Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has been widely recognized for its health benefits, and is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet. Here are some of the ways that consuming EVOO can benefit your health:
- Reduces the risk of heart disease: EVOO is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. This, in turn, can lower the risk of heart disease.
- May help prevent stroke: Some studies have suggested that consuming EVOO regularly may reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 41%.
- Reduces inflammation: EVOO contains oleocanthal, a natural anti-inflammatory compound that can help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Improves brain function: EVOO is high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which can help protect brain cells from oxidative stress and may improve cognitive function.
- Helps with weight loss: EVOO has been shown to increase feelings of fullness, which may lead to reduced calorie intake and aid in weight loss.
- May reduce the risk of certain types of cancer: Some studies have suggested that consuming EVOO regularly may reduce the risk of breast and colorectal cancers.
It’s important to note that these health benefits are linked specifically to extra virgin olive oil, which is the least processed and most nutrient-dense form of olive oil. To ensure that you are getting the maximum health benefits, look for high-quality extra virgin olive oil from reputable producers. Incorporating EVOO into your diet can be as simple as using it as a salad dressing, drizzling it over cooked vegetables, or using it in place of other cooking oils.