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Olive oil..and health

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Olive oil is the basis on the mediterranean food chain and is considered by scientific researchers as a model for being the healthiest diet. It is one of the main dietary factors in longevity thanks to the content of 'good' unsaturated fat, in fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin E), and in antioxidants such as polyphenols.

Beneficial for human health, properties of olive oil are well known in Greece and throughout the Mediterranean since ancient times. Hippocrates, the founder of medicine, referred to olive oil as the most therapeutic nutrient, therefore it is of no coincidence that it was used by the inhabitants of the mediterranean for over 5000 years as a medicinal or pharmaceutical ingredient even as a cosmetic.

Today, recognition of the Greek physician's views on the benefits of olive oil are depicted in the "Mediterranean Diet Pyramid" which shows olive oil as being more preferable above all other oils and fats.

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  • Lowers blood pressure and helps in the treatment of hypertension. This is because olive oil is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that help the arteries dilate thereby reducing stress.
  • Contributes to healthy functioning of the brain and strong bones particularly in young children as it helps in the absorption of calcium.
  • Due to its content of vitamin E, it helps reduce the aging process.
  • Evidence show that it coats the lining of the stomach, enhancing the digestive system and reducing the risks of stomach ulcers and gastritis. Furthermore, it has laxative properties to help improve bowel function.
  • Due to the actions of vitamin E found in olive oil, it helps protect the skin from sunlight and also soothe the pain from insect bites. ?It is a valuable and necessary supplement for breast milk because of the acids the oil contains, it helps with the healthy and proper development of newborns.
  • Because of the antioxidant, vitamin and polyphenol components it contains, it can prevent liver disorders, hardening of the arteries and various other inflammatories.
  • According to recent scientific research, it helps prevent the occurence of skin cancer because it contains therapeutic nutrients, such as squalene, which are transported and absorbed through the skin. Furthermore, it assists in the prevention of many cancers, such as colon,breast,prostate, and it protects the cells and DNA from possible changes that may lead to cancer. This is helped because of the substance "oleic acid" found in olive oil.
  • Finally, olive oil helps in proper metabolic functioning, and also those suffering from diabetes. It is an essential supplement to the diet because it balances the sugar levels.

The Organization Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. has issued a notice which states that the daily consumption of 2 tablespoons of olive oil can help reduce the chances of coronary heart disease.

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Koskoletos © 2013

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