Our health is all we have. At Della Terra, we pride ourselves on eating well and living a healthy lifestyle. After a long day exercising and enjoying the outdoors, we look forward to gathering around the table with friends and family and enjoying a healthy meal. It’s important that you know what’s in the food you’re consuming and its health benefits. Below are some of the health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Olive oil is a natural juice which preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins, and properties of the olive fruit. Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as is – freshly pressed from the fruit. The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidant substances. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated fatty acids as olive oil.
Olive oil is very well-tolerated by the stomach. In fact, olive oil’s protective function has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs. Consequently, it lowers the incidence of gallstone formation.
Olive Oil vs. Canola Oil
Do not fall to the hype which is put out by traditional medicine regarding the promotion of canola (grape seed) oil as superior, due to its concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil is far superior and has been around for thousands of years. Canola oil is a relatively recent development and the original crops were unfit for human consumption due to their high content of a dangerous fatty acid called uric acid.
If the taste of olive oil is a problem, or if you are frying or sautéing food, then you should consider coconut oils. Many nutritionally misinformed people would consider this unwise due to coconut oil’s nearly exclusive content of saturated fat. However, this is just not the case. Because it has mostly saturated fat, it is much less dangerous to heat. The heat will not cause the oil to transition into dangerous trans fatty acids.
Olive Oil and Heart Disease
Studies have shown that people who consumed 25 ml (about 2 tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil daily for 1 week showed less oxidation of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of antioxidant compounds, particularly phenols, in the blood. But while all types of olive oil are sources of monounsaturated fat, extra virgin olive oil contains higher levels of antioxidants, particularly Vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed. Olive oil is clearly one of the good oils, one of the healing fats. Most people do quite well with it since it does not upset the critical omega 6 to omega 3 ratio and most of the fatty acids in olive oil are actually an omega 9 oil, which is monounsaturated.
Olive Oil and Colon Cancer
Spanish researchers suggest that including olive oil in your diet may also offer benefits in terms of colon cancer prevention. Their study results showed that rats fed diet supplemented with olive oil had a lower risk of colon cancer than those fed safflower oil-supplemented diets. In fact, the rats that received olive oil had colon cancer rates almost as low as those fed fish oil, which several studies have already linked to a reduction in colon cancer risk.