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Olive oil, it does more than just taste good!

As I have started cooking more, I have started to see the beauty of bringing out the natural flavors of foods. My friend taught me that olive oil and salt are about all you need when you are cooking—and less is usually more! So now that I am actually applying what she taught me—I have also started learning about the health benefits of olive oil!

Well, let’s start with that is it. Olive oil is the liquid produced when the whole olive is pressed. There are three types: refined, virgin and extra virgin. Extra virgin being the most pure and least processed of the olive oils. Olive oil is packed full of antioxidants, oleic acid (which is highly anti-inflammatory). It is also full of Vitamins E and K.

Okay, so what does all that mean for me—other than it tastes good?

Olive oil has high levels of anti-inflammatory properties. It also is high in anti-oxidants. Because of this, it has been shown to do the following:

Lower the risk of heart disease

Lower LDL cholesterol levels (”bad” cholesterol)

Lower the risk of stroke

Decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes

Decrease the risk of certain cancers

Help with Alzheimer’s dementia

(May) help with weight loss

Help with rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatment for Helicobacter pylori

Treat eczema

Olive oil has been called the healthiest fat when it is consumed in its purest form! You do have to be careful though when you are choosing your olive oil. The way it is manufactured can really effect the health benefits that are associated with olive oil. The most health beneficial is extra virgin olive oil.

So if you are going to do some cooking as the weather starts getting cooler. Think about finding ways to utilize olive oil—it is quite good for you! Here are some great recipes from Pinehurst Olive Oil Company.

…until next time, IrishDoc07

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