Olive Oil

So delicious and good for you, olive oil is a staple in my kitchen. With a fruity, nutty, and very distinct pungent taste, olive oil can be used in a variety of recipes. I use olive oil as a base in salad dressings, marinades, soups, sauces, pesto, pasta, fish, on veggies, and as the perfect dip for bread.

  • Olive oil is packed with polyphenols, which act both as antioxidants as anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body for a variety of functions.
  • One of the key antioxidant polyphenols in olive oil helps to protect the cells that line our blood vessels from oxidative stress by boosting their antioxidant defense system and keeping them strong and healthy.
  • Certain polyphenols in olive oil have been shown to slow the growth of unwanted bacteria in the digestive tract. This helps to prevent stomach ulcers and other digestive problems.
  • Other antioxidants protect blood vessels by preventing evil oxygen damage to fat in our bloodstream – which reduces risk of heart disease.
  • Olive oil contains healthy monounsaturated fat, mostly in the form of oleic acid, which helps to decrease total blood cholesterol and even lower blood pressure.
  • A 2010 study by the Institute for Pharmacological Research Institute in Milan, Italy found that consuming olive oil reduced the risk of cancer in the breast, respiratory tract, and upper/lower digestive tract.
  • Eating olive oil gives your bones a boost too. Olive oil consumption can lead to better blood levels of calcium. Research has shown that calcium plus two key polyphenols in evoo promote bone formation in mice. (Yes mice. According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, mice and humans share virtually the same set of genes. In case you were wondering.)

Vegukate Tips:

Always buy 100% extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil. This is the good stuff that hasn’t been refined, extracted with solvents, or diluted with other oils. Never buy bottles of “light” or “low-fat” olive oil, which are phonies that have usually been chemically treated. Always go for the real deal.

Look for olive oil stored in dark green or brown glass bottles. Olive oil is very sensitive to light and heat, which can cause it to oxidize and go rancid quickly.

Always store olive oil in a cool, dark place, where it will keep for about a year.