Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Mediterranean diet has been widely studied since scientists and doctors discovered that people living in the Mediterranean regions were generally living longer, healthier lives, both physically and emotionally, than much of the world.  Among the most notable aspects of this diet is extra virgin olive oil, which is consumed in high quantities in the region.

While society here in the States has seen various fad diets coming and going; fat free this, carb free that, in Mediterranean countries like Italy, people have learned to live off the land.  Olive oil, which is plentiful in these countries, contains the right kinds of fats, as well as antioxidants, and vitamins that have been shown to benefit our bodies.

As a main component of the Mediterranean diet, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has been the subject of many studies to discover its health benefits.

The makers of some of the best EVOO we have yet to come across shared a few studies with us about the discoveries regarding the health benefits this oil provides.

Cardiovascular benefits are among the most commonly recognized.  Studies explained by the Sapienza University of Rome have suggested that there is a relevant link in consuming about 2 tablespoons a day of EVOO and lower risk of cardiovascular events including stroke.  The study sites the presence of monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid in EVOO are responsible for lowering that risk.

According to the Olive Oil Times, the FDA has even supported the cardiovascular benefits claim that states a daily consumption of 23 grams (about 2 tablespoons) of EVOO may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. 

Another study by the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University found that EVOO seems to protect memory and learning ability and also helps to reduce some of the classic markers of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Having lost my mom to breast cancer, this next one is particularly encouraging for me.  Yet another article in the Olive Oil Times explains that the oleic acid found in EVOO contains antioxidants which may protect against breast and other types of cancer.

That same article suggests that including EVOO in your diet may protect against type 2 diabetes, help to fight osteoporosis, help prevent skin cancer, and even to fend off depression.

Of course, along with a healthy diet comes a healthy lifestyle.  In Italy, not only do people tend to consume high quantities of healthy ingredients like EVOO, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish, but they also tend to walk quite often and have a rich social life. 

All of these can be combined and incorporated into our own lives wherever we lead them. 

When selecting your EVOO it is important to choose a quality one that you know has not been mixed with other, lower quality oils.  Mia Emilia has done that research for us, thankfully. 

By taking the time to speak with the farms and families who produce their products, even going to see the production themselves, the owners of Mia Emilia know first-hand what they are feeding to your family and their own. 

The Marini Giuseppe Farm in the hills of Pistoia, Tuscany, takes pride in their olive oil and the land that produces it.  The IGP seal assures us that the product has met all qualifications in growing, harvesting, pressing, and bottling, required by the Olive Oil Consortium of Tuscany.

Having won awards for their Extra Virgin Olive Oil Toscano IGP, the family’s passion and dedication to the quality of their work and products continues to grow. 

Through years of travelling to Italy and seeking out Italian products anywhere I go, I am a firm believer that you can taste passion.  When a family cares, when they love their land and its riches, they baby them, allowing nature and tradition to continue working together as they have for centuries. 

When we buy from families like the one who owns Mia Emilia and the one who produces this splendid EVOO, we support tradition and quality.  At the same time, we know we are feeding those we love something special and delicious, with additional benefits for their health.

 

 

Thank you to our friends at Azienda Agricola Marini Giuseppe for sharing the following references:

https://medicine.temple.edu/news/extra-virgin-olive-oil-preserves-memory-and-protects-brain-against-alzheimers-disease-new

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29141571 

https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-health-benefits

http://www.aboutoliveoil.org/health_and_science/index.html

https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-health-news/two-tablespoons-olive-oil/38888