Health benefits of olive oil

A lot has been said about the beneficial effects of olive oil on health. But, we are often plagued by doubts about the actual function of olive oil in combating health-related illnesses like heart disease, cancer and diabetes and its role in improving the overall immune system. We’ve put together some quick facts which clarify these doubts and tell you why you should include olive oil in your diet.

Heart disease: Mono-unsaturated fats such as the ones found in olive oil are best at lowering cholesterol. Olive oil reduces the blood’s basic ability to form clots which would mean fewer heart attacks.

Weight Control: A diet rich in olive oil prevents belly fat accumulation and insulin sensitivity. But, olive oil must be consumed in small quantities as it is high in calories

Diabetes: People with diabetes are at high risk for heart disease. Olive oil is linked to lower triglyceride levels and may help offset a propensity for high triglyceride levels that many diabetics suffer from, which puts them at risk for heart disease.

Arthritis & asthma: Mono-unsaturated healthy fats found in olive oil are used by the body to produce substances that are relatively anti-inflammatory. By reducing inflammation, these fats may be able to prevent or reduce the severity of diseases like arthritis and asthma.

Blood Pressure: Olive oil contains a compound called oleuropein that prevents hardening of the arteries caused by bad cholesterol sticking to the walls of the arteries. This, in turn, prevents high blood pressure. Olive oil also contains antioxidant polyphenols which may be the substance lowering blood pressure.

Text courtesy: The Olive Oil Source
Image: Flickr/creativecommons jurvetson

Also read: Is olive oil good for diabetes? | Olive recipes