Examining whether best olive oil – extra virgin olive oil – should be considered a foodstuff, a medicine, or both?
Updated May 10th 2023
Health Benefits Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Extra virgin olive oil has been used as a medicine for centuries. Its health benefits are well documented, and it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of conditions. extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the body against disease.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil Throughout History
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil With High Polyphenols
- The Village That Thrives On Olive Oil Health Benefits
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil In ‘Mediterranean Diet’ Linked To Longer Lifespan
- One Further Thought
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Throughout History
Proper nutrition has been considered the basis of good health since ancient times. Hippocrates (460-377 BC), father of modern medicine in the western world, claimed that “good health implies an awareness of the powers of natural foods”. The Salernitan School (eleventh-twelfth centuries) maintained that “the doctor must observe what food consists of, how much, and when it must be eaten”, while Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) believed that “a man’s life depends on what he eats”.
Extra virgin olive oil has long been renowned as one of the best oils around, appreciated for its unique flavor and versatility in cooking. However, its benefits go beyond just taste. Recent studies have shown that high quality extra virgin olive oil – carefully manufactured and stored – contains a wealth of polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that can have a significant impact on health.
In fact, some researchers have suggested that the consumption of high-quality extra virgin olive oil could be considered a form of preventive medicine, with links to reductions in inflammation, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. We also know that lipids are important in nutrition and extra-virgin olive oil plays a predominant role in this field, recognised for its high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids.
Extra virgin olive oil is an integral ingredient of the Mediterranean diet and accumulating evidence suggests that it may have health benefits that include reduction of risk factors of coronary heart disease, prevention of several varieties of cancers, and modification of immune and inflammatory responses.
Extra virgin olive oil appears to be an example of a functional food, with varied components that may contribute to its overall therapeutic characteristics. Extra virgin olive oil is known for its high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and is also a good source of phytochemicals including polyphenols.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil With High Polyphenols
Quality extra virgin olive oil such as Morocco Gold also has anti-inflammatory properties, due largely to the presence of polyphenols in the oil. Research has shown that polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil have a massive and positive impact on health and doctors recommend high consumption of polyphenol sources. This makes it useful for treating conditions such as arthritis and asthma. In addition, extra virgin olive oil can help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, making it an important part of a healthy diet. Although extra virgin olive oil is available in many supermarkets, it is important to choose a quality product in order to get the most benefit from it. Look for an oil that is cold-pressed and has a dark green color. Avoid products that have been exposed to light or heat, as this can damage the healthy compounds in the oil. When used correctly, extra virgin olive oil can be an effective and natural way to improve your health.
The Village That Thrives On Olive Oil Health Benefits
There are numerous studies that point to the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold. Many researchers have pointed to Olive Oil as a medicine.
Pioppi, Italy is known as the world’s healthiest village because many of its residents live past the age of 100. The villagers have a diet of whole natural foods comprised of things that are in season and available according to the local climate.
Imagine living in a community where the average man lives to be 89 and many reach the 100-year mark. Picture what it would be like to enjoy one’s golden years without dementia or type 2 diabetes, maladies that are an integral part of aging in the rest of the world. After hearing about Pioppi, cardiologist Aseem Malhotra became fascinated with discovering what diet kept the residents so healthy and what lessons could be learned from them.
After studying the village, Malhotra developed a formula for optimal health. For starters, the Pioppians have a very low sugar intake, eating it only once per week. It is this dietary practice that the doctor considers essential for their good health. He contends that western society’s fear of fat is to blame for the high consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Malhotra attributes these foods as the cause of the widespread incidence of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Pioppi has received notoriety because it’s known as the home of the Mediterranean diet. As the villagers have no supermarket, their diet consists largely of vegetables, olive oil and fish. They also eat cheese, but other dairy products aren’t available. Pasta and bread are consumed in small quantities. In addition to sugar, their diet is low in meat and refined carbohydrates.
Other lifestyle practices aside from a healthful diet play a role. The villagers get seven hours of sleep per night and experience freedom from much stress. Although it isn’t intentional, intermittent fasting is a natural part of their lives. They don’t engage in exercise per se, but they’re very active.
Included in his top recommendations for vibrant health and longevity based on the Pioppians:
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”Hippocrates
Extra virgin olive oil is medicine – take extra virgin olive oil every day.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil In ‘Mediterranean Diet’ Linked To Longer Lifespan.
A study conducted by the University of Minnesota Medical School has discovered a link between extra virgin olive oil in the Mediterranean Diet and how it influences ageing-related diseases, according to Insider.
The team of researchers was led by Doug Mashek, a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics. They discovered that olive oil in the Mediterranean diet may hold the key to improving lifespan and mitigating ageing-related diseases.
Initially, it was suggested that red wine was a major contributor to the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, due to it containing a compound called resveratrol, which activated a certain pathway in cells known to increase lifespan. However, the research has strongly suggested that it is the fat in extra virgin olive oil, that no Mediterranean diet would be without, that is activating the pathway.
Sadly, consuming all the extra virgin olive oil you can is not enough alone to give all the health benefits. His team’s studies suggest that when coupled with fasting, limiting caloric intake and exercising, the effects of consuming olive oil will be most pronounced.
“We found that the way this fat works is it first has to get stored in microscopic things called lipid droplets, which is how our cells store fat. And then, when the fat is broken down during exercising or fasting, for example, is when the signalling and beneficial effects are realised,” Mashek said.
The next steps for their research are to translate it to humans to discover new drugs or to further tailor dietary regimens that improve health, both short-term and long-term.
“We want to understand the biology, and then translate it to humans, hopefully changing the paradigm of healthcare from someone going to eight different doctors to treat his or her eight different disorders,” Mashek said. “These are all ageing-related diseases, so let’s treat ageing.”
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One Further Thought
One further consideration – who would not want to live forever in a place like this!!