Olive oil: benefits of the liquid gold
We are sure that you know them, but it is worth remembering the benefits that olive oil has for your health and your family. Normally, these are associated with a healthy diet and, of course, a Mediterranean one.
Different studies have demonstrated over the years that olive oil has many nutritional qualities and it has been confirmed that its consumption positively influences the prevention of diseases, with special emphasis on those related to the heart and cardiovascular system. But this is just one of the many virtues of the so-called liquid gold. Here, we breakdown some of the benefits that olive oil can provide to your body:
Health benefits of olive oil
- Olive oil prevents cardiovascular diseases: the fatty acids present in the virgin olive oil, especially oleic acid, contribute to reduce the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), while HDL cholesterol levels grow (good cholesterol). They also increase arterial vasodilation, improving blood circulation and lowering blood pressure.
- It favors the digestive function and reduces gastric acid secretion, protecting you from gastrointestinal diseases.
- It helps fight constipation, for having a mild laxative effect, and improves intestinal absorption of nutrients.
- Decreases the incidence of complications in patients with type II diabetes. A high consumption of saturated fat leads to overweight and obesity, which are important risk factors for the onset and worsening of this disease. Hence, nutritional recommendations for people with type II diabetes, although individualized according to the characteristics of the patient, usually include the Mediterranean diet and consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids, especially oleic acid.
- It contributes to a correct mineralization of your bones, and to their development. It is therefore very important for it to be present in a children’s diet during growth, and in adulthood to limit the loss of calcium that occurs during aging, which can lead to diseases such as osteoporosis.
- It plays a protective role against cellular oxidative stress due to its high content of phenolic antioxidants, such as vitamin E.
- Increases longevity by reducing deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Results obtained in various scientific studies have shown a lower incidence of various types of cancer in Mediterranean countries (the main consumers of olive oil) in comparison with northern European countries and the United States. This is the case, for example, with breast cancer, which is related to the consumption of saturated fat of animal origin.
- Olive oil is very rich in vitamins A, D, E and K, which favors the absorption of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.
- According to recent studies, it prevents degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
For all this and so much more, olive oil must be and is the basis of our diet, a balanced and healthy diet.