The Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
There's a reason our ancestors in Greece would wake up and take a shot of extra virgin olive oil (and would use it all over their bodies!). Olive oil has incredible health benefits.
In fact, a report from Harvard’s Department of Nutrition presents evidence that replacing other types of fat, like margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and dairy fat lowered the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and respiratory disease. Now that’s a superfood!
Learn some of the top benefits of this ancient ingredient here:
TOP 3 BENEFITS OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1. Increases Longevity
When it comes to overall longevity (which means living a long time), consuming 100% extra virgin olive oil consistently can actually extend your lifespan.
One statistic from the study really stood out to us was that consuming half a tablespoon of olive oil per day was associated with a 16% lower risk of cancer mortality, compared to consuming no olive oil at all.
When you opt for extra virgin olive oil instead of butter (or another oil), you can enjoy the added advantage of powerful polyphenols.
2. Reduces Inflammation
This Study showed that extra virgin olive oil contains a certain phenol compound called oleocanthal, which acts similarly to ibuprofen in the body, helping to reduce inflammation. This shows the potential for olive oil’s ability to help reduce the risk of strokes, as explored in an article on WebMD.
Not only is extra virgin olive oil a healthy anti-inflammatory, but by using olive oil you are reducing harmful alternatives, such as vegetable oil, from your diet. Regular consumption of vegetable oils used in many processed foods have long been thought to result in an imbalance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which many scientists believe promotes inflammation. The conclusion? Toss out those vegetable oils and pour on the EVOO!
Read more here on the toxic truth about cooking oil.
3. Lowers your "bad" LDL cholesterol
Olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. The majority of the fatty acid in extra virgin olive oil is oleic acid – a monounsaturated fat. This is very different than the saturated fats you find in butter or vegetable oils. Unlike saturated fat, monounsaturated fats help lower your "bad" LDL cholesterol and prove to be beneficial against cardiovascular disease, helping control high blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
How to choose the best olive oil
To fully reap the antioxidant benefits of olive oil, it's crucial to choose a high-quality extra virgin olive oil - it is not as easy as you think to identify true EVOO (see our post on how to tell if your EVOO is real), but there are a number of things to keep in mind. The best olive oils are made from olives that have been carefully handpicked from the tree, early in the harvest season, when the olive is green and unripe. The earlier the olive is harvested and picked, the richer the flavor and the higher the polyphenol content, and the greater the benefits.
See our blog post here to learn more about how to identify a high-quality EVOO.
Whether you’re cooking with it, or drizzling over your favorite dishes, the health benefits of high-polyphenol koroneiki extra virgin olive oil are unparalleled. It has been core to Mediterranean lifestyle for centuries, and the cornerstone of the Mediterranean Diet and our brand.