I have a confession: I’m not a fan of olives. They’re one of those foods where you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. And I certainly can’t say I love ‘em… Unlike some members of my family who find them so moreish they can eat a whole pot in one go!
Not liking olives, though, is such a shame, as they’re so good for us. However when it comes to using olive oil I’ve managed to overcome my dislike by pairing the oil with other ingredients that make it taste less bitter. Yeh!
So now we eat olive oil almost daily – but not just any old olive oil. Oh no! We only buy organic, pressed, extra virgin olive oil, which is packed with all the goodness of olives and is the least processed version. And wherever possible we will purchase olive oil from Spain rather than Italy, only in a glass bottle and will keep it in a cool, dark cupboard. Oh, and we will use it within a couple of months of opening.
And how does it benefit our health?
- Believe it or not, extra virgin olive oil is anti-inflammatory.
- It helps to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, which is good for the heart.
- It is also good for brain health, helping with memory and focus
- And it is an antioxidant, which means that it helps to mop-up damaging free radicals
Pretty impressive! No wonder people rave about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet!
Want some recipe inspiration?
Try this Hummus recipe – guaranteed to work every time.
And it’s delicious with my Quinoa and Pomegranate Salad
Want to understand more?
Here is a very helpful article by Dr Josh Axe: Olive Oil Benefits for Your Heart & Brain
Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD also writes about the benefits of olive oil for the brain in her book ‘Natural solutions for Dementia and Alzheimer’s’ (Lifestyle Press ISBN: 978-0-9935431-6-6)