Health Benefits of Olive Oil

Olive oil today is synonymous with a healthy diet and modern living. There is a proliferation of scientific research pointing to the benefits of high quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) so that even an average consumer today is aware of the incredible health and fitness benefits.

Given its chemical composition, one could say that the olive oil is the ideal fat. It consists of almost 80% of monounsaturated oleic acid, and polyunsaturated linolenic acid. It also contains significant antioxidants, including potent and vital vitamin E.

The degree of acidity in olives contain determines the grade. The best are cold-pressed, a chemical-free process that involves only pressure, which produces a natural level of low acidity. Extra-virgin olive oil is cold-pressed and contains less than 1 percent acid and is the most digestible of the edible fats. It helps absorb vitamins A, D, and K; contains essential acids not produced by our own bodies; slows down the aging process and helps bile, liver, and intestinal functions.

It is the finest and fruitiest of the oils and is therefore the most expensive. Its color can range from a crystalline champagne color to greenish-golden to bright green. The deeper the color, the more intense the olive flavor. Also, the deeper, greener color indicates that the oil is made from green olives and is a result of an early harvest.

Olives in San Gurmano oils are picked in early October, while they are still young and green, resulting in fantastic chemical and organoleptic qualities. San Gurmano oils won The Human Health Foundation Award for the EVOO with the best chemical composition in the Northern Hemisphere. The competition evaluates oils in 32 categories including chemical, health and nutritional benefits of oil.

Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that contains polyphenols, and true EVOO is the only olive oil that contains significant quantities. Polyphenols are a class of antioxidants found in a variety of foods – red wine, green tea, chocolate, olive oil and more. Antioxidants are now widely recognized for their ability to combat aging and many health conditions. Recent studies indicate that the polyphenols in olive oil are very powerful. Generally, the polyphenols content of olive oils starts around 50 mg/kilogram and goes up to 250 mg/kilogram for EVOOs.

It is important to note that the cold-press method of oil extraction preserves the highest level of polyphenols. Therefore, high-quality olive oil should not be heated (used for baking, frying) but added as finishing oil at the end of the cooking process. This way, one preserves both the flavor and the health benefits of olive oil. It is recommended that one uses cheaper olive oil for frying, baking and cooking since those oils do not contain as high levels of polyphenols (usually because it is made of ripe or overripe olives) and use oil made of green and young olives as a finishing oil for flavoring.

Reported benefits of olive oil:

  • It has been reported that regular consumption of olive oil, and adhering to a Mediterranean diet can lower brain damage risks.
  • It has been reported that regular consumption of olive oil and adhering to a Mediterranean diet may protect against gastric cancer.
  • The essential fatty acids and oleic acid (highly representative in olive oil) have favorable impact on bone formation and growth. Because of this, some scientist advocate that olive oil should be an integral part of a child’s diet.
  • Olive oil also has a positive impact on fighting osteoporosis since it helps support bone strength and calcium absorption. Since olive oil aids in calcium absorption, one could make the argument that olive oil consumption helps people lose and maintain healthy weights.
  • Research shows that individuals who regularly consume olive oil have lower blood pressure.
  • Olive oil also aids in digestion and overall the body’s metabolism, helping people loose weight and maintain healthy weights.
  • New research shows that olive oil consumption helps decrease glucose levels by 12%.
  • Thanks to significant amounts of vitamin E and its antioxidant properties, olive oil is excellent for skin protection and toning and it is especially recommended for preventing skin damage and decreasing skin aging.

Olive Oil and Cell Health:

The continuous formation of free radicals in the human body results in a series of reactions that lead to structural changes of individual molecules and enzymes. The result of these reactions are numerous adverse effects on cell membranes, inhibition of enzymes, damage to DNA, destruction of mitochondria, etc., which ultimately leads to accelerated aging of cells. To prevent the symptoms of aging it is important to provide the organism with significant amounts of antioxidants. Numerous studies prove the positive effect of regular olive oil consumption on slowing down aging, extending life and overall brain health.

Olive Oil and Cholesterol:

The amount of cholesterol in the human body has an impact on cardiovascular health. Bad cholesterol or LDL (low density lipoprotein), accumulates in the narrow inner walls of arteries and leads to atherosclerosis. The risk of cardiovascular diseases (arterial hypertension, myocardial infarction, heart failure, kidney failure, stroke) is closely associated with high values of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. By including olive oil in everyday diet, one reduces the amount of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol while simultaneously increasing levels of HDL (high density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol. HDL cleans the inner walls of arteries, reducing risk of arterial thrombosis and heart attacks.

The statements contained herein are intended only for general information purposes and are not advice and any links, articles or comments cited herein are reference only.

Source: Fino Products