Olive oil is a traditional cooking fat that’s been in use in the Mediterranean regions since Biblical times and probably dates back to earlier than that. Above and beyond traditional cooking, it also has some health benefits. Here are the benefits of olive oil.
Benefits of olive oil
It’s a blood sugar controller
One of the leading trends in human dietary science is learning how our blood sugar regulation interplays with so many other factors. Olive oil turns out to be a great ‘break’ for high glycemic index foods, regulating how quickly your body takes them up. While this used to be considered a benefit for people with diabetes, it’s become much more mainstream with diets like The Zone and the GCI diet becoming popular.
It is a triglyceride regulator
Your body can process olive oil more readily, without the intermediate steps of triglycerides. Studies have shown that olive oil cuts you’re the risk for coronary heart disease.
It is cholesterol free
Now, this is a bit less of a miracle than many people make it out as – the vast majority of vegetable fats are cholesterol free. However, because it receives so little processing (it’s pretty much the only vegetable derived oil that goes straight from the fruit to the press, and then from the press to bottling) that it doesn’t build up the other fats and triglycerides that become precursors to cholesterol in your body.
It’s full of vitamins
While not quite as rich in vitamins as most whole fruits or vegetables, it manages to keep most of its nutritional value from pressing to bottling; this is another side effect of how little processing it takes to get from the tree to your tabletop. It’s rich in vitamins A, B-1, B-2, C, D, E and K, iron and Omega-9 (oleic acid).
It is great for skin health
Even in the Classical era, topically applied olive oil was used as a beauty agent, where it nourishes the skin, and helps provide a smooth complexion and that healthy glow. It’s also been used to heal dry and brittle nails. The body readily absorbs the fatty acids in olive oil.
Your stomach will thank you
Modern science has proved one of the sovereign remedies of classical Greece (drinking a cup of olive oil before eating a spicy meal) – it coats the stomach and helps prevent gastritis and ulcer formation. It also helps your body’s pancreas function and put some drugs off the market after clinical trials for getting the pancreatic functions to come back.
It is rich in antioxidants
Yes, this claim is being made by every food out there, from wine to dark chocolate, and now olive oil. It also has some of the phytochemicals that may improve longevity, though studies are still on going on that.
Don’t underestimate the importance of ‘tasty’ when it comes to the health benefits of olive oil. When oat bran was the miracle food in the 1990s, and everyone was avoiding all dietary fats, remember how miserable the diets were? They were miserable because fat provokes the satiation response, and they were stripping all fats out of the diet. Finally, healthy food that makes other foods taste better.