Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Health Benefits Heart With aging our hearts begin to naturally deteriorate. The consumption of monounsaturated fats, such as extra virgin olive oil can improve the function of the arteries. (Spanish Study) Blood Pressure Extra virgin olive oil has been shown to help decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. According to one study, four tablespoons of olive oil a day reduced the need for blood pressure medication entirely. Obesity Extra virgin olive oil is an example of a nutrient dense fat that helps you feel more satiated. Diabetes Symptoms of diabetes can be alleviated by a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, monounsaturated fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, low in saturated fat and moderate in carbohydrates. It helps to regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. A Mediterranean diet, which is rich in extra virgin olive oil, has shown to reduce the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50 percent compared to a low fat diet. Cholesterol LDL cholesterol and triglycerides can be reduced by ingesting just two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day. It also improves HDL cholesterol, thus improving the critical balance between LDL and HDL. Alzheimer’s Studies have shown that oleocanthal, a polyphenol found in extra virgin olive oil, has the potential to reduce cognitive decline that comes with aging, including Alzheimer’s disease. Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil, also help to combat the oxidative stress associated with aging. Stroke A French study showed that participants who consumed and cooked with olive oil had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those that did not use any olive oil. Depression A diet rich in olive oil can protect from mental illness, including depression per Spanish researchers from the University of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Fat serves as an important building block for cell membranes and acts as protection for organs and cells as well as nerve insulation. 60% of the brain is composed of fat. Osteoporosis Extra virgin olive oil consumption can help improve bone mineralization and calcification. It helps the body absorb calcium aiding in thickening the bones. Oxidative Stress Air pollution, cigarette smoke, consumption of fried foods and/or alcohol can cause free radicals to form in the body. Vitamin E, found in extra virgin olive oil, is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals, called oxidative stress. Extra virgin olive oil also contains polyphenols, another type of antioxidant, which also fight oxidative stress throughout the body. Oxidative stress can lead to chronic inflammation. Oleocanthal, a phytonutrient found in extra virgin olive oil, has been shown to reduce inflammation, a leading cause of cancer. Balsamic Vinegar Health Benefits Lowers Cholesterol High cholesterol levels are a problem around the world being one of the major contributors to heart disease. Balsamic is a good source of antioxidants which can help block cells that cause cholesterol to rise. Lowers Blood Pressure High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) affects millions of people and is one of the most aggressive killers around. It poses both long and short term health issues and balsamic reduces blood pressure. Reduces Acid Reflux Balsamic aids in digesting partially digested food in the stomach which saves the esophagus from exposure to ruinous stomach acids making their way up the esophageal canal. This is now a common form of cancer. Aids in Weight Loss Balsamic vinegar contains probiotics, and this helps us to feel fuller for longer which makes it easier for people to resist eating, helping them to limit their calorie intake. Add some in with your breakfast, and it can help you to keep to that diet throughout the day. Reduces Blood Sugar Balsamic vinegar has anti-glycemic properties which helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels after the person has eaten. While patients should still follow medical advice at all times, balsamic vinegar can at least help provide a suitable supplement. Aids Good Circulation Good circulation is imperative to carry nutrients throughout the body. Balsamic vinegar contains compounds from grapes that have been shown to be able to prevent the build-up of coagulants in the blood. Improves Digestion Balsamic vinegar contains acetic acid which aids digestion and helps our system extract the nutrients from the food we eat. Relieves Congestion Congestion is a common symptom of colds, allergies and other irritants. There are many commercial remedies available but one home remedy is to put a few drops of balsamic in hot water and inhale the fumes. Helps Clear Skin Balsamic has antimicrobial properties that can help protect against pathogens, as well as antioxidants that help protect the skin in the long term. Dilute with water before applying to the skin to avoid marking the site.