Greeks are considered to be some of the healthiest people in the world as they routinely live past 100 and enjoy a low incidence of chronic disease. And according to scientists, it is the result of the Mediterranean lifestyle and diet. This type of diet is the number one recommended diet of physicians for cardiovascular health. It includes lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, chicken, beans, and nuts. But aside from those, there’s another one Greek raw superfood that is known to be packed with beneficial nutrients, and that is olive oil.
Olive oil is an essential fruit oil that comes from the olive tree crop. That tree crop is mainly found in the Mediterranean regions and has been used by people for many centuries. This oil is used for cooking purposes, for medicinal purposes, as pharmaceutical supplements, and even for developing soaps and other cosmetic products. Aside from that, olive oil can also be used as fuel for lighting lamps. And today, we are going to give you more information about olive oil and its benefits as a raw superfood.
Different Types of Olive Oil
When you go to the market, you’ll be able to find various types of olive oil. Here are some of them:
- Virgin Olive Oil: This type is usually used for cooking and has lower acid content.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This type of olive oil is a much better variety, and it is made by cold-pressing the olive fruit. It has higher amounts of polyphenols because it is the least processed among the different types.
- Pure Olive Oil: This type of olive oil is a combination of virgin oils and refined oils, and it has higher acidic content.
- Light Olive Oil: This type of olive oil only has a mild flavor, making it a great choice for those who do not like the heavy taste of olive oil on foods.
Health Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil has lots of beneficial qualities. Here are some of the health benefits that you can get from olive oil:
Olive oil can help lower cholesterol
According to studies, including extra virgin olive oil into diets can help reduce the risk of heart disease. It is rich in almost 40 antioxidant chemicals that can help reduce the oxidation effects of LDL or bad cholesterol. Aside from decreasing LDL, it also helps increase HDL or good cholesterol levels.
Olive oil can aid in weight loss
Based on the suggestions of medical experts, it is difficult to gain weight from the monounsaturated fats that olive oil contains. Researches have also shown positive results with regards to using olive oil for weight loss because it contains healthy fats. This means that it is a great alternative for butter and other oils that are loaded with calories.
Olive oil can help in increasing the breakdown of food after a meal and help reduce food intake by making you feel fuller even with just small portions. When you combine olive oil with other vegetables in dishes, it can have positive effects on the digestive system, too, which can impact weight regulation directly.
Olive oil may prevent diabetes
Olive oil is rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats, which are beneficial in preventing diabetes. Based on studies, these good fats can help in keeping the blood sugar under control. Aside from that, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the Harvard School of Public Health showed a connection between the benefits of olive oil in a healthy Mediterranean diet, which not only prevents diabetes but may also possibly reverse diabetes.
Olive oil can help prevent inflammation
Olive oil is high in polyphenols, which contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Therefore, adding it to your diet can help in inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria and as well as relieve inflammation.
Olive oil can help improve digestion
Olive oil is also known to help in the digestive process. In fact, it has been used as a medicinal oil to clean the digestive tract and improve bowel movements. Therefore, if you are having issues with digestion, you might want to try adding some olive oil to the foods that you eat.
Olive oil can help delay aging
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, which can help in slowing down the natural aging process of the body. Aside from that, the monounsaturated fats that it contains also help cells maintain their integrity. This is the reason why many brands use olive oil in creating cosmetic products. It is also used in natural herbal therapy as it can do wonders for the skin by giving it a natural shine.
Olive oil can help prevent gallstones
Olive oil also has a laxative effect that is very effective in preventing gallstones. In fact, a lot of people use olive oil in practicing gallbladder cleansing.
Olive oil can help lower hypertension
Based on a recent research study, a Mediterranean diet that is composed of food rich in unsaturated fats, which are commonly found in olive oil and nuts, nitrite, and nitrate, may help in protecting people from hypertension.
Olive oil can help strengthen cell walls
According to a study done in 2018, olive oil contains polyphenols that can help in building stronger cell walls. Aside from that, it also increases the elasticity of arterial walls. With this, it can help in protecting you against different heart conditions.
Olive oil is indeed a great raw superfood that comes with a lot of health benefits. If you have heart problems, or at a high risk of developing it, then olive oil is definitely the perfect raw superfood for you.