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Nutrients in Olive Oil

Comparing olive oil to other oils according to the label only, doesn't paint a full picture of the health benefits provided by the nutrients in olive oil.





The complete chemical make-up of olive oil is pretty technical and we won't get that in-depth here. Let's look at the main nutrients in olive oil as well as other components that make it a healthy choice.

On the label:


Cholesterol - None, that's a good thing, there's enough cholesterol in other fats. If you're looking for a product to help lower your cholesterol, you may want to try Cholesto-Rite - a 100% natural, safe and proven herbal formula especially designed to help the body maintain healthy levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol. Cholesto-Rite also acts as a cardiovascular tonic and promotes the body's natural ability to fight harmful free radicals.
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Mono-unsaturated fat - that's a good thing too. Mono-unsaturated fats are healthy fats.

Poly-unsaturated fat - A good fat too.Saturated fats - Not so good. We need saturated fat, but we get way too much of it.

Trans-fat - None and that's great! In no way are trans-fats beneficial to your health. More info about hydrogenated and trans-fats here.

Sodium - None - Another good thing. Again, sodium is added to so many foods that we usually get more than we need. Did you know that a can of condensed soup has more than half of your recommended daily amount?

Carbohydrates - None, we need them but there just aren't any in olive oil.Protein - None, we need it too, but not from olive oil.

Not on the Label:


Tocopherols (vitamin E), beta-carotene (vitamin A), phytosterols, pigments, terpenic acids, flavonoids (luteolin, quercetin, squalene), and phenolic compounds (oleuropein, tyrosol) are all found in olive oil.

Vitamin E - There are 1.6 mg of vitamin E (a natural anti-oxidant) in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. That represents 10.6% of your recommended daily allowance.

Vitamin K - Found in green leafy vegetables. Vitamin K is associated with chlorophyll and the darker green, the richer in vitamin K. Vegetable and olive oils are also a good source of vitamin K.

Phenols - Extra virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols which are known to be anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anticoagulant. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals and repair damage to cell membranes caused by exposure to things like cigarette smoke, pollution, alcohol and radiation.

Oleocanthal - I found this very interesting. Freshly pressed extra virgin olive oil causes a distinct bitter sort of sting in the throat. Oleocanthal is what causes that sensation. Researchers recognized the sensory affect as familiar and very similar to that of ibuprofen. As it turns out, oleocanthal is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and anti oxidant. Again, without getting too technical, it's like ibuprofen or aspirin and may work like small daily doses of aspirin if consumed daily. It's a non-selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase (COX) that causes relief of inflammation and pain. Oleocanthal may be partly responsible for the lower incidence of heart disease in the Mediterranean population.

Squalene - A natural organic compound used in cosmetics as a moisturizer. It is taken from the liver of sharks, but also found in olive oil - a more environmentally friendly source. Squalene helps to regulate sebum. Sebum is produced by the sebacious glands in our skin and is secreted through our pores. It forms a coating on the skin that acts as a barrier, inhibits the growth of microrganisms and lubricates our skin and hair.

Chlorophyll - A photosynthetic pigment found in plants and algae. It is an anti-aging substance that promotes the healing of skin conditions and wounds.

Some may argue that other oils such as canola are more healthy, but the way I see it, you have to look at the big picture. Canola oil may be lower in saturated fat, but it is refined using heat and chemicals and doesn't come close to offering the benefits of the nutrients in olive oil.

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