Olive oil is one of the healthiest foods available because it is packed with nutrients and antioxidants.
High-quality extra virgin olive oil will help you live a longer healthier life.
But olive oil fraud is a widespread problem that affects between 60 and 90 percent of olive oil on the market, meaning you may not be getting what you pay for!
One report found that more than half the olive oil on the market is poor quality and not actually “extra virgin.” Rather, it is doctored with cheaper oils such as soybean or hazelnut, or it may be poor quality and made from overripe or rotting olives. This “sham” olive oil won’t provide health benefits and may actually do you harm.
Here are the top four reasons to make sure your olive oil is really extra virgin.
1) Olive Oil Is Rich In Disease-Fighting Antioxidants
The olive is a fruit, making olive oil one of the healthiest foods because it is not derived from a vegetable or an animal. It is considered a stone fruit, like a plum or cherry. You make olive oil using a simple hydraulic press, similar to fresh-squeezed fruit juices rather than industrial fats.
Olive oil is a healthy fat that contains one of the highest levels of CoQ10, an antioxidant that protects the heart and fights chronic inflammation. It's also high in antioxidants in the form of polyphenols and sterols, and vitamins such as E and K.
2) Olive Oil Improves Insulin Health and Prevents Diabetes
Studies show that a Mediterranean diet that is rich in extra virgin olive oil may help prevent heart disease and diabetes. A new study found that giving type 2 diabetics a diet rich in fat from olive oil rather than one high in saturated animal fats will improve insulin sensitivity, lower oxidative stress, and result in less C-reactive protein. This evidence has implications for fighting obesity and supporting metabolism.
Researchers had similar results when they compared the effects of extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil in a breakfast muffin on inflammatory status and insulin health. The olive oil muffin was the healthiest food, producing the lowest insulin response and lowest level of inflammatory compounds compared to the other two oil-based muffins.
3) Olive Oil Protects The Brain
The antioxidants in olive oil also protect the brain. A diet high in olive is protective effects against age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
For example, a new study in the journal Neurological Research found that oleuropein, which is one of the antioxidants in olive oil, can decrease inflammation in the brain and spinal cord after a traumatic injury. Oleuropein inhibitis the production of oxidative stress biomarkers that damage brain neurons.
4) Olive Oil Reduces Risk of Breast and Prostate Cancer
Olive oil may help prevent breast and prostate cancer by minimizing oxidative stress. Olive oil improves hormonal status in a favorable way and positively modifies the structure and function of cell membranes.
Additionally, the antioxidants in olives modulate cell signaling and regulate gene expression to support immunity and prevent the development of cancer.
Think of Extra Virgin Olive Oil As A Supplement: Put The Best In Your Body
A high quality olive oil is essential to get these health benefits. Just as you know the value of sourcing and paying for top quality supplements, the same goes for extra virgin olive oil.
A few ways to ensure you have authentic olive oil are the following:
- Cultivate a taste for high-qualtiy olive oil by taking a class in flavor variations.
- Buy brands that are certified by an organization you trust such as the California Olive Oil Council.
- Do a refrigerator test. Olive oil should solidify in the refrigerator. If it stays liquid, it is probably blended with other oils.
When preparing food with olive oil, use it fresh or in low heat dishes. Extra virgin olive oil is easily oxidized at high temperature.
Improving your diet can be as simple as incorporating olive oil, one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Use it as part of a nutrition plan designed around high quality protein, other healthy fats, and colorful vegetables.