You must have surely heard many people saying how great olive is for your health. Well, you heard right! This oil, quite commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, definitely has many nutritional benefits that help alleviate a variety of human ailments. It is obtained by pressing the seeds of the olive fruit. The quality of the oil depends upon the stage during which it was pressed and is often used in salads, marinades, pasta, and dressings.
Olive oil not only makes meals delicious, it also gives you many health benefits. Even though it is high in fat, it mainly contains MonoUnsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs), which are considered to be an essential dietary requirement. Healthy amounts of MUFA provide several benefits, including better maintenance of blood sugar and insulin levels, and improved blood clotting.
Five Benefits Of Olive Oil You Should Know About
Here are some of the other major benefits of olive oil.
Helps Reduce LDL (Bad Cholesterol)
The MUFAs found in olive oil are less susceptible to oxidation, which helps them prevent low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) buildup in the arteries. MUFAs also increase the levels of High Density Lipoproteins (good cholesterol).
A diet that consists of MUFAs, when coupled with a regular exercise routine can help improve cardiovascular health.
Lowers Blood Pressure
When olive oil is ingested as part of a regular diet, it has positive effects on blood pressure. The oleic compound in the oil attaches itself to the membranes of cells and affects signalling patterns. This process then reduces blood pressure.
According to a study conducted at the University of Navarra, Spain, men who added olive oil to their diet showed reduced rates of hypertension.
Regular consumption of olive oil reduces the risk of developing cancers of the breast, upper digestive tract, and the respiratory tract.
Protects From Inflammation
The polyphenols found in olive oil act as anti inflammatory agents by reducing the production of the special messaging molecules that are responsible for causing inflammation.
Improves Cognitive Function
Olive oil has a positive impact on cognitive functions, especially those related to aging. Consuming it on a regular basis lowers the risk of developing cognitive deficits in visual memory and verbal fluency in patients who have dementia.
Since the health benefits of olive oil are so many, it is often tempting to be quite liberal in using it. But, you must limit its intake to not more than 2-3 tablespoons per day, since it has considerable fat content. When taken in this proportion regularly, it can give you all the nutritive benefits listed above. So the next time you prepare a salad or a bowl of pasta, remember to dress it up with a dash of olive oil.