In Antiquity, Greeks and Romans worked the land to produce olives and olive oil. Since then, these products are used in cosmetics, gastronomy, food preserving, industry, health, etc. All these useful possibilities come from the multiple properties of olive oil.
The olive oil has a very high percentage of triglycerides. One of these is the oleic acid, which constitutes the 75% of olive oil. This acid contributes to benefit health, more specifically the cardiovascular and hepatic systems. This component is known as one of the essential acids which are basic for the development of life. Unfortunately, our body is not able to synthesize it and, consequently, it is very important for us to include it in our dairy food consumption.
This monounsaturated fat also benefits the increase of good cholesterol (HDL) and the decrease of bad cholesterol (LDL) in blood, improving our vascular system and heart and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is also known that it benefits the liver and avoids gallstones.
In fact, there are some medical researches that confirm the important role of this acid in the maintenance of a healthy physical condition. It has also been proved that this acid intervenes in the regulation of lipid metabolism and in the balance of corporal weight. In more recent studies, neurologists defend the idea that some derivates of oleic acid could help to develop neurons. If true, this fact opens a great door to new possibilities in the development of new treatments for mitigating and preventing degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer.
Nevertheless, there are other important components in olive oil that, though in minor percentage, play a very important role in our body: vitamins.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects our skin from the action of free radicals. Vitamin A helps to maintain bone tissues, develop our sight sense properly, improve our skin appearance and avoid infectious diseases. Vitamin D regulates the absorption of calcium and Vitamin K helps blood coagulation and new red corpuscle production.