Reprinted from HealthNewsDigest.com
Anytime is a good time to consider heart health. After all, cardiovascular disease disease is the leading cause of death in America, killing over 600,000 people yea yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even making small changes in your lifestyle and diet can add up to big results over time. One such change that can give people a healthy benefit for the heart and beyond is to make the switch to olive oil.
“Olive oil not only tastes great, but increasingly we are learning about the healthy benefits it has for our bodies,” explains Chef Paul Anthony Fario, known as “Chefario,” the executive chef at Arlington-based Extra Virgin restaurant. “And it is quite versatile, making it easy to find ways to incorporate it into your diet.”
Here are 5 health benefits of using olive oil:
Anti-inflammation. Along with having healthy properties that help reduce inflammation in the body, it also has anti-clotting properties. This helps to make olive oil a choice that is better for the heart.
Antioxidants. Many health professionals have deemed olive oil to be heart-healthy because it contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. The polyphenols slow the progression of atherosclerosis.
DHPEA-EDA. This is one of the most important polyphenols found in olive oil, and researchers have found that it protects red blood cells from damage.
Monounsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which help to control a person’s LDL — or bad — cholesterol, while they also help to raise the body’s good, heart-healthy cholesterol.
Secoiridoids. This category of polyphenols found in olive oil is being researched for its anti-cancer properties. It is believed to provide the digestive tract with some protection.
Additional research suggests that olive oil has beneficial properties for bone health, cognitive function, and anti-cancer benefits. More research is being conducted to discover additional ways that olive oil can be beneficial to our health.
“Adding olive oil to your diet can be simple and tasty,” adds Chef Fario. “For the best results, buy a good-quality extra virgin olive oil and store it in a cool dark place so that it doesn’t go rancid or isn’t subjected to a lot of light exposure.”