Extra Virgin Olive Oil- The 411

Extra virgin olive oil has long been touted as a miracle food because it contains a unique blend of monounsaturated fats, polyphenols and phytosterols. So, let’s take a closer look at what makes this oil a healthier choice than its counterparts.

Regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil can also prevent cardiovascular disease as this oil contains chemical compounds, which may reduce cardiovascular risk factors by decreasing plasma triglycerides, total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Studies have also shown that olive oil consumption may play a protective role when it comes to breast, colon, lung, ovarian and skin cancer. This is because compounds specific to olive oil, known as phenolics,  possess free radical-scavenging properties , which  may be able to reduce oxidative damage to DNA.

Studies show that those who consume extra virgin olive oil on a regular basis tend to be slimmer compared to their peers. Also, eating extra virgin olive oil as part of a balanced diet may help prevent diabetes. Extra virgin olive oil also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help relieve pain and boost the body’s immunity. It also has anti-ageing properties and can make one’s skin  supple and minimise wrinkles. When applied on the bellies of pregnant women, extra virgin olive oil can also help prevent stretch marks. It can also be used to treat sunburns by helping the skin retain its moisture and regular application of extra virgin olive oil can also get rid of acne and pimples.

Research shows that since olive oil is is rich in monounsaturated fat it may be able to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and fight disease producing free radicals and may even prevent certain types of cancers and strokes.

Studies also show that extra virgin olive oil can help cut sugar cravings and prevent over eating.

**Tip: it is best to use extra virgin olive oil within two years of opening the bottle for best results.

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