The science behind it


Olive oil has been the basis of the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years. Ancient Greek poet Homer even referred to olive oil as "liquid gold," while Hippocrates called it the "great healer" and prescribed it for many medical conditions.

The exact origin of olive oil is unknown, but it is believed that the species of olive tree domesticated about 6000 years ago, was native to the Mediterranean basin which makes it one of the oldest cultivated fruit trees in the world. Olive oil represented the wealth of the Minoan civilization and ancient documents from Syria suggest it was five times more expensive than wine. Although it was not always used as food.

There are several benefits of extra virgin olive oil, especially when consumed within a healthy diet.

In addition to the fact that it is a highly appreciated product in gastronomy, mainly for its exceptional flavor, the benefits of extra virgin olive oil are also diverse.

Hence the interest generated by this food, which is still used for a wide variety of purposes. That is, in addition to being an ingredient in many recipes, it is used in cosmetics; For example, in the preparation of soaps, creams, moisturizing shampoos and cream baths.

It is therefore not surprising that it continues to be the subject of investigation. Still do not take advantage of the benefitsof extra virgin olive oil in your diet?

We tell you important reasons to encourage you to consume it more frequently, but with moderation.

Properties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is so called because in its processing no other product is added or any chemical is used, that is, it has neither dyes nor preservatives that alter its flavor, its properties or its purity..

Although it is composed almost 100% fats, they are monounsaturated and unsaturated fats, so they are not harmful to health, and do not contribute to the increase of bad cholesterol. Research concludes that people who live in the Mediterranean and consume extra virgin olive oil, live longer and suffer less heart disease than for example the Nordics or Americans.

On the other hand, it contains fatty acids of the Omega-3 type, which are not produced by our body, as well as polyphenols and vitamin E, and a compound called oleocanthal, only present in extra virgin olive oil.

All of these substances have been linked to improved health in general, including reducing the chances of developing coronary heart disease and preventing cardiovascular risk.

Let's look in detail at the various benefits of consuming extra virgin olive oil.

Some benefits

Helps you lose weight

Extra virgin olive oil is a food that can be included in a diet to lose weight, as it contains healthy fats. However, it must be consumed carefully, as it can have a laxative effect. Of course, if we want to improve the diet and lose weight in a healthy way, we must go to an endocrinologist or nutritionist to tell us what is most appropriate for our case. According to a study published in 2018: "a diet enriched with extra virgin olive oil followed for at least three months can decrease weight, waist circumference and BMI (body mass index), in individuals without previous cardiovascular events."

Relieves mild inflammations

Due to its oleocanthal contents, extra virgin olive oil has some anti-inflammatory action. Therefore, it could help reduce pain associated with joints and muscles. In the popular realm, it is said that a massage with a little of this oil can help relieve pain and swelling of a localized part of the body. However, to obtain such a benefit, it would be necessary to consume extra virgin olive oil within a healthy diet and, of course, within the framework of an active lifestyle.

Anticancer properties

Although recent reviews indicate that more research is needed in human models, there is a hypothesis that the consumption of this food could reduce the risk of suffering from some types of cancer. This important effect is thought to be related to the high content of oleic acid, which is the predominant fatty acid in extra virgin olive oil.

Sound mind

Due to the contents of healthy monounsaturated fats, extra virgin olive oil and, in general, the Mediterranean diet, is associated with the delay of mental deterioration, which is linked to mental illnesses such as Alzheimer's. However, studies are still inconclusive.

Ally against diabetes

In a study published by the scientific journal Diabetes Care it was revealed that any Mediterranean diet that includes this food is able to reduce cases of type II diabetes by up to 50%. That's because extra virgin olive oil contains healthy fats that could help regulate blood sugar levels and insulin production.

Healthy intestine

Extra virgin olive oil has antibacterial properties, Especially against the bacterium Hel icobácter pylori (which can cause stomach ulcers). Studies suggest that the same polyphenols in heart-boosting extra virgin olive oil may prevent foodborne pathogens like H. pylori from growing in our digestive system while also improving gut health by acting as a prebiotic that stimulates the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Regulates cholesterol

It is often said that extra virgin olive oil can be a good ally in diets aimed at reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in the body and also regulating the total concentration of cholesterol. This is because the monounsaturated fats it contains increase the levels of the good and moderate those of the bad.

Helps control blood pressure

Because of its antioxidant content and healthy fats, regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil helps improve the health of the cardiovascular system and, by extension, could help regulate diastolic and systolic blood pressure.

Hair Health Care

The healthy fats and nutrients in extra virgin olive oil have also been harnessed to improve (and maintain) hair health. Therefore, various products are made (shampoos, styling creams, etc.), with this food. And fortunately, it has proven to be effective. In addition to consuming extra virgin olive oil within a healthy diet, there are those who apply homemade masks made with this food, to nourish, soften and revitalize the hair.

Moisturizes the skin naturally

It is often said that one of the best natural moisturizers for the skin is extra virgin olive oil. Therefore, those who use it on their skin comment that this way they manage to nourish it deeply and soften it, without promoting the production of sebum and the accumulation of dirt. Of course, they apply the oil for a certain period and then rinse off. They don't leave it all day. However, we must bear in mind that each type of skin is different, therefore, although extra virgin olive oil may be very beneficial in some cases, in others it is best to consult the dermatologist first.

How to use and preserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil

It is very important to note that it is preferable to use raw extra virgin olive oil, for example to dress salads, drizzle some toast or enhance the flavor of a sauce.

However, it can also be subjected to cooking. Because its critical or smoke point is 210° C, it does not lose its properties as easily as other oils.

Additionally, it should be noted that, to better preserve these properties, it is advisable to keep it in an airtight container, preferably opaque glass, at a temperature not exceeding 20 ° C, and store in a closed and dark place.

Consumption with moderation

As we have seen, extra virgin olive oil is a food that is often used in various areas, given the potential it has by nature. If you have not yet encouraged yourself to integrate it into your diet, you can consider it, so that you enjoy its benefits.

However, remember that with this and other foods, you should monitor the amount, avoiding excess. The recommended minimum is 20 grams daily. In any case, the ideal is always to go to a nutritionist, to know what is best for us, according to our particular needs.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil & The FDA

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will allow all olive oil bottles to carry a new “qualified health claim” on their labels.

Olive oil manufacturers may now choose to advertise their product as a heart-healthy alternative to animal-based fats for cooking and food preparation.

“Supportive but not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that daily consumption of about 1.5 tablespoons of oils containing high levels of oleic acid, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease,” Scott Gottlieb, the head of the agency, wrote.

“The claim will also need to make it clear that to achieve this benefit, these oils should replace fats and oils higher in saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day,” he added.

Joseph R Profaci, the executive director of the North American Olive Oil Association, said that in spite of olive oil already having its own qualified health claim, he is encouraged by the proactive steps taken by the current administration to adopt these types of regulations.

Ese sitio web utiliza cookies
Este sitio web usa cookies para mejorar la experiencia del usuario. Al utilizar nuestro sitio web, usted acepta todas las cookies de acuerdo con nuestra Política de cookies. Más información