosing to eat olive oil may have the potential to help modify that risk, potentially lowering an obese person’s threat of having a heart attack or stroke.”
The team believed that the results of their study were mainly due to the olive oil’s antioxidants and its molecular structure.
Co-author Ruina Zhang further explained:
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to assess the effects of dietary composition, olive oil specifically, on platelet function in obese patients.”
Results of this study were presented in the at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Session 2019 in Houston.
Other Health Benefits Of Olive Oil
Olive oil has been utilized for many purposes. It can be used for cooking purposes, medicinal purposes, development of beauty products and soaps, as a pharmaceutical supplement, and even as a fuel for lighting a lamp.
Adding this superfood into our diet will provide our body with many health benefits. Some of them are listed below.
Helps Us Fight Cancer
Oleocanthal, an important phytonutrient present in olive oil, has the ability to mimic the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation which is beneficial in reducing the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence. Aside from this, the study confirms that hydroxytyrosol, another major component of the oil, may help prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
Aids In Weight Loss
Olive oil contains healthy fats which are a great alternative for oils and butter that are loaded with calories. This can help provide positive results for those who want to lose some pounds.
Helps Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
A high-fat diet only increases our risk of certain diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Meanwhile, a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, such as the ones present in olive oil, can protect us from these diseases.
According to a study, a Mediterranean style diet rich in olive can help lower down a person’s risk of type II diabetes by almost 50 percent as compared to a low-fat diet.
Keeps The Heart Young
By regularly adding olive oil into our diet, we can possibly slow down the aging of our hearts.
We all know that as we grow old, our heart also goes through a normal aging process which can lead to various health problems. Fortunately, experts found that with olive oil’s monounsaturated fats, the arterial function of elderly individuals can be improved.
Helps Prevent Gallstones
Due to its laxative effect, olive oil can help prevent gallstones. In fact, it is often used by individuals who are practicing gallbladder cleanse.
Ways To Incorporate Olive Oil Into Our Diet
To reap these benefits mentioned above, we need to add olive oil in our diet. Here are some of the delicious ways to enjoy it:
Fry an egg with olive oil. Aside from the good taste, we can avoid the saturated fats in the butter.
Add some to soup. It can give an additional flavor as well as antioxidants and good monounsaturated fats.
Roasted Veggies. For an unbeatable texture and flavor, toss some olive oil into your roasted veggies and then sprinkle some sea salt and savor the results.
Salad Dressing. Create a perfect salad dressing for your favorite salad by whisking up some olive oil and balsamic vinegar on it.