Benefits of Olive Oil and 8 Tasty Recipes to Include in Your Diet

Words: Jess Spiro

benefits of olive oil

It’s no secret that following a Mediterranean diet will bring you health and wellness and just a great life overall. Olive oil is probably a major contributing factor to that healthy diet and is something of a superfood in its own right. But just how good is olive oil for you? Check out some of these impressive benefits of olive oil.

Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease/ protects heart health

Did you know that heart disease causes the highest number of deaths across everywhere in the world except the Mediterranean sea? No guesses as to why. One of the major benefits of olive oil is that the high levels of monounsaturated fat in olive oil lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and raises HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Thanks to high levels of powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, extra virgin oil is considered an anti-inflammatory food and cardiovascular protector.  It’s been proven that following a Mediterranean-style diet that is packed with olive oil is capable of decreasing the risk of cardiac death by 30 percent.

Anti-inflammatory benefits

Inflammation happens when stress or low-immunity begins to affect your overall health, and while the general purpose of inflammation is to protect the body against illnesses and help it repair itself, chronic inflammation is extremely harmful to the health of your heart. Chronic inflammation can also contribute towards heart disease. One of the benefits of olive oil, specifically Extra Virgin olive oil, is that it helps reverse inflammatory effects on the heart and blood vessels. Olive oil is beneficial for lowering hypertension because it improves the flow of nitric oxide, which keeps arteries dilated and clear.

Aids in leveling blood sugar

Carbohydrates elevate blood sugar by providing glucose, fats help stabilise blood sugar levels and regulate insulin. This means that even when you eat something high in sugar or carbs, adding extra virgin olive oil to the meal can help slow down the impact on your bloodstream. Consuming olive oil is also a great way to feel more satisfied after meals, which can help prevent sugar cravings and overeating that can lead to diabetes complications. Recent evidence has even shown that consuming polyunsaturated and/or monounsaturated fats, the kind found in olive oil, has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and is likely to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.

High in antioxidants, which can lower the risk of cancer

It’s not new knowledge that olive oil is also loaded with healthy antioxidants, but what do these antioxidants actually do? Well, what can’t they do? Most importantly for our heart health, they can fight inflammation and help prevent the cholesterol in our blood from becoming oxidised, which can cause heart disease. These antioxidants also fight free-radicals which increase the risk of cancer.

Great for skin

As if you need any more health reasons to up your olive oil intake, one popular benefit of olive oil is that it’s great for your skin! As a high source of vitamin E and other antioxidants, olive oil helps to hydrate skin, speed up wound healing, and help fight infections or hormonal imbalances that can lead to acne, eczema and other skin conditions.

Include the benefits of Olive Oil in your diet with these 8 tasty recipes

We love these recipes – all of them include that all important ingredient, olive oil and they are really tasty ways that you can include olive oil in your diet.

Learn the difference between extra virgin olive oil and other olive oil varieties.

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