All Olive Oil Health Benefits
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Digestive System
- Other Health Benefits
Every year 25% of the deaths worldwide are caused by cardiovascular diseases. Some of the most important causes of heart diseases are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, inappropriate diet, obesity, alcohol and smoking. Olive oil has a solution for each of these factors.
Cholesterol is a substance from foods of animal origin. The oleic acid from the triacylglycerols contained in extra virgin olive oil reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) without decreasing the good cholesterol HDL, and by contrary, in some cases increasing it. It has been proved that olive oil consumption reduces the risk of heart disease and prevents recurrence after the first coronary event.
High-blood pressure. Almost 1 billion people globally suffer from high blood pressure and another half billion more is expected in the next 10 years. Regular consumption of olive oil is decreasing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. It has been proved that adding olive oil to the diet without any other changes has a lowering effect on blood pressure.
Diabetes. Olive oil consumption can help to prevent or delay diabetes by enhancing insulin sensitivity and controlling the level of the sugar in the blood. It is considered to be a good treatment of the disease because it increases the HDL-cholesterol, lowers the bad low-density lipoproteins, making better blood sugar level control and lowers blood pressure. A diet including olive oil is perfectly suitable for diabetics.
Read more about Diabetes: Trans-fats or olive oil?
Olive oil has positive health benefits against cancer. Researches showed that olive oil can protect the human body against certain malignant tumors in the breast, prostate, endometrium and digestive tract by reducing cancerous lesions and making tumors less aggressive. Cancer can occur when toxins create free radicals that destroy DNA and create cell mutations. Antioxidants, polyphenols and even squalene have a positive effect by fighting these free radicals. From the other side, oleic acid lowers the level of prostaglandins derived from arachidonic acid which is producing and developing tumors. Cancer has different causes and it is impossible to establish them exactly for each case but it is known that radiation, exposure to sun, smoking and some specific constituents of the food (particularly bad fats) can cause this disease. Olive oil, extra virgin might help prevent cancer and in some cases reduce its effects.
Olive oil is very well tolerated by the stomach having actually positive health benefits on ulcers and gastritis. It reduces the risk of gastric juice coming up from the stomach to esophagus. It facilitates optimal bile drainage, activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed medicines and helps to prevent from gallstones. Olive oil also stimulates the digestion of lipids. It is recommended if pancreatic function has to be maintained (pancreas failure, chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis etc.). Has laxative effect and solves the problem of constipation. It can also combat unpleasant breathe.
Olive oil diet has positive health benefits on calcification of the bones and facilitates the absorption of calcium. This makes olive oil consumption very important in the period of growing and later for the prevention of osteoporosis. Studies show that people who consume olive oil have higher levels of osteocalcin which proves a healthy bone formation. Cases of osteoporosis are also fewer in Mediterranean countries than in the rest of Europe. Osteocalcin is associated with preserved insulin secretion which may help prevent diabetes.
During pregnancy and breast feeding it is recommended to consume more fat, of course preferably monounsaturated fat and to reduce as much as possible the saturated fats. Olive oil consumption during labour prevents hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis, has a good effect on bone mineralization and development of the bones during infancy. Olive oil, as a great source of vitamin E will help the mother to supply this vitamin to the infant by breast feeding, which is recommended because it has favourable health benefits and effects for hepatic-biliary system of the new born.
- – Olive oil contains anti-inflammatory agents;
- – Diets containing a large amount of monounsaturated fats prevent memory loss for elder people, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease;
- – Some studies showed it can reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis;
- – The aroma and the flavour compounds of olive oil, as well as pigments, increase the stomach secretion and facilitate the absorption of the natural antioxidants, which furthermore protect the body tissues from oxidation;
- – high life expectancy;