What can you do to reap some of the health benefits stemming from the much lauded Mediterranean diet?

Infuse a little olive oil into everything!

Why? Consider the benefits:

Olive oil is an anti-inflammatory food. Unlike most oils, which are nearly all fat, high levels of polyphenols in this culinary staple have been shown to  lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), used to assess unwanted inflammation. The anti-inflammatory benefits of extra virgin olive oil don’t require more than a couple of tablespoons to see significant results.

Olive oil is good for the heart. Olive oil is an excellent source of protection for the cardiovascular system when  integrated into a healthy diet. Its  high content of oleic acid serves to regulate the proper amounts of LDL and HDL cholesterol in the body.

Olive oil benefits your gut. The polyphenols in olive oil have been shown to retard the growth of unwanted bacteria that contribute to digestive tract infections, impede the development of ulcers, and possibly contribute to the  prevention of certain digestive cancers.

Olive oil helps keep your bones strong. Olive oil research on lab animals indicates that olive oil improves blood levels of calcium, and increases bone formation that may prove especially helpful for post-menopausal women experiencing bone loss after having their ovaries removed.

Olive oil supports cognitive function. A French study revealed that “intensive use” of olive oil improved visual memory and verbal fluency in older adults. Lab animals in another study reveals consumption of olive oil can help compensate for brain-related problems caused by a variety of biological imbalances.

Olive oil is a natural cancer fighter.  Research studies have shown small, daily amounts  of olive oil lowers the risk of certain cancers like breast, respiratory tract, and upper digestive tract. Some research even indicates olive oil may be able to help control and influence cell death in certain cancers already attacking the body.

It is best to use extra virgin olive oil unheated as a replacement for butter, in dressings and sauces, or simply drizzled over cooked meats and vegetables.

Read the full article here: Olive oil, extra virgin