Do you use olive oil to dress your salads? Or for light sautéing? It not only tastes great, but has many health benefits. While many folks know olive oil is healthy, not everyone knows why it’s good, particularly in terms of lowering cancer risks, and not everyone incorporates it into their cancer-fighting diet. Olive oil and unsaturated fats, which are typical ingredients in the Mediterranean diet, have been proven to reduce the risk of several cancers.
Let’s take a look at how powerful olive oil is.
The healthful components in olive oil:
1. Monounsaturated fats: Healthy fats help reduce cancer risks. They also lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and raise good cholesterol (HDL) levels, thereby preventing heart disease.
2. Polyphenols: Powerful antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals, and reduce oxidative stress and DNA damage, potentially helping to combat degenerative diseases including cancer.
3. DHPEA-EDA: In virgin olive oil, it may constitute up to half the total antioxidant contents in the oil. DHPEA-EDA can protect red blood cells from oxidative damage that these cells are particularly sensitive to.
The impact of olive oil on cancer prevention:
Extra virgin olive oil might possess anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and anti-apoptotic effects. Experimental studies provide new evidence that olive oil has the potential protective effects against cancer of colorectal, breast, and upper digestive tract.
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats and is rich in polyphenols. Olive oil helps lower cancer risks. Other benefits include protection against heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis, cell aging, ulcers, and even gallstone formation.
Virgin and extra-virgin olive oils may contain higher levels of polyphenols (powerful antioxidants) compared with processed or refined olive oils. Consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a part of a healthy diet, but as with most foods, moderation is important. Good fat is still fat and all types of fat are high in calories.
How do you consume olive oil in your daily diet? We’d like to hear it!
Photo credit: by Seda Inal