Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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True 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a light and delicate addition to many wonderful dishes, and it is also one of the most health-promoting types of oils available. Olive Oil is extremely rich in monounsaturated fat; a type of fat that researchers are discovering has excellent health benefits. No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated fat as Olive Oil -mainly oleic acid. Additionally, the olive contains a high quantity of polyphenols and antioxidants, including hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, and tyrosol. To preserve these beneficial qualities, it is essential to press the olive as close as possible to the time it was harvested from the tree. All of our oils have been pressed within an astonishing 3-4 hours from the time of harvest!

As the greatest example of monounsaturated fat, Olive Oil is a prime component of the widely researched Mediterranean Diet. Olive Oil is a natural juice, which preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins and properties of the olive fruit. Olive Oil is the only oil that can be consumed as it is, in its natural state, freshly pressed from the fruit! All other oils are chemically processed, refined, and/or chemically extracted.

Some of the more common fats and oils are compared in the chart below:

Fat (1 Tbsp) Saturated(gr) Mono-Unsaturated (gr) Poly-Unsaturated (gr) Trans-Fat (gr)
Butter 7.2 3.3 0.5 0.0
Canola Oil 0.9 8.2 4.1 0.0
Coconut Oil 11.8 0.8 0.2 0.0
Corn Oil 1.7 3.3 8.0 0.0
Flaxseed Oil 1.3 2.5 10.2 0.0
Margarine (stick) 1.6 4.2 2.4 3.0
Margarine (tub) 2.0 5.2 3.8 0.5
Olive Oil 1.8 10.0 1.2 0.0
Palm Oil 6.7 5.0 1.2 0.0
Peanut Oil 2.3 6.2 4.3 0.0
Soybean Oil 2.0 3.2 7.8 0.0
Sunflower Oil 1.4 2.7 8.9 0.0

Olive Oil and your Heart

Arteriosclerosis: It has been shown that olive oil has an effect in preventing the formation of blood clots. It has been observed that by avoiding excessive blood coagulation, olive-oil-rich diets can satisfy the effect of fatty foods by reducing blood clot formation, thus contributing to the low incidence of heart failure in countries where Olive Oil is the principal fat consumed.

Cholesterol: Olive Oil lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. At the same time it does not alter the levels of HDL-cholesterol (and may even raise them), which plays a protective role and prevents the formation of fatty patches, thus stimulating the elimination of the low-density lipoproteins.

Olive Oil and Osteoporosis

Olive Oil appears to have a favourable effect on bone calcification, and bone mineralization is better the more olive oil is consumed. It helps calcium absorption, thereby playing an important part during the period of growth and in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Antioxidants in Olive Oil

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), carotenoids and phenolic compounds are all antioxidants whose activity has been demonstrated in many studies, revealing further advantages in the prevention of certain diseases and also of ageing.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is particularly rich in these substances and it has a strong antioxidant effect, protecting against damage from free radicals and against the formation of cancer.

Olive Oil and Obesity

Olive Oil is a nutrient of great biological value. Like all other fats and oils it is high in calories (120 to 130 calories in 1 tablespoon of 15ml). However, experience shows that there is less obesity amongst the Mediterranean people, who consume the most Olive Oil. It has been demonstrated that an olive-oil-rich diet leads to greater and longer-lasting weight loss than a low-fat diet. It is accepted better because it tastes good and it is a stimulus to eat vegetables.

Olive Oil During Pregnancy and Childhood

Olive Oil plays a key role in fetal development during pregnancy and a shortage may have pernicious effects on the baby's subsequent development. It has been demonstrated that the post-natal development of babies of mothers who consumed Olive Oil when pregnant is better in terms of height, weight, behaviour and psycho-motor reflexes.

The fetus needs vitamin E to grow. The newborn baby also needs a store of vitamin E to fight against the oxidative stress caused on entering an oxygen atmosphere. Although not very abundant in Olive Oil, it is present in sufficient quantity thanks to the resistance of Olive Oil to oxidation. Therefore, both the amount and the type of food consumed in the diet during pregnancy play a key part in the metabolic adaptations that occur in the mother and in her functional relationship with her fetus.

Read more about the health benefits of Olive Oil and Olive Leaf from the June 2013 issue of Life Extension Magazine: Unexpected Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract.

olive oil

To view our complete selection of healthy and flavourful high phenolic Extra Virgin Olive Oils (HPOO's) please click here: Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils.