The pursuit of a healthy lifestyle and slowing down the aging process has been as long as the existence of humanity. For centuries, people have tried to find ways to slow down aging, cure diseases, or identify their causes. With the development of medicine, chemistry, and other related branches of science, there is an increasing understanding of how our body functions and the connection between diet and diseases, as well as accelerated aging.
This is why we observe a growing interest today in healthy food produced in a natural way, as well as in foods that contain compounds believed to have an effective impact on human health. Such food is called functional food, containing components whose effects on human immunity and disease prevention are quick and efficient. Numerous studies have been conducted to establish the specific effects of such food on our bodies, and such research continues.
Extra virgin olive oil is precisely such functional food. We are talking about high-quality extra virgin olive oil, the juice of the olive fruit, obtained exclusively by mechanical means, in the right way, and such olive oil positively affects our health.
Scientists believe that the consumption of 2 to 3 tablespoons of quality olive oil in the morning and evening is sufficient to take advantage of all its benefits and positive effects on our health. Read more information on Oleumhistriae where you can also buy high-quality olive oil.
Recent research has shown that the frequency of many diseases is associated with oxidative stress, which, in turn, is linked to lifestyle and diet. Data show that in populations where a Mediterranean diet predominates, the mortality rate from various diseases is much lower.
The Mediterranean diet, based on a high proportion of functional foods that are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, is considered a model of healthy eating. In it, olive oil is the main source of fats, and its significance has been proven in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, preventing some types of cancers (prostate, breast, ovarian, colon), influencing the immune system, and even slowing down the aging process.
The most prevalent natural antioxidants in olive oil are vitamin E and phenolic compounds. Extra virgin olive oil is exceptionally rich in phenols, making it unique compared to other types of oils.
Oleocanthal, a natural compound from the phenol group, was first noticed in extra virgin olive oil in 1993 by Italian scientists. The compound was named for its specific action – it gives an extremely sharp, pungent taste to olive oil (oleo=olive, canth=sharp, al=aldehyde) and has a broad impact on our bodies. Find out why olive oil is bitter in our previous article.
The important role of olive oil extends from the diet of pregnant women and children to the diet of older individuals. Scientific insights into the impact of a mother’s diet on a child’s health are continuously increasing due to the emergence of new scientific disciplines such as epigenetics, as well as the increase in chronic diseases in children in developed countries (asthma, allergies).
Olive oil acts through two mechanisms: high intake of oleic acid, which enriches all biological membranes, replacing polyunsaturated fatty acids prone to harmful oxidation processes, and a high content of natural antioxidants that, through their action, remove excess free radicals and maintain the necessary redox balance in the body.
Also, during the aging process, bone calcification is a common occurrence. In this case, daily intake of olive oil can be beneficial to our body. The richness of oleates and essential fatty acids has a favorable effect on bone mineralization.
The aging process often accompanies impaired digestive system function and poor absorption of nutrients from food, especially vitamins and minerals. Scientists note the laxative effect of olive oil and, at the same time, its easy digestibility and high degree of absorption compared to other types of fats.
Olive oil exhibits antimicrobial action against harmful bacteria in the human intestinal flora. Research has shown that olive polyphenols remain stable for several hours in the acidic stomach environment, retaining their antimicrobial properties. Results suggest the potential use of olive oil as an effective means in preventing the occurrence of ulcers and gastric cancers.
Therefore, high-quality olive oil is recommended to be taken in the morning, on an empty stomach; bitterness in the morning.
One of the key properties of olive oil is its high concentration of monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid. This fatty acid is considered “healthy” fat because it can help control appetite, increase a feeling of fullness, and regulate blood sugar levels. In this sense, it can be helpful in weight loss regimes.
Olive oil is considered a rich source of natural antioxidant compounds. Anti-inflammatory effects have been recorded in many scientific studies, and they are linked to the antioxidant activity of its components. It acts as a true guardian of the redox balance in the body.
The monounsaturated, oleic fatty acid that predominates in olive oil affects the body’s immune system. The beneficial effect of olive oil is most strongly associated with reducing the risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases.
Certain components of olive oil, such as oleocanthal, increase the transmission of signals between nerve cells, helping to regenerate cells in the hippocampal zone responsible for memory and cognitive processes.
High-quality extra virgin olive oil has a low level of free fatty acids and a high content of polyphenols. It can be used as a seasoning, for cooking, and food preparation. If you want to take full advantage of the health potential of olive oil, use it in the morning and evening without adding it to food. In the morning, it can be taken on an empty stomach, and in the evening before bedtime.
Scientists recommend the consumption of quality olive oil in amounts of 2 to 3 tablespoons, which is sufficient to take advantage of all its potentials and positive effects on our body and health.