Pure extra virgin olive oil contains some of the healthiest fats that you can eat. The fatty acids and antioxidants found in this food have powerful health benefits that are good for a variety of internal organs. Including extra virgin olive oil in your diet can create a healthier lifestyle and help you to live longer.
Health Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil comes from olives that are grown on olive trees. The process of extracting the oil from the olives is very simple. When you press the olives, the oil simply comes out. The type of olive oil that you include in your diet is very important, because olive oils vary in purity and quality. Extra virgin olive oil is extracted using natural methods that provide the highest purity, while lower quality oils are often extracted by using unhealthy chemicals.
Olive oil contains phenolic antioxidants found primarily in foods such as vegetables, fruits and grains. Vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, legumes, onions, and celery are good sources. Many fruits including grapes, blackberries and blueberries, cranberries, cherries, pomegranate, pears and plums are also good sources, as well as red wine, a variety of teas, and chocolate.
Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the most common causes of death around the world, except in many countries situated around the Mediterranean Sea. These countries including Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey are known to consume a Mediterranean Diet that is high in extra virgin olive oils. Research and health studies done on the Mediterranean Diet show that it can help prevent heart disease and reduce death from heart attacks and strokes by as much as 30 percent. Olive oil may be one of the healthiest foods you can eat for heart health. It reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure, prevents dangerous blood clotting, and promotes healthy cholesterol levels in the blood.
Cooking With Olive Oil
Saturated fats, found in many types of cooking oils, are good for baking and frying because they are resistant to high heat. Although extra virgin olive oil contains mostly healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, it is fairly resistant to high heat. Cooking studies show that heating extra virgin olive oil to 356 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) for a period of up to 35 hours results in very little damage or breakdown of the molecular structure of the oil. When olive oil is used for deep frying, studies show that it takes up to 24 hours for the oil to become damaged.
Extra virgin olive oil can be used for a variety of healthy dishes. Whether you’re baking, frying or making a great salad, the health benefits of olive oil create significant lifestyle benefits for you.