Updated: Jun 13, 2022
With so many oils on the market, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Their flavours and health benefits vary. Discover just how easy it is to incorporate extra virgin olive oil into your daily routine, and enjoy the many benefits of this natural superfood.
Olive Oil Is a Powerhouse of Nutrients
When you’re using olive oil, you get about 75% monounsaturated fats that help lower your bad cholesterol. Research suggests that healthy individuals who consume at least two tablespoons of olive oil per day may lower their risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and even dementia.
The best olive oil gives you a lot more than healthy fats. It contains powerful antioxidants that promote superior heart and brain health. The ability to fight inflammation is considered one of the major factors behind olive oil’s many health benefits. You might not realize that inflammation is a common risk factor for many common diseases.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Has Fewer Additives than Regular Virgin Olive Oil
While there are some similarities between extra virgin olive oil and regular olive oil, the truth is that they are not the same product. Freshness is key to producing high-quality olive oil.
Olives are picked at the height of ripeness, then crushed to preserve that wonderful flavour. This process yields pure olive oil, free of any additives. Often processed and separated from its original properties by high temperatures, the shelf life of olive oil depends on how it’s made and preserved.
EVOO is pressed from ripe olives. It’s processed without heat or chemical solvents, which helps protect the phenols in the oil.
Polyphenols are organic compounds that plants produce to defend themselves against predators. They are found in an abundance of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices. Polyphenols have been widely studied in recent years and have been linked to a lower risk of chronic disease, a slower rate of cell growth, a reduced risk of weight gain through metabolism, and improved overall health.
Olive Oil Is Not Just for Salads
One of the most important benefits is that olive oil gives so much taste to your food. EVOO is beloved for its strong, fruity flavour and aroma and it can be used in a wide variety of recipes, making it a universally appealing staple. If you are a fan of salads, green vegetables or fish, a high-quality extra virgin olive oil will absolutely fit in your kitchen.
A high-quality extra virgin olive oil has an incredible flavour. The fruitiness can shine, so while you definitely want to cook with it, you should also try drizzling it onto your warm, finished dishes.
However, olive oil isn’t just for salads. You might be surprised to learn that it works really well in dessert recipes, too. EVOO can be used instead of butter or vegetable oil when cooking anything from cookies to cakes, muffins, brownies, banana bread, zucchini bread, and more.
When serving olive oil in your kitchen, consider the flavour, the health benefits, and the purpose. There are innumerable olive oils to choose from, much like there are multiple wines to enhance a well-prepared meal.