Olive Oil: Where Health Meets Flavour
Want to feel better in 2022?
We are olive oil and health enthusiasts!!! A healthy diet is one of the best things you can do to help yourself feel good. More and more evidence is emerging that eating well is not only good for your physical health but your mood, too — something we all need in 2022 (adios 2021).
Extra virgin olive oil is widely considered to be the healthiest oil. It's the only oil that can be made by cold-pressing the fruit, which means the nutrients in the olive are preserved. This means the flavour also stays intact, something that is lost in most other oil extracting processes.
Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat that should be part of your daily diet. We use it to bake, roast, fry and part of everyday cooking. So, what are the nutritional benefits of olive oil?
Extra virgin olive oil can be used both externally and internally to beautify and add moisture to the hair and skin. It is rich in vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that can protect the body against eye and skin problems (which makes the hair and skin much healthier). A healthy diet has also been proven to protect the body from diabetes, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and certain cancers.
Fats are essential for many primary body functions including hormone production. Healthy fats, including olive oil, can boost your mood due to their hormone-balancing, anti-inflammatory properties.
Monounsaturated fats, such as Omega-3s, Omega-6s and Omega-9s are all found at their optimal balance in olive oil. They decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, which allows cholesterol to move freely to the liver to be eliminated rather than being deposited on artery walls and forming blood clots as it travels through the bloodstream. This helps the body maintain healthy blood pressure levels and reduces the risk of heart disease.
The fats in olive oil can also help lubricate your digestive tract and act as a laxative to help everything move easily through the bowel. It can also help the stool hold more water, keeping it softer.
Extra virgin olive oil contains vitamin K, another fat-soluble vitamin that has its greatest effect on the blood. It is necessary for healthy coagulation with the levels of calcium in the blood and so plays an important role in preventing the onset of osteoporosis.
Olive oil contains polyphenols (which are a type of antioxidant). Oxidation occurs naturally inside the human body, giving rise to “free radicals” (unstable atoms and molecules) that can lead to normal cell function deterioration or cellular death unless there is a balance between healthy cells and free radicals. Antioxidants, like those found in olive oil, help maintain optimal balance, reducing the effects of ageing and the risk of developing cancer.
Most studies on the health benefits of olive oil have included it as a central part of a Mediterranean diet, the only diet proven to have long term health benefits. It has long been credited with enhancing the heart function and life spans of the people of the Mediterranean region.
Although we love to see extra virgin olive oil as the main character, a balanced diet also includes fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes and whole grains and sustainable protein. Above all, don't forget to have fun eating and drinking with family and friends since the best part of a meal is the connection with our loved ones.
Not sure where to start? Try our Power Couple bundle to get a taste of our go-to kitchen staples.