Olive Oil has many health benefits. Its therapeutic qualities were even recognized by doctors in Antiquity believing that it offered well-being and longevity. Today it has proven to have many other health benefits. Studies have shown that fats are one of three macronutrients essential to human life and make up a large part of our bodies. Healthy fats that are found in extra virgin olive oil can help fight stress, improve mood swings, decrease mental fatigue and can actually help manage weight. While fat in general gets a bad reputation, not all fats are bad. Harvard School of Public Health recommends some healthy fat intake, and thus the reason for Ellora Farms. Please click to watch the video.
The FDA says eating 2 tablespoons of olive oil a day may reduce the risk of heart disease, due to its monounsaturated fat content. Extra virgin olive oil also contains polyphenols which act as antioxidants, reducing the oxidative stress throughout your body. A small amount of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are also present in extra virgin olive oil, which are essential for brain health. Vitamin E (also known as tocopherols), which is great for skin health, is also found in extra virgin olive oil. Many health benefits associated with the consumption of extra virgin olive oil have been discovered, more of which are outlined below.
Authentic extra-virgin olive oil takes a lot of time, care, expense, and labor to make. On the flip-side, it’s quick, cheap, and easy to doctor it.
The most common form of adulteration comes from mixing extra virgin olive oil with cheaper, lower-grade oils. Sometimes, it’s an oil from an altogether different source — like canola oil or colza oil. Other times, they blend extra virgin olive oil with a poorer quality olive oil. The blended oil is then chemically deodorized, colored, and possibly even flavored and sold as “extra-virgin” oil.
Unfortunately, although the United States is the world’s third-largest consumer of olive oil, we have no government specified standard of testing to identify what qualifies as extra virgin and what doesn’t. For that reason, any olive oil can be labeled “extra virgin” whether it is or not. We have become the dumping ground of the world’s rancid and defective olive oil.
For the record, extra virgin olive oil is produced by crushing fresh olives in good condition to extract the oil. No solvents can be used and the temperature must be within a range that will not degrade the oil. Extra virgin olive oil has a shelf life of 2 years and is damaged by exposure to heat, light, and air. I recommend buying smaller bottles and using them up within a few months at most.
Take the suspense out of your olive oil and enjoy the Single Origin, Single Estate, Ethically produced, Certified as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and truly Traceable Extra Virgin Olive oil from Ellora Farms.
Seven Countries Study. - This study was the first to systematically examine the relationship between lifestyle, diet, and the rates of heart attack and stroke in contrasting populations. The study by American research scientist Dr. Ancel Keys, which began in the 1950’s, was conducted in seven countries and studied over 12,700 men, 40-59 years of age. His was the first study that clearly recognized the benefits of the Cretan Diet, with its main ingredient being olive oil. Cretan participants had the lowest rates of mortality, heart disease and cancer in comparison to the other countries. The daily consumption of considerable amounts of olive oil played a significant role in the results.
The Mediterranean diet incorporates olive oil in almost everything. It also suggests a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The health benefits of following a Mediterranean diet, backed by numerous studies, include prevention of metabolic syndrome and lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Symptoms of diabetes can be alleviated by a diet rich in soluble fiber from fruits and vegetables, monounsaturated fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, low in saturated fat and moderate in carbohydrates. It helps to regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. A Mediterranean diet (see details below), which is rich in extra virgin olive oil, has shown to reduce the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50 percent compared to a low fat diet.
A diet of nutrient dense foods as the main source of calories helps to improve satiety, which prevents snacking on nutrient void high calorie foods that can lead to overeating and eventually obesity. Of course, fat is a big factor in the satiety we feel after eating. Not only that but fat helps stimulate the gastric reflux to help us digest the foods we consume. Extra virgin olive oil is an example of a nutrient dense fat that helps you feel more satiated.
Studies have shown that oleocanthal, a polyphenol found in extra virgin olive oil, has the potential to reduce cognitive decline that comes with aging, including Alzheimer’s disease. Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil, also help to combat the oxidative stress associated with aging.
According to Spanish researchers from the University of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, a diet rich in olive oil can protect from mental illness, including depression. Fat serves as an important building block for cell membranes. As such it acts as padded protection for organs and cells as well as nerve insulation. In fact, fat comprises 60% of the brain.
A new study conducted in France showed that participants who cooked with and consumed olive oil had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those that did not use olive oil at all.
A study conducted by Dr. Niva Shapira from Tel Aviv University in Israel and Bob Kuklinski of Rockstock University in Germany found that olive oil, along with other components of a Mediterranean diet, may contribute to the prevention of malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma, which is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, may be slowed down by consumption of olive oil, which is rich in antioxidants. The research showed that the body develops a resistance to the damaging rays of the sun due to carotenoids. Carotenoids are the color pigments found in fruits and vegetables such as watermelons, tomatoes, and of course olives.
Oleocanthal, a phytonutrient found in extra virgin olive oil, has been shown to reduce inflammation, a leading cause of cancer. Inflammation is commonly caused by a diet rich in sugar, processed and fried foods, alcohol and environmental toxins such as cigarette smoke. Other components such as squalene and lignans are other properties of olive oil shown effective in defense of cancer.
Extra virgin olive oil consumption can help improve bone mineralization and calcification. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is a key player in preventing osteoporosis, aiding in thickening the bones.