Olive oil is made by pressing olives and extracting oil by either mechanical or chemical means. The oil extracted is used to make cosmetics, medicines, soaps and more. But the fact that olive oil is rich in antioxidants makes it a popular choice for cooking oil, too.
Monounsaturated fats, which are considered to be a healthy form of fat, are found in abundance in this oil. There are three kinds of olive oil – extra virgin, virgin, and refined. Among these, extra-virgin olive oil is considered to be the best for one’s health.
Here are some health benefits of olive oil:
Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties: Extra-virgin olive oil can reduce inflammation as it is a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory properties. The key one among them is oleocanthal, which works similarly to ibuprofen.
Olive oil contains healthy fats: As mentioned earlier, monounsaturated fats, which are known to be healthy fats, are present in olive oil. The monounsaturated fat content is close to 73% of the total oil content. Oleic acid present in the oil may have positive effects on genes linked to cancer.
Olive oil contains antioxidants: Extra-virgin olive oil is also a rich source of vitamin E, vitamin K and antioxidants. They reduce the risk of various chronic conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, dementia and some cancers.
Olive oil does not contribute to weight gain or obesity: Several studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet that is rich in olive oil has positive effects on body weight and promotes healthy weight loss.
Olive oil prevents heart disease: Extra-virgin olive oil protects the heart in more ways than one. From lowering inflammation to improving the lining of blood vessels and reducing bad LDL, it aids in preventing heart diseases.
Olive oil may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease: The most common neurodegenerative condition in the world is Alzheimer’s disease, which is caused by the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques inside the brain cells. A study done on mice showed that a substance present in olive helps get rid of these plaques.
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