The best healthy change you can make in your kitchen is to substitute extra-virgin olive oil for other fats. Olive oil is one of the world’s oldest foods for a reason. Diets rich in olive oil, like those found in the Mediterranean, have been linked to a reduced risk of serious health conditions and offer a host of nutritional benefits. Discover tasty ways to add this superfood to your meal plan with some of our best recipes that use olive oil, and learn more about the health benefits of this healthful oil below.
You’ll love these RECIPES THAT USE OLIVE OIL:
Slow Cooker Homestyle Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary
Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken
Garden Salad with Lemon and Oil Dressing
For a complete list of superfoods, check out 50 Superfoods, the Ultimate Shopping List.
4 REASONS TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL:
1. Olive Oil Can Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
It’s been estimated that a large percentage of breast cancers, prostate cancers, and pancreatic cancers could be eliminated if Westerners followed more of a Mediterranean diet. Evidence suggests that the compounds found in olive oil help to prevent oxidative free radical damage to the cells, lessening the risk of cancer.
2. Olive Oil Can Help Control Blood Pressure
People who enjoy plant-based foods, like olive oil, generally have lower blood pressure than those who eat other diets. It has been shown that the compounds in olive oil are beneficial to the cells lining the blood vessels, lowering both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
3. Olive Oil Helps to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and other phytochemicals that are instrumental in the fight against cardiovascular disease. Olive oil helps to keep cholesterol in check and works to prevent damage from oxidation. This, combined with olive oil’s ability to regulate blood pressure, lowers the risk of coronary artery disease and helps to keep the heart healthy and strong.
4. It’s Easy to Make the Switch
Extra-virgin olive oil is easy to incorporate in the kitchen. Simply swap it for other fats and oils. Use it to make a healthy salad dressing, drizzle it on roasted vegetables, add it to mashed potatoes in lieu of butter, use it to stir-fry vegetables, or drizzle it on pasta with garlic and basil.