16 Apr

The Ancient Power Of Olives

Did you know that the Greeks consume 25 kg of olive oil per year, compared to 5 kg in North America? Greece’s increased consumption of this healthy fat is part of why the Mediterranean diet has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and lowered cancer risk for those who follow it.

Lets take a closer look at the benefits of adding olives and olive oil to your diet:

1. They protect against colon, breast and skin cancer:
 Olives and olive oil contain an abundance of phenolic antioxidants as well as the anti-cancer compounds squalene and terpenoid. They also contain high levels of the monounsaturated fatty acid and oleic acid which reduce chronic, excessive inflammation. These two compounds also work to neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals on the body’s cells.

2. Olive oil is good for your heart:
 Olive oil contains biophenols, which suppress the synthesis of LDL (or “bad cholesterol) which has been shown to play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease. High levels of LDL in the blood amplify oxidative stress which hardens the arterial walls (called atherosclerosis). The biophenols in olives reduce blood pressure, therefore reducing the development of arterial plaque as well.

3. They work to reduce pain
: Olives contain a compound called oleocanthal that has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, mimicking the action of ibuprofen. Olive oil naturally reduces the pain of chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and can be added to a daily diet to aid in pain reduction.

4. Olives and olive oil protect against ulcers
: The antimicrobial properties in olives and olive oil help to combat the bacteria responsible for causing stomach ulcers. Studies have shown their high levels of polyphenols protect against eight strains of ulcer-causing bacteria, three of which are resistant to some antibiotics.

5. Eating olives will help to boost your iron intake: 
Olives contain a substantial amount of iron, a key factor in the formation of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen throughout the body via the bloodstream. Iron also helps to build the enzymes responsible for regulating immune function and cognitive development.

In order to properly reap these health benefits, you need to make sure the olive oil you’re buying is real. Often times olive oil can be mixed with lower grade oils like soy or canola oil and sold for the same price.

To ensure the oil you buy is the highest quality, and most healthful, follow these tips:

1. Buy certified organic oil
If possible, try to find one that has paperwork to track the oil production from field to table.

2. Get to know what live oil really tastes like
: Light olive oil is not olive oil. Real extra virgin has a taste of pepperiness and fruitiness. If you can’t taste the olives you may have deodorized cheap oil that could be soy or canola with some green colour added. The real deal is more expensive but worth the health benefits.

3. Buy oil packed in dark glass: The real stuff degrades in heat and light, so avoid the clear plastic bottles that could be leaching plastic into your next meal!

For more information about how and why to buy high quality olive oil, click here.

For a healthy olive oil salad dressing, click here.


# Marty 2014-02-26 10:36
What kind of olives do you use - canned, bottled, organic?
# Julie Daniluk 2014-02-28 09:54
Hi Marty,

I use organic jarred when ever I can.

For olive oil I use Acropolis Organics: http://www.acropolisorganics.com/index.php/site/products/
I have personally been to their olive farm and manufacturing plant and can attest to the quality.

For olives I like Silver Leaf: http://stevesproduce-organics.com/products2.html

Cheers, Julie
# Liz 2015-04-19 13:28
How much Olive oil do you recommend daily? ( I have lot of inflammation pain from Arthritis)
# Julie Daniluk 2015-04-19 20:09
Hi Liz,

Thanks for checking in. Keep in mind that you want balance your omega 3, 6 and 9. You can use up to 3 tbs of organic olive oil per day but you might also consider using Ascenta Fish oil as a balance. The oil in raw nuts and seeds is also very good too.
Be sure to follow the anti-inflammatory recommendations regarding the elimination of sugar, gluten, refined carbs, rancid oils and any allergens.

Cheers, Julie
# confused with olive oil for cooking and 2015-04-27 22:18
Hi Julie
I watch alot of cooking shows,I am interested in healthy
eating. I enjoy cooking and baking. I watch the Marilyn Dennis show especially on Wednesdays. I tape them if I
know I am not going to be home. I am retired .was very active until few months ago when got pinched nerve of L5 S1. This gives me free time to watch more cooking shows. Most of them always put Olive Oil in frying pan before they add meat or veggie. I want to know what kind of Olive Oil can use for cooking,since it can go rancid if cooked at high heat,or so I thought.. What is best oil for cooking Olive Oil or other. I use Organic canola oil or Organic Coconut Or Avacado oil in dark bottle. I am trying to live antinflammatory diet for my family and myself. I have both of your books, and learning . Thanks . Mary
# Julie Daniluk 2015-05-13 17:29
Hi Mary,

Thanks for checking in with your inquiry. The best oil to cook with is Coconut Oil as you can bring it up to a higher temp. I would not cook with olive oil. I do not recommend using canola oil as it very harmful. Also known as rapeseed. A hybridized form of rapeseed that has a very low concentration of erucic acid (a type of fat). Even though this seed oil is high in the essential omega-6 linoleic acid, it's most often genetically modified and therefore isn't recommended on the MTHI plan.

Hope this helps!

Cheers, Julie

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