Why you should make Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil part of your lifestyle choices in 2023
New Year’s celebrations began around 4000 years ago when the Babylonians partied for eleven days to commemorate new beginnings with the planning of new crops in the spring (their new year began in March). Our familiar January first celebration originated in ancient Rome, where branches from sacred olive trees were often given as New Year’s gifts.
The tradition of creating New Year’s resolutions began when Julius Caesar named January (the first month of his new calendar) after Janus, the Roman god of transitions, gates, doorways and beginnings. With two faces, Janus could look forward into the future and backwards into the past.
The early Roman New Year resolutions centred on family, friendship and gift giving and that tradition continues today, with an additional focus on health, saving money, personal development and taking care of the planet.
Start 2023 With A Happy Heart And A Healthy Diet.
The Mediterranean Diet, which includes a healthy dose of extra virgin olive oil, has been in existence for hundreds of years.
Olive oil and heart health go hand and hand. Extra virgin olive oil, paired with a healthy diet, can help reduce your risk of heart disease. In part because of the special way it’s produced, extra virgin olive oil, unlike seed oils and non-extra virgin oils, contains polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage.
It’s also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, a healthier dietary fat than saturated and trans fats. Over the last 50 years, extensive studies have concluded that all sorts of health benefits come from extra virgin olive oil.
Researchers have found that by consuming a Mediterranean diet rich in EVOO, you can:
- Significantly lower the risk of having a heart attack, suffering from a stroke, or dying of heart disease
- Better regulate insulin levels
- Strengthen your immune system
- Reduce the risk of certain cancers
- Improve digestive and brain health
The FDA recommends 2 tablespoons of EVOO a day for heart health. Recent studies provide compelling evidence of the associated health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil has so many health benefits. Many of us already use olive oil as their go-to cooking oil, mainly for its taste and nutritional value. But did you know, you can also get all the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil by drinking it on its own. Here are 10 reasons why you should drink extra virgin olive oil every day.
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reduces Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular diseases are the top cause of death in the industrialised world. A host of studies have documented that arteriosclerosis is closely linked to eating habits and lifestyle. Extra virgin olive oil helps heart health.
Recent studies have shown that people with consumption of more than half a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil daily, have less chances of developing cardiovascular problems and coronary heart disease. As we know, extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats. Oleic acid, which is a type of monounsaturated fatty acid, helps regulate heart health. So, consider replacing other fat sources with extra virgin olive oil, where that is applicable, for better heart health.
“… The lowest rates of death from coronary heart disease are currently recorded in the countries where olive oil is virtually the only fat consumed.”Professor Francisco Grande Covian
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Maintains The Digestive Tract In Good Health
Some people relieve chronic constipation by drinking a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil daily on an empty stomach. By doing that, the colon gets its own relief as well. Since extra virgin olive oil helps the digestive system, stools become softer and everything moves easier through the colon. Additionally, it helps protect and restore the mucus lining of the colon from passing hard stools.
Olive oil produces a small amount of secretion by the pancreas, making this organ “work” little, but efficiently and enough to carry out all its digestive functions. It stimulates the absorption of various nutrients (calcium, Iron, magnesium, etc.).
Olive oil, therefore, is a fat that is digested and absorbed really well. It has choice properties and a mild laxative effect that helps to combat constipation and bad breath.
Olive oil reduces the risk of the flow or reflux of food and gastric juice up from the stomach to the oesophagus, the gastric content of the stomach is released more slowly and gradually into the duodenum, giving a greater sensation of “fullness”.
3. Helps To Reduce Blood Pressure
Certain foods can raise blood pressure besides having an effect on body weight. Along with high blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking, obesity and diabetes, it is one of the main health problems of the developed world.
One in every four adults is hypertensive. This increases the risk of early death because of the damage to the body’s arteries, especially the arteries that supply blood to the heart, kidneys, brain and eyes. Addition of olive oil to a diet has a clear lowering effect on blood pressure. Regular consumption of olive oil decreases both systolic (maximum) and diastolic (minimum) blood pressure.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Acts As An Anti-Inflammatory
Extra virgin olive oil is extremely rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, one of which is oleocanthal, a natural phenol found only in this plant. Oleocanthal has the ability to prevent, reduce and relieve inflammation. It works in a similar way ibuprofen does, by inhibiting enzymes COX-1 and COX-2, which produce prostaglandins that promote inflammation.
Phenols and polyphenols serve as the core substances that give extra virgin olive oil its unique anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers have determined that small amounts of extra virgin olive oil, as low as one tablespoon per day, can lower inflammatory signalling in our body, including levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). Interestingly, in Mediterranean-type diets that include daily intake of extra virgin olive oil, not only is there less production of signalling molecules like TNF-alpha, but there is also less activity by the cell receptors for these pro-inflammatory molecules. (This decreased receptor activity has been shown for tumour necrosis factor receptor 60 (TNFR 60) and tumour necrosis factor receptor 80 (TNFR 80). Levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) have also been show to decrease with daily intake of extra virgin olive oil.
5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Help Control Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a fatty substance contained in foods of animal origin. Diets containing a large amount of animal fats raise blood cholesterol level, which is one of the chief risk factors of cardiovascular disease.
Olive oil lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol, LdL-cholesterol and triglycerides. At the same time it does not alter the levels of HbL-cholesterol (and may even raise them), which plays a protective role and prevents the formation of fatty patches and recurrent heart disease.
6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Eases Or Prevents Diabetes
Extra virgin olive oil facilitates the process of stabilizing type 2 diabetes, a precursor to even more serious health problems. Insulin is the hormone that helps control blood sugar levels, so when this condition develops, the body either doesn’t produce enough of it or it simply becomes resistant to it. The monounsaturated fatty acids found in extra virgin olive oil help lower blood sugar levels more than the other oils, by producing insulin, making it thus ideal for people who suffer from this condition.
An Olive Oil rich diet is not only a good alternative in the treatment of diabetes, it may also help to prevent or delay the onset of the disease. How it does so is by preventing insulin resistance lowering triglycerides and ensuring better blood sugar level control and lower blood pressure.
7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Lessens The Severity Of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a reduction in bone tissue mass that increases the risk of fractures. There are two types. Type I occurs in middle-aged, post-menopausal women and type II in the elderly. Olive oil appears to have a favourable effect on bone calcification, and bone mineralisation is better the more olive oil is consumed. It helps calcium absorption, thereby playing an important part during the period of growth and in the prevention of osteoporosis.
8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Lessens The Severity Of Osteoarthritis
Two polyphenols from extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), oleocanthal (OLC) and ligstroside aglycone (LA), plus a chemically modified acetylated ligstroside aglycone (A-LA), and two marine polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), were examined as potential anti-inflammatory agents for OA.
Acetylated ligstroside showed the most promising results for implementation in treating OA as it reduced the expression of pro-inflammatory genes such as inducible nitric oxide (iNOS), matrix metalloprotease-13 (MMP13) and interleukin-1β (IL1B) at both RNA and protein levels; decreased nitric oxide (NO) levels from cartilage explants and also reduced proteoglycan (PG) losses in human osteoarthritic cartilage explants and chondrocytes.
These results substantiate the role of polyphenols in OA with implications for therapeutic intervention and our understanding of OA pathophysiology.
9. Polyphenols In Extra Virgin Olive Oil Have Shown to Have Distinct Anti-Bacterial Properties
Extra virgin olive oil is known to boost the immune system due to its high concentration in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats with anti-inflammatory properties. Chances for our immune system to defend against viral and bacterial infections, get higher with daily consumption of olive oil, since it plays a great role in increasing the number of cells involved to resist any foreign pathogens.
A recent study by researchers at the National Research Council’s Institute of Food Sciences and the University of Salerno has shown that polyphenols from three different olive oil varieties have an inhibitory effect against several bacterial strains.
The tests were performed using 2.5 and 4.9 micrograms of the three polyphenol extracts against different pathogens. The results showed that the minimum concentration necessary to inhibit the growth of the pathogenic tester strains was low for all the polyphenolic extracts. This confirmed their general capacity to inhibit the growth of pathogenic or unwanted microorganisms.
In particular, all three extracts were effective in inhibiting the growth of Escherichia coli, a bacterium that is one of the causes of urinary tract infections. The three extracts also were found to be capable of inhibiting the growth of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, a well-known pathogen that is responsible for the formation of biofilms.
Research on the antibacterial activity of olive varieties grown in southern Italy have also now shown promise for natural treatments against E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Source: Olive Oil Times
10. Polyphenols in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Help Protect Against Cancer
As few as 1–2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day have been associated with decreased risk of breast, respiratory tract, and digestive tract cancers. In the case of the digestive tract, reduced risk seems more likely in the upper tract (stomach and small intestine) than in the lower digestive tract (large intestine, including the colon).
Get Healthy, Lose Weight.
Getting healthy and losing weight are the most common resolutions. You can get an easy start by making these simple changes in your diet: use olive oil instead of butter and other fats, and adopt a Mediterranean-type diet, rich in olive oil, fruit and vegetables, whole grains, fish and poultry.
A healthy diet is the best defence against high cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess body weight (the three main factors contributing to heart disease). Recent studies also associate consuming olive oil with alleviating or prevent numerous health concerns, including lowering the risk of strokes and preventing certain cancers.
Extra virgin olive oil also plays a big role in satiety, giving a sensation of fullness. This happens because extra virgin olive oil promotes high levels of satiety hormone serotonin, which, combined with its aroma compounds, can help people eat less and lose weight.
While it’s true that people in the Mediterranean consider extra virgin olive oil a main ingredient in their daily diets and pour it liberally rather than measuring it by the spoon, it’s important to keep moderation in mind. Whether you choose to drink it or cook it, always prefer consumption in the context of a balanced diet and stick to the recommended amounts of daily intake, rather than going overboard.