The health benefits of a good extra virgin olive oil are unrivaled and research reveals new ones every day. Notwithstanding that, being a dietary fat that brings many calories, it is good not to abuse it, its rational use can give our body many positive effects.
The most important is related to the fact that it lowers the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the good cholesterol (HDL) reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and thrombosis. The superiority of olive oil over other vegetable fats consists in the fact that it contains a large presence of monounsaturated fatty acids, about 77%. These, in the same way as the polyunsaturated fatty acids (present in great prevalence in seed oils), contribute to thinning the blood, but compared to them they have the big advantage of being little susceptible to oxidation processes which are the main cause of the increase in bad cholesterol.
It provides our body with essential fatty acids in the same ratio as that of breast milk. Essential fatty acids are those fatty acids necessary for our body but which people are unable to synthesize independently. Their formation depends on the photosynthetic processes of the plant kingdom for which makes it essential to take them through food.
Another important aspect is related to the rich presence of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K. Since these normally have a short life, our body needs to be constantly integrated with food.
A good extra virgin olive oil is also rich in natural antioxidants such as vitamin E and polyphenols. This, associated with the large presence of monounsaturated fatty acids, reduces the formation of free radicals which are the main cause of damage to healthy cells with the consequent formation of various diseases including tumors.
The polyphenols in a good extra virgin olive oil also have a protective effect on the liver. They increase the production of bile to reduce excess fats that are not accumulated.
A good quality extra virgin olive oil proves to be highly digestible and has excellent gastric tolerance. This is because oleic acid stimulates the gallbladder which produces bile acids that make digestion easier. Furthermore, regular consume of extra virgin olive oil regulates the intestine and prevents constipation.
It has long been recognized that olive oil is an excellent softener for the skin, so it can be used to prevent dry skin and to nourish the scalp, making it softer and more shiny.