It is particularly rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which among the fatty substances are the most active in the prevention of cardiovascular disorders, and don’t have many saturated fats, responsible for the increase in blood cholesterol levels and directly related to problems such as artery occlusion, arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction.
It abounds in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat capable of regulating cholesterol levels (it reduces the level of LDL cholesterol, the “bad” one, compared to the level of HDL cholesterol, the “good” one).
Oleic acid prevents arterial lesions and reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, thrombosis and coronary artery disease in general.
Rich in polyphenols, which are important for our health: they protect the integrity of cell membranes, ensuring a defense against the formation and development of many types of tumors, and seem to be able to prevent memory loss and alteration of other cognitive functions related to aging. They also protect vitamin E from oxidation.
Extra virgin olive oil is a natural source of vitamin E and a powerful antioxidant that protects cell membranes from aging processes. For this property, it is considered the vitamin of beauty.
Vitamin E is also a light vasodilator, has an antithrombotic effect and strengthens the walls of the capillaries. It regulates the production of male and female sex hormones and protects them from oxidation. The intake of vitamin E in the diet has been shown to be able to raise the levels of HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol.
Squalene, a substance that is abundant in olive oil (even more in the shark’s liver, hence the name) would be effective in fighting skin cancer; in Italy and Greece, where the consumption of extra virgin olive oil is particularly high, life expectancy is higher than in northern European countries, where there is a tendency to consume a higher proportion of fats of animal origin. This is also true despite the intense exposure to the sun of the two Mediterranean countries and a higher number of smokers than that in northern Europe.
All these properties make extra virgin olive oil a true elixir of long life, indispensable to adequately satisfy the nutritional needs of our times.