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What's in your olive oil?

Olive oil is a secret weapon in your kitchen.

Its benefits are widespread and can have great impacts on your health! But not all olive oil is the same. The process of making olive oil is the differentiator between regular olive oil and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). EVOO is free of any additives and is created only using raw olives that are crushed into a pulp and separated out into oil and the rest of the olive materials. The leftover olive materials are mixed with chemicals to make virgin olive oil. Because EVOO is the first batch, it contains more flavor and higher nutritional quality.

One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil contains 14% of your daily value (DV) of saturated fat, 73% of your DV of monounsaturated fat (mostly oleic acid), 13% of your DV of Vitamin E, and 7% of your DV of Vitamin K.

The very high content of monounsaturated fat gives extra virgin olive oil its powerful antioxidant properties.

Anti-Inflammatory properties that clear beta-amyloid plaques from the brain.

EVOO contains oleocanthal and oleic acid, two antioxidants that fight inflammation. A recent study on the effects of oleocanthal demonstrated that the nutrient works similarly to ibuprofen in decreasing inflammation. Researchers estimate 50 ml of EVOO contains enough oleocanthal and has the same effects as 10% of the adult ibuprofen dosage for pain relief. Oleocanthal also reduces the formation of β-amyloid, senile plaques, a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's Disorder, in the brain.

Protection against heart disease and insulin resistance

Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that has great effects on blood. Vitamin K is vital for healthy coagulation and regulating calcium levels in the blood. The powerful nutrient protects against insulin resistance and several types of cancer.

The anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil are also what give it protective properties against heart disease.

Reduces high blood pressure

Studies have demonstrated that olive oil has reduction effects on both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. One study found a 48% reduction in the need for blood pressure medication in patients with high blood pressure.

Lowers cholesterol accumulation in the blood

Olive oil has been shown to lower the level of total blood cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides. LDL cholesterol is the type that increases your risk of heart attacks and pulmonary heart disease. EVOO reduces the oxidation effects of LDL cholesterol by protecting the LDL particles.

The benefits of EVOO go far beyond the several we have described above. Other benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil include:

  • Improved blood vessel health

  • Reduced risk of developing gallstones

  • Improved function of the endothelium

  • Prevent unwanted blood clotting

  • Improved skin quality and anti-aging effects

  • Destruction of cancer cells

  • Stroke prevention

  • Alleviate rheumatoid arthritis

**While olive oil at room temperature contains all of these great qualities, be wary of cooking with any kind of olive oil. When olive oil is heated not only are many of the antioxidants damaged, but the Omega 3 and Omega 6 in olive oil are destroyed.


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