Benefits of Olive Oil and 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 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. Simply click the image to take you to the recipe.

Crispy Pizza Breads with Confit Garlic & Goats Cheese

This really is fabulous dish for entertaining – the garlic and cheese can both be prepared ahead of time and added to the freshly baked pizza breads. Add a drizzle of the finest EVOO and you’ve got yourself a crowd pleaser.

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Marinated Wild Mushroom Pasta with Walnut Crumble

Extra virgin olive oil provides the base for the sauce for this dish, which is filled with earthy umami flavours.

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Tuna Tagliata

A light way to prepare fresh tuna, with clean and distinct oriental flavours.

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Aglio E Olio Linguine

You simply can not go wrong with the combination of olive oil, garlic, chilli and parsley served on homemade linguini.

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Mint, Lemon & Olive Oil Marinated Zucchini Salad

This salad is so easy to put together and is full of healthy goodness from the raw veggies, seeds and extra virgin olive oil.

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Smoked Paprika Spatchcock Chicken

The smokey flavours from the paprika spice mix on this chicken are so delish. The potatoes underneath absorb all the flavour and juices – yum!

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Whipped Feta & Cream Cheese with Green Olive Salsa Verde

Say hello to your new fav party dish. This creamy cheese combo is delish smothered on toasted baguette and topped with a zesty green olive salsa.

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Olive Oil & Herb Crusted Loaf with Chunky Olive & Feta Dip

There is nothing quite like the aroma and flavour of a freshly baked loaf of bread. This one is brushed with extra virgin olive oil and served with a rough chopped olive and feta dip.

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Olive Oil and Polenta Cakes with Grapefruit Drizzle

Made with extra virgin olive oil, this cake has a moist texture and tastes amazing!

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Basil Oil & Raspberry Sorbet with Sticky Meringue

This easy sorbet is a light dessert perfect for warmer weather days. Paired with sticky, crunchy meringue, it’s a sure win!

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Salted Dark Chocolate, Pretzel and Caramel-Rippled Ice Cream

The touch of salt really brings out the chocolate flavour and the olive oil adds a delicious creaminess to this fuss-free ice cream. Delicious!

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Blood Orange Olive Oil & Almond Cake

A moist cake flavoured with citrus notes – a slice served with a cup of tea makes a heavenly afternoon treat.

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Olive Oil Chocolate Torte with Mascarpone & Seasonal Berries

This torte is made with olive oil giving it a luscious, fudgy texture. It’s surprisingly easy to make and looks pretty as a picture.

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Turkish Delight & Olive Oil Shortbread

A pretty and sophisticated spin on a classic shortbread cookie.

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

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