Olive oil. A source of health
Incorporating olive oil into our diet plays a decisive role in our health, according to research on this matter. However, many of its benefits are unknown by the general public.
The best-known aspects about the qualities of olive juice are related to blood cholesterol levels. Olive oil controls our cholesterol levels, it helps us to keep our cardiovascular system functioning properly and, therefore, it also lowers the risk of having a heart attack.
The explanation is simple. All fats have three types of fatty acids: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Although they are all necessary, saturated fatty acids have a bad reputation, as they have a negative effect on coronary diseases. They increase the level of bad cholesterol LDL1 in the blood against the beneficial HDL2. This type of saturated acids is frequent in animal fats.
On another note, polyunsaturated fatty acids have a double-reduction effect: they reduce both bad (LDL) and good (HDL) cholesterol, so they do not provide full benefits. These are the fatty acids found in vegetable/seed oils like corn and sunflower oil.
This is where we come to the monounsaturated fatty acids, the truly beneficial ones, as they reduce LDL levels without reducing HDL cholesterol. The presence of HDL in the blood prevents the clogging of arteries caused by fatty deposits and, consequently, it helps us against heart attacks. This type of fatty acid is the predominant one in olive oil. This is why it is said that it helps to reduce cholesterol levels and that it keeps us from suffering coronary diseases.
However, virgin olive oil provides several benefits to our organism:
- It has vitamins A, D, K and especially E.
- It protects the stomach. It is the fat that the organism can tolerate best, it reduces heartburn and protects us from ulcers and gastritis.
- It decreases blood pressure and diabetes.
- It improves the functions of the liver and pancreas. It helps prevent kidney stones.
- It reduces constipation, acting as a stimulant of the intestinal tract.
- Due to the fact that it contains oleic acid, taking it crude is beneficial for bone growth and for the development of the brain and the nervous system, improving responsiveness to stimuli.
- In children’s diet it is beneficial for their growth and development.
- It helps ingestion and it promotes calcium absorption and bone mineralisation.
- Due to its high content in natural antioxidants and vitamin E, it prevents oxidation, lowering the presence of free radicals that accelerate the total aging process of the skin and internal organs. This is why it prevents negative effects of aging on the functions of the brain and it also improves the appearance and firmness of the skin.
- It gives us protection against cancer. Its regular consumption appears to reduce the presence of some types of cancer such as breast, endometrium, ovary and colon cancer.
- Being a natural product it keeps all its nutritional values without additives or preservatives.