The properties of extra virgin olive oil (AOVE) are extensive and beneficial, making it much more than just a culinary ingredient. This 100% natural product, without additives, colorants, or preservatives, has earned an essential place in our health and beauty. In this article, we will explore its multiple benefits and characteristics.
The Power of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Health
According to one of the main studies published by the National Library of Medicine in Jaén (Spain) in 2018 – PMC, we can determine certain properties of EVOO in depth:
“This event brought together experts from various fields, seeking to delve into the relationship between the consumption of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and human health.”
The Mediterranean Diet and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The paradigm of the Mediterranean diet, with extra virgin olive oil as one of its fundamental pillars, has long been recognized for its contribution to a healthy and long life. This dietary pattern has been linked to the prevention of degenerative diseases, thanks to its essential nutritional components. AOVE (what it is and what it’s used for>>), being an almost exclusive dietary fat in the Mediterranean diet, stands out for its high content of (poly)phenolic compounds, which are actively being investigated for their biological and pharmacological properties.
Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
The following list of four benefits is based on studies published by the National Library of Medicine:
1. Cardiovascular Health Properties
Numerous epidemiological studies have correlated the consumption of AOVE with better overall health and, particularly, optimal cardiovascular health. The polyphenols present in EVOO, such as hydroxytyrosol, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to heart health. These compounds can help prevent the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, a key factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases.
2. Cancer Prevention Assistance
Research has also suggested that regular consumption of AOVE may have protective effects against certain types of cancer. The phenolic compounds present in olive oil can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and promote their apoptosis, or programmed cell death.
3. Cognitive Decline Prevention; Neuroprotection
Extra virgin olive oil may also play a crucial role in protecting against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in olive oil can help protect brain cells from oxidative damage, a factor contributing to the development of these diseases.
4. Sustainability of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In addition to its health benefits, extra virgin olive oil also plays a crucial role in sustainable agriculture. The production of olive oil contributes to the conservation of Mediterranean landscapes and the maintenance of biodiversity. Furthermore, olive groves play an important role in carbon capture, which can help mitigate climate change.
Other Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Aiding in Weight Loss
According to a study published in the Spanish Journal of Public Health>>, obesity has become a global epidemic. The Mediterranean diet, with extra virgin olive oil as its fundamental fat, has shown to be an important ally in the fight against obesity. The study focuses on analyzing how the consumption of olive oil could influence weight reduction in adults without a history of cardiovascular events.
Powerful Ally in the Fight against Diabetes
A PREDIMED study (randomized clinical trial) by the American Diabetes Association>> suggests that a Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil may have a protective effect against diabetic retinopathy, one of the most severe complications of type 2 diabetes. Although the diet did not show a protective effect against diabetic nephropathy in this study, existing evidence suggests that a healthy and balanced diet can contribute to better blood glucose control and the prevention of diabetes-related complications.
Associated with Longevity
Incorporating olive oil into the daily diet may be the key to a longer and healthier life. A recent Harvard study associated with longevity>>, published in January 2022 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that those who consumed the highest amount of olive oil (a little over half a tablespoon per day) had a 19% lower risk of death over a 28-year period compared to those who rarely or never consumed olive oil.
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties
Researchers from Harvard>> suggest that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of olive oil can play a crucial role in protecting health. These bioactive components could be the key to understanding the protective effect of olive oil in various chronic diseases. While these results are promising, it’s important to note that the study was observational, which means it doesn’t directly prove that olive oil prolongs life. However, the overwhelming evidence from this and other studies suggests that olive oil can be a valuable component of a healthy diet.
Characteristics of Olive Oil: Assisting with Cholesterol
Extra virgin olive oil can help reduce bad cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. It contains oleic acid, which helps lower elevated levels of LDL cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, thrombosis, and strokes.
Additionally, extra virgin olive oil contains beneficial monounsaturated fats that increase good cholesterol levels and reduce bad cholesterol levels. Therefore, extra virgin olive oil can be beneficial for overall health.
How to Consume Olive Oil to Reduce Cholesterol
To reduce cholesterol, it is recommended to consume two to three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily. The FDA (American Food and Drug Administration) has concluded that two tablespoons of olive oil daily (about 30 ml) can prevent coronary heart disease when replacing saturated fat.
Treatment for Hair Health
Extra virgin olive oil is beneficial for hair health. Some of the benefits include:
- Regenerates and strengthens the hair strands, preventing split ends and hair fall due to breakage.
- Hydrates dry and damaged hair, restoring shine and preventing split ends.
- Strengthens the hair to prevent hair fall.
- Restores any type of damaged hair.
- Increases hair shine.
- Repairs dry and split ends, leaving them healthy and shiny.
- Restores the moisture and natural shine lost in the hair.
Properties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Skin Health
Extra virgin olive oil has demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. These qualities, along with the presence of essential fatty acids, make this oil ideal for skin hydration, protection, and regeneration.
- Antioxidants: Extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and vitamin E. These antioxidants can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress, which are key factors in premature skin aging.
- Healthy Fatty Acids: Extra virgin olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, known for their ability to promote skin health. Monounsaturated fatty acids can help maintain skin hydration, improve skin elasticity, and reduce inflammation.
The information contained in this publication is provided solely for informational purposes. Under no circumstances should it be used to replace or facilitate diagnoses, treatments, or advice from a healthcare professional. If you have any doubts, contact a trusted doctor or specialist before starting any treatment or following the information provided.
Therefore, the next time you find yourself in the supermarket aisle, make sure to choose a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Not only will it enhance the flavor of your dishes, but it will also contribute to your overall well-being.
I’m glad you enjoyed and found value in the article “Properties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A Nutritional and Therapeutic Treasure.” If you wish to delve further into this topic, we invite you to explore our related article: