Olive oil has long been touted for its health benefits. It’s highly popular in Mediterranean cuisine and has been in use for centuries.
Olive oil is commonly used in cooking and in salad dressings. It’s also used in cosmetics, soaps, and pharmaceuticals .
So without further ado, here are some of the most important health benefits of olive oil!
Olive Oil Contains Antioxidants – and Lots of Them
Most health foods contain antioxidants, and olive oil is no exception. Antioxidants help to prevent cell damage and play an important role in cancer prevention and in keeping our immune systems functioning properly.
Our need for healthy fats is no secret. While recently, it was thought that all fats were bad for us, science has since learned this isn’t the case.
Our bodies need fats to survive, especially monounsaturated fats. These fats may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Helps Fight Inflammation
Anywhere you look and see a food that has a high antioxidant content, you’re likely to discover anti-inflammatory properties as well. The two go hand in hand.
Inflammation can cause many types of chronic pain and illness.
How to Add Olive Oil to the Diet
While it’s popular for cooking, I still prefer to use coconut oil for cooking because it holds up better to high heat. I prefer to toss extra virgin olive oil in a salad or drizzle some on bread.
It’s important though, to watch your overall intake. Olive oil is still very high in calories and could cause you to gain weight if you eat too much of it.
It pairs well with tomatoes and other veggies. If you like pasta, olive oil is also a great addition to noodles just after cooking to help keep them from sticking together. It also makes them silky smooth!
Sources & additional reading:
Featured Image Source: Pixabay
1. Wikipedia: Olive Oil
2. Healthline: 11 Proven Benefits of Olive Oil
3. International Olive Council: The Antioxidant Properties of the Olive Oil
4. Global Healing Center: The 10 Best Foods for Heart Health
5. PubMed Health (U.S. National Library of Medicine): Monounsaturated Fat