Want to Dramatically Reduce Your Risk of Death? Do THIS!
What you eat plays a huge role in your overall health and well-being. Eating a wholesome, balanced diet greatly reduces the risk of common health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.
When you think of healthy foods you likely automatically think of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. But did you know that healthy fats also play a large role in keeping you healthy? In fact, studies have found that those who consume olive oil can dramatically reduce their risk of death.
Specifically, olive oil lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. and around the world.
Keep reading to learn more about olive oil, how it improves longevity, and why it should become a staple in your diet.
Is all olive oil the same?
If you've ever browsed the shelves for olive oil, you know that there are many different kinds to choose from. Buying the right kind of olive oil is key to getting the most health benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil is the best kind of olive oil, because it retains the bioactive compound and antioxidants that naturally occur in olives.
Before purchasing extra virgin olive oil, read the ingredients label. There are tons of fraudulent oils that are marketed as being "extra virgin" but are instead olive oil that has been refined with other oils.
Benefits of olive oil
While there are plenty of unhealthy fats and oils, olive oil doesn’t fit the traditional mold. As the name implies, olive oil is extracted from olives. It’s commonly used as a cooking oil or dressing.
Most of the oil is saturated fat, with the predominantly fatty acid being oleic acid. Oleic acid may improve heart health by reducing inflammation and lowering bad cholesterol levels.
Olive oil also contains polyunsaturated fats, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3s offer powerful health benefits for the heart and brain, while omega-6s support brain function, bone health, and metabolism.
It’s high in antioxidants
Olive oil is extremely nutritious. Aside from the health-boosting fatty acids, it also contains plenty of vitamin E and vitamin K. It's also loaded with powerful antioxidants that protect the body.
Antioxidants are known to reduce the risk of chronic disease by fighting inflammation. They also protect against blood cholesterol oxidation. Together, these two benefits may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A healthy heart is key to a long, fulfilling life.
It's a strong anti-inflammatory
Chronic inflammation is a common underlying cause of many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, metabolic syndrome, and even obesity. Olive oil reduces inflammation thanks to its high antioxidant content.
One of the most important antioxidants is oleocanthal. Studies have found that the compound works similarly to ibuprofen in its ability to relieve inflammation.
Oleic acid may also reduce levels of C-reactive protein, a main inflammatory marker.
Protects against heart disease
Many countries around the world are plagued by unhealthy diets that are filled with sugary, highly processed foods. This is why heart disease remains to be the leading cause of death in the world. But observational studies have found that heart disease is less common in Mediterranean countries.
Olive oil is one of the key ingredients of the Mediterranean diet. The oil has shown to protect against heart disease by:
Olive oil has also shown to lower blood pressure, which is one of the driving factors of heart disease and premature death. If you have a family history of heart disease, or if you have other major risk factors, consuming olive oil on a regular basis will add years to your life.
May have anti-cancer properties
Cancer is another leading cause of death across the globe. Just as they have a lower risk of heart disease, people living in Mediterranean countries also have a lower risk of certain cancers.
The powerful antioxidants in olive oil reduce damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are thought to be a leading driver of many types of cancer. Test-tube studies have confirmed that compounds in olive oil effectively fight cancer cells.
May prevent strokes
Did you know that every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke? In fact, 1 in 6 deaths from cardiovascular disease are caused by a stroke. The good news is that regular olive oil consumption may greatly reduce the risk of stroke.
A vast review of studies found that olive oil is one of the few sources of monounsaturated fat that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Another review found that people who consume olive oil are at a much lower risk of stroke compared to those who do not.
Best ways to consume olive oil
Now that you know all of the health benefits of olive oil, it’s easy to understand why the Greeks considered it to be "liquid gold."
Adding olive oil to your diet is easier than you may think. One of the best ways to start is by swapping butter or margarine for olive oil. It's great for sautéing vegetables or pan-frying your favorite lean protein.
Olive oil also makes for a tasty dipping oil. Whole grain bread dipped in olive oil not only tastes amazing, but it also curbs your appetite and is a good source of sustainable energy.
Kick your salad up a notch by making a homemade olive oil infused dressing. It pairs well with balsamic and white vinegars, along with fresh herbs, lemon, and other flavors.
Take charge of your health today!
Adding olive oil to your diet is only one step towards a healthier you. Our team at Align Integrated Medical provides a modern approach to solving common functional health problems. We focus on the "why" instead of just treating the "what."
There's no better time than now to get back to a healthy, happy life! Contact our team today to schedule a consultation.