Olive oil has long been considered one of the healthiest fats, and new research is continuing to support this idea. In particular, a recent study found different qualities of extra-virgin olive oil can provide a variety of health benefits. And Healthline says extra-virgin varieties boast both better flavor and more nutrients than other types of olive oil.
One of the reasons the condiment gets so much glory is because it’s predominantly a monounsaturated fat, which may help with a wide array of health issues. If you’ve had your doubts about the powers of this tasty condiment, then listen up. Here are five ways olive oil can improve your health.
1. It may help with bone and digestive health
Olive oil is rich in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage, in part due to their anti-inflammatory properties. And the health benefits of olive oil don’t stop there. According to CNN, scientists have been exploring the effects that such polyphenols have on bone and digestive health. According to the Olive Oil Times, this fat, in large amounts, can help improve bone mineralization and calcification. As odd as it sounds, olive oil may ward off osteoporosis.
2. Decreased risk of heart disease
3. Decreased risk of cancer
While this is a big claim, olive oil has indeed been linked to a lower risk of cancer. According to the Olive Oil Times, a phytonutrient in olive oil called oleocanthal helps in reducing inflammation, which can decrease the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence. Additional olive oil components being studied for their possible effects on cancer include squalene and lignans.
4. Olive oil may help with diabetes
As mentioned, the main type of fat in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are considered healthy. According to Mayo Clinic, research shows MUFAs may also benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which is helpful to a person who has, or is at risk of, type 2 diabetes.