Olive Oil: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Olive Oil: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Overview

Clearly, the appearance of fats in the diet is still an issue under dispute.

While people are doubtful about the connection between animal or seed oils and their beneficial health effects, most of them are for the healthy impacts of olive oil.

In fact, olive oil is a fat extracted from olive – a tree crop native to Mediterranean Basin.

Nowadays, olive oil is widely used as a cooking ingredient.

Additionally, people can also make use of olive oil for the purposes of cosmetics, medicine as well as pharmaceuticals.

As result from a number of studies, fatty acids and antioxidant elements are mainly responsible for olive oil health benefits.

This article will take a detailed look at nutrition facts and top 10 Benefits of Olive Oil.

(Have you read Health Benefits of Olives? Do not miss it if you want to understand olive oil).

Nutrition Facts

Olive Oil: Nutrition Facts

In fact, there is a wide range of olive oil types.

However, the best type of olive oil which is highly suggested for consumers is extra virgin olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil is produced by natural methods without using chemicals.

As a result, what makes it distinctive its higher pureness and better taste as well as smell.

Nutritionally, extra virgin olive oil is relatively nutritious.

Being high in fatty acids, extra virgin olive oil includes a moderate amount of vitamin E and K.

It is the abundant source of antioxidants that makes extra virgin olive oil shine among other types of olive oil.

Biologically, these compounds are active, leading to their benefits on some certain diseases (1, 2).

Oleuropein – a type of anti-inflammatory oleocanthal – is a significant antioxidant element in extra virgin olive oil. They serves as a protector for LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) from being oxidized (3, 4).

For long, people feel fearful about using olive oil due to its omega-3 to omega-6 ratio (1:10).

However, this should not be the matter of concern since saturated fats total amount is quite low.

Bottom line: Loading with a moderate amount of vitamin E and K, olive oil is a power house of antioxidants. Therefore, it is likely that extra virgin olive oil will gain interests in terms of health benefits.

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

1. Inflammation

The massive benefits of olive oil enable it an ideal solution to inflammation.

Undeniably, chronic inflammation is a deciding factor for several diseases.

They include cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, arthritic, etc.

Interestingly, the ability to reduce inflammation can shine brightest among benefits of olive oil.

Prominently occupying olive oil’s list of ingredient, C-Reactive protein is said to help reduce inflammatory level effectively (5, 6).

However, the primary origin of anti-inflammatory benefit of extra virgin olive oil belongs to its loading with oleocanthal.

Oleocantha which have the same function as an ibuprofen, is famous for an anti-inflammatory natural medicine (7, 8, 9).
According to a study, in comparison with a shot of ibuprofen for relieving pain, 50ml of oleocanthal can lead to a 10-percent similarity (10).

Also,  extra virgin olive oil consumption can also create barrier to the risk of inflammation.

Bottom line: Thanks to the appearance of oleocanthal and oleic acid in extra virgin olive oil, it is believed that inflammation will controlled effectively.

2. Heart Diseases

When it comes to benefits of olive oil, many people refer to its good effects on heart health.

There is no denying that heart diseases are among biggest killers all over the world.

According to observation, several studies have concluded that the number of people with heart diseases in Mediterranean Sea is relatively low compared with other parts of the world (11).

After investigating the reason behind this fact, it is suggested that Mediterranean diet can lead to 30-percent reduction in the cases of heart diseases (12, 13).

In fact, extra virgin olive oil is an indispensible part of Mediterranean diet.

Through these following mechanisms, extra virgin olive oil is against heart-related issues (14).

  • Inflammation – a key driver of heart diseases will be reduced much thanks to this liquid (15).
  • LDL cholesterol – known as the “bad” cholesterol which play a part in heart disease will be saved from oxidative damage (16).
  • Blood clotting – a dangerous factor which is responsible for heart attacks and heart strokes will also inhibited by olive oil intake (17, 18).
  • High Blood Pressure: – an accompany of heart disease will be lower significantly thanks to regular olive oil usage (19)

Also, scientific evidence have shown that extra olive oil can limit the likelihood of getting heart attacks or heart strokes in people (20,21).

Bottom line: To address the risk of heart disease, olive oil turns out to be a wise choice thanks to its ability to reduce a number of heart disease symptoms.

3. Cancer

Olive Oil: Cancer Prevention

One of the amazing mechanisms behind olive oil’s benefits is it ability to fight cancer.

Generally, cancer is characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells inside the body system.

It is said that oxidative damage is one of the deciding factors for the appearance of cancer.

And antioxidants which are included in olive oil are believed to control oxidative damage (22).

Thus, it is logical to understand that extra virgin olive oil can serve as an anti-cancer drug.

Plus, the appearance of oleic acid in olive oil seems to have beneficial impacts on cancer genes (23).

Similarly, result from test tubes revealed that olive oil contained some substances which may kill cancer at molecular level (24).

However, it is necessary that human research should be done to strongly support for effects of olive oil on cancer prevention in people.

4. Alzheimer’s Disease

Another typical benefits of olive oil is to improve the condition of Alzheimer’s disease.

Among many neurodegenerative phenomenon, Alzheimer’s disease is likely to be the most common.

It also plays an important part in the appearance of dementia.

Facts have shown that beta amyloid plaques are mainly blamed for the risk of this disease (25).

Mice were involved in a study to explore whether olive oil can help with Alzheimer’s disease and the outcome was positive (26).

Another research in human also concluded that a diet with higher amount of olive oil may contribute to better effects on brain function as well as lower danger of cognitive impairment (27).

5. Weight Loss

One of the typical benefits of olive oil is support weight loss process.

Weight number is always matter of concern for many people, especially women.

Mono-unsaturated fats in olive oil is said to play a key role in prevent obesity in people.

That explains why the diet for overweight people is recommended to include extra virgin olive oi.

In fact, experiments involving olive oil have shown positive results in regards to a reduction in human body weight (28).

Take Home Message

In addition to above benefits of olive oil, this ingredient can also help with many other situations.

In general, olive oil is quite safe to use.

Therefore, people can feel safe with olive oil consumption.

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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