Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is undoubtedly one of the most recommended foods for its healthy properties, as Professor José Juan Gaforio comments:
"In the future, food has an important role to play in helping to prevent certain diseases and virgin olive oils can be essential elements in achieving this objective".
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is made up of a high percentage of oleic acid, as well as vitamin E and polyphenols. Due to its main component, it is a mainly monounsaturated fat, which, unlike saturated fats, helps to reduce the "bad" cholesterol, LDL, and increase the good cholesterol, HDL, and therefore prevents cardiovascular pathologies. Both vitamin E and polyphenols are responsible for the antioxidant action of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), which prevents the aging of cells and the formation of cancer cells.
Not all olive oils can boast of these properties, since for example, polyphenols are lost in the refining process, so they are only present in virgin oils.
Another of the components of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is oleocanthal, an ester of tyrosol, present in olives, which is responsible for its slightly spicy taste. Several investigations indicate that oleocanthal has anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen. The oleocanthal is an inhibitor of an inflammatory enzyme, which could explain its potential effect on the prevention of various types of cancer, rheumatic diseases, cardiac and respiratory disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
Of all the olive oil varieties, the picual stands out for being the one with the highest percentage of the components indicated above: oleic acid, vitamin E, polyphenols and oleocanthal.
Although this is a healthy food, which must always be present in our diet, we must take into account its caloric intake, 90 kcal per tablespoon approximately, and therefore must be taken in moderation. The recommended consumption is 40 milliliters a day, taking into account that this dose includes both the oil that is taken raw and the one used for cooking.