The Effects of Consuming Olive Oil Daily

The Effects of Consuming Olive Oil Daily

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olive oil - healthy superfoods - by Dr. Alberto Parra

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 It’s impossible not to talk about olive oil when addressing the topic of healthy living. Olive oil is an integral part of the Mediterranean Diet, one that’s been regarded to hold many health benefits for the cardiovascular and metabolic system. The Mediterranean Diet consists of increasing the intake of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts while replacing red meats with fish and saturated fat with olive oil and other sources of unsaturated fats. All of these dietary changes significantly improve blood values and overall health, but olive oil deserves particular attention as it has many demonstrated and a few suggested health applications we will further review in this article.Solid facts about olive oilThere’s a difference between common sense, anecdotal health applications, and scientifically proven facts. Olive oil has received much attention from the scientific community, and we already have enough data to know what it really does in our bodies. Most of the health benefits of olive oil come from its high content in monounsaturated fatty acids, but it also has other minor components called phenolic compounds, with anti-inflammatory and protective effects to the blood vessels. When performing their research about olive oil, most authors focus on these health benefits:
  • Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol and improves good cholesterol levels: Bad cholesterol (LDL) is usually involved in transporting fats to the tissues. It is essential in fat metabolism, but when it’s too high, it causes an accumulation of fat in the arteries. The so-called good cholesterol (HDL) has the opposite function, collecting fat from the tissues and bringing them back to be metabolized by the liver. Many studies have found that olive oil improves our cardiovascular health by increasing our circulating levels of HDL while decreasing LDL cholesterol.
  • It reduces the risk of atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis features an accumulation of fat in the blood vessels in the form of plaques that progressively clog the arteries. By having less LDL cholesterol the risk of atherosclerosis lowers significantly, but olive oil also reduces the rate of oxidizability of LDL, which is an important step in the formation of plaques. In simple words, olive oil lowers bad cholesterol in the blood and prevents the circulating cholesterol from turning into plaques.
  • It improves our levels of blood sugar: Patients with type 2 diabetes and those suffering from pre-diabetes, also known as insulin resistance, improve their blood sugar after replacing saturated fats with olive oil. This is because the sensitivity to insulin improves in the tissues, and they will be able to handle blood glucose faster.
  • Olive oil helps us control our blood pressure: This is one of the effects of the Mediterranean Diet, but it’s still possible to obtain the same benefit with olive oil alone. Studies have shown that, even in non-Mediterranean diets, patients improve their blood pressure with olive oil if they consistently reduce their consumption of saturated fats as well. Thus, the healthy fats in olive oil will help you normalize your blood pressure, but only if you stop consuming fast foods, butter, fatty meats, and other sources of unhealthy fats.
  • It’s important for our blood vessels: The lining of the smallest blood vessels is called endothelium, and this thin sheet of cells holds an impressive regulating potential for the cardiovascular function. Endothelial dysfunction increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and it is directly affected by our diet. Studies show that the phenolic content in olive oil improves the normal endothelial function, helping to regulate the vascular tone and avoiding severe cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack.
  • Prevents the formation of thrombi: Olive oil lowers the risk of thromboembolism and the creation of thrombi in many different ways. It reduces platelet aggregation and inhibits different metabolic factors associated with the creation of thrombi. For example, it reduces the production of thromboxane B2, and other coagulation agents called von Willebrand factor, Factor VII, and Factor XII.
Some suggested health applicationsOlive oil brings about many other health benefits, but some of them need some additional data to be declared as solid facts. However, these are equally meaningful health applications, supported by many studies and still under investigation:
  • Olive oil for obese and overweight patients: Obesity is a multifactorial health condition, which means there are many different things to change if you want to lose weight. However, replacing unhealthy fats with olive oil seems to increase the effectiveness of weight-loss diets, especially if they are paired up with physical activity. Additionally, as we have mentioned earlier, olive oil improves the blood lipids in these patients, which is equally beneficial for their cardiovascular health.
  • Olive oil reduces chronic inflammation: Obesity by itself contributes to chronic inflammation, but olive oil reduces the inflammatory response by other pathways. There’s an inflammatory marker called NF-kB which is significantly lower in people who consume olive oil on a regular basis, and this anti-inflammatory effect could be beneficial for several diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Olive oil, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease: Some studies have also linked consuming unsaturated fatty acids in olive oil with a reduction in age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. The mechanism is still unknown, but it is probably because the essential fatty acids in olive oil are useful for the enzymes and neurotransmitters’ receptors in neurons, and they make up the neuronal membranes of these cells.
  • Olive oil and cancer prevention: Different studies have also reported that olive oil has a vital role in cancer prevention. Even if there are still inconsistent results, everything seems to point out that healthy fats in olive oil prevent breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer at the very least. Unsaturated fatty acids from olive oil may exert a protective effect by reducing the oxidative stress in cells, which causes DNA damage and turns cells into tumors. But many different pathways have been proposed, including the modulation of the immune system, a better hormonal balance, and other potential mechanisms.

The effects of consuming olive oil daily

by Dr. Mariangel Leota

Olive oil is one of the natural oils of vegetable origin with the greatest health benefits. Its composition is completely healthy and does not have any type of cholesterol. Although it can be high in calories, its contribution of vitamins and nutrients is considerably positive for health and to lose weight.

The quality of healthy fats of this oil is impressive and can be differentiated from other types of oils, its main composition is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, containing a large amount of Omega-3 and essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid. This oil is the most recommended by cardiologists to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Its composition allows it to contain vitamins that are soluble in oil such as Vitamin E, which has a high biological power because the intestine can absorb it quickly to have all its positive effects. High quality olives contain powerful polyphenols that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to acting as a natural antibiotic preventing urinary tract infections and skin infections.

Another main compound of olive oil is oleocanthal. According to scientific research on this component, it may have similar effect to non-steroidal analgesics, such as ibuprofen, a drug used to relieve pain caused by inflammation. In addition, it has also been investigated on its anticancer action and as a natural detoxifier.

Benefits of extra virgin olive oil

Improve your cardiovascular health

Among the most recognized benefits of olive oil is improving the health of the cardiovascular system. The composition of the fatty acids of olive oil, with a high content of Omega-3 are beneficial for the heart, because they reduce the excess of “bad” cholesterol accumulated inside the arteries, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and hardening of the arteries

Prevents muscle and bone degeneration

Due to its anti-inflammatory effect, the consumption of olive oil has proved useful for the treatment of osteoarthritis with cartilage degeneration and also in cases of fibromyalgia. Also, for its richness in polyphenols, olive oil would help to prevent the loss of bone mass and avoid, among other things, osteoporosis. Its use is highly recommended in people over 45 years, especially in women of menopausal age.

Activates thermogenesis: ideal process to lose weight

If you are looking to lose weight, this is your best option. Olive oil contains polyphenols that activate thermogenesis, a process that increases metabolic expenditure, stimulating fat burning and weight loss. Olive oil will become your perfect ally against weight loss.

The thermogenesis activated by the polyphenols in olive oil also increases the oxidation of fats, burning all the residual fat in the abdomen. Its consumption must be constant, its daily consumption is recommended, in small portions, accompanied by a healthy diet and exercises.

Prevents high blood pressure

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to reduce high blood pressure. One of the main causes of hypertension is the hardening of the blood vessels, in addition to excess cholesterol inside the arteries. Omega-3 fatty acid has vasodilatory effects, which dilate the arteries by increasing blood flow in a normal way to all organs, reducing the level of blood pressure.

Its consumption is highly recommended in people suffering from cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.

Relieves joint pain

Rich in oleocanthal, olive oil has an anti-inflammatory action that can help reduce the pain associated with joints and muscles. There are several studies that collect this natural benefit of liquid gold, concluding that people who regularly consume olive oil have fewer ailments than those who do not consume it.

Purify your digestive system

Take olive oil fasting, especially extra virgin olive oil, helps cleanse the liver, pancreas and gallbladder, preventing the formation of stones and favoring the important functions of the liver, among which should be noted the digestion of the fats and purification of the organism.

Prevents fluid retention

The fasting olive oil favors the purification of the organism, prevents the retention of liquids and since it is a fatty substance delays the gastric emptying, allowing the sensation of hunger to take longer to appear. In addition, a tablespoon of olive oil provides approximately 40 calories, therefore, it is not incompatible in a hypocaloric diet to lose weight.

Enjoy life: Improve your mood

Olive oil provides healthy fats that are essential for proper functioning of the central nervous system and contribute to the synthesis of essential neurotransmitters to maintain a balanced mood.

Nourishes the skin

Olive oil is one of the most effective natural moisturizers. There are many benefits of olive oil for the skin. It will help you to improve the hydration of your skin and to combat dryness. In addition, it is highly recommended to heal wounds, marks or scars.

Because of its high content of natural fatty acids and its contribution of vitamins E and K, olive oil is a great alternative to fight against premature aging, allowing to maintain the natural elasticity of the skin and make it look smooth.

Strengthens hair

Olive oil can also help to improve the appearance of the hair. Due to its excellent nutritional composition it can be said that olive oil is the best food for hair, therefore it is also the best product that can be used to give shine to the hair. hair. In addition, among other aspects, due to its high nutritive power, olive oil for the hair allows to increase hair growth by strengthening the hair follicles, especially in those cases in which the hair appears lifeless and damaged.

It has anti-cancer properties

A recent study by the WHO (World Health Organization), noted that a component of olive oil, called “oleocanthal”, was able to kill cancer cells without damaging the other cells. However, studies are still being carried out on this compound, in order to get the best out of it.

It keeps your intestinal transit regulated:

Olive oil is one of the best lubricants for the gastrointestinal tract, therefore not only combats stomach acidity but also promotes intestinal transit. With this, it is possible to prevent constipation naturally and also reduce the risk of colon cancer as it stimulates the elimination of toxins that could accumulate in the intestines.

How to take olive oil with lemon on an empty stomach?

Obviously, all the benefits of olive oil fasting, either to purify the digestive organs, to lose weight or to promote the proper functioning of the nervous system, are obtained by ingesting extra virgin olive oil, which is the oil of lower acidity and higher quality, obtained exclusively by cold pressing methods that guarantee the conservation of all its properties.

It is advisable that you take a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil on an empty stomach, a few minutes before breakfast, although if you want to optimize the benefits of it, we recommend that you accompany it with the juice of a lemon and a glass of warm water. way, you will also achieve the following effects on your body:

  • Alkalizes the pH of your body, thereby achieving a good calcification of the bones, preventing heartburn and reducing the risk of cancer.
  • The warm water in fasting is another of the most effective natural laxatives, in addition, thanks to its temperature tones the entire digestive system, this way you can better assimilate the nutrients obtained through the different foods that are ingested along the day.
  • With this preparation you also get a good amount of vitamin C, immune system stimulant and micronutrient essential for the formation of elastin (which keeps the skin smooth) and the formation of collagen (protein essential for the maintenance of joints).
  • Lemon is antiseptic, which means that it helps fight any viral, bacterial or fungal infection, in addition to a completely natural and respectful way with the organism.
  • Thanks to the properties of the lemon, this also has an important purifying effect on the body, therefore this preparation presents an extraordinary help to lose weight, always in the context of a healthy and balanced diet and an active lifestyle

How to cook with olive oil?

If you want to preserve its properties, it is essential to keep the extra virgin olive oil in a tightly closed container, at medium temperature (no more than 20 ° C) and, if possible, in the dark or in a dark container so that the light does not oxidize its components. Specially to keep its antioxidant properties intact.

Extra virgin olive oil can be eaten raw to make salads, dressings, preserves or to sprinkle drops of oil on breakfast bread. You can also cook with this oil, as long as the temperature is not higher than 180 ° c, because it is the ideal temperature so that the molecules do not lose their conformation and the oil is not damaged losing its healthy properties.

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