Recent studies have confirmed the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. The nutritional benefits of the diet can come from a variety of sources, but the high amount of olive oil in the diet also attracts a lot of attention.
The main type of fat found in all olive oils is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). MUFAs are considered to be healthy fats in the diet. According to Harvard Health’s research, if you replace saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats, such as MUFAs and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), you may gain certain health benefits.
MUFAs and PUFAs may help reduce the risk of heart disease by improving the associated risk factors. For example, MUFAs have been found to lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.
But you should use olive oil with a certain amount because healthier fats like olive oil are high in calories. Here are 8 health benefits of olive oil that are supported by scientific research.
1. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid. This fatty acid is believed to have many beneficial effects and is a healthy choice for cooking.
2. Olive Oil Contains Large Amounts of Antioxidant
Apart from its beneficial fatty acids, it contains modest amounts of vitamins E and K. But olive oil is also loaded with powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants are biologically active and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases. They also fight inflammation and help protect your blood cholesterol from oxidation — two benefits that may lower your risk of heart disease
3. Olive Oil Has Strong Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Chronic inflammation is thought to be a leading driver of diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and even obesity. Extra-virgin olive oil can reduce inflammation, which may be one of the main reasons for its health benefits. The main anti-inflammatory effects are mediated by the antioxidants. Key among them is oleocanthal, which has been shown to work similarly to ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug