Whether you are training for a competition or just building your fitness and strength for wellbeing and health, your results will be influenced by the diet you eat.
Choosing foods which are rich in healthy fats, such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, can help improve your body’s potential in many ways, including muscle recovery and increased energy levels.
This is particularly good news for runners who are considering following a Mediterranean diet to improve performance. According to a recent report in Runner’s World, the range of foods and good fats from nuts, seeds and extra virgin olive oil can benefit runners in a number of ways.
By substituting heavily processed fats in meats and refined grains with more fruit, vegetables and fish, runners can increase their carbohydrate intake, providing the quick-burning fuel that they need.
According to Lori Russell M.S., RD, CSSD, CPT : “The boost to heart health and the cardiovascular system as a whole is the biggest benefit for athletes.”
One study found that following a Mediterranean Diet improved 5K running times when compared to eating a standard Western diet. The significant quantity of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants obtained from eating the Mediterranean way can also potentially boost endurance energy and a person’s ability to stay mentally strong in performance, says Russell.
Polyphenols in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Help Muscle Recovery
The high antioxidant content in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, specifically the presence of polyphenols, can contribute to a quick recovery for athletes.
In the context of exercise performance, the primary role of polyphenols is to act as an antioxidant. Exercise causes damage to muscle cells, releasing destructive free radicals into the circulatory system. Left unchecked, these highly reactive molecules can wreak havoc on cells and various bodily processes.
Antioxidant polyphenols neutralize free radicals by converting them into more stable molecules. Therefore, if you supplement with these powerful compounds, you can reduce oxidative damage from free radicals, decreasing overall damage and promoting faster recovery.
Additionally, the Mediterranean diet can even boost the health of the families of runners, according to a 2021 study in the International Journal of Obesity. Relatives of those who stuck to the diet for two years were more apt to lose weight, too.
So how, exactly, does Extra Virgin Olive Oil strengthen your body’s athletic performance?
So much has already been researched and written showing how an active lifestyle can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and Cancer – in some cases by up to 50 per cent.
But, if we take a step back and ask how we can help our bodies to be more active in the first place, simply with our nutritional choices. By choosing the best olive oil we can afford, we are giving our body and mind an essential fuel. Hence the active lifestyle.
What makes extra virgin olive oil so special is that it has stood the test of time as a superfood from the time of the ancients. Olive oil has long been considered sacred. The olive branch was often a symbol of abundance, glory, and peace. Over the years, the olive has also been used to symbolize wisdom, fertility, power, and purity.
In ancient Rome, olive oil was used for nearly everything in relation to their health. Roman medicine takes heavily from Greek doctors, who influenced European medicine for centuries, and Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine writes about over 60 different conditions or ailments that can be treated with olive oil.
Olive oil is now probably the most widely researched superfood on the planet and its many health benefits are evidence based and well understood. Thanks to the recent spotlight on the Mediterranean Diet, extensive research has been done on the phytonutrient composition of olive oil. What has been discovered is an extensive list of phytonutrients; one of the most praised is its polyphenols. As mentioned in relation to muscle recovery, the amount of polyphenols found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil is truly amazing!
Polyphenols, in other words, act as a pretty powerful cell protector inside your body. Extra Virgin Olive Oil like Morocco Gold is rich in polyphenols.
Several of the polyphenols found in olive oil including hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein and luteolin have shown to be especially helpful in avoiding unhealthy blood clotting by keeping our blood platelets in check.