Heart Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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Heart Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest of oils. It provides many health benefits. But the heart health benefits of extra virgin olive oil are quite outstanding. According to the health experts, a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day can provide significant overall health benefits including heart health benefits. Read on to know more about extra virgin olive oil and its cardio-protective benefits.

Olive oil is the fat that is obtained from olive or Olea europaea. This fat is considered very beneficial for the health for its high amounts of nutrients density. Olive oil comes in a few different forms or types. They are extra light olive oil, pure olive oil, virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. Extra light olive oil is made from strong processing of olives and it has a very mild flavour. Pure olive oil is also a processed or refined olive oil but it is less processed than extra light olive oil. Virgin olive oil is derived from the second pressing and it contains no chemicals. Extra virgin olive oil, which is considered as the best olive oil, is made from the first pressing of olives. It has a delicate flavour and wide array of nutrients. Extra virgin olive oil is strong source of monounsaturated fatty acids. It is known as one of the best oils for the health and quite famous for its cardio-protective effect. Let’s find out heart health benefits of extra virgin olive oil.

Nutritional Facts of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fats. It also contains certain amounts of polyunsaturated fats. Extra virgin olive oil is a good source of Vitamin E and beta carotene. But the best thing about extra virgin olive oil is that it contains lots of unique and outstanding phytochemicals. These phytochemicals are rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. That’s why these organic compounds play vital roles in heart health. Some of the phytochemicals in extra virgin olive oil are hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, luteolin, cyanidins, kaempferol, quercetin, Lignans, hydroxycinnamic acids such as caffeic, ferulic, and coumaric acids. Extra virgin olive oil is a strong source of omega 9 fat oleic acid. The blend of these highly nutritious nutrients makes extra virgin olive oil an outstanding oil for the heart and overall health.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Heart Health Benefits

  • It is a well known fact that anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities are very important for promoting heart health. Many phytochemicals in extra virgin olive oil are highly rich in these two properties. Anti-oxidant properties of extra virgin olive oil protect oxidative stress. By protecting from oxidative stress they prevent the blocking or arteries and blood vessels. In this way, anti-oxidant properties of extra virgin olive oil prevent and protect from atherosclerosis.  Hydroxytyrosol is a key polyphenol in extra virgin olive oil that plays important role in the protection of the cells of blood vessels from free radicals and oxidative damage. Other anti-oxidant nutrient like Vitamin E also plays important role in the protection cells from dangerous oxygen molecules. Thus, anti-oxidant properties of extra virgin olive oil help to keep the heart strong and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Anti-oxidant properties of extra virgin olive oil also play a crucial role in the prevention of oxidation of LDL. It is very important to protect LDL from oxygen damage. Oxidized LDL is extremely harmful for the heart. It can lead to tissue damage and increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease and cardiovascular heart disease including atherosclerosis. Phytochemicals in extra virgin olive oil protect from oxygen damage of the LDL and thus help to keep the heart healthy.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties of extra virgin olive oil reduce the chance of unwanted inflammation. Unwanted inflammation and chronic inflammation can cause dangerous heart problems. Anti-inflammatory diet is extremely important to protect the heart from unhealthy inflammation. Extra virgin olive oil contributes strongly against unwanted and chronic inflammation.
  • Extra virgin olive oil is a great source of heart healthy fats including oleic acid. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are considered healthy fats and a part of extra virgin olive oil. Although polyunsaturated fatty acids are better than saturated fatty acids (SUFAs) and have the ability to lower bad cholesterol or LDL levels but they can increase LDL oxidation which is dangerous for the heart. The good thing is that olive contains more monounsaturated fatty acids than polyunsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fats like oleic acid is vital for total cholesterol balance. Oleic acid reduces the levels of LDL cholesterol significantly and also, keeps a good ratio between HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL.
  • According to some studies, extra virgin olive oil may lower the blood pressure levels. Oleic acid plays important role in this. It gets absorbed into the body and then goes to cell membranes. After reaching there, it changes signalling patterns at a cell membrane level. In this way, it lowers blood pressure levels. Studies said olive oil is an anti-high blood pressure oil.

Because of the extraordinary nutritional profile, heart health benefits of extra virgin olive oil are exceptional and outstanding. Extra virgin olive oil’s strong polyphenolic phytochemicals and monounsaturated fatty acids are crucial for its heart health benefits. Adding extra virgin olive oil to daily diet is a good idea to get the benefits of this healthy oil.

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