Health Benefits of Olive Oil

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Nutritionists, the scientific community, the media and we agree: extra virgin olive oil is good for you.

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Here are thirteen reasons why you should include it in your diet today:

1. Maintains Good Cholesterol Levels

Studies indicate that a Mediterranean diet low in saturated fats such as butter, lard, and animal fats, but rich in monounsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil in addition to grains, fruits and vegetables, helps keep the artery-clogging LDL (or bad cholesterol) low, while maintaining healthful levels of HDL (or good cholesterol). HDL has a preventative effect on cardiovascular illness because it may help to eliminate the LDL from the blood by carrying it to the liver.

2. Source of Vitamin E

Olive oil is a good source of vitamin E which may protect your body against cancer and heart disease.

3. Good for Your Stomach

Olive oil is most tolerated by the stomach due to its high oleic acid content. Since ancient times, olive oil has been ingested to treat gastritis and gastroduodenal ulcers. Feeling a little constipated? Take two tablespoons of olive oil in the morning on an empty stomach.

4. Fortifies Your Bones

Olive oil does wonders for your child's bone development. Studies support that when eaten in normal amounts, olive oil provides a relatively low amount of essential fatty acids with the highest linolenic ratio similarly found in human milk. To keep our bones strong, consume foods like olive oil, which are high in oleic glycerides but low in polyunsaturated fats.

5. High in Anti-Oxidants Leads to Longer Life

Olive oil is high in anti-oxidants, and rich in linoleic and linolenic acids. In a study on life expectancy, mice were fed various oils. The mice who ate olive oil demonstrated a longer life expectancy than those fed sunflower or corn oil. Why? Olive oil's favourable ratio of vitamin E, polyunsaturates and linoleic and linolenic acids. So eat your olive oil and live long!

6. Prevents Calcium Loss

Olive oil promotes bone development and mineralization; studies show the more you consume the greater the benefit. This may be a result of the high concentration of oleates in the structural lipids of our bones. According to researchers, olive oil would appear necessary during our growth stages and later in adulthood to prevent calcium loss.

7. Aids Digestion

Extra virgin olive oil aids in digestion and in the absorption of minerals and vitamins. It even acts as a mild laxative! For best results, eat your olive oil fresh and in its raw state. Remember, extra virgin olive oil is lowest in acidity and highest in anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins. So use high quality olive oil and a lot of it!

8. Prevents Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fatty material collects along the walls of the arteries. This fatty material thickens and hardens (via calcium deposits) and could eventually block the arteries. Atherosclerosis is one of the most widespread diseases, and is associated to diets rich in animal fats, and high in plasma and bad cholesterol. One of the easiest ways to lower your cholesterol levels is to eat a more balanced diet, and incorporate foods high in monounsaturated fats and anti-oxidants alpha-tocopherol and polyphenols, like olive oil.

9. Reduces Osteoporosis and Protects Your Heart

In a recent Greek study presented on Mega TV Europe, 150 individuals (118 women; 32 men) ages 25 to 69 were fed olive oil to measure its effect on reducing the rate of osteoporosis on the body (published in FONI, Sept. 1997). It was argued that frequent consumption of extra virgin olive oil led to a decreased rate of osteoporosis while protecting the body against heart disease, and breast and ovarian cancers.  "The more extra virgin olive oil these people consumed, the denser their bones were, the greater bone mass they had," said biochemistry professor A. Trihopoulou. Trihopoulou's study—the first to link lowered osteoporosis rates via the consumption of olive oil—has been called one of the most significant studies of the year by the British Medical Journal. "We know about vitamin E, but extra virgin olive oil also contains 200 elements which are now being studied. In future, many of olive oil's secrets will be unveiled and we shall value it more," adds Trihopoulou.

10. Protects Your Skin

According to research findings by Japan's Kombe University (study performed by Professor Masmitaou Ihimachi), extra virgin olive oil  protects against skin cancer when applied after swimming. Experiments performed on mice, showed that the cancerous tumors responded to the olive oil treatment, and reduced in size.

11. Helps You Remember

According to Italian researchers, olive oil consumed in its raw state helps stimulate memory functions. While this study focused on the elderly, specialists claim the correlation between consuming olive oil and a better memory is valid for all ages, given that olive oil acts as a protective lubricate for our brain cells.

12. Colon and Other Cancers Be Gone

Spain's Barcelona University has linked olive oil consumption to lowered rates of colon and breast cancers, as well as cholecholelithiasis (gallstones). Researchers fed rats extra virgin olive oil along with a diet favouring the development of cancer. The conclusion? Rats who consumed olive oil, despite other dietary factors, did not develop any cancer. Specialists claim this is due to the flavonoids contained in olive oil, which are believed to be anti-cancerous.

13. Good For You

Certified organic extra olive oil is produced without chemicals or preservatives. It is also the highest in anti-oxidant and nutritional values, given its lower acidity levels. So buy your olive oil while it is fresh and flavourful.


Cookbook

Olive Oil Cookbook

From the Olive Grove
Mediterranean Cooking with Olive Oil

A wonderful combination of Greek classics, treasured family recipes, and some wonderful recipes as supplied by the chefs who use our olive oil.
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Prevents Calcium Loss
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