Extra virgin olive oil is one of the few beneficial fats that is popularly used today! Yes, you read correctly, fats… I know that when people hear the word fats they start feeling uneasy because fats are often associated with bad health. But this oil is known as one of the world’s healthiest fats. It is a known traditional and natural fat that is considered a dietary staple for many people around the world. I have decided personally to take on the task of getting an insight into this essential oil. Based on my research, I am going to let you know its benefits so that you can make your own evaluation as to whether or not it is really worth your money.
Authentic Extra virgin olive oil should consist of no additives; it is simply made up of the raw juice from the olives. The oil is created by choosing the healthiest and the best quality olives . This is followed by a process of pressing the olives to remove the liquid from them. The quality of the oil is controlled by monitoring the temperature under which the oil is kept and ensuring that it used within a few years of it being manufactured.
There is so much research that has been done on the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil. The studies indicate that the oil has got essential fatty acids and antioxidants that offer amazing health benefits. It is one of the most recommended products out there to add to your diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of its outstanding benefits for you, take a look;
Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Contains anti-inflammatory substances
Chronic inflammation has been shown to be one of the driving factors behind many diseases. Some of these diseases include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and metabolic syndrome. This is why one of the main selling points for using the extra virgin olive oil in your daily routine is it’s ability to fight inflammation in your body. It’s anti-inflammatory abilities are driven by the some of the substances that are found in high concentration within the oil. The presence of oleic acid in the oil helps to reduce inflammation in great amounts.
Additionally, The antioxidant known as Oleocanthal is shown by studies to be one of the top antioxidants that works to effectively reduce inflammation. The substance works just as effectively as ibuprofen medication, and the good thing is that it doesn’t contain all the chemicals that the drug does. Oleocanthal exists in high levels within extra virgin olive oil and there are no other drugs that contain the antioxidant.
Helps Fight against Cardiovascular Disease
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of deaths in the world today and extra virgin olive oil helps to protect against it. There are various ways that the oil works to prevent against cardiovascular diseases.
- It uses its antioxidants (mainly Oleocanthal) to fight against inflammation within the body.
- It decimates LDL cholesterol. Numerous studies have shown that a high level of this cholesterol within your blood causes the walls of your arteries to be congested and this promotes the onset of heart disease.
- Improving endothelial function. The endothelium acts as the lining for the heart and the blood vessels within the body. It is important that this membrane is in good shape as its dysfunction contributes to heart disease.
- It prevents unwanted blood clotting. Blood clotting is dangerous as it causes the clogging of arteries and this prevents blood from being carried to your organs.
- It lowers blood pressure. A poor diet contributes to high blood pressure. Changing your diet to replace your oils and fats with extra virgin olive oil helps to decrease your blood pressure levels and furthermore prevent high blood pressure.
Helps In the Treatment of Cancer
This is a medical condition that is characterized by an irregular growth of unnatural cells in the body. Cancer is usually caused when high levels of unstable atoms called free radicals let loose and start damaging cells within the body. Extra virgin olive oil when incorporated into your diet helps to prevent the damage that these atoms cause. Antioxidants are defenses against free radicals since they are able to control the movement of the atoms and stop them before they can lead to serious repercussions.
Since extra virgin olive oil is composed of very powerful antioxidants, it is perfect to fight against cancer cells in several types of cancer such as brain cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer among others. The presence of oleic acid within the oil also adds to the process. It does this since it prevents oxidation, which is caused by free radicals. This makes this oil quite effective in fighting cancer at the molecular level.
Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
This is a neurodegenerative disease. Alzheimer’s leads to dementia, typically in persons who are in their old age and sometimes also in middle aged persons. This dementia happens as a result of the buildup of beta amyloid plaques in the brain neurons. Extra virgin olive oil has the oleocanthal and polyphenol substances that help to accelerate the process of clearing the plaques from the brain. These substances are powerful antioxidants that help in combating oxidative stress that comes with aging.
Fights Against Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that is caused by the body’s incapability of creating and using insulin , which is a very important hormone within our bodies. When we consume a healthy amount of olive oil within our diets it works to prevent the mechanisms that cause diabetes to develop.
Prevents Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis happens when there is inflammation within the body that affects the joints which leads to pain and swelling. Extra virgin olive oil’s anti inflammatory properties helps to prevent this process from happening. Therefore having large amounts of the oil in your diet leaves you less at risk for this disease.
Prevents and treats Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is characterized by weak and fragile bones in the body. This happens when the body struggles to generate new bones or when older bones start to degenerate faster than new bones are made. Preventing osteoporosis requires a healthy diet and adding Extra Virgin olive oil can help. The oil helps to improve the bone growth process thus protecting your bones from getting brittle. It also can be used as treatment for those who already have the disease to improve their condition.
Other Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This oil also offers other crucial benefits such as;
- Improving mood swings and decreasing mental fatigue. It helps to regulate our mood by promoting healthy brain activity. This also helps to keep our brains alert and fights against mental fatigue.
- Weight loss through reduction of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and improving HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), thus creating a healthy balance of the substances within the body.
- It is very effective for Skin care. Due to presence of vitamin E molecules, the oil will help to promote healthy skin. The oil helps when it is taken orally and also when it is applied to your skin and used as an exfoliant.
- Preventing depression and other mental illnesses. Studies show that the same mechanisms that lead to heart problems might also be the driving factors for depression and other mental disorders.consuming Extra Virgin olive oil helps to fight against this.
- Prevention of oxidative stress. It protects against oxidation that results from smoking, alcohol consumption and other lifestyle behaviors that trigger the origination of free radicals. Vitamin E and polyphenols found in the oil are responsible for providing this benefit.
- Slowing the aging of the heart. When we consume extra virgin olive oil on a regular basis we are able to promote healthy heart growth and keep the heart being in top form for a longer period. The heart grows older while we grow and eventually deteriorates which results in us being ill. Olive oil preserves the heart and delays this process.
Disadvantages of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Olive oil has not shown any side effects of use unless you purchased the products from rogue retailers who always dilute the oil or extract it using chemicals that may be cause fatal side effects. Buying olive oil from a reputable retailer is therefore recommended to avoid such cases. Reputable manufacturers usually extract the oil naturally and get it standardized for purity.
- A bit expensive– Because of its quality and the care that goes into its manufacturing, the cost of extra virgin oil is a bit higher when compared to other essential oils. But considering the numerous health benefits you get, this shouldn’t be a deterrent from buying it and having it in your diet. It is simply worth every coin you spend.
- May cause weight gain-If it is consumed too lavishly then it might start leading to weight gain because it is a fat at the end of the day. To protect against this it is advised that you consume no more than two tablespoons per day.
Chemical Composition of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The ingredients of this oil are purely natural there are no chemicals added to the production process. The ingredients constitute the following;
- Saturated fat
- Monounsaturated fat
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
These components are biologically active and very essential in fighting common diseases among other health benefits.
What To Know Before You Buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil
There are a few things to bear in mind when you are shopping for extra virgin olive oil. Here are a few things to check for so that you get the most authentic products:
Bottle Color and Quality
the color of the bottle that the oil is manufactured in is very important. It needs to be stored in a glass bottle and it is a lot more effective if the bottle has a tinted color. Clear glass bottles allows too much sun exposure and this will affect the substances within the oil and diminish their quality. Avoid bottles that are made by thin materials such as plastic. Glass allows the oil to remain fresher and better quality for a longer period so that you can gain the most of the benefits that it provides.
Shelf Life and Storage
Extra virgin olive oil gets less effective the older it gets, so you want to check the manufacturing date on the bottles to ensure that you are getting the most recently produced oil. When you do purchase it you want to ensure that you consume it within a few months and not have it sitting around. The oil typically is best within two years of its production. Store it in a cool place away from sun exposure and any other sources of heat to preserve its quality. Additionally, It is best to keep it at room temperature and not on the refrigerator. These tips are important to ensure that the components of the oil are at their best to provide the great benefits that the oil offers.
it is typically believed that the darker the oil the better it is. The truth is that the color might range from dark green to a pale color and this does not have anything to do with the effectiveness of the oil. What might affect the color is simply the color of the specific olives that are used. The color of the olive varies from fruit to fruit based on factors like the season they were picked and the region they are from. As long as the olives are fresh and of good quality then that’s all that matters when using them to process the product.
As I stated before, because of the quality of the extra virgin olive oil, it is more expensive than other oils. This means that you must be wary of the price when you are looking to buy them at a store. You might get excited seeing an affordable price tag on extra virgin olive oil and be tempted to buy the product. However, If it is too inexpensive then it is more than likely not authentic. Compare the prices to the regular olive oil products to know what price range seems to make sense before you make your purchase. Remember that when you have decided to invest in extra virgin olive oil you have already prepared to spend some extra bucks to get the amazing benefits that it offers.
When buying the oil you should be very attentive to the details that are provides on the labels since you want to get the best value for your money. The label should specifically state that it is the extra virgin olive oil and nothing else. Any other variations of words mean that it is a different product and is of different quality than the extra virgin. It is advised that cold pressed is better because heat helps to decrease the quality of the oil’s components so the cooler the conditions during the production process the better. Additionally, the ingredients should include no chemicals as extra virgin should be organically made.
Place of Origin
A rule that is used when checking the labels of the oils is to check the name of the manufacturers and the country where the oil was produced. Typically if the bottle simply says it is a product of a specific country then that means that this isn’t the country where the oil was produced. This is something that is commonly found with the oils. There is more reputability when the label tells exactly where it is made and who the company is, this shows that the producers are a bit more trustworthy and are more open to accountability.
How To Check That Your Oil Is Fresh
The most common way to tell the freshness of your Extra virgin olive oil is to taste it. The oil has a distinct taste that lets you know that you are tasting the real thing. The three words that are commonly used to describe the taste are pungency (a kind of spicy taste that is triggered mainly in the throat); Bitterness (a taste that is characterized by harshness) and fruity (in this instance this is characterized by a mixture of plants and nuts).
The smell should be a fresh and pleasing one and it typically has a fruity scent that is very mild. The texture should be thin and should typically flow smoothly.
Your olive oil should never have a foul unbearable scent and neither should it taste stale. If you are not sure what stale olive oil might taste like you can compare it to other fats like nuts. How does stale nuts taste? If your olive oil tastes similar to it then it likely needs to be thrown out.
From this review, it is evident that extra virgin olive oil is super healthy. People suffering from various health problems can comfortably include it in their recipes without any worrying about any side effects. However, you need to buy the right stuff from reputable retailers online and offline. The benefits of the oil speak for themselves. You can make the decision to include it in your shopping cart.