Did you know extra virgin variety, is actually a superfood. Firstly, some scientists call it “the nectar of the Gods”. Secondly, understand why olive oil is good for you and the quality of oil is key. Lastly, make sure you get the best source of this magical monounsaturated fat. It really has the health building benefits of a “superfood”.
I was delighted to come across this post by Best-Selling Author, licensed Naturopathic Physician, Speaker, Female Hormone Expert, and Epigenetics coach, Dr. Michelle Sands, ND. Co-Founder of Glow Natural Wellness, a global leader in optimizing female health, hormones, and wellbeing. Dr Michelle has written about the secrets of high-quality extra virgin olive oils.
“I grew up with the smell of olive oil and garlic in my hair. Our Italian-American house permeated with the smell and we had olive oil on everything – from pasta to bread, and even the occasional vegetable (we didn’t eat a lot of veggies in my house growing up). Despite the fact that my mom knew very little about nutrition, we did get the benefit of consuming olive oil on a daily basis.
Olive Oil, especially the Extra Virgin variety, is actually a superfood! Some longevity scientists affectionately call it “the nectar of the Gods”. Understanding why olive oil is good for you, along with how to choose the highest quality oil is key in making sure you get the best source of this magical monounsaturated fat. It really has the health building benefits of a “superfood”.
Types of Healthy Fats
There are a number of different types of “healthy fat” you can include in your diet, which vary in their chemical structure. Unsaturated fats are those that have double bonds in their chemical structure. Monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs, are a type of unsaturated fat. “Mono,” meaning one, signifies that monounsaturated fats have only one double bond.
Furthermore, foods that are high in unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, are usually liquid at room temperature, whereas foods that are high in saturated fats, such as butter and coconut oil, are usually solid at room temperature. For instance these different fats affect health and disease differently. Monounsaturated fats, in particular, have been shown to have a number of health benefits. In summary, olive oil is one of the best sources of monounsaturated fats.
Health Benefits Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil has a number of health benefits which include:
- Reduces Inflammation – Oleic acid, the main fatty acid in olive oil, can reduce levels of C-Reactive proteins, thereby reducing inflammation in the body. Good quality olive oil consumed regularly can help with the pain and inflammation of arthritis and other chronic inflammation.
- Optimizes Heart Health – Olive oil is heart-protective. Adding more olive oil into your daily food plan can actually lower your LDL cholesterol, raise your HDL cholesterol, and lower your triglycerides.
- Improves Brain Function – The brain is made up of 60% fat. Fatty acids are essential to keep the brain healthy. Olive oil is brain-protective. It has shown to have a positive effect on both memory and concentration. Research has shown that it may be effective in warding off Alzheimer’s disease and strokes.
- Maintaining Healthy Weight (and Weight Loss) – Healthy fats like olive oil help regulate your blood sugar to keep your insulin level where it should be. This helps to keep weight regulated. Additionally, healthy fats in your diet help to make you feel full sooner. It also will help to regulate your food intake and keep snacking at bay.
Other Health Benefits
- Mood Regulation – Our brains need healthy fats to function properly. When you include olive oil in your diet regularly, it helps to keep dopamine, serotonin and other hormone levels in check. This helps to lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Improves Digestion – Olive oil helps to rid the body of bad bacteria in the gut promoting a healthier gut microbiome. Additionally, olive oil helps to lubricate the digestive tract making digestion and elimination easier.
- Fights Disease – Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it especially helpful in fighting cancer, autoimmune disease and other chronic health conditions when consumed regularly.
- Fights Breast Cancer – Olive oil has shown to slow epigenetic progression of cancer cells
- Anti-aging: Olive oil has shown to improve DNA stability and telomere length in both animal and human studies
- Protects Mitochondria – Olive oil has shown to protect our body’s energy powerhouses, the mitochondria, from damage and oxidative stress.
In conclusion, Dr Michelle says “I believe that everything we need to heal, balance and optimize our bodies can be found in nature, the universe, and within ourselves.”
We wholeheartedly agree with her.