Olive Oil is one of the oldest food ingredients in the world; it’s been in use for centuries in Western Europe and Latin America. And over the years it caught the world’s fancy thanks to the health quotient. Everybody talks about (extra virgin) olive oil being one of the healthiest fat on the planet.
It’s reputation has given it the tag of super food. Whether it qualifies for that tag or not is debatable but what isn’t is that it’s great for your health and wellbeing. So we are going to explore exactly what it is that makes olive oil so good for our health and fitness.
Olive oil helps regulate our insulin and balances out spikes in our glucose. This is especially useful for those working out and running to battle heart diseases and diabetes. Including extra virgin olive oil in your diet may help prevent diabetes, or curtail its effect on your body.
One of the key ideas behind the popularity of olive oil is its richness in antioxidants, which are essential for strengthening and protecting your immune system. As you keep working out, your body produces free radicals that may be extremely harmful if uncontrolled. Antioxdiants are what keeps these free radicals at may, helping you resist infections, and disorders.
Olive oil is full of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage. Certain polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory properties. There are studies being conducted to see the effect of these polyphenols may have on bone and digestive health as well as how they might help prevent cancer.
The monounsaturated fat in antioxidant-rich olive oil has been shown to control LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. This can potentially lower your risk of heart disease. Consuming more than four tablespoons a day can significantly lower your risk of having a heart attack, suffering from a stroke or dying of heart disease
Extra virgin olive oil is composed of more than 80 percent oleic acid. This substance easily penetrates the skin, and allows the oil to heal damage, reduce wrinkles and improve texture. For runners, olive oil could result less skin-on-skin chafing and thus a more comfortable run.
And knowing that olive oil is actually good for your health, means reducing the risk of guilt after a meal. New runners, especially those who are working hard to lose weight through running, often end up in a cycle of self-loathing and depression when eating. But olive oil with its higher trans fats content and antioxidants poses less threat of a mental breakdown.
Over the years, antioxidant-rich olive oil has evolved to be made suitable for all manner of cuisines and culinary technique. The idea is not to replace regular fats and oils with olive oil completely. Even if you are not ready to completely rely on olive oil, test the waters with it in some preparations to get your palate used to it and soon it’ll become the norm.