For all of those who would like to have a long life and to reach the age of 100 but still lucid and with an enviable health, the consumption of olive oil is strongly advised by doctors and specialists, for its richness in antioxidants and vitamin E, among other benefits. It has been proven and tested in several international studies that the balanced consumption of olive oil, due to its characteristics, show great health benefits. It’s a food that:
• Contains between 55% to 80% of monounsaturated fatty acids;
• Is rich in fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K;
• Is rich in antioxidants;
• Is made of linolenic and arachidonic acid;
• Provides essential fatty acids properly.
Its richness is a relevant element to improve quality of life as well as to reduce several diseases, because:
• It is an excellent source of energy;
• Acts as an anti-inflammatory;
• It is the most digestible fat. Absorbed before a meal, helps to protect the gastric mucosa from ulcers;
• Enhances the function of the gallbladder and acts as a gentle relaxant;
• Regulates intestinal functioning;
• Improves normal bone growth and calcification in aging;
• Helps to increase "good cholesterol" (HDL) levels and to control "bad cholesterol" (LDL) levels;
• Helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by maintaining blood vessels in a good condition;
• Helps to strengthen the body's defense mechanism against aging;
• Helps to preserve memory and cognitive functions.
It is also one of the favourite elements in cosmetics, in particular for skin hydration, especially when used as a face cleansing method (the MLA), a blend of extra virgin olive oil, castor oil and a selective blend of essential oils.
Apart from its healing qualities, extra virgin olive oil is also an excellent natural moisturizer of deep penetration, regenerating the skin cells and making it softer.
Olive Oil offers a wide range of application: can help to reduce the accumulation of wax in the ears; can be used as shaving oil; prevents the formation of tumors and skin cancer when applied after exposure to UV rays and it also prevents dry and cracked skin, especially during the winter.
Currently, regular and balanced consumption of olive oil together with a healthy diet and lifestyle are closely associated with the prevention and mitigation of diseases such as:
Breast Cancer. Several studies have shown that there is a strong connection between the consumption of olive oil, as the main source of monounsaturated fats, and the reduction of breast cancer. In Greece, in a research of about 2,300 women, it has been shown that the consumption of olive oil reduces the risk of breast cancer by 25% compared to other diets where other types of fat predominate.
Diabetes. In Italy, after some studies were carried out, it was concluded that olive oil reduces significantly fasting blood glucose levels, allowing greater control of the hyperglycemia and increasing the insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients, it is recommended the replacement of fats with olive oil in the diet.
Digestive System Diseases. Unlike all fats, olive oil is easily digested by the stomach, improving the digestion of all foods and other fats as it activates the concentration of the gallbladder forcing it to release the bile that will help digestion. Olive oil also helps to enhance the intestinal movement. Its regular consumption is recommended for patients with gallbladder and liver insufficiencies.
Cardiovascular Diseases. Monounsaturated fatty acids act as a protection of the vascular system, inducing a significant decrease of "bad" cholesterol and the overall cholesterol. On the other hand, Vitamin E combined with vitamins A and D act as powerful antioxidants that improve blood circulation and heart function, preventing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Rheumatic Diseases. A Greek research shows that the intake of olive oil and cooked vegetables can reduce the risk of rheumatic diseases by up to 2.5 times, given that the oleic acid prevents inflammation.
Hypertension. A study published in the Journal of Hypertension has shown a significant reduction in blood pressure in women between the ages of 50 and 60 who followed an olive oil diet for four weeks.
Osteoporosis. In addition to calcium, olive oil - rich in vitamin D - also protects the bone structure because oleic acid, which is the main component of olive oil, improves the intestinal absorption of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, contributing to the prevention of osteoporosis and bone demineralization.
But once again, choosing a good quality olive oil is the key.
Make Good Choices and Keep Healthy!