Oil and health
Beneficial actions: extra-virgin olive oil has many beneficial actions on our organism, including those of protecting, reducing inflammation and stimulating the mucous tissues of the stomach and intestine, liver, gall bladder and pancreas. It helps in preventing diabetes, arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases and those of the bile ducts; it favors the absorption of vitamin E, regulates the movements of the intestine during digestion favoring peristalsis.
Antioxidizing action: extra-virgin olive oil is rich in natural antioxidants. These serve to combat the so-called “free radicals”, products of the oxidation due to various chemical reactions of our organism. These can be extremely harmful, causing coronary heart disease and certain types of cancer. The antioxidizing agents contained in great quantities in the Mediterranean diet, in particular in extra-virgin olive oil, rich in vitamins A, D and E, phenolic antioxidants, flavenoids, phenols and pyrrolic pigments, are all substances that combat the production of free radicals and inhibit aging of the cells.
Cholesterol: extra-virgin olive oil helps reduce excess cholesterol by controlling the formation of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and favoring the formation of “good” cholesterol (HDL), which cleans the arteries from the arteriosclerosis plaques produced by LDL, impeding them from adhering to the walls of the arteries and clogging them.
Calories: extra-virgin olive oil is very easy to digest and much more tasty and spicy if compared with sunflower oil, peanut oil and corn oil. Since it has more flavor less can be used, reducing the number of calories in the dish to the advantage of our line.
Daily requirements: extra-virgin olive oil is rich in “unsaturated” fats useful for our organism in assimilating other useful substances. Our organism requires an ideal quantity equal to two tablespoons of these “unsaturated” fats a day.
In sport: extra-virgin olive oil is very useful for those who practice sports since it guarantees the assimilation of nutritional substances found in natural products, and at the same time, has positive effects on digestion, reducing the duration of the process. It stimulates the secretion of substances that reduce gastric acidity, helps the activity of the gall bladder and the digestion of fats in the intestine.
In pregnancy: during pregnancy it is advisable to add two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to one’s diet. The fatty acids contained in the oil help in the formation of the cells of the nervous system. Used raw, moreover, the oil reduces any problems the mother-to-be may have in the way of constipation.
For infancy: for infants extra-virgin olive oil is an ideal food, since in the perfectly balanced relationships of its acidic contents, it is not only easy to digest but is important in the formation of bone and the development of brain cells. This is why extra-virgin olive oil can be used in baby food as early as the 4th-5th month.
In cooking: it is one of the most suitable oils for deep frying because it supports high temperatures and, compared to the other oils, reaches the “smoke point” at a much higher temperature. The smoke point is when a fat burns giving the food an unpleasant flavor. It is harmful for the liver and, at times even toxic.