When Greeks talk about oil, they usually mean olive oil. And it’s no wonder. The Mediterranean countries, especially Greece, Italy, and Spain, have the larger production and consumption of olive oil worldwide.
This “liquid gold”, as Homer called it, is thought to be one of the key secrets of longevity. But could it really be the staple that could save our lives? Olive oil is rich in vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants.
So how is this translated into actual benefits for our health?
Cuts cancer risk
Women who ate a Mediterranean diet plus 4 tablespoons of olive oil every day had a 62% lower risk of developing breast cancer after 6 years compared to women on a low-fat diet.
Lowers blood pressure
Several studies show a diet rich in olive oil reduces blood pressure in healthy adults and can even reduce patients’ reliance on blood pressure meds.
Reduces diabetes risk
Consuming at least one tablespoon of olive oil daily lowered type 2 diabetes risk by 10% in one large study.
Research suggests regular consumption of olive oil can prevent loss of bone mass.
Speeds weight loss
Foods made with olive oil in place of other fats could actually increase feelings of satiety and help keep you feeling fuller longer. The aroma compounds found in it are the reason for the increased feeling of fullness.
Those who ate more than two teaspoons of olive oil daily had significantly fewer signs of skin aging than those who only ate a teaspoon or less.
Olive oil is yummy in all sorts of dishes, whether you choose to use it in a salad dressing or drizzle a bit over your pasta. Either way, don’t forget to add 3 tablespoons (or 50 grams) in your daily nutrition to get the most out of its valuable properties.