Academics and nutritionists confirm olive oil is essential for good health
05/16/2018 // Michelle Simmons // Views

The jury's out: Experts have confirmed that olive oil is essential for good health, thanks to its many medicinal properties. In particular, multiple studies have shown that it possesses anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunity-boosting, and overall nutrition-enhancing properties. Olive oil is also beneficial for the heart, and it protects against diabetes and blood pressure, as well as other diseases.

According to Avni Sali, founding director of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Australia, olive oil is particularly useful for cancer patients.

"For cancer patients who can't eat much and are losing weight – and even healthy people in general – I would encourage them to incorporate as much olive oil into their diet as possible," said Sali, who is also the president of the International Council of Integrative Medicine (ICIM).

They also debunked some misconceptions about olive oil – a crucial component of a Mediterranean diet. While some people think associate olive oil with other harmful fats, they are, in reality, very healthy. Another misconception about olive oil is that you cannot cook with it because of its low smoke point, which in turn makes it more likely to become carcinogenic. Contrary to this belief, its smoke point is higher than what people think. It also contains antioxidant properties which make it a safe and healthy oil to cook with. In addition, olive oil has more health benefits and polyphenol properties than coconut oil. (Related: Olive oil is the healthiest choice when it comes to frying food, study finds.)


To counter misinformation, clever food marketing strategies, and fad diet information found online, Sali and his team launched Olive Wellness Institute (OWI), an online resource dedicated to increasing awareness of extra virgin olive oil and other olive products. The OWI will provide credible and latest news on olive oil to the general public.

As Sali put it, a lot of people view medicine as "purely prescription-based." While no simple prescription will cure chronic illness, he recommends that doctors talk it out with thier patients to understand their diet, physical activity, and habits.

“This way, they can make recommendations that may help to lower the risk of illness for the healthy, and improve the quality of life for the chronically ill,” he added.

The right type of olive oil

Olive oil is obtained by pressing the fruits of the olive tree. In general, olive oil is healthy, but some versions are extracted using chemicals or even dilute with cheap oil. To be sure, choose extra virgin olive oil: It's extracted using natural methods and standardized for purity, taste, smell, and other sensory qualities. It's also produced free of chemicals and industrial refining. In addition, extra virgin olive oil has a distinctive taste and is rich in phenolic antioxidants – the primary reason why it's great for a person's health.

Here are some pointers in choosing great extra virgin olive oil.

  • Fruity – Good extra virgin olive oil is fruity. Look for the pleasant fruit flavors characteristics of fresh ripe or green olives. The oil yielded from ripe olives are milder, aromatic, buttery, and floral. On the other hand, oil produced from green olives are grassy, herbaceous, bitter, and pungent. Fruitiness varies with the variety of olive.
  • Bitter – Fresh olive oil tends to have a mostly pleasant bitter flavor.
  • Pungent – a good, fresh extra virgin olive oil is abundant in nutrients if it has a peppery sensation in the mouth and throat.

Learn more about the benefits that you can get from olive oil by going to today.

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