Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is known to provide a wide range of benefits for your body. Its natural antioxidants help slow down aging of the skin and reduce the effects of the sun. EVOO can be used as a natural moisturizer, as a lip scrub, to lubricate your skin before shaving, or to treat damaged hair tips. More importantly, a healthy diet that includes appropriate amounts of EVOO helps reduce one’s risk for heart disease.
The main benefits of olive oil for the heart cited by health professionals are:
- It helps to delay aging of the heart.
- It is linked to lower cholesterol.
- It reduces hypertension.
- It prevents arterial thrombosis.
- It helps prevent diabetes.
In March 2020, the American Heart Association published an article reporting the results of a study that demonstrated the positive effects of olive oil on the heart. The results of the study are also reported in more detail on the Journal of the American College of Cardiology’s (JACC) website. The study sought to examine whether olive oil intake is associated with cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease (CHD), and stroke risk.
The study followed up 63,867 women and 35,512 men between 1990 and 2014. All of the participants were free of cancer, heart disease, and stroke at the start of the study. The results of the study demonstrated that higher EVOO intake was associated with lower risk of congenital heart defects and total cardiovascular disease in both women and men, and that “the substitution of margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and dairy fat with olive oil could lead to lower risk of CHD and CVD.” These conclusions can be found on the JACC’s website.
EVOO helps lower cholesterol. The main type of fat found in EVOO are monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Contrarily to saturated and trans fats, monounsaturated fats are considered “good” fats. MUFAs have been proven to lower total cholesterol, and are found in higher proportions in extra-virgin olive oil than in other fats. EVOO is considered a healthier substitute to margarine or butter for cooking.
EVOO helps reduce hypertension. The polyphenols found in EVOO are really good for arterial health. Polyphenols help dilate arteries and generally combat high blood pressure.
EVOO helps prevent arterial thrombosis. Arterial thrombosis is a blood clot in an artery, which may be very dangerous if the clot stops blood flow from the heart to important organs. Including Extra Virgin Olive Oil with our meals may help prevent the formation of these deadly blood clots. For more information on how EVOO and its component HDL help protect against arterial thrombosis, please read this article.
EVOO can help prevent diabetes. To be clear, EVOO in itself does not act as a cure for diabetes. Rather, consuming EVOO as a substitute for other kinds of fats reduces blood sugar. Lowering blood glucose and cholesterol may be useful to reduce the negative effects of glucose and cholesterol on the cardiovascular system,” says Francesco Violo, lead author of a study reported on diabetes.co.uk. For more details on the parameters and conclusions of the study, please read the article mentioned above.
We hope this article provided all the information you were looking for on the benefits of consuming EVOO for your heart. If you would like to expand on the benefits of olive oil for your health, you may be interested in reading our related articles on the benefits of olive oil for your hair and the benefits of olive oil for your skin.