Popeye realized that his desire for spinach may be overwhelmed by his attraction for Olive Oil.
“Sautéed spinach with Olive Oyl? Hmmmmm.”
“How do you spell your name again?”
New research from an Italian/US study has shown that olive oil had dramatic benefits with regards to opening up blood vessels. This is called endothelial (endo=within, thelial=cell layer inside blood vessel) function. In the study, they gave 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil every day. Results showed that the blood vessel interior had less inflammation and improved in the ability to carry more blood through over time. The subjects with the worst functioning blood vessels showed the greatest improvement.
Blood vessels are like small tunnels that crisscross the body, running 60 miles if laid out end to end. Their function is to carry life-giving oxygen stored within the red blood cells, to every single cell in the human organism. With the passage of time (many decades), poor diet leads to plaque formation in the artery walls. All of us unfortunately have experienced the gunk that blocks our kitchen sink and ultimately backs up all the water. The gunk is plaque. The pipe that leads out of our sink is your artery or blood vessel. In addition, the vessel walls become brittle and not able to relax. Therefore blood pressure remains elevated, accelerating the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Olive oil was shown to cause vasodilation (relaxation) of the blood vessels. This would lower blood pressure, therefore reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, the oil was shown to decrease inflammation in the vessels which may reduce plaque formation.
The best type is pure virgin olive oil. It’s the least processed, therefore containing more antioxidants. Most of the beneficial value of olive oil is due to the antioxidant effect.
Olive oil is safe, reasonably priced, easy to use and has a favorable health profile. In the popular wholesome Mediterranean Diet, olive is the main oil used in most of the prepared dishes. When substituting for other fats in the diet, use it instead of butter on bread. It can be used as a salad dressing with vinegar. Drizzled over pasta, olive heightens the flavor and richness of the dish. In recipes, substitute olive oil for the other fats (butter, cream) for mashed potatoes. Remember, it has a low smoking point, so DO NOT use for high temperature frying or sautéing.
MANGIA BENE VIVI FELICE