People all over the world are avoiding foods that are fatty because fats clog the arteries and cause cardiovascular ailments which may result in stroke and other dangerous health issues.
Be that as it may, there is healthy fat, which is highly recommended by dieticians, nutritionists and physicians. This healthy fat is the unsaturated fat contained in extra-virgin olive oil. People of the Mediterranean region have discovered this healthy fat and its source, hence no Mediterranean dish can be considered complete without the use of olive oil.
Olive oil can be used in diverse ways: it could be eaten raw; used for frying or cooking of food; bread, boiled or roasted yam could also be dipped in it. Among the Mediterraneans, a complete diet consists of rich vegetables, grains, fish, red wine, nuts and olive oil. When these are eaten unprocessed in their right proportion and on a regular basis, there is much health benefit attached.
Besides, extra-virgin olive oil has the potency of turning unhealthy foods to healthy ones when it is added to such unhealthy foods. To achieve maximum result, olive oil must not be combined with all these commonplace oil that saturate the market. Health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil include
Lowering of blood pressure
A recent research sponsored by the British Heart Foundation shows that when unsaturated fats, such as are found in olive oil, are consumed along with vegetables (especially green vegetables), there is production of a kind of fatty acid that lowers blood pressure.
It is also scientifically proved that the antioxidant and fatty acid content of olive oil have enormous health benefits and lower the risk of heart disease.
Reduction in cardiovascular problem
A research report on the work of a cardiovascular expert at King’s College, London, Professor Philip Eaton, has it that “a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart failure and heart attacks.”
Olive oil has been found to be very effective in fighting diseases like cancer heart diseases, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, oxidative stress, arthritis and diabetes. It has also been advised by experts that eating Mediterranean kind of diet, which is rich in olive oil reduces the risk of Type-2 diabetes by about 50 percent in comparison to a low fat diet.
Improving the functions of the heart
It has been found, according to a study done in Spain and published in Diabetes Care, that a diet rich in olive oil or other monounsaturated fats can improve heart functions, especially among older people. It is scientifically proved that as people age, all organs of the body also age. The aging process can, however, be slowed down by eating diet that is rich in olive oil; and the functions of the heart can be enhanced.
Research has also shown that the polyphenols in olive oil can reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the body, as well as reducing the effects of aging of the red blood cells. Olive oil, according to research, also has phytochemicals which kill cancer cells and surpress cancer genes.
Olive oil is rich in vitamins
Olive oil is rich in Vitamin E and beta-carotenes. Vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin, is widely acclaimed to be very potent in protecting body tissues and organs which are responsible to fighting aging.
Vitamin E also strengthens the immune system against viruses and bacteria. It also plays a vital role in the formation of red blood cells and in enhancing the activity of Vitamin K, as well as preventing blood from clotting in the blood vessels. Olive oil is rich in Vitamin E.
The beta carotene in olive oil is converted to Vitamin A for healthy skin and the protection of mucus membranes; strengthening of the immune system and improvement of sight.