5 Health Benefits of Using Olive Oil | Health
Anytime is a good time to consider heart health. After all, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America, killing over 600,000 people yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even making small changes in your lifestyle and diet can add up to big results, over time. One such change that can give people a healthy benefit for the heart and beyond is to make the switch to olive oil.
“Olive oil not only tastes great, but increasingly we are learning about the healthy benefits it has for our bodies,” explains Chef Paul Anthony Fario, known as “Chefario,” the executive chef at Arlington-based Extra Virgin restaurant. “And it is quite versatile, making it easy to find ways to incorporate it into your diet.”
Here are 5 health benefits of using olive oil:
- Anti-inflammation. Along with having healthy properties that help reduce inflammation in the body, it also has anti-clotting properties. This helps to make olive oil a choice that is better for the heart.
- Antioxidants. Many health professionals have deemed olive oil to be heart healthy, because it contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. The polyphenols slow the progression of atherosclerosis.
- DHPEA-EDA. This is one of the most important polyphenols found in olive oil, and researchers have found that it protects red blood cells from damage.
- Monounsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which helps to control a person’s LDL – or bad – cholesterol, while it also helps to raise the body’s good, heart-healthy cholesterol.
- Secoiridoids. This category of polyphenols found in olive oil is being researched for its anti-cancer properties. It is believed to provide the digestive tract with some protection.
Additional research suggests that olive oil has beneficial properties for bone health, cognitive function, and anti-cancer benefits. Additional research is being conducted to discover additional ways that olive oil can be beneficial to our health.
“Adding olive oil to your diet can be simple and tasty,” adds Chef Fario. “For the best results, buy a good quality extra virgin olive oil and store it in a cool dark place so that it doesn’t go rancid or isn’t subjected to a lot of light exposure.”
Here is a quick, tasty and heart-healthy recipe using olive oil:
With spring just around the corner I wanted to share this very simple recipe of one of our most popular dishes. Serves 2
2 diver scallops cut lengthwise in half
4 16/20 count shrimp, peeled an clean
3-4 oz of salmon cut in 1 inch pieces
3-4 oz of calamari cut flat for grilling
For seasoning you will need...
Fresh ground pepper
Red pepper flakes
One 6-8 oz package of cleaned arugula
1 vine ripe tomato, diced
1/2 small red onion, julienned
3-6 ounces Lemon dressing (recipe below)
Prepare your grill and season the grates with canola oil, you want the grill to reach 500° and preheat your oven to 425°.
Take the seafood and season with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes, keeping the oil to a minimum so as to avoid flare ups. Quickly grill the seafood pieces in batches and place on a baking tray or oven proof skillet.
Once the seafood is in the skillet add the wine, butter and parsley, bake for approximately 5 minutes.
While the seafood is finishing assemble the salad by combining the arugula, red onion, tomato and lemon dressing. Place on a large serving plate and place the seafood around. Top the seafood with the delicious cooking liquid, garnish with lemon and serve immediately.
Refrigerate up to six days.
3 whole lemons
3 whole limes
3 cloves garlic
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cannoli/salad oil
to taste: kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Peel the limes, cut into quarters
Peel and seed the lemons
Peel the garlic
Place the lemon, lime, garlic, and half of the juice in a blender. Start on low and build up to full speed. While blending slowly add the oils, salt and pepper. Adjust the seasoning to your taste adding more salt and pepper or remaining juice as desired.
At Extra Virgin, diners can choose from a variety of modern Italian cuisine options, including such specialties as wood-fired pizzas, pastas, meat, poultry, and seafood, as well as vegetarian options. The restaurant, which offers an olive oil-inspired menu and décor, offers lunch specials, as well as new weekly menu specialties.
About Extra Virgin
Located in Shirlington Village’s “Restaurant Row,” Extra Virgin offers diners a variety of modern Italian cuisine. The restaurant offers both lunch and dinner, as well as full catering services. The owner, Shary Thur, is a four-time breast cancer survivor, while Paul Anthony Fario, the executive chef, has over 20 years of culinary experience. The restaurant hosts weekly jazz and other music events, as well as weekly specials, in addition to late night dancing. To learn more about Extra Virgin, visit the website at: www.extravirginva.com.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Be One in a Million this American Heart Month. <http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/>
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Disease Facts. <http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm>
CNN. How heart-healthy is olive oil? January 2009. <http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/expert.q.a/06/19/olive.oil.heart.cholesterol/index.html>
Science Daily. Source of Major Health Benefits of Olive Oil Revealed. April 2009. <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401200447.htm>