Not all cooking oils carry the same amounts of benefits. Luckily, the Meal Garden health algorithm makes things super simple for you - just click the health rating on any recipe and get the breakdown on what’s healthy...and what’s not so healthy.
You might notice that the nutritional analysis for your recipes including olive oil categorize this ingredient in the “healthy” category. Take the analysis for this Cauliflower Kale Soup, for instance…
If you click on the health rating...this is what you get:
So, what exactly is so beneficial about Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
1. Rich in Healthy monounsaturated Fats
Olive Oil is the one of the few oils that contains high levels of monounsaturated, Omega 9 fatty acid which is known as Oleic Acid. It contains about 75% of this fat. Why do you care? Well, the high amount of the oleic acid in this oil has been linked to the decrease of blood pressure.
2. Large amounts of antioxidants
Antioxidants are an essential part of a healthy diet. Antioxidants are responsible for fighting free radicals in the blood. These free radicals in the body can cause extensive damage to your cell membranes by causing them to become brittle - eventually leading to the death of the cell. Antioxidants are able to come in and interfere with this reaction. They do this by providing your cells with enough defence against attack by Reactive Oxygen Species. See here for more info.
3. Fights off cancer
A recent study (Jan 2015) published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Oncology reveals that an ingredient in Extra Virgin Olive Oil may actually kill cancer cells. Extra virgin olive oil contains Oleocanthal, which causes the part of a cell that is cancerous to rupture, releasing enzymes and causing cell death - all while keeping healthy cells in tact.
4. Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
An Italian study has revealed that as compared to other oils, EVOO may have better effects on blood sugar levels and cholesterol after meals. Research conducted on healthy individuals who had consumed food containing EVOO showed that blood sugar level rose much slower after two hours, as compared to others who took food containing corn oil. It also showed that the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) - i.e. “bad cholesterol” - went down.
5. Helps to lower blood pressure
Another study indicated that daily use of extra virgin olive oil (about 40 grams per day) can reduce blood pressure by up to 50% in patients suffering from hypertension. Extra virgin olive oil contains antioxidants known as “polyphenols” which are assumed to be responsible for the drop in blood pressure.
The bottom line
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not only a flavourful addition to your meals - but it can be a beneficial factor in achieving long-term health and wellness. Here are some of our favourite recipes which feature this mighty oil - already uploaded to the Meal Garden database with full nutritional analysis and ready for you to schedule: