The extra virgin olive oil is a 100% natural product, obtained by purely mechanical processes, unlike the vast majority of other vegetable oils that need to undergo the action of chemical products before being consumed.
The olive oil is a healthy fat, with zero saturated fat, an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, rich in vitamin E, oleic acid, phenolic compounds and monounsaturated fats. Being a product with excellent nutritional qualities, some of the main benefits of regular consumption of olive oil are:
- Prevention of heart diseases, as it helps to control cholesterol levels, and to prevent inflammation of organs and tissues;
- Protects against various types of cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases, as it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances;
- Contributes to the proper functioning of the intestine and digestive system, since it is a fast-absorbing fat, being more easily digested;
- Favors normal bone growth, stimulating absorption of calcium and bone mineralization;
- Prevents premature aging, as the antioxidants in olive oil, namely vitamin E, prevent oxidation and cellular aging.
The olive oil is an essential part of the Mediterranean Diet,
classified as a World and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The Mediterranean Diet is one of the healthiest food diets in the world, which stands out for the use of fresh, local and seasonal agricultural products, based on local recipes and cooking methods, passed down from generation to generation, having companionship around the table as a distinctive cultural trait.
The 10 principles of the Mediterranean Diet in Portugal are:
1 - Frugality and simple cooking based on the variety and wealth of nutrients contained in soups, boiled food, and stews;
2 - A high ingestion of vegetables in detriment of the ingestion of food products of animal origin, namely horticultural products, fruit, quality bread, unrefined cereals, dried and fresh leguminous plants, dried fruit and oil seeds;
3 - Consumption of locally produced or of proximity, fresh and seasonal vegetables;
4 - Consumption of olive oil as main dietary source of fat;
5 - Moderate consumption of dairy products;
6 - Use of herbs for seasoning instead of salt;
7 - More frequent consumption of fish and less frequent of red meat and animal fat;
8 - Moderate consumption of wine and only with the main meals;
9 - Water as the main drink throughout the day;
10 - Social life and sharing around the table.
Several studies associate the Mediterranean diet with greater longevity
and a decrease in the risk of developing some diseases, namely chronic and cardiovascular diseases, and with a decrease in the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.