5 Reasons Why Olive Oil Is Healthy
Is Olive Oil Healthy?
Olives at any stage of maturity contain beneficial phytonutrients, and are considered a very healthy food. They also contain antioxidant nutrients such as Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), along with antioxidant minerals like selenium and zinc which contribute to the prevention of a number of diseases.
Here are five great reasons to incorporate olives and olive oil into your diet everyday!
- The phytonutrients and antioxidants in olives and olive oil help to prevent Heart disease and Stroke. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid contained in olive oil is linked to reduced blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk.
- The polyphenols in olive oil help to lower the risk of certain types of cancers specifically breast and stomach cancer.
- Olives provide support to the health of the nervous, and respiratory systems.
- Olive oil contributes to the health of the immune system, and may also help reduce the risk of digestive tract cancers.
- Containing polyphenols, olive oil reduces inflammation in the body and offers relief from headache pain.
However the list of benefits of consuming olives and olive oil goes on
- Facilitates skin healing
- An excellent skin moisturizer
- Regenerates skin elasticity
- Reduces under-eye wrinkles
- Does wonders for frizzy hair or split ends
Note* Good quality olive oil contains important vitamins and nutrients and is loaded with antioxidants. Known to be gentle on your digestive system, olive oil may also help in preventing gallstones and soothe ulcers.
Although olive oil is a very healthy oil to use in salads etc., it should not be used to cook with because of its overabundance of oleic acid, which creates an imbalance on the cellular level that can inhibit prostaglandin production, which in turn can increase the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.
Instead use coconut oil, which is a proven antiviral and immune system builder and rich in lauric acid.
History Of The Olive
Before written language existed, there was the olive tree. As well as a food, olive oil was used for health and ceremonial purposes, such as anointing the dead in many religions and cultures throughout the ancient world, and olives have even been found in Egyptian tombs.
The olive, classified as a fruit of the Olea europea tree, is a native to Asia Minor. Spreading from Iran, Syria and Palestine to the rest of the Mediterranean basin, it is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world. Olive trees can thrive for hundreds of years, in rocky mountainous areas like Spain, Italy, and Greece.
Evidence of olive trees in Spain goes back nearly 8,000 years and Spain is still the largest olive producer followed by Italy, Greece, Turkey and Syria. The original stock from which all other olives are descended is a shrub-like tree that still exists to this day in the Middle East.
Olives can be picked unripe off the tree, however are too bitter to be eaten this way and must be cured to reduce bitterness. Water curing, brine curing, and lye curing are the most common treatment processes for olives today, and will affect the color and composition of the olive.
Olives picked before they’re ripe are green, while olives picked at peak ripeness are black. The texture and color depends on the length of time they’re cured, while the taste depends on the ingredients, variety and curing method.
The nutritional qualities of olives are beyond question, and to me their taste is heavenly. Scientific evidence now shows it’s the phytonutrients and antioxidants in olives such as hydroxytyrosol and histamine that can help prevent DNA damage, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and positively affect digestion. These, and many other nutritional attributes in olives make them a healthy addition to your diet.
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To your good health,