Olive oil has been used in human diet for at least 5.000 years. The Greeks consume this foodstuff probably more than any other nation. Despite the fact they consume big amounts of greasy and salty food, they are pretty longevous nation and they are less likely to suffer from heart attack or stroke than other nations.
So, the usage of olive oil very positively affects the people's health, especially their cardiovascular system. This foodstuff contains substances that are healing and precious for health, and the most important are unsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 acids, vitamin E, herbal enzymes and flavonoids. The high vitamin E level in olive oil makes it a good antioxidant.
Studies have shown that olive oil protects from heart diseases by controlling the LDL bad cholesterol level and increases the HDL good cholesterol level. The individuals who take 25 ml (two teaspoons of olive oil a day), show significant decrease of LDL cholesterol in blood during one week, and increased concentration of antioxidants in blood, especially phenols.
In comparison with rafinated oils, olive oil is much easier to digest and it protects the digestive tract. It helps in treating gastritis and gastric ulcer. Except that, it stimulates the bile and pancreas secretion, and in that way reduces the possibilities for forming gallstones. For curing gastric ulcer or gastritis, the people who have this problem should take one spoon of extra virgin (cold pressed) olive oil, every day during a period of 40 days.
Olive oil has other beneficial effects on health, like decreased risk of breast cancer and colon cancer, decreased risk of diabetes and delayed appereance of complications related to diabetic people who use insulin.
For those who care about their physical appearance, we should say that olive oil has the same amount of calories as other fats, but calories from olive oil are differently disassembled and collocated. The newest scientific research have shown that olive oil sontains the same compound as ibuprofen, which means that adecuate daily dosis of olive oil could help in reumathic diseases.
But, it is very important to say what type of olive oil we talk about. The best is the one that is got with the first pressing. On the other hand, when this olive oil is used in cooking, than its positive effect is decreasing. Most people in the Mediterranean countries use raw olive oil, in salads, so it maintains the full effect.
We shouldn't forget that olive oil is used in industry as an important ingredient in cosmetic products for sun protection, skin and hair care.
Thus, the usage of olive oil has many health benefits for all of us.
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