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My Favorite Brands of Olive Oil



“And with the sprig of a fruited olive man is purified in extreme health.”
Virgil, Aeneid

I try to use Olive Oil in my meals every single day. Mostly it is in a salad, because normally I do not cook with it.


Olive oil has been prized and praised for health for centuries. It’s a staple in most every home and is one of the most popular foods around, thanks in part to the Mediterranean diet. Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been praised as one of the healthiest fats one earth and there are many scientifically proven health benefits related to the regular consumption of high quality pure olive oil. These include:


1. Olive oil contains nutrients that fight Chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is depleting to the body and drives chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimers and arthritis. Inflammation harms the whole body. EVOO has been shown to reduce inflammation due to the mediating effects of antioxidants like olecanthal and oleic acid. Scientists estimate that 50 ml of EVOO has a similar effect on the body as 10% of the adult dose of ibuprofen.


2. Olive Oil May Help Protect Against Strokes. The relationship between consumption of olive oil and stroke has been studied extensively and the results indicate that regular consumption of olive oil lowers the risk of stroke.


3. Olive Oil Protects Against Heart Disease. Olive Oil reduces inflammation and also inhibits oxidation of LDL cholesterol, as well as improving the lining of blood vessels and reduces excessive blood clotting.


4. Olive Oil Has Been Shown to Reduce Blood Pressure. In one study, the consumption of olive oil reduced the need for blood pressure medication by 48%.


5. Olive Oil is Antibacterial. Test tube studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil fights eight strains of Heliobacter Pylori (three of which are antibiotic resistant). H. Pylori is a bacterium that lives in the stomach and can lead to ulcers as well as stomach cancer.


Those are just of the few science based benefits of olive oil. Buying the right kind of olive oil is important because the research indicates that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the type of olive oil that retains the antioxidants and bioactive compounds from the olives from which is was extracted. Therefore it is the healthiest.


It is unfortunate that fraud proliferates the olive oil market. Many olive oils are cut with soybean oil, canola oil and other oils like hazelnut to dilute them. My advice is to stay away from light varieties. Part of what makes an olive oil beneficial to health is exactly that strong quality. It’s why I am so careful to purchase trusted brands. Mostly I buy Greek Olive Oil. This is because of the problems in the Italian olive oil industry revealed int the book : Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, but there are a few US brands that I trust as well. I want to share some of them with you today…


My top three brands of Olive Oil.

There are two local distributors in my area. You can find them at festivals and farmer;s markets. One is Spartan and the other is Ancient Foods. I have met both of these families and just having the ability to talk to them and ask about their distrubuting is huge for me. Knowing that it is 100% Greek Olive oil made from the best Greek Olives is a reasurrance that I am buying a quality product that is beneficial for my health.
















Resources.

· Phytochemistry: ibuprofen-like activity in extra-virgin olive oil. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16136122)

· Olive Oil Linked to Reduced Stroke Risk (https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20110615/olive-oil-linked-to-reduced-stroke-risk#1)

· Dietary olive oil reduces low-density lipoprotein uptake by macrophages and decreases the susceptibility of the lipoprotein to undergo lipid peroxidation. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8517637)

· Phenolic content of virgin olive oil improves ischemic reactive hyperemia in hypercholesterolemic patients. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16286173)

· Olive oil polyphenols decrease blood pressure and improve endothelial function in young women with mild hypertension. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22914255)

· Olive oil intake and risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality in the PREDIMED Study. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24886626)

· Long-term monounsaturated fatty acid diets reduce platelet aggregation in healthy young subjects. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13129466)

· Effect of extra virgin olive oil on experimental thrombosis and primary hemostasis in rats. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12669681)

· 11 Proven Benefits of Olive Oil. (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-olive-oil#section12)

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