Everyone is aware of the myriad health benefits of olive oil.
From reducing bad cholesterol to keeping your brain healthy to facilitating weight loss, you can count on olive oil to improve your life in more ways than one.
Even amongst the olive oil, the most beneficial one is extra virgin olive oil.
Extracted from natural cold-pressed techniques, extra virgin olive oil retains all of the beneficial properties which processed oils lose during manufacture.
The oil is high in antioxidants, omega fatty acids, vitamins, and monounsaturated fat responsible for keeping your health in good shape.
We take a look at the major health benefits of olive oil and how you can incorporate it into your daily diet.
Some Benefits Of Including Olive Oil In Your Diet
There are plenty of reasons why extra virgin olive oil should become a staple oil in your meals. Here’s a brief overview of a few major health benefits of olive oil:
The antioxidants and beneficial fatty acids found in extra virgin olive oil are known to combat chronic inflammation, a leading cause of several diseases.
Protection Against Cardiovascular Disease
Olive oil polyphenols have been shown to reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol and instead enhance the functionality of “good” cholesterol.
These compounds, in turn, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death around the world.
Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention
It has been scientifically observed that consumption of extra virgin olive oil protects memory and learning ability.
The oil reduces the formation of harmful plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain that lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
How To Incorporate Olive Oil In Your Meals
If you haven’t already made olive oil a part of your diet, now’s a good time to start! The versatility of this golden liquid makes it easy to substitute your regular oil with it while cooking, baking, dressings, or preparing dips.
Here’s how you can incorporate the health and flavor of olive oil in your daily diet.
The dressings found in the grocery store are full of additives and preservatives. Instead of settling for them, prepare your own healthy dressing at home.
All you need is balsamic vinegar, some mustard, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Combine the above ingredients in the proportion that suits your personal taste, and your dressing is ready.
Pair the dressing with your favorite vegetable salad and enjoy the taste and health of this delicious oil. Your dressing will taste great with pasta, chicken, and tuna sandwich as well.
Drizzle On Your Sandwich
The next time you make a sandwich, instead of using mayonnaise as your chosen condiment, try adding a few drops of olive oil. Condiments like mayonnaise contain artificial additives and are heavy on saturated fats.
You’ll be surprised how olive oil enhances the flavor of your sandwich – that, too, without compromising on your health.
Add Some To Your Soup
Many soup recipes suggest adding a tablespoon of cream to the soup before serving. However, it is a common practice in Greece to top the soup with the good old extra virgin olive oil instead.
Olive oil will not only give your soup a strong flavor but will also boost your immunity with its antioxidants and essential monounsaturated fat.
The best way to include healthy extra virgin olive oil to your diet is by using it in place of butter.
Though butter is everyone’s favorite, its high concentration of saturated fats can raise your cholesterol level if excessively consumed.
You might find it odd at first to apply olive oil to your toast instead of spreading butter. But you’ll soon start loving the fruity taste and the bold flavor of this liquid gold.
Moreover, you can experiment with flavored olive oils available in the market to make amazing spreads.
Frying And Roasting
Another great time to supplement olive oil for butter is while sautéing or frying foods.
A recent study has shown that frying vegetables in extra virgin olive is healthier than boiling them. Dry cooking with olive oil will not only retain a greater amount of nutrients but also help your body absorb them.
You can start with frying your eggs in olive oil. You’ll love the taste and avoid the unhealthy saturated fat in the butter at the same time.
It might surprise you that many people use olive oil for baking instead of butter. A few tablespoons of olive oil will do the job of half a cup of butter.
What’s more, your baked goods will remain fresh for longer, too, thanks to the high content of vitamin E in olive oil!
Marinate With Olive Oil
You can also marinate your meat with olive oil. All you need is a quarter cup of lemon juice, half a teaspoon of pepper, salt to taste, some crushed cloves of garlic, and half a cup of good quality olive oil.
Add some coarsely chopped fresh parsley, basil, cilantro, or other herbs you like for elevated taste. This classic marinade recipe will work great with poultry, meat, and seafood.
Simply place your meat in a pan and cover it with marinade on all sides. Then, allow the marinade to sit for at least one hour. You can also marinate the meat overnight to give it a much stronger flavor.
Use Olive Oil As A Topping
Last but not least, you can simply top different cuisines and snack foods with a bottle of your favorite olive oil. Drizzle a light coat over your snack and create a flavor explosion in your mouth.
Olive oil toppings work well with any food, including grilled or roasted vegetables, pizza, seafood, mashed potatoes, salads, and artisanal bread.
You can experiment with its versatile flavors and increase the deliciousness quotient of your favorite dish.
Olive oil can prove to be super beneficial for better health, especially for those at risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Try these fun ways to make the best olive oil a part of your life.
Bringing change to your diet might seem overwhelming at first, but with the right motivation, you can go a long way. Start small by buying a bottle of extra virgin olive oil today.