Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
The health and therapeutic benefits of olive oil were first mentioned by Hippocrates, the father of medicine. For centuries, the nutritional, cosmetic and medicinal benefits of olive oil have been recognized by the people of the Mediterranean.
Olive oil was used to maintain skin and muscle suppleness, heal abrasions, and soothe the burning and drying effects of sun and water. Olive oil was administered both internally, and externally - for health and beauty.
Recent research has now provided firm proof that a Mediterranean diet, which includes olive oil, is not only generally healthy, but that consuming olive oil can actually help lower harmful LDL cholesterol. Olive oil contains antioxidants that discourage artery clogging and chronic diseases, including cancer.
Here are three kinds of dietary fats: saturated (animal), polyunsaturated (plants, seeds, nuts, vegetable oils), and monounsaturated (olive oil). From a nutritional standpoint, all types of olive oil are approximately the same, with 80% monounsaturated, 14% saturated, 9% polyunsaturated fats on average.
Olive oil is rich in vitamins A, B-1, B-2, C, D, E and K and in iron. Olive oil, which is beneficial to the digestive system, does not necessarily keep you thin; it contains just as many calories as other oils (9cal/g).
Olive oil acts as a mild laxative, is a friend to the intestine and an enemy of ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil is a good tonic, with specific benefits for people suffering from heart disease.
Olive oil has been regarded as the "beauty oil". The body's cells incorporate the valuable fatty acids from the oil, making arteries more supple and skin more lustrous.
The amount of oleic acid in olive oil is about the same as that found in a mother's milk and is thus the best growth supplement for infants.
Drunk before a meal, olive oil protects the stomach from ulcers. If a spoon or two is taken with lemon or coffee, it prevents constipation without irritating the intestinal tract. It is also effective in treating urinary tract infections and gall bladder problems. It is a perfect remedy for gastritis in children, it accelerates brain development and strengthens the bones. Olive oil dissolves clots in capillaries, has been found to lower the degree of absorption of edible fats, and consequently slows down the aging process.
Only animal-derived foods contain cholesterol. Olive oil is cholesterol-free. Cholesterol is not entirely harmful; it is an essential building block for cell membranes, nerve fibre coverings, vitamin D and sex hormones. The body manufactures all the cholesterol it needs, so any cholesterol in foods we eat is excessive.