Nature's Hero 7

The Health Benefits of 
High-Quality Olive Oil

The olive branch has a distinguished historical significance, representing peace, renewed life and immortality. Crowns made of olive branches were once placed on the heads of Olympic champions as a symbol of victory in ancient Greece. Olive oil is named countless times in the Bible. It’s no wonder that this product of the esteemed olive tree is recognized as a hero in the world of nutrition, offering unparalleled health benefits.

A genuine, high-quality olive oil is regarded as one of nature’s most bountiful gifts. The list of its health benefits is extraordinary. In order to realize the benefits of olive oil, it is crucial to understand its healthful features. The most ideal form for consumption is ultra premium extra virgin olive oil, which contains the highest amounts of antioxidants. Compelling evidence points specifically to micronutrients in quality olive oils that possess the anti-inflammatory properties of ibuprofen. Regular ingestion of high-quality olive oil may aid in reducing pain as well as inflammation indicated in a myriad of health issues such as asthma and degenerative joint diseases.

Nutritionists believe that a moderate amount of olive oil, when used in conjunction with healthy eating habits, can effectively prevent and treat issues ranging from heart health to blood sugar regulation. It’s even incorporated into skin care products. What’s more, olive oil has a reputation in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Mounting evidence also points to its effectiveness in the prevention of several types of cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease.

Olive oil contains the highest amount of monounsaturated fat in the plant oil family. The American Heart Association recognizes monounsaturated fats as being heart healthy, helping to lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol in the blood, thus decreasing one’s risk for high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Moderate amounts of monounsaturated fats can also help increase HDL or “good” cholesterol in the blood which is known to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease.

Physicians promote a Mediterranean diet as an eating plan that may thwart a number of chronic diseases. Influenced by lower rates of cardiovascular disease in the Mediterranean region, the diet advocates a regimen that replaces butter and other unhealthy fats with olive oil.

Melanie Cedargren, owner of The Spicy Olive stores in West Chester, Miamisburg and Hyde Park, can attest to her and her husband’s measured improvement in blood chemistry results after establishing the use of premium olive oil in their diet.

“My doctor called me directly to tell me my blood levels were perfect,” Cedargren says.

The gratification of such a report is considerable because she works to bring the best quality olive oil to our community. Cedargren champions her ultra premium extra virgin olive oils for being flavorful, dense in antioxidants and an essential part of a healthy diet.

Cedargren warns that generally speaking, olive oil found in grocery stores will not offer the health benefits of the fresh, high-quality oils she markets at The Spicy Olive.

“Our oils are the healthiest we can buy. To ensure freshness, they come from different regions depending on the time of year. They are never older than six months.”

Olive oils purchased in grocery stores may be flavored to cover rancidity or topped off with a cheaper, substandard oil like canola. The healthy components of grocery store olive oils are far less stable and more easily depleted by age, heat, air and light.

There is never a bad time to wave the proverbial olive branch to your health, and commit to healthier eating habits. While olive oil contains 120 calories per tablespoon, Cedargren cites studies indicating weight loss in those who allow three to four tablespoons of olive oil per day as their main source of fat.

Incorporating quality olive oil into your diet can be simple and delicious. The Spicy Olive offers an extensive variety of flavored and infused olive oils that can easily replace less healthy oils you are already using. Cedargren specifically recommends butter flavored olive oil in baked goods, for sauteing vegetables and pan-frying favorite foods like French toast.

The Spicy Olive assists with in-store and online recipes, cooking classes, tastings and a wide range of balsamic vinegar flavors for endless pairing ideas for salads and meats. Healthful eating with high-quality olive oil can be a true victory of good taste.