Olive oil eaten heated or raw, protects our health because of its monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, high content in poly-phenols, vitamin E and antioxidants.
Any kind of food prepared with olive oil protects our stomach and intestines. It provides stimulation to the gallbladder and protects it from forming gallstones.
In the Mediterranean region where the consumption of olive oil is the main fat in the diet, the formation of the gallstones is lower than the rest of the world.
Hippocrates prescribed olive oil for curing mental illness and many other diseases. Olive oil has always been food and medicine.
In the south European countries as in Greece, Italy, Spain, the olive oil is never absent from the dinner table used as appetizer, or from the medicine cabinet used as ailment.
In our days modern medicine pays serious attention to the olive oil and its healing properties.
Extra virgin olive oil protects the body from heart diseases, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, diseases usually caused by high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The high cholesterol is caused by saturated fat and mainly animal fat intake.
Thousands of years B.C. olive oil was an ailment for ulcers.
Olive oil also contains linolenic/linoleic acid, that is a source of essential fatty acids, which can not be produced by the body and have to be supplied from food.
Animal fat raises cholesterol that is a main risk factor in circulatory diseases. Vegetable oils lower cholesterol (LDL is bad cholesterol, HDL is good cholesterol).
In countries where olive oil is not consumed, heart and cancer diseases are higher than countries around Mediterranean, where the diet contains a high percentage of extra virgin olive oil.
The atherosclerosis is a common disease mainly in industrialized countries. It is linked to dietary habits along with other risk factors, like smoking, arterial hypertension, physical inactivity, age, gender (male), high levels of triglycerides, diabetes, gout and oral contraceptives.
A diet rich in animal fats raises plasma cholesterol and a diet rich in polyunsaturated fats lowers it. The high density lipoproteins eliminate free cholesterol in the cells and carry it to the liver, where the bile empties it.
Studies have proven a negative relation between the atherosclerosis and plasma LDL levels and a positive relation between HDL and a long life expectancy.