Did you ever think why Olive Oil is healthy? If so, you will get the answer by reading this article.
Olive oil is well known to all because of its healthy ingredients. You know, it occupies the major portion of Mediterranean meal which is highly rich in it’s antioxidant content.
Besides antioxidant, olive oil contains healthy fats termed as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Experts say, saturated fatty acids are not as healthy as that of unsaturated fats.
However, in order to understand why olive oil is healthy, firstly I need to focus on its composition. What are the ingredients remaining in olive oil that are responsible to make it healthy?
In this article, you will find out some more information regarding it’s health benefit as well.
Let’s get started.
Why Olive Oil is healthy?
So, as I told earlier, to anwer this question you need to give your look towards it’s composition. Now let’s see how olive oil is composed of.
Composition of Olive oil
As we know olive oil is produced from olives that is the fruit of olive tree. It is the traditional tree grown in Mediterranean region where olive oil is extracted by pressing the whole olives.
Just given a short description – what the olive is and how it’s oil produced.
Now, let’s have a look on it’s components – what are the ingredients present in olive oil.
Following are the main ingredients in one tablespoon or 13.5 gram-
- Calorie content: 119
- No protein
- 5 gram fat within which 1.86 gram saturated
- Saturated fat amount: 1.9 gram
- 9 gram Monounsaturated fatty acids
- Amount of polyunsaturated fat: 1.4 gram
- No Carbohydrate
- No Fiber and
- No Sugar
Which nutrient makes Olive oil healthy?
Monounsaturated fatty acids
The most important characteristic feature of olive oil is its fat content where the major part comes from MUFA. Only the small portion is saturated fat.
Experts considers MUFA as healthy fat in comparison to that of saturated fats.
Now the question is – what are monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) mainly present in Olive oil and what its health benefit is?
Let’s talk about this.
Oleic acid, palmitic acid, elaidic acid and vacentic acids are the fatty acids that comprise MUFA. Among those, the name of major fatty acids present in olive oil is oleic acid.
If I quantify the amount of different types of fatty acid in olive oil, it looks –
- Oleic acid: 55-83%
- Palmitic acid: 7.5-20%
- Linoleic acid and some other fatty acids: 0.5-5%
As our topic of discussion is – why olive oil is healthy; so, now the point is what are those healthy role that the fatty acids of olive oil actually play?
You know, oleic acid the major part of fatty acid present in olive oil which is known as omega-9 fatty acid. This is not essential fatty acid as because our body can synthesize it.
Oliec acid is believed to prevent heart disease and lowering cholesterol level. It has also role to work against cancer and other conditions. Though there is no such scientific evidence in favor of this claim till now.
However, the only beneficial aspect of oleic acid that is acknowledged by all is that – it can be a good replacement of saturated fat in your dietary chart.
We know, extra virgin olive oil is produced without temperature and chemical treatment. So you will find phenolic compounds here in much quantity. Because phenol is naturally occurring compounds which is present in the pulp of olive.
This is the reason to answer why olive oil is healthy. Research shows that olive oil has more or less 30 phenolic compounds.
These phenolic compounds have got huge health benefit because of having strong antioxidant property.
Out of those phenolic compounds, the most common compounds are-
- Oleuropein: It is one of main phenolic component present in olive plant. The most common biological function of this compound is antioxidant activity.
- Oleacein: Well known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It also help reduce the incidence of atherosclerosis.
- Oleocanthal: Helps preventing Alziemer disease, similar activity like ibuprofen and has got vital role against cancer.
Antioxidant activity of Olive oil
Olive oil is full of nutrition specially that extra virgin group. According the scientific findings, there are around 200 minor compounds in olive oil with biological activities.
However, the most common antioxidants present in olive oil are-
- Beta carotene
- Lipophilic and
- Hydrophilic phenols.
The antioxidant properties of olive oil provides a lot of health benefit by reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with aging.
Apart from this, in case of lowering the risk of heart disease, it has a critical role.
You need to know how antioxidant properties became so helpful for us in order to lead a healthy live.
When we inhale oxygen, our body cells use this for producing energy. During this process, few free radicals or reactive oxygen molecules is produced as by-products which are very harmful for our body.
This damage our healthy cells of the body and leads to the development of severe health issue in the long run causing oxidative stress.
For example, following health issue can be driven-
- Heart disease
- Alziemer’s disease
- Various forms of cancers
- Wrinkles of skin etc
Antioxydant plays its vital role to neutralize those free radicals produced as by-products in our body during energy production from cell.
So, we already discussed a lot to understand the issue why olive oil is considered as healthy in the scientific society.
Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the issue through comments. Thanks