Olive (Olea Europaea) is an evergreen tree native to Mediterranean Europe, Asia and Africa. Olive has been an essential part of the healthy Mediterranean diet and is believed to be responsible for the longevity of southern European population and their low rates of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Healthy oil in olive
Olive oil is most often used as cooking oil or dressing and some may drink the olive oil. The predominant fatty acids found in olive oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) called oleic acids. MUFAs are a healthy type of fat, consuming MUFAs may improve the function of your blood vessels and have favourable effect to the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. MUFAs may lower your total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterols levels while increases your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterols level. LDL cholesterol is called as ‘bad’ cholesterol because it may cause the build-up of cholesterol in your arteries which leads to atherosclerosis that may further develops a cardiovascular disease. HDL cholesterol is called as ‘good’ cholesterol because it helps carry cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver.
Phytonutrients of olive
Olive oil being one of the healthiest oils as it contains natural vitamin E and natural chemical compounds known as phenols and polyphenols that provide health benefits such as protection of LDL from oxidation. Some of the natural compounds found are hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein. Hydroxytyrosol is the most potent polyphenol antioxidant in olive that reduces the oxidative stress in your body and it is rapidly absorbed. Oleuropein is the most abundant antioxidant found in fresh olive. Hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein are found to have have cardioprotective effect, anticancer effect, neuroprotective effect, antidiabetic effect, lipid-regulating effect, antimicrobial and antiviral effect. Olive phytonutrients possess anti-inflammatory which may be beneficial to chronic inflammation and autoimmune disorder. They also show osteoprotective effects that helps on the formation and maintenance of your bone by stimulating the deposition of calcium.
Being smart in food choices can provide positive impact to your health. Having healthy food choices in your daily life help improve your health. Both olive fruits and olive oil are good choices to be included in your diet to get the health benefits.