Olive oil: A necessary food
Okay. But we need it just to flavor the salad? Clear! Is not a salad flavored with olive oil delicious?
Among the super healthy foods, we find extra-virgin olive oil that is undoubtedly a highly healthy and genuine food.
It is a very beneficial food for our health, because among other things, it stimulates the mineralization of the bones avoiding the loss of calcium and favors the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K.
It also facilitates gastric, hepatic function, regulates the intestine and reduces the secretion of gastric acid helping to avoid a duodenal ulcer.
Unlike other edible oils, extra-virgin olive oil is predominantly composed of monounsaturated fatty acids, with the presence of linoleic acid, polyphenols, vitamin E and beta carotene.
The presence of these elements makes the antioxidant power of olive oil undoubtedly of fundamental importance for our health.
As for fat, 100 grams of extra-virgin olive oil contains approximately 99% fat (of which 73% are monounsaturated fatty acids - oleic acid), approximately 10% polyunsaturated fatty acids (of which 9% is linoleic acid (same percentage of breast milk) and 0.3% linolenic acid), and about 17% of saturated fatty acids.
Among other things, we also find approximately 20 mg of vitamin E and other soluble vitamins such as A and D (vitamin A does not have a direct presence but is formed by the division of beta-carotene with the help of enzymes found in the liver, and this is precisely the reason why beta carotene is also called provitamin A).
For a total of 900 calories.
Olive oil, just like all other oils, consists of 99% fat and has a consumption of 9 calories per gram of product.
Recalling a bit of literature, recent studies attribute a protective and antioxidant capacity to the organs and tissues of the body, they argue that it is capable of combating some pathological phenomena such as arteriosclerosis, aging and cancer.
Antioxidants, among which are also polyphenols, seem to play a direct role as anti-carcinogenic agents.
A study conducted by the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Milan has shown the antioxidant properties of the phenols of the exra-virgin olive oil, and showed "in vitro" the antioxidant activity of the phenols against LDL cholesterol, the inhibition of the formation of thrombi, its anti-inflammatory capacity and its ability to increase the synthesis of nitric oxide vasodilator (which causes the dilation of blood vessels) as well as the reduction of free radicals.
As revealed by the journal Nature Reviews Rheumatology, olive oil also has anti-inflammatory effects.
This statement is based on the discovery of an American researcher, Gary Beauchamp of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, who identified a substance, the oleocanthal, whose molecular structure is equal to that of ibuprofen.
In summary, 50 grams of olive oil, or approximately 4 tablespoons, correspond to 10% of an adult dose of ibuprofen 800 mg, but without its side effects.
Although it is obvious that it can not be used as a medicine for the very high amount that should be ingested, it is an indicator of how this particular food can be very useful for us and for our health.