The Wonders of Olive Oil

Published: 31st October 2008
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There is one very good reason why we should eat the Mediterranean way: the olive oil. Growing 95% of the 750 olive trees throughout the world, it comes as no surprise why olive oil is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. Extracted from olive fruits, olive oil does not only taste good, but it also has a lot of wonderful properties beneficial to our bodies. These days, olive oil is used for a variety of purposes. Among them are cooking, pharmaceuticals, soap making, and cosmetics manufacturing. In fact, aside from being a food staple in the Mediterranean region, olive oil has also become a fixture in organic skin care because of its wondrous benefits for our skin. However, olive oil's benefits go beyond enhancing our physical appearances. Olive oil is a very good source of antioxidants, which do not only protect our bodies' cells from harmful elements, but are also capable of preventing inflammation. Apart from the previously mentioned benefits, this natural greenish oil works its wonders by helping our bodies in these five special ways:

It lowers our risk of acquiring cancer.

You've read it right. Olive oil does reduce our risk of acquiring the big "C" because of two very wonderful components: oleic acid and polyphenols. According to a study released in the Annals of Oncology in January 2005, the oleic acid (a monosaturated fatty acid) content of olive oil decreases the negative effects of oncogene, a gene capable of transforming a host cell into a cancerous one. Aside from this, the polyphenols (plant antioxidants) of olive oil work as our bodies' defense from cell damage, which is known to cause cancer.

It prevents our blood pressure from rising.

Aside from defending our cells from damage, the olive oil's polyphenols are also known to be capable of dilating our arteries. Once this happens, our blood pressure would instantaneously decrease. Thus, including olive oil in our daily consumption can help us save on medicines we might need if we are diagnosed with high blood pressure.

It helps us shed those unwanted pounds.

Because of olive oil's full-bodied flavor, only a little of it is needed to enhance the taste of our foods unlike other kinds of oil. On top of this, it has been confirmed through a recent study that individuals who include olive oil in their daily diet are more likely to burn fat faster, which means an easier way to shed those undesirable excess pounds. This has been proven as a much better alternative than slashing fat intake altogether.

It helps keep our hearts in good condition.

The HDL cholesterol found in olive oil works at decreasing the awful LDL cholesterol, which can deal harmful effects to our hearts. Also, HDL cholesterol works well in lowering the amount of damaging triglycerides, the fats in our blood. Moreover, it can decrease inflammation, which could increase our risk of acquiring cardiovascular illnesses.

It can help relieve headaches.

Before we reach for another painkiller to address our headache, maybe we ought to give olive oil a try. Oleocanthal, a component found in extra-virgin olive oil, is a natural compound that works in the same fashion as an ibuprofen pain reliever. It is capable of obstructing pain and other inflammation causing substances sans the side effect of a tummy ache.

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