For many years the traditional Mediterranean diet, has been recognized as the healthiest diet. With olive oil as the main component, the Mediterranean diet also contains many traditional foods. Extra virgin olive oil is used during preparation of the food or raw.
Olive oil is a source of energy. It has played an indispensable role in difficult times and is very important culturally and economically for all the regions around the Mediterranean.
Chlorophyll, hydrocarbons, carotenoids, phytosterols, tocophenols, various phenolic constituents, free fatty acids and triacylglycerols are very important components in extra virgin olive oil and are very important contributors to the olive oil’s organoleptic properties. They are also stabilizers towards oxidation. These compounds come from the natural processing of the olives.
The high content of antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil, attributes to the beneficial impact of the Mediterranean diet on health.This is estimated from the intake of extra virgin olive oil and table olives in the Greek population, based on Greek data and researches on cancer and nutrition.
The phenolic compounds contained in olives, protect them from environmental stress and their concentration depends on climate, cultivation, maturity and processing techniques.
Based on studies in humans, the phenolic antioxidant properties of olive oil effect the low density lipoprotein (LDL) and DNA oxidation, because these believed to be the two major processes for the development of atherosclerosis and cancer.
The anti-inflammatory properties in olive oil are very high and after intake 25 ml of extra virgin olive oil, the recovery in plasma and urine was close to 98%.
Not too long ago olive oil was considered just an exotic food. Because of the belief that olive oil plays a positive role in the prevention of diseases, it is gaining popularity among consumers who are trying to grab all the health benefits this super food provides.
The content of phenols suggests that the health benefits of olive oil include: 1. Prevention of different types of cancer, such as colon, breast, etc. 2. Minimal risk of heart disease. 3. Slow the aging process. 4. Reduction of inflammation and boosting of the immune system.
Olive oil is a functional food that provides health benefits beyond your nutritional needs.
The health promoting properties of olive oil, have increased by studies all over the world. Oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol obtained by different processing methods, from the olive pulp and from the olive leaves, emerging as major antioxidants in pharmacological tests and as ingredients added in foods and food supplements.
Antioxidants and poly-phenols in our days are common household words, found on labels of many foods.
Studies conduced in Greece give a mean of 232 mg intake of poly-phenols from extra virgin olive oil and table olives consumption.