Why Olive Oil is so precious?
Many of the beneficial properties of olive oil and in particular those which related to protect the cardiovascular system attributed mostly to monounsaturated fats that contains. As we know, monounsaturated fat are along the polyunsaturated in the family of "good" unsaturated fat, which, unlike the saturated, are associated with numerous of benefits to human health. Indeed, the use of olive oil in our recipes can help us to harmonize with the Recommendations of major health agencies such as the World Health Organization and American Heart Association, which are suggesting to replace the saturated fats of our diet with unsaturated ones like olive oil. Olive oil contains 73% monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid, 10% polyunsaturated fats and no cholesterol, while it also contains small amounts of phytosterols, substances known for reducing the levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Current dietary recommendations emphasize the importance of increasing the recruitment of antioxidants in our diet as a means to compensate the oxidative stress which affects us daily. The olive oil is, along with fruits and vegetables, wine, tea and coffee, the most important sources of antioxidants in our diet, estimated to contain many different types of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols, especially tyrosoli and hydroxytyrosol and other phenolic components, such as oleuropein, caffeic acid, vanniliko acid, syringkiko acid, p-coumaric acid, o-coumaric acid, protokatechiko acid, mustard oil acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, p-hydroxyfainyloxiko acid and omovanilliko acid. Some surveys have also shown the presence of gallic acid in olive oil. Although there are not many scientific data on the composition of olive oil, in a earlier study they had estimated that the virgin olive oil contains 50-300 mg polyphenols per litre.
Apart from vitamin E, in olive oil we also found another important fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin K which is necessary for the process of blood clotting and the maintenance of bone health.
Olive oil and vitamin E
Olive oil is particularly rich in vitamin E, one of the basic fat soluble vitamins which main feature is its high anti oxidative capacity. Its main action in our body is the prevention of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers, while other studies have shown that it can prolong life in people with Crohn's disease.