Proven Health Benefits of Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
It’s common knowledge by now that premium organic extra virgin olive oil leads to positive health outcomes for people who consume it on a consistent basis. Centuries of anecdotal evidence in support of these claims was convincing enough, but empirical research over the past few decades has created a scientific consensus.
In other words, there is no longer any doubt that olive oil is good for the overall health for many important reasons. It has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and to contain a wealth of antioxidants, as well as to help prevent stroke.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In addition to these important benefits, certain compounds in olive oil are also highly effective anti-inflammatory agents. To some people, the anti-inflammatory qualities of olive oil might seem less important or dramatic than those that prevent stroke or heart disease, but this is a most assuredly a misconception.
One reason some might deemphasize the importance of anti-inflammatory agents is a misunderstanding of inflammation itself. Although most people understand the role that inflammation plays in “everyday” conditions like muscle soreness and arthritis, fewer are familiar with the more serious diseases which chronic inflammation can cause.
Muscle soreness and arthritis are troubling enough, but chronic inflammation can also contribute to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, diabetes, and obesity, in addition to other serious conditions. This is why the anti-inflammatory properties of premium organic extra virgin olive oil are amongst the most wide-ranging and substantial health benefits associated with it.
How Olive Oil Prevents Inflammation
Research has discovered much about how olive oil combats inflammation. The exactitude of these studies leaves no doubt that olive oil possesses important anti-inflammatory qualities. The conclusions of these studies can be summarized as follows.
One of the phenol antioxidants contained in olive oil is called oleocanthal. Oleocanthal has been shown to be as effective as low doses of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation. But because it occurs naturally, oleocanthal mimics ibuprofen’s action without its harmful digestive side effects.
When It Comes To the Health Benefits of Olive Oil, Quality Matters
But it’s important to keep in mind that not all olive oils are created equally, especially in terms of the health benefits that accompany its consumption. Much of this depends on the way in which the oil is extracted in the first place.
Organic extra virgin olive oil is always the best choice, in terms of health benefits as well as taste. It is obtained by the simple process of pressing the olive, which extracts the oil in its most pristine state. Amongst other things, this pristine state preserves the phenolic antioxidants that make olive oil so healthy in the first place.
Lower quality olive oils are often extracted using chemical means or mixed with cheaper, less beneficial oils. These processes deplete the oil of its phenolic antioxidants, rendering it much less beneficial to the health. This is why it’s always wise to a choose an extra virgin olive oil. There’s just too much variability otherwise.