As you might already know, I’m a big fan of oil in all its natural forms, including olive oil. For thousands of years people around the Mediterranean see have been using olive oil in numerous ways. Diseases like heart disease and cancer and also allergies are less common in those areas than in the rest of Europe. Beside the fact that olive oil is super delicious and can be used in many ways, it’s also very good for your health, at least when you use the extra virgin oil!
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil has many health and healing benefits, which “regular” olive doesn’t have. Now, what is extra virgin exactly? Extra virgin olive oil results from the first cold press of the harvested olives and may have an acidity of 0.8% or lower. The quality depends on the type of olive, the climate and soil and the harvest methods. Organic extra virgin olive oil contains no artificial compounds and toxics and is, of course, the best choice.
Extra virgin olive oil contains lots of E vitamins, which is an antioxidant. E Vitamins protect against the oxidative damage in all cells of our body, and plays an important part in cell exchange. The positive effect of Vitamin E on cancer is clearly proven by different researches.
Bioactive compounds / Antioxidants
Extra virgin olive oil contains different types of antioxidants like polyfenols, hydroxytyrosol and oleuopein. The combination of polyfenoles has a proven protective effect against cancer, lowers the cholesterol and is anti-flammatory.
Squaleen is a hydrocarbon that occurs mainly in extra virgin olive oil.
Research worldwide has proven that different types of cancer, like breast cancer and pancreas cancer, is less common with people who consume more olive oil.
Laboratory researches proved that squaleen has an evident anti-tumor effect.
Fystosterols are vegetable bioactive compounds and have a proven cholesterol lowering effect on people.
Several studies of fystosterols and cancer show very promising results; especially the fytosterol ?-sitosterol looks hopeful in relationship with prostate-, breast-, colon- and stomach cancer.
Extra virgin olive oil should not be heated over 150 C as the heat changes the molecule structure and toxins will be released. Use your olive oil cold (over salads and in soups for example, yum!) or cook on low fire.
Lots of Love, Sophia
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