The beneficial properties of olive oil
Olive oil, the “liquid gold” according to Homer, is the protagonist of the Mediterranean diet and is an important nutritional treasure with numerous advantages for the human health.
Olive oil is the fatty substance we get from the fruit of the olive grove which is traditionally grown in the Mediterranean region and every corner of Greece. Since the ancient times, Hippocrates, Diocles and Dioscorides have recognized its healing properties. Today, doctors and nutritionists, basing on the results of scientific researches, claim that olive oil acts beneficially in almost all body functions. Greece has the highest intake of olive oil per person in the world.
More specifically, the benefits for our health are :
- It protects our cardiovascular system, helps prevent strokes and reduces blood pressure.
- Due to the rich monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats it contains, it reduces the risk of depression, which, on the contrary, increases through the consumption of trans fats from ready meals and mass production products.
- It helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of diabetes.
- It protects against Alzheimer’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders, due to oleocanthal, the natural phenol which is contained in extra virgin olive oil.
- It helps to prevent acute pancreatitis due to the oleic acid and hydroxytyrosol it contains and protects the liver from oxidative stress and ulcerative colitis.
- Vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants it contains, act preventively for some forms of cancer, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- It has anti-aging properties, has a positive effect on the development of the central nervous system and helps the digestion of other fatty and non-fatty foods, facilitating the secretion of bile.
- It contributes to longevity and vitality.
- Experts recommend consuming two to three tablespoons of olive oil a day. Virgin olive oil is not only a product of great importance for our diet. Thanks to its distinct taste, it is ideal to consume mainly raw e.g. in salads and seafood.