Health Benefits

Research on Health Benefits of Olive Oil

Consumption of olive oil has been associated with:

  • Improved sensitivity of cells to insulin, which helps to prevent the Metabolic Syndrome.
  • Preventing Metabolic Syndrome is important, because the syndrome increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
  • Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Potent Antioxidant Power of Olive Oil

Phenolic compounds are potent antioxidants found in virgin and extra-virgin olive oil. These compounds give unrefined olive oils their distinctive flavors and high degree of stability. Studies indicate these compounds may be able to:

  • Turn off the activity of genes that produce the kind of inflammation that causes coronary heart disease.
  • Decrease production of inflammatory chemicals called thromboxanes and leukotrienes.
  • Decrease the production of the most damaging form of cholesterol, oxidized LDL cholesterol.
  • University of South Australia researchers note that compounds from the olive were found to be antimicrobial against various bacteria.
  • Reduce total cholesterol and an increase in the high-density cholesterol (HDL-C), which has a protective effect on blood vessels.

At the meeting of the "International conference on the healthy effect of virgin olive oil" that took place in Spain in 2005, numerous benefits of virgin olive oil from the research were outlined. They looked at the consumption of olive oil from the perspective of issues such as cardiovascular health, cancer, and longevity. With respect to anti-aging they noted: "The more recent studies consistently support that the Mediterranean diet, based in virgin olive oil, is compatible with a healthier ageing and increased longevity."

Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar:

  • Antioxidant Properties
  • Fights Cancer

The grapes from which balsamic vinegar is formed is known to contain a bioflavonoid called quercetin, which has antioxidant properties. Along with vitamin C, this antioxidant strengthens the immune system to fight cancer, infectious disease, and inflammation. Balsamic vinegar also contains polyphenols which are anti-cancer agents.

  • Reduces Risks of Heart Attacks
  • Controls Diabetes
  • Natural Pain Reliever
  • Assists Digestion

The polyphenols in balsamic vinegar stimulate the activity of pepsin enzyme in the body. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme, which helps break proteins into smaller units (amino acids). Moreover, these polyphenols also assist the intestine in absorbing amino acids expeditiously. Efficient amino acid absorption enables the body to utilize it for cell building, repair, and other body, maintenance work. Thus, balsamic vinegar aids the digestion process.

Balsamic vinegar retains most of the nutrients present in the parent grapes and comprises nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium in adequate amounts. Thus, incorporating balsamic oil in the daily diet will benefit one immensely. Let us look at the different balsamic vinegar health benefits.

Oxidation reactions taking place in the human body to produce energy, conduce to the formation of cell damaging, free-radicals as natural by-products. Free-radicals damage cell membranes and manifest themselves in terms of premature aging, hardening of arterial walls, and cancer. Antioxidants from balsamic vinegar destroy these free radicals and prevent cells from being destroyed.

Balsamic vinegar is low in saturated fat and is believed to reduce cholesterol. Moreover, since it is low in sodium, it enhances heart health and reduces high blood pressure.

Research reveals that consumption of at least 5 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar a day enhances insulin sensitivity. Greater the insulin sensitivity equals improved protection from diabetes.

Natural Pain Reliever

In ancient times, folk healers used this vinegar to relieve people of aches and pains throughout the body. Moreover, they also used balsamic vinegar to treat wounds and infections. The anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties in the vinegar healed wounds.

Adapted from