Two new studies added more evidence to the support the health benefits of extra virgin olive as part of a daily diet, according to two reports in the Olive Oil Times.
A study by researchers from the Institute of Biomedical Research of Malaga, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry concluded that three tablespoons of olive per day could reduce the cardio vascular problems associated with diabetes. The study found the phelonic compound hydroxytyrosol, which is naturally in olives and olive oil, can have an anti-inflammatory effect and counteract the dangerous narrowing of blood vessels.
Another new, limited study from Australia suggests olive oil may also be helpful in combatting depression.
The study compared participants who took part in social support groups versus those who also were counseled about healthy food choices and consumed a Mediterranean diet. After 12 weeks, nearly a third of those who also had the counseling and diet experienced remission from the depression versus only 8 percent for the support group only subjects.
“Two big factors that contribute to the depression-fighting properties (of olive oil) involve two of its more famous nutrients: omega-3 fatty acids and fiber,” naturopathic physician Vickie Modica of Seattle, Washington told Olive Oil Times. “Omega-3 fatty acids, known to have an anti-inflammatory effect and thought to have a healthful impact on the nervous system, improve the symptoms of depression in multiple studies. Other research shows that diets high in fiber increase the diversity of good gut microbiota, which is believed to have a positive influence on mood, including depression.”