EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL is the best choice when it comes to adding flavor to just about any type of food. But did you know that leading health experts and top medical journals tell us that Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or EVOO) can also help to improve your health? Here’s a list of what they say about having Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your daily diet.

[togglebox state=”closed” head=”REDUCES CHOLESTEROL LEVELS” ]If Olive Oil is high in fat, why is it considered healthy? Olive oil contains more Monosaturated (MUFAS) “good” fats per serving than any other cooking oil, which helps to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol. [/togglebox]

[togglebox state=”closed” head=”HAS NO TRANS FATS” ]EVOO contains none of the harmful trans fats found in many processed foods. Trans fats raise LDL cholesterol levels and don’t provide a boost to good HDL cholesterol; so stay clear! [/togglebox]

[togglebox state=”closed” head=”HEALTHIER THAN BUTTER” ]A tablespoon of olive oil contains just 1.8 grams of saturated fat compared to 7.2 grams in a tablespoon of butter. [/togglebox]

[togglebox state=”closed” head=”HELPS LOWER THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE” ]EVOO, from the first pressing of the olives, contains the highest levels of antioxidants (known as polyphenols), which help increase good HDL cholesterol in the blood. Ordinary olive and vegetable oils don’t provide the same benefits because the polyphenols are removed in the refining process. [/togglebox]

[togglebox state=”closed” head=”HELPS PREVENT BREAST CANCER” ]Research has shown that consumption of olive oil, the richest dietary source of oleic acid, helps suppress the action of a cancer-promoting gene found in about a third of breast cancer patients. [/togglebox]

[togglebox state=”closed” head=”REDUCES ALZHEIMER’S RISK BY 40%” ]A four-year study of over 2,000 men and women found that those whose eating habits most closely followed the Mediterranean pattern – high in fruits, vegetables, beans, and unsaturated fats from olive oil and fish – were least likely to develop the disease. [/togglebox]

[togglebox state=”closed” head=”KEEPS DIABETES UNDER CONTROL” ]For people with diabetes, extra virgin olive oil is an excellent source of fat because it reduces bad LDL cholesterol, raises good HDL cholesterol, and adds only a small amount of saturated fat. In addition, regular consumption of olive oil can reduce the chances of developing insulin resistance, a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and strokes. [/togglebox]

[togglebox state=”closed” head=”RELIEVES PAIN AND INFLAMMATION” ]EVOO contains a compound that mimics the pain-relieving action of ibuprofen. Regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil may therefore help decrease the risk of stroke, heart disease, certain forms of cancer, and some dementias. [/togglebox]

[togglebox state=”closed” head=”EASES COMMON INTESTINAL PROBLEMS” ]A tablespoon of olive oil consumed on an empty stomach acts as a soothing, nutritious laxative. It can help relieve upset stomachs and heartburn as well. Olive oil also helps defend against ulcers because it protects the stomach and intestinal linings from gastric acid. [/togglebox]

[togglebox state=”closed” head=”ENHANCES SKIN, HAIR AND NAILS” ]Repair split ends and add luster to your hair by massaging a few tablespoons of EVOO into the hair and scalp. Cover with a plastic shower cap and leave on for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight, then shampoo as usual. Gently rub a small amount of EVOO into skin whenever you need softening and moisturizing; apply extra oil to rough or cracked areas and stretch marks. See our recipes on page 51. [/togglebox]