The Mediterranean diet has been scientifically proven and recognized worldwide as the healthiest. The major component of this diet is olive oil, which is a source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants.
Although olive oil has been the major component of the people’s diet around the Mediterranean region, it has been excepted by the Western world only for the last few years, for its health benefits and gastronomical pleasures. Olive oil is gaining popularity in Europe and America and it is used most for their cooking.
Scientists have proved that cooking with olive oil, has many health benefits, due to its mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which lowers the LDL (bad cholesterol), raises the HDL (good cholesterol) and its oleic acid prevents blood clots in the arteries.
The antioxidants in olive oil prevent damage and harm to body tissues, caused by free radicals. The free radicals are entangled with heart disease, cancer and aging.
The poly-phenols which also are antioxidants in olive oil, destroy cancer cells. In the Mediterranean region, the breast cancer rate is much less than it is in North America and North Europe.
In the Mediterranean cooking, aromatic and tasty ingredients are used, like olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs, that make the food an enjoyable gastronomic experience with many health benefits.
Science reveals that people with diabetes, when they cook with olive oil, have more control over their condition. Cooking with olive oil has a protective effect on metabolism and extends the life expectancy.
Olive oil is a super food that contains disease fighting components. The extra virgin olive oil contains hydroxytyrosol which is a chemical with anti-inflammatory benefits. The high content of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic acid and antioxidants, also offer many health benefits.
In the 2005 January issue of the Annals of Oncology, a study was published about the oleic acid in olive oil. It confirmed the ability of oleic acid to reduce the effect of an oncogene which promotes the quick growth of breast cancer tumors. The researchers proved that oleic acid, in combination with drug therapy, destroys the cancer.
Olive oil’s anti-inflammatory properties also reduce arthritis and asthma, osteoporosis and dementia.