Benefits of olive oil for the heart
Recognized all over the world, extra virgin olive oil is not just one of those known as superfoods. As basis of the Mediterranean Diet, it provides important benefits for our heart.
Extra virgin olive oil is a monounsaturated vegetable fat, the healthiest of all, with important protective properties of the cardiovascular system:
- It decreases the risk of cardiovascular problems.
- It helps reduce and control cholesterol.
- It is an important antioxidant: it helps lipoproteins to be more resistant to oxidation, determining for the development of coronary and vascular diseases.
This is confirmed by the study conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School y Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, according to which, to take a Mediterranean Diet rich in olive oil and vegetables -and low in meats and sweets-, allowed to reduce by 25% the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases among the participants, made up of 25.000 American women .
The results of this research, published in the journal JAMA Network, found that participants who followed an average intake of the Mediterranean Diet reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 23%, while those with high consumption of the Mediterranean Diet reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 28%.
This study developed in the United States coincides with the conclusions obtained in the Predimed study (Prevention with Mediterranean Diet) carried out in Spain in the period 2013-2016, that confirmed that following a Mediterranean diet helped to reduce by 30% the cardiovascular diseases in the population.
But extra virgin olive oil, as pointed out by the Heart Foundation also brings other added benefits to our hearts:
- Helps prevent atrial fibrillation (the most common of arrhythmias).
- Its polyphenols become an important anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic that help protect the body against arteriosclerosis, responsible for a number of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, angina or myocardial infarction.
The keys of the Mediterranean Diet
Extra virgin olive oil is the basis of the Mediterranean Diet. This reference to a healthy diet offers 10 fundamental keys, which, as the Mediterranean Diet Foundation points out, will help us adopt one of the best food models and take care of our hearts.
- Consume foods of vegetable origin in abundance: fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts.
- Include bread and food from cereals (pasta, rice and especially whole products) daily.
- Choosing unprocessed, fresh and seasonal foods are the most appropriate.
- Daily consumption of dairy products.
- Moderate consumption of red meats and, if possible, as part of stews and other recipes.
- Consumption of fish in abundance and eggs in moderation.
- Opt for fresh fruit as desserts.
- Water is the drink par excellence in the Mediterranean. The wine should be taken in moderation and during meals.
- Perform physical activity every day.
- And the most important: use the extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen.
From Goya we are aware of the value and nutritional contribution of extra virgin olive oil as the main support of the Mediterranean Diet. Season your dishes with the unmistakable aroma and authentic taste of our extra virgin olive oils. In our section “La Cocina Goya”, you will find recipes with different ways to include them in your diet, preparing delicious and healthy dishes.