The Mediterranean diet is one of the most popular diets in the world, and for good reason. It is not only delicious but also beneficial to your health. One of the key ingredients that make up this diet is olive oil.
Olive oil is a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, and it has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various ailments. Olive oil is made by pressing fresh olives, which results in a rich green or golden liquid with an intense flavor.
The health benefits of olive oil are numerous. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which have been found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. MUFAs also help to improve insulin sensitivity, which can be helpful for people with type 2 diabetes.
Olive oil has also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties due to its high content of polyphenols. These compounds help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, including in the arteries and joints.
Another benefit of olive oil is that it may help to protect against certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer. This may be due to its antioxidant properties and ability to reduce oxidative stress in the body.
When using olive oil in cooking, it’s important to choose the right type of olive oil for your needs. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is considered the highest quality and has undergone minimal processing, making it more flavorful and nutritious than other types of olive oils.
To get the most out of EVOO’s health benefits when cooking with it at home, you’ll want to use low-heat methods like sautéing or drizzling over salads instead of frying foods at high temperatures where some nutrients might be lost during heating process.
It’s essential always store your extra virgin olive away from light or heat as exposure can break down healthy compounds within EVOO over time; hence storing them properly will ensure they remain fresh longer while maintaining their nutritional value.
Also, be sure to choose a reputable brand of olive oil that is certified by the International Olive Council (IOC) or other third-party organizations. This ensures that you are getting pure and authentic olive oil without any adulteration.
In conclusion, incorporating olive oil into your diet can have numerous health benefits. By choosing high-quality EVOO and using it in low-heat cooking methods, you can take advantage of its anti-inflammatory properties, protection against certain types of cancer and improve insulin sensitivity. So next time you’re cooking up a Mediterranean-inspired dish, don’t forget to add some delicious and nutritious olive oil!