Did you know that olive oil can reduce your risk of stomach ulcers?
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that antioxidants in virgin olive oil fight eight strains of Helicobacter pylori bacteria, including three that are resistant to antibiotics. These bacteria are one of the leading causes of stomach ulcers and gastritis (besides the use of NSAIDS- non-steroidal antiinflammatories).
The research is well documented in the benefits of olive oil in preventing heat disease by increasing “good” cholesterol and lowering triglycerides. Olive oil has a strong antioxidant content and reduces inflammation, which has a strong link to heart disease. Also 25ml (1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp.) of olive oil daily can reduce blood pressure in men who have not been eating a Mediterranean diet. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, 110 men entered the study and their blood pressure dropped 3 percent, which was considered a significant amount, after 9 weeks.
Other wonderful benefits of Olive Oil are its antiinflammatory effects that help reduce pain and inflammation. The compound, oleocanthal, in olive oil acts in a similar fashion to ibuprofen by inhibiting inflammatory enzymes.
Cancer rates are significantly higher in northern European countries than in southern European ones, where olive oil is staple. So olive oil may protect against certain cancers, especially prostate, breast, and colon.
Look for low acidity in olive oil which means more antioxidants. The label should state the acid level. Extra virgin is the most nutritious and usually contains 0.8 percent acidity or less. Regular olive oil usually contains 2 percent or less and other olive oils may have even higher acidity if they have chemicals in them to disguise rancidity and impurities.
Also, look for the label California Olive Oil Council (COOC) which sets distinct quality standards for purity and freshness as well as an acid level of 0.5 percent or lower. This insures that you’re getting the highest antioxidants in the bottle.
Olive oil is a wonderful oil to add to your diet that reduces risks for aging diseases and is a delicious source of omega-9 fats from olives.