Are your increasing cholesterol levels bothering you? Have you tried every type of healthy food and diet without any signs of improvement? You must have heard these questions from health conscious people several times. Well, for all such healthy living people, we will not suggest a dieting regime or usage of some weight control pills. All it would take is a slight change in the preparation of food. You don’t need to change the entire food menu; simply replace all your cooking oils and fats with olive oil. Extracted from olives, olive oil is purely natural and loaded with health benefits. It is free from any chemical processes and heating. Olives are mainly grown in the Mediterranean regions where they are used extensively in salads, pasta, fish and almost anything. Just this extra addition in your kitchen can stimulate the taste of your delicacy and can be beneficial to your health. Read the following article to gain more knowledge about the astound benefits of olive oil.
Olives are native to the Mediterranean region and can be dated back to the times of Neolithic peoples, as early as the 8th millennium BC. Olive oil extraction is a five thousand years old tradition in Eastern Mediterranean. Evidences of its ancient use include the archives of the ancient city-state Ebla (2600-2240 BC), which were located on the outskirts of the Syrian city Aleppo. Some time before 2000 BC, olive oil was imported by Egyptians from Crete, Syria and Canaan. Over 4,000 years old traces of olive oil have been found in a tomb on the island of Naxos in the Aegean Sea. It is believed that olives were abundantly cultivated in eastern coastal areas of the Mediterranean until 1500 BC. The first recorded extraction of olive oil comes from the Hebrew Bible and was located during the Exodus from Egypt in the 13th century BC. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Spanish and Portuguese explorers spread olives to America, respectively. Olives reached California in late 18th century through Franciscan missionaries. In the past few decades, olive oil has become very popular in America because of its health benefits. The Mediterranean countries, like Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Turkey are the largest producers of olive oil.
Health Benefits of Olive Oil
- Olive oil contains high amounts of monounsaturated fat and its regular consumption helps in preventing chronic degenerative diseases, like atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer and asthma.
- Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats and antioxidants in high amounts, which prevent the formation of blood clots and platelet aggregation, thereby avoiding excessive blood coagulation. As a result, olive oil reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Olive oil-rich diet is known for reducing abdominal fat and allowing people to keep off weight for a longer duration compared to a low-fat diet.
- Studies have proved that Mediterranean diets, which include high intake of olive oil, reduce the mortality rate.
- Olive oil is necessary for fetal development during pregnancy and helps in giving birth to babies who are better in height, weight behavior and psychomotor reflexes.
- By acting as a natural antioxidant, olive oil slows down the natural aging process and inhibits the overproduction of acid in the digestive system. In turn, it reduces the chances of ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems.
- Apart from contributing to the treatment of diabetes, a diet rich in olive oil is useful for preventing or delaying the onset of the disease.
- Extra virgin olive oil has high content of polyphenols, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps in lowering bad cholesterol.
- Olive oil contains oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, which helps in curbing the excessive growth of breast cancer tumors. Besides, it has also shown positive results on prostate and endometrial cancers.
- The monounsaturated fats in olive oil help in the improvement of insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Additionally, it also prevents belly fat accumulation.
- Polyphenols, oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol present in olive oil greatly reduce inflammation-mediated bone loss involved in osteoporosis. Hence, people consuming olive oil on a regular basis are less prone to bone loss.
- The clogging of arteries caused by cholesterol and saturated fat can cause Alzheimer’s disease. But regular intake of olive oil reduces the risk of contracting this disease.
- Olive oil helps in natural secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones, thereby lowering the formation of gallstones.
- Olive oil prevents allergic reactions and is used in lipophilic drug ingredients. Its mild laxative properties, works as a stool softener.
- Another significant property of olive oil is that it displaces omega-6 fatty acids, without having any effect on omega-3 fatty acids. As such, it helps in maintaining a balance between omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.
- Apart from its various medicinal uses, olive oil is also useful for the skin. It acts as a natural, deep penetration moisturizer and is used as an excellent shaving oil to shave facial and other body hair.
Olive Oil Nutrition Facts
Amount: 1 cup
Weight: 216 g
|Calories From Fats||1909|
|Fats & Fatty Acids|
|Total Fat||216 g|
|Saturated Fat||30 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||158 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||23 g|
|Omega-3 Fatty Acids||1.6 g|
|Omega-6 Fatty Acids||21 g|
|Vitamin E||31 mg|
|Vitamin K||130 mcg|
How many calories in olive oil (per 100 ml)
Olive oil has 811 calories per 100 ml
How to Buy Olive Oil
- Always purchase a good branded bottle of olive oil since it becomes rancid easily when exposed to sunlight and heat.
- Buy olive oil that is sold in dark tinted bottles to prevent the oil from oxidation, caused by exposure to light. Also check if it is displayed in a cool area, away from any contact with heat.
- Olive oils are available in different grades such as, extra-virgin, fine virgin, refined and pure. Depending upon your choice, you can buy any variety.
- Extra-virgin is the unrefined oil extracted from the first pressing of the olives and has superior taste, while virgin is also derived from the first pressing of the olives but contains a higher acidity level. Pure olive oil is a blend of refined and virgin oil.
- Look for the term, “cold pressed” which suggests that minimum heating was used in mechanical extraction of the oil.
- If you are buying olive oil in tinted glass containers, always select those at the back of the grocery shelf away from direct light.
- Always buy olive oil in small quantities so that you have the freshest aroma and taste whenever you use it in cooking.
Olive Oil Storage Tips
- Olive oil should be stored properly to prevent it from becoming rancid and to maintain the delicate taste of the oil.
- Although the monounsaturated fats present in the olive oil are more resistant to heat and are more stable than other polyunsaturated fats of other oils, it should be stored properly and should be used within few months.
- While storing olive oil, use dark plastic or metal containers to preserve olive oil’s beneficial compounds.
More About Olive Oil
Read more at http://nutrition.indobase.com/articles/olive-oil-nutrition.php#wHDrGHFARm5g2YBk.99
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