Monday, May 16, 2011

Olive Oil for health and beauty

Italian olive oil, both oil and an oil bottle ...Image via Wikipedia
Olive oil, a staple of the Mediterranean diet, has long been associated with heart and cholesterol health.  However, most recently, its health benefits are known to extend way beyond cardiovascular health into areas that were previously unknown, such as protection from some cancers.


Let's look into some latest finding rewgarding the expanded  healthful benefits of olive oil.

Olive oil, what is so good about it?

Olive oil is a source of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids.  What makes olive oil so healthful is it oleic acid content.  Oleic acid helps protect the heart and can also prevent some cancers. 

Olive oil is also rich in  flavonoid antioxidants and vitamin E.  These two nutrients are essential components in fighting free radical damage and, in the case of vitamin E, helps promote everything from wound healing to gastrointestinal health.

How to cook with olive oil

Keep in mind that when cooking with oils it is best to stay within the lower temperature ranges (300-340 degrees) to preserve the health and nutrient value.  Stir frying can be safely done in this range.  Temperatures of 410 or more will cause the oil to degrade, and lose its healthful powers.  It then becomes potentially dangerous trans fats.

How to store olive oil

Olive oil can be stored for up to two years if unoopened.  Once opened however, it can last up to one year if it is kept and sealed in a cool, dry place.  Refrigerating it will make it last longer though.

References:

Katz, David, MD "The Way to Eat" Oprah Magazine
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