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Live Longer and Healthier with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For 7 years now, The Olive Tap has been telling its customers about the two big benefits of our premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils.

First off, they taste good, real good. And with a wide range of varietals and flavor profiles, our customers can always find an Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) that suits their particular taste and recipe preferences. We have also touted the numerous health benefits of consuming high quality EVOO and have lectured on the subject on numerous occasions.

Secondly and most recently, the news world has been abuzz over an article conducted in Spain, and whose findings were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. The Mediterranean diet is now the focus of intense review, as the health benefits of EVOO are becoming all too apparent.

Below is a brief summary of the many health related benefits of consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil. What you need to know is that it is the polyphenols that are found in 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and the high level of monounsaturated fat found in it are what is responsible for these results and observations. Keep in mind that most of these benefits will not come from pure olive oil, or olive oils that have been adulterated with other refined oils.

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The anti-inflammatory strength of olive oil is a result of the polyphenols that can only be obtained from Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The anti-inflammatory agents include nine different categories of polyphenols and more than 25 well-researched anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Unlike supermarket grades of olive oil, where up to 70% of brands were found to fail the test for Extra Virgin by a U.C. Davis published study; The Olive Tap EVOO’s are guaranteed to have polyphenol levels that can deliver these benefits to you. Some oils are lower than others, delivering sweet (not bitter), light and fruity taste profiles. Other oils will be more pungent (peppery sensation in the throat) and bitter (back of the tongue sensation) due to their higher polyphenol counts. The ultimate choice as to which oil best suits your particular taste is what makes The Olive Tap stores so special. You can taste before you buy at any of our locations, or read detailed descriptions online to help you make a choice.

Cardiovascular: Lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%, while enjoying a diet that puts more emphasis on food groups than counting calories. Check out the Mediterranean diet. In late February, the news, food blogs, and other media outlets were all abuzz over the article that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The results were so positive, that the study was halted early because the benefits of the Mediterranean diet were already obvious. The researchers found that the people consuming the diets rich in olive oil, fruits, vegetables and nuts had about a 30 percent lower risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying from a cardiovascular cause.

Digestive Tract: Numerous studies found lower rates of digestive tract cancers—especially cancers of the upper digestive tract, including the stomach and small intestine—in populations that regularly consumed olive oil.

Skeletal/Bone Health: Higher blood levels of calcium have been observed in laboratory animals, and two polyphenols (tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol) have shown to increase bond formation. Recently, a group of researchers suggested that olive oil may eventually prove to have special bone benefits for post-menopausal women.

Cognition and Brain Function: Improved cognitive function—especially among older adults—is a well-known feature of the Mediterranean Diet. In France, a recent large-scale study on older adults has shown that visual memory and verbal fluency can be improved with what the researchers called "intensive use" of olive oil.

Anti Cancer Benefits: Research studies have shown that as little as 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil per day can lower the risk of certain cancer types, including cancers of the breast, respiratory tract, upper digestive tract, and to a lesser extent, lower digestive tract (colorectal cancers). Intense study is ongoing regarding the effect of EVOO on certain types of breast cancer. The research is focused on the 20% to 30% of breast cancers that express the HER2 molecules, and is being conducted by Javier A. Menendez, PhD, at the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Girona, Spain.

Clearly, the Mediterranean diet is one that has an emphasis on Extra Virgin Olive Oil as the source of fat in diets, and there are undoubtedly additional health benefits associated with the consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish, and legumes. The reduction in red meat consumption in this diet is also important, and cannot be overemphasized. In the coming months we will take a closer look at the research, and when available, we will post updates.

Citations:

If you want to look into the Mediterranean diet more closely, check out the work of Katherine Tallmadge, a dietitian and the author of "Diet Simple" (LifeLine Press, 2011), and Carol D’Anca “Facebook: Food-Not-Meds. “

For the Summary of Benefits: We acknowledge The George Mateljan Foundation for The World's Healthiest Foods for their excellent review of the literature about the benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. http://whfoods.org