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Reap The Health Benefits of Olive Oil

Explore the numerous health benefits of olive oil consumption, a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil offers a multitude of advantages for overall health and well-being.

  • 23 Feb 2024
  • 2 min read

Recent times have seen a surge in popularity for the olive fruit, owing to its myriad health benefits gaining increasing recognition. It stands as one of the pivotal components within the Mediterranean diet, which hails from healthy food groups like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, seafood and beans. The consumption of extra-virgin olive oil—a long-standing culinary staple in Italian and Greek cuisines—is now more widely appreciated across global cultures due to an understanding of its numerous benefits. This article delves into the primary health benefits of olive oil consumption.


What are the different benefits of olive oil?

Rich in heart-healthy antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, olive oil offers potential benefits: studies suggest its consumption, in moderate portions, can reduce the risk of stroke. Furthermore, it may enhance insulin sensitivity—a key factor in preventing or managing type 2 diabetes. There are many more benefits of olive oil, which we will discuss below:


1. Packed with healthy monounsaturated fats

Olive oil, derived from olive fruit, contains about 14% saturated fat and 11% polyunsaturated fat, including omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The major fatty acid is oleic acid, making up 73% of the oil. Oleic acid may help reduce inflammation and have positive effects on cancer-linked genes. Additionally, the monounsaturated fats in olive oil are resistant to high temperatures, making it a healthy choice for cooking.


2. Full of antioxidants

Extra virgin olive oil is nutritious, with beneficial good fats and modest amounts of vitamins E and K. What makes it even better is its powerful antioxidants. These active compounds could lower the risk of chronic diseases, tackle inflammation, and safeguard blood cholesterol, providing potential benefits for heart health.


3. Reduces inflammation

Olive oil brings a bunch of health benefits, especially with its anti-inflammatory powers. Chronic inflammation can lead to various diseases, but extra virgin olive oil has been seen to reduce this. It's packed with antioxidants, like oleocanthal, that work to fight inflammation. Also, the main fatty acid, oleic acid, does its part by targeting inflammatory markers.


4. Shields against heart disease

Heart disease remains a growing concern globally, but a well-balanced diet, including extra virgin olive oil, may bring valuable benefits. This golden oil acts as a protector, reducing inflammation, safeguarding LDL cholesterol, and supporting blood vessel health. Studies even show it lowers blood pressure, which may lower the need for medication. With these proven benefits, olive oil is an effective addition to diets, especially for those with heart concerns or risks.


5. May help manage rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis leads to painful and deformed joints as the immune system mistakenly targets normal cells. Although the exact cause isn't clear, olive oil supplements demonstrate potential by targeting inflammatory markers with rheumatoid arthritis. When paired with fish oil, known for anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, olive oil becomes even more beneficial. A study indicates that this combination significantly enhances handgrip strength, alleviates joint pain, and reduces morning stiffness in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.


6. Olive oil possesses antibacterial qualities

One of the main benefits of olive oil is that it is effective against harmful bacteria like Helicobacter pylori, known for causing stomach ulcers and cancer. Test-tube studies demonstrate that extra virgin olive oil fights eight strains of this bacterium, with three being antibiotic-resistant. Human studies suggest that a daily consumption of 30g of extra virgin olive oil can combat Helicobacter pylori infections in 10–40% of people within two weeks.


7. Olive Oil Might Help Against Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common neurodegenerative condition globally, is characterised by plaques accumulating in the brain. A study showed that a substance in olive oil can help remove these plaques. Additionally, another study suggested that a nutritious, well-rounded diet, including olive oil, benefits brain function. However, more research is needed to understand how olive oil might impact Alzheimer’s.

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Processed and fast foods dominate our diets in today's world, posing a challenge to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Yet, we have ingredients such as olive oil, a natural and versatile ingredient that not only enhances the flavour of our dishes but also bestows numerous health benefits upon us, which can be included in our daily diet as baby steps towards a healthy lifestyle. And always recall: investing in your own health constitutes one of life's paramount decisions. Olive oil, an excellent dietary addition, or a healthy diet, or any other healthful habits may not possess the ability to independently resolve all health issues; hence one must invest in a comprehensive health insurance policy for ensuring timely and effective medical care. As the popular saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

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