Health and Wellness from Extra Virgin Olive Oil
“Did you know you can consume one food every day that has cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, weight control, and anti-aging characteristics which also fights food-born inflammation? …[Extra Virgin] Olive oil is not only anti-inflammatory, it is also widely recognized as the major health-promoting factor of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil contains a variety of compounds (phenols, oleic acid and Vitamin E) which lower inflammation and improve health by counteracting the toxic effects of compounds such as linoleic acid and palmitic acid. Linoleic acid [Omega-6 fatty acid] is a common component of pre-prepared or processed food that most people eat every day. Worldwide, the excessive intake of linoleic acid in convenient, cheap, processed foods is considered the primary driving force behind the global epidemic of chronic inflammatory diseases.”
“I would love for people to realize that extra virgin olive has unique health benefits and that the health benefits are due to the phenol content of the oil, not the monounsaturated fat content. This is clearly demonstrated by studies comparing refined olive oil, which has minimal phenols, to higher phenol content olive oils”. EVOO [with high phenol content] contains a number of phenols that act as antioxidants which will lower oxidation. EVOO with a high phenolic content has been shown to decrease LDL oxidation (1) as well as DNA oxidation (2). Impeding the oxidation of LDL and DNA will respectively lower the risk of heart disease and prevents the initiation of cancers”.
“From a total of 17 different phenols found in olive oil, oleocanthal and squalene are two of the most important. Oleocanthal creates the peppery sensation when you swallow pure olive oil. It is also a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory agent that operates in a fashion similar to ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) but without the side effects of bleeding ulcers and kidney problems that accompany NSAIDS. Oleocanthal has also been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease because it can reduce the accumulation of amyloid proteins. Squalene is a phenol structurally similar to beta-carotene that supports skin health and helps keep your skin looking healthy. High levels of Vitamin E in EVOO also protect cells from free radicals to help reduce the effects of aging”.
In a 2016 study conducted by the National Institute of Health they found that EVOO with high levels of polyphenols induced nutrigenomic changes that have beneficial effects in promoting human health and, potentially, preventing the onset of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
It is widely held that humans are healthier in the Mediterranean region from eating more plant based foods and fish. Consider that they also consume large amounts of fresh extra virgin olive oil per year. Italians consume 2.75 to 3.00 gallons per person per year. Now also consider that the olive oil they consume is produced locally or even on their own property and from olive cultivars (trees) that tend to produce olive oil with high polyphenol levels. Olive oil has never been found to be a detriment to your health. So, embrace it and enjoy it!