The cultivation of olives and the production of olive oil have deep roots in the history of Spain. The olive, a symbol of peace, and the tree which produces olives (olea europea) are known to have been cultivated around the Mediterranean about 6000 years ago.
Since coming to Spain, we have taken full advantage of the mediterranean diet and the amazing benefits of olive oil for more than just the purpose of cooking. We have discovered so many advantages that come with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) that we decided to share with you a list of the top 10:
- Lowers cholesterol levels: Extra-virgin olive oil can help lower your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which can cause narrowing of the arteries.
- Reduced high blood pressure: According to a 2000 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people on high blood pressure medications may be able to reduce the amount of medicine they take by substituting extra-virgin olive oil for other types of fats in their diet.
- Fights diabetes: Extra-virgin olive oil is beneficial in the treatment of diabetes and can even help prevent or delay the onset of the disease. It improves blood sugar control and enhances insulin sensitivity. Plus, the monounsaturated fats in olive oil help keep triglyceride levels in check.
- Fights inflammation: Olive oil works as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that can help deal with chronic inflammation that causes many diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and arthritis.
- Protects your
bones: According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, people who follow a Mediterranean diet rich in olives and olive oil have a higher level
of osteocalcin in their blood. High osteocalcin means better bone density and overall bone health.
- Prevents cancer: Olive oil can even help lower the risk of certain types of cancer. The polyphenols in olive oil act both as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. This in turn protects cells from oxidative stress and chronic unwanted inflammation and reduces the risk of certain cancers. Eat just 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil per day to lower your risk of different types of cancer.
- Improves brain functioning: Olive oil has favorable effects on brain functioning and reduces the risk of cognitive impairment. A 2013 study in France on older adults concluded that visual memory and verbal fluency improved immensely with intensive use of extra-virgin olive oil in cooking and as an ingredient in sauces and dressings.
- Aids weight loss: Olive oil taken in moderation also helps in weight loss. Though it is high in fat, it mostly contains healthy, monounsaturated fats that aid in weight loss and also help reduce belly fat. To combat obesity and promote weight loss, consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil every day.
- Rejuvenates skin: Olive oil works as the perfect moisturizer for dry skin. Being rich in vitamins A and E as well as several other minerals and fatty acids, it ensures soft and smooth. It also helps stimulate the process of skin healing.
- Improves hair health: Packed with fatty acids, several antioxidants and Vitamin E, olive oil works as a great moisturizer for your hair.Information sourced from: Top 10 Health Benefits of Olive Oil