The benefits of olive oil

Since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, olive oil has been a mainstay in Mediterranean cuisine, and it continues to be the most widely used cooking oil in the region today. Many nutritionists believe that the Mediterranean region has among of the longest-living populations due to the abundance of good fats found in foods like olive oil, almonds, and fatty fish included in the region’s usual daily diet.

Here are a few of the most interesting health benefits based on scientific research:

The Benefits of olive oil

Polyphenols are found in abundance.

Polyphenols, naturally occurring bioactive chemicals with antioxidant capabilities found in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, and olives, are particularly plentiful in extra virgin olive oil. Because they fight oxidative stress, polyphenols help prevent diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia by damaging lipids, proteins, and DNA. There are two polyphenols found in olive oil that have anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties: hydroxytyrosol and oleocanthal.

Several types of cancer may be less likely to occur as a result of using this treatment method.

Olive oil consumption may be a contributing factor to decreased cancer rates in Mediterranean countries, however no food can guarantee protection against cancer. Excessive olive oil consumption is connected with a lower risk of colon and breast cancer, according to a 2020 study; earlier research has indicated that women who consume large amounts of extra virgin olive oil have a lower risk of both. Olive oil’s oleic acid, hydroxytyrosol, oleocanthal, phytosterols, and squalene have all been shown to have anti-cancer properties.

Memory and brain function are supported.

Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative illnesses are linked to oxidative stress. The powerful antioxidant properties of extra virgin olive oil’s polyphenols, particularly oleocanthal, make it a viable alternative. Oleic acid in olive oil has been shown to improve blood-brain barrier function and diminish neuro-inflammatory processes in animals that may prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties.

If you have a persistent inflammatory condition like arthritis, olive oil may be a useful addition to your diet. An inflammatory marker such as C-reactive protein, which is raised in situations like rheumatoid arthritis, can be reduced by consuming monounsaturated fats. Unlike ibuprofen, the polyphenol oleocanthal found in extra virgin olive oil has been shown to have similar anti-inflammatory characteristics. Regular use of foods high in oleocanthal may help minimise the risk of inflammatory disorders, according to some researchers.

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