It’s unbelievably awesome when you bump into something that enhances the taste of food while being super beneficial for your health. Olive oil is derived from olives that is a major crop of the Mediterranean region.
Here are top 8 Health benefits of olive oil backed by global research:
1.Olive Oil Reduces Risk of Stroke
A stroke occurs when there is reduced blood supply and hence preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and required nutrients. A study of heart attack case from Mumbai in younger age 18-45, published in ‘International Journal of Health Sciences & Research’ showed 91% had typical chest pain and 66% of patients did not complain of stress. Newer studies suggest that improper nutrition plays a larger role in the heart health of youngsters and adults. According to the study, of 841,211 people, significant associations are found between higher intakes of olive oil and reduced risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular events, and stroke, respectively. Increasing evidence suggests that the use of olive oil in Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Olive oil is the key ingredient of this dietary pattern. The research with 140,113 participants resulted in concluding that those who consumed olive oil were at a much lower risk of stroke.2
2.High Polyphenols in Extra Virgin Olive Oil helps reverse Cholesterol
Extra virgin olive oil contains the highest level of polyphenols. Polyphenolic compounds present in virgin olive oil also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects in cardiovascular disease. Olive oil polyphenols promote the main HDL antiatherogenic function (helping remove formation of fatty deposits in the arteries), its cholesterol efflux capacity. These polyphenols increased HDL (high-density lipoprotein) size, promoted a greater HDL stability, promoting reverse cholesterol transport process. [4, 5]
3. Olive Oil Is the Healthiest Cooking Oil
With growing attention towards heath, Indian consumers are more aware about quality & quantity of oils and fat consumption. Indians know benefits of olive oil. Butter, Ghee, and Oils are widely used in Indian households.
There are mainly four types of fat in our diets. They are:
- monounsaturated fats (MUFA)
- polyunsaturated fats (PUFA)
- saturated fats
- trans fats.
Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat are ‘healthy’ fats. They can help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a fatty substance in your blood. Saturated fats are very bad for heart health.
Olive oil contains highest MUFA (75-77%) and Coconut oil has least MUFA (5-6%) . Butter contains very high quantities of saturated fats (approx. 60%). Hence, it’s not recommended for patients with heart diseases. Sunflower oil also has large concentrations of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of polyunsaturated fat. Many dietitians recommend increasing use of olive oil in daily diet.
4. Olive Oil Is Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation occurs when your immune system sends out cells to fight bacteria or heal an injury. Anti-inflammatory is the property of a substance or treatment that reduces inflammation or swelling. Studies revealed that a compound in the oil, called oleocanthal, prevents the production of pro-inflammatory COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes – the same way ibuprofen works . Ibuprofen is widely used to help control pain and inflammation. Researchers say that about three and a half tablespoon of the oil is equivalent to a 200-mg ibuprofen tablet.
5. Olive Oil may help in weight Loss
Excessive fat can cause weight gain. However, numerous studies have linked the Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, with favourable effects on body weight . In said study, over 7,368 Spanish male & female students which consume high amount of olive oil, have found that olive oil consumption is not associated with higher weight gain or a significantly higher risk of developing overweight or obesity . Beyond that, other study with 187 participants found that a diet rich in olive oil is linked to weight loss .
6. Olive Oil Boosts Immunity
Intestinal bacteria (gut microbes) play an important part in the immune system’s general health. In order to treat various infectious disorders, protection against the development of specific microorganisms is essential.
According to Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry’s study, individuals with metabolic syndrome had altered gut bacteria that had immune-boosting effects. Fatty acids, usually referred to as dietary lipids, are also important in controlling inflammatory and immunological responses. Olive oil has higher quantities of polyphenols and MUFAs than other butters and oils, which contribute to its higher levels of immunity.
7. Olive Oil May Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Olive oil may help to control and reduce type 2 diabetes. Studies have linked Mediterranean diet which is high in olive oil to beneficial effects on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity . A clinical trial in 418 people confirmed the protective effects of olive oil. In this study, a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, risk of type 2 diabetes incidence was reduced by 52% .
8. Olive Oil Contains Antioxidants Reducing the Risk of Cancer
Olive oil contains antioxidants that can lessen oxidative damage brought on by free radicals, which is thought to be a major factor in the development of cancer. Preliminary studies have shown olive oil to fight cancer cells. Research calculated that up to 25% of the incidence of colorectal cancer, approximately 15% of the incidence of breast cancer, and approximately 10% of the incidence of prostate, pancreas, and endometrial cancer could be prevented if the populations of highly developed Western countries could shift to the traditional healthy Mediterranean diet . Findings demonstrate that the previously unrecognized property of oleic acid (main monounsaturated fatty acid of olive oil) offers a novel molecular mechanism by which individual fatty acids may regulate the malignant behaviour of breast cancer cells .