Olive Oil- Be Better 52

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37aca8b3-9486-4f6a-a05a-36979f7f38e1Olive Oil #bebetter52

Did you know that a diet rich in olive oil may slow down the aging of your heart?

This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to consume olive oil. You can either use olive oil as a salad dressing or simply use it for cooking; either way, the benefits to your health are endless! Olive oil is an essential staple of the Mediterranean diet, attributed to a region where the population is known for its longevity.

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, a healthy dietary fat, as opposed to saturated and trans fats. By consuming olive oil you reduce inflammation; problems with the inner lining of blood vessels; the risk of thrombosis; and carbohydrate metabolism, the biochemical processes involved in digestion of carbohydrates. All of the above are contributing factors to cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension; stroke; and hyperlipidemia, a condition in which the blood contains high levels of fat particles (lipids). In addition, by reducing inflammation in your body, olive oil helps decrease your risk of cancer or its recurrence.

Studies have also found that consuming olive oil may protect you from depression. People who had a high intake of trans fats, a hydrogenated fat found mainly in processed foods, had up to 48 percent increased risk of depression compared to those who ate monounsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil. Researchers also found that those who consumed a Mediterranean diet consisting of olive oil, vegetables, beans and fruit were 30 percent less likely to suffer from depression.

It seems that eating a healthy diet rich in olive oil, fruits, veggies, and even fish can lead to a healthier, happier life. Extra virgin olive oil is an even better and tastier way to incorporate olive oil into your diet.

Here are some ways to incorporate olive oil into your diet this week:

  1. Mix some olive oil into your salad. If you add some crushed garlic, along with tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce, you’ll have a tasty meal!
  2. Use olive oil when frying your food.
  3. Use olive oil as a dressing for your pasta, or use it in a pesto sauce.
    • Mix salt, garlic, fresh basil, and pine nuts in a food processor until the mixture forms a paste, then slowly add small amounts of olive oil until it reaches the consistency of a thick sauce.
  4. Rub olive oil on fish and meat before baking, grilling or frying. The olive oil will help keep the meat soft and moist.

More on olive oil and its health benefits here: