Can The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Really Make Our Heart, Muscles and Bones Stronger?
Updated 13th March 2023
- Extra virgin olive oil is arguably the best olive oil on the market, and it is well-known for its health benefits. And for those looking to get the most out of an active lifestyle, extra virgin olive oil is a vital addition to their diet as it has many health benefits.
- Extra virgin olive oil is made with fewer processes than other oils, preserving the valuable antioxidant polyphenols that are essential for improved muscle, bone, and heart health.
- Not only does extra virgin olive oil help reduce cholesterol and lower risk of heart disease, but its properties are also a great complement to muscle and bone development. Rich in antioxidant polyphenols, extra virgin olive oil helps fight inflammation, chronic diseases and other ailments. Its natural anti-inflammatory effects make extra virgin olive oil the best choice for active individuals.
- So, if you’re focusing on an active lifestyle – from athletes to outdoor professionals – extra virgin olive oil should certainly be included in your daily routine for optimal performance and health gains!
- With extra virgin olive oil as part of an active lifestyle, you can optimise your overall fitness and reach more ambitious workout results. From salads to sandwiches, extra virgin olive oil is a quick fix for meal times – adding much more than just taste!
- Why Include Extra Virgin Olive Oil As part Of Your Fitness Regime
- Polyphenols in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Help Muscle Recovery
- So How, Exactly, Does Extra Virgin Olive Oil Strengthen Your Body’s Athletic Performance?
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil And The Cardiovascular System
Why Include Extra Virgin Olive Oil As part Of Your Fitness Regime
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.
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. The amount of polyphenols found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil is truly amazing!
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.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil And The Cardiovascular System
Lowering your risk of cardiovascular problems is an area upon which several recent studies on Extra Virgin Olive Oil have focused. Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for many types of cardiovascular disease, and – as we have noted above – Extra Virgin Olive Oil has well-documented anti-inflammatory properties.
One place we don’t want excessive ongoing inflammation is within our blood vessels. Our blood supply is just too important for maintaining the health of all our body systems, and it cannot effective support our body systems when compromised with ongoing inflammation. Given this relationship, it’s not surprising to see cardiovascular benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil rising to the top of the health benefits provided by this remarkable oil.
From a variety of different research perspectives we know that daily intake of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in amounts as low as one tablespoon per day reduces inflammatory processes within our blood vessels. By reducing these processes, Extra Virgin Olive Oil also reduces our risk of inflammation-related cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis.
Yet anti-inflammatory benefits are not the only cardiovascular benefits provided by Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Two other broad types of heart-related benefits are well documented for this oil. The first type is lessened risk of forming unwanted blood clots. While blood clotting is a natural and healthy process required for the healing of wounds and prevention of excessive bleeding, clotting in the arteries can ultimately result in a heart attack or stroke.
One risk factor for unwanted clotting in our arteries is excessive clumping together of our platelet blood cells. This clumping process is also called “aggregation.” Regular incorporation of Extra Virgin Olive Oil into a meal plan has been shown to lessen the risk of this excessive aggregation, and the reason that researchers refer to Extra Virgin Olive Oil as an “anti-aggregatory” oil.
The other broad area of cardiovascular benefits involves improved levels of circulating fats in our bloodstream, as well as protection of those fats from oxygen-related damage. Decreased levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol following consumption of Extra Virgin Olive Oil are findings are the vast majority of studies that have analysed this relationship. Yet equally important, the cholesterol molecules that remain in our blood also appear to be better protected from oxygen-related damage (oxidation). Since fats and cholesterol belong to a broader technical category called “lipids,” damage to the fats and cholesterol in our blood stream is typically referred to as “lipid peroxidation.” And it is precisely this lipid peroxidation process that gets reduced through incorporation of Extra Virgin Olive Oil into a meal plan.