What You Should Know …Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and is the main source of fat found in the long known healthy Mediterranean diet. The following compounds contribute to the health benefits of EVOO.Oleic acid makes up approximately 80% of the fat in olive oil and reduces LDL (bad cholesterol).
Helps protect against heart disease
Polyphenolsact as antioxidants (more in EVOO). Antioxidants circulate in the body, hooking up with free radicals that play a role in more than 60 health conditions including cancer.
Helps fight cancer
Tocopherolsare fat soluble vitamins that have antioxidant properties. This includes vitamin E.
Decreases signs of aging and calcium loss
Oleocanthalis responsible for the slightly peppery “bite” of EVOO and shares the same properties as ibuprofen (an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory).
Helps decrease the severity of asthma and arthritis
Olive oil is also an excellent source of carotene (the precursor to Vitamin A) and Vitamin K. EVOO also contains magnesium, squalene and cycloartenol which decrease stomach acid, aiding in healthy digestion. In addition, EVOO has been shown to help control blood sugar levels which benefit those at risk or suffering from diabetes.