Is Olive Oil Good for You? What are the Health Benefits of Olive Oil?

We’ve all been told that Olive Oil is good for you, right? The health benefits of olive oil are numerous.  Good for your heart. Good for your skin. Good for your hair. But why is olive oil so healthy? When there are so many other oils out there; avocado, peanut, safflower, vegetable, etc. why choose olive oil over all the others? We’ll tell you why now. We will also tell you where to buy olive oil in Daytona Beach and shop for olive oil online!

Olive oil is the natural oil extracted from olives, the fruit of the olive tree. About 14% of the oil is saturated fat, whereas 11% is polyunsaturated, such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. But the predominant fatty acid in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, making up 73% of the total oil content. Studies suggest that oleic acid, a phytonutrient, reduces inflammation by mimicking the effect of ibuprofen and may even have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.

An olive oil diet reduces the risk of Type II Diabetes. Traditionally a low-fat diet has been prescribed to prevent various diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. While studies have shown that high fat diets may increase the risk of certain diseases such as cancer and diabetes, it appears that it is the type of fat that counts rather than the amount of fat. We now know that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats such as the ones found in olive oil, nuts and seeds actually protects from many of these chronic diseases.

Extra virgin olive oil consumption can help improve bone mineralization and calcification. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is a key player in preventing osteoporosis, aiding in thickening the bones.  The blood of a diet rich in olive oil has been found to contain boosted levels of osteocalcin, a marker of healthy bone formation.

Use olive oil to lower blood pressure. It has been demonstrated, that the addition of olive oil to a diet that is not changed in any other way has a clear lowering effect on blood pressure, which seems to be specific to this oil. Regular consumption of olive oil decreases both systolic (maximum) and diastolic (minimum) blood pressure.

There is recent evidence that when olive oil is consumed the daily dose of drugs needed to control blood pressure in hypertensive patients can be decreased, possibly because of a reduction in nitric acid caused by polyphenols.

Olive oil is one of the best foods for brain health too. Another polyphenol and powerful antioxidant, oleocanthal, has the potential to reduce cognitive decline that comes with aging, including Alzheimer’s disease. It also helps to combat the oxidative stress associated with aging. A study conducted in France showed that participants who cooked with and consumed olive oil had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those that did not use olive oil at all. Fat serves as an important building block for cell membranes. As such it acts as padded protection for organs and cells as well as nerve insulation. In fact, fat comprises 60% of the brain and its healthy, moderate consumption fights depression and other mental illnesses.

Lastly, those powerful antioxidants mentioned above that keep the brain sharp also keep aging skin youthful. That’s right! Our skin oxidizes in the sun causing everything from age spots to melanoma. Protecting your skin from the inside with olive oil is just as important as using sunscreen!

Now that you know all the health benefits to olive oil, come on into our store, Riverfront Olive Oil & Vinegar on Beach St. in Daytona Beach and pick out some favorites. Sampling olive oil sold in our Daytona Beach location as well as The Farmers Market at the Port Orange Pavilion every Saturday means you will love the taste and you’ll cook with olive oil at every meal!