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Reduce Free Radicals: Antioxidants and Olive Oil

“If I’d known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” — Leon Eldred

We live in an age where we are beginning to see an awareness developing between eating habits and excellent health. Several buzz phrases like low carb, high protein, and Hoodia are mentioned as a means to gaining a better life while honing a better physique.

Another phrase that is repeated often is ‘’antioxidants”.

What exactly is an antioxidant and why is it vital?

Everyone has what is called ‘free radicals’ that roam throughout the body. These free radicals have the potential to attack the body, primarily in the form of cancer. Antioxidants fight back. A nutrition plot that includes antioxidants can help in staving off the potential for acute illness due to free radicals.

Drinks such as coffee and tea often have a certain amount of antioxidants, but it is fresh fruit that is especially rich in antioxidants. Fruit, of course, remains high on the list of recommended foods by the U.S.D.A., but it may surprise you to know that extra virgin olive oil as part of a balanced diet can provide as much antioxidant as a piece of fruit.

The health benefits of olive oil remain a delightful discovery for many. It’s not often something that adds significant excellent taste to a gourmet meal and can also be an extremely healthy choice.

A diet that is lean in saturated fats (red meat) balanced with a healthy dose of fatty acids has pointed to a number of health benefits. Most of the fatty acids that your body may need can be found in extra virgin olive oil.

The health benefits of olive oil extend to the reduction of LDL (terrible cholesterol) while increasing the amount of HDL (excellent cholesterol).

Case Study

The University of Barcelona conducted a controlled study that followed 16 individuals that were advised to refrain from certain foods that contained phenols (an antioxidant designed to attack free radicals). After abstaining for four days the test group was given extra virgin olive oil to determine if this alone could increase the levels of phenol in the body.

50ml of olive oil was provided to test subjects while they refrained from things like butter, nuts, eggs and margarine. After the first day the total intake of olive oil was cut in half. One week later, blood samples indicated elevated amounts of the antioxidants vitamin E and phenols. Oleic acid and monounsaturated fatty acids were also seen at higher levels – both acids are indicative of lower LDL (terrible cholesterol) oxidation.

Some researchers believe that the health benefits of olive oil may still be untapped, and many have indicated regular ingestion of olive oil may be one of the best kept health secrets available.

Beyond its antioxidant properties, extra virgin olive oil has provided significant data to indicate it may also lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and aid in the fight against colon cancer specifically.

Isn’t it time to learn the virtues of olive oil for yourself?

James Zeller writes for gourmet gift related websites and blogs. Here is a selection of cruets.com/Scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=146 oil and vinegar that he found, and a creative collection of cruets.com culinary gourmet gifts.

Tags: simple recipes, food, today show, Fruits And Vegetables, tasty, my recipes, source online, restaurants food, low stout recipes, cookbook



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