Olive oil has been one of the main ingredients in Mediterranean cooking for a long time. Now olive oil is used in a lot more recipes from around the world. Its taste makes it one of the more popular ingredients for cooking and even on foods that only need an extra touch of flavor when they are consumed raw. Now the oil that was produced over 5000 years ago in the Mediterranean Sea area is produced worldwide from Spain and Italy, all the way to Mexico and India. But besides adding great flavor to food, there are health benefits which olive oil can give you. Here are a few of those benefits.
Doctor Donald Hensrud who is a preventative medicine specialist at the Mayo clinic tells that the main type of fats that you will be consuming when you use olive oil is healthy dietary fats. The fats found on olive oil include monounsaturated fatty acids. These are the good fats that actually help you prevent heart disease. They have the potential of reducing cholesterol levels and bring back blood clotting to normal levels. There are also no trans fats or saturated fats to worry about in olive oil. In some studies MUFA foods have even helped control insulin levels on people with type 2 diabetes.
Another health benefit of olive oil is that it actually helps with digestion. The US National Library of Medicine for the National Institutes of Health has information on how the consumption of olive oil actually makes digestion easier on people having issues with it. Of course that does not mean that you should add olive oil to every recipe. You should use olive oil as a substitute for things like butter and margarine and not as an addition to it. Adding olive oil to unhealthy food is not a magical way to make them healthy.
Did you know that for centuries olive oil has been used for its medicinal potential? A lot of things like dry skin, dry feet and elbows, sun burns, dry hair and even dandruff have been treated with external applications of olive oil, but it has also been used internally. Olive oil has been used for conditions such as gallstone reduction, cancer prevention, stroke and heart disease prevention and even diabetes. The trick is to use olive oil in moderation when you consume it. It is one of those things where too much of a good thing may be bad. There are other conditions which are now being researched which olive oil may be able to help with. Some of those conditions are already showing improvement.
One of the conditions which could in the near future show improvements because of olive oil is Alzheimer’s disease. New research from Northwestern University is starting to show that oleocanthal, which is a natural agent in olive oil, could in the near future help with the treatment of Alzheimer’s. The way that olive oil helps is by altering the structure of the proteins which are mainly responsible for the debilitating effects that Alzheimer’s is known to cause. The potential of olive oil to help treat disease which has caused so much pain in the past to so many, makes it one of the most important traditional remedies in the world.Last Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012