(borrowed by: Healthy and Natural World)
1. Olive oil and cancer
One of its main benefits is that olive oil protects against skin, colon and breast cancer. A number of research studies have documented that eating a healthy diet with olive oil as the main source of fat could considerably lower cancer incidence. This beneficial effect could be attributed to oleic acid, the predominant monounsaturated fatty acid in olive oil. However, it is not excluded that other substances of olive oil, such as antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols and squalene may also have a positive influence. Squalene is believed to have a favorable effect on the skin by reducing the incidence of melanomas. And indeed olive oil is one of the top 14 foods that protect against cancer development.
2. Olive oil and diabetes
A study published in scientific journal Diabetes Care indicated that any Mediterranean diet which contains olive oil is capable of reducing type II diabetes by over 50%. This is because the oil contains monounsaturated fats like those found in seeds and nuts. These fats are essential in reducing risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. It has been demonstrated that a diet rich in olive oil, low in saturated fats, moderately rich in carbohydrates and soluble fiber from fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains is the most effective approach for diabetics. This type of diet improves blood sugar control and enhances insulin sensitivity.
3. Olive oil and osteoporosis
Olive oil may be used to significantly reduce osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that means your bones are weak, and you’re more likely to break a bone. ‘Osteoporosis’ literally means ‘porous bones’ and is often referred to as the ‘fragile bone disease‘ with an increased risk of fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Osteoporosis is often called a “silent” disease because it has no discernible symptoms until there is a bone fracture. A study from Madrid University found that people who consumed more olive oil had higher levels of osteocalcin, which is a protein secreted by bone-forming cells. High level of osteocalcin is an indicator of strong bones.
4. Olive oil and blood pressure
A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine journal reports that people on high blood pressure medications may be able to reduce the amount of medicine they take if they substitute extra-virgin olive oil (about 30-40 grams per day) for other types of fats in their diet.
5. Olive oil and cholesterol
According to Mayo Clinic, olive oil contains a strong mix of antioxidants that can lower your “bad” cholesterol (LDL) but leave your “good” cholesterol (HDL) untouched. Even The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows manufacturers of olive oil to claim that “limited but not conclusive evidence suggests that eating about two tablespoons of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil”.
6. Olive oil and depression
Olive oil has also been said to control depression. A Spanish study revealed that people who take hydrogenated fats which are mainly found in processed foods had a 48% risk of suffering depression. In addition, the researchers discovered that a higher intake of olive oil and polyunsaturated fats found in fatty fish and vegetable oils was associated with a lower risk of depression.
You can greatly enhance the health benefits of olive oil by consuming it with foods that are part of the Mediterranean diet. These anti-inflammatory benefits of extra virgin olive oil don’t depend on consuming a large amount of it. As little as 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day have been shown to be associated with significant anti-inflammatory benefits.