admin - June 19, 2014
The Mediterranean diet has been linked to better cardiovascular health, even though it is relatively high in fat. New research shows that there is a ‘fusion’ of healthy fats in olive oil with nitrates in greens like spinach and celery in the Mediterranean diet that creates a nitro fatty acid. This acid relaxes blood vessels and brings down blood pressure – key components of heart health. While this study was conducted using mice, researchers believe that the nitro fatty acid that resulted applies in human beings.
The combination of olive oil with greens is what makes the Mediterranean diet helpful with reducing the incidence of cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart failure and heart attacks. Olive oil also helps arterial function in elderly individuals. The fats in olive oil help to prevent damage to the layer of cells that line the inner walls of the arteries and help blood circulate smoothly.
Health Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive Oil as an Anti-Inflammatory: Oleic acid, which is the most prominent fatty acid in olive oil can reduce inflammatory markers similar to C-Reactive Protein. Other antioxidants in olive oil work similar to ibuprofen, and 3.4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil has a similar effect to 10% of an ibuprofen dosage for pain relief.
Preventing Cancer: A potential contributing factor to cancer is oxidative damage, which olive oil antioxidants reduce. Oleic acid in olive oil is resistant to oxidation and can have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.
Improving Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Disease: One feature of Alzheimer’s Disease is a buildup of beta amyloid plaques in neurons inside of the brain. These plaques are protein tangles that substances in olive oil can help to clear away.
While olive oil maybe a health food that is here to stay, adopting a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent developing serious chronic disease. Exercising daily, eating healthy and nutrient dense foods and managing risk factors are all important in disease prevention. We strongly encourage you to take control of your health, and know your personal risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Learn more about our health screening services.
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