Does Olive Oil Make You Live Longer?
Posted by Olive Oil Lovers on
The science is in: Olive oil does help you live longer!
One of the latest studies to confirm the benefits of extra virgin olive oil followed 90,000 people over 30 years. When compared to a group of people who rarely consumed olive oil, individuals in the highest consumption group, eating only ½ a tablespoon of olive oil a day, saw amazing results:
They reduced their chance of death from cancer by 17%
They reduced their chance of death from respiratory disease by 18%
They reduced their chance of death from cardiovascular disease by 19%
They reduced their chance of death from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s by 29%.
The scientists also studied a group that replaced the margarine, butter, mayonnaise and dairy fat in their diet with olive oil. These individuals reduced their chance of death by up to 34%.
This report confirms that eating olive oil does reduce your mortality risk. Could extra virgin olive oil be the key to unlocking the fountain of youth?
You might have heard stories about blue zone locations like the Greek island of Ikaria, where an entire third of the population lives to the age of 90. When you practice a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy Mediterranean-style diet with plenty of olive oil, long life follows.
What makes this nutritional necessity so important for those wanting a longer, healthier lifespan? Olive oil contains polyphenols, antioxidant compounds found in plant-based foods that help relieve stress on your body's cells.
Many studies have shown that the polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil can mimic the beneficial effects of caloric restriction on the body, effects which include: improved antioxidant defense, reduced inflammation, and reduced fat cell creation.
Olive oil also induces autophagy, the body’s system of clearing out dead cells and creating new cells. Autophagy has shown promise as a potent weapon against neurodegeneration. One report suggests that polyphenols be considered a new family of plant-produced anti-aging compounds that can repair the body's cells and work to prevent age-related diseases like cancer, and even slow down aging itself.
In fact, a recent report from Greece compared 3 groups of patients, one given instructions to follow a standard Mediterranean diet, a second given 50ml/day of a medium phenolic olive oil, and a third group given 50ml/day of a high phenolic early harvest EVOO. The high phenolic extra virgin olive oil group had better performance in all cognitive domains, indicating that supplementing a diet with early harvest extra virgin olive oil with high content of polyphenols will show improved cognitive function over time.
Three of the most important biologically-active polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil are oleuropein, oleacein & oleocanthal. Oleocanthal has been linked to cancer prevention. Oleacein has shown benefits combatting cardiovascular disease. And oleuropein is the compound known to promote autophagy.
Each of these specific polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil give your body important nutritional benefits that help keep your body healthy and contribute to a long and healthy life.
So do you want to live longer?
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