The Mediterranean diet is originally inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Greece, Italy and Spain. It is characterized by a high consumption of vegetables, legumes, olive oil, grains, fruits and nuts, as well as a moderate consumption of fish and wine. It also recommends a low consumption of red and processed meats and whole-fat dairy products.
Moreover, research shows that daily doses of olive oil that is rich in polyphenols (antioxidants) may actually protect against the hardening of the arteries. Besides the fatty substances, olive oil and the juice from olives, have small quantities of other elements - responsible for its beneficial qualities –such as vitamins and pro-vitamins (A and E), metals like selenium and a whole heterogenic form of mainly (poly) – fenolic substances. In fact, a new study published on the New England Journal of Medicine's website shows that about 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet.
A Recent study of Dr D. Trichopoulos of School of Public Health - Harvard University, shown that women who consume olive oil daily, more than one time have 25% less chances to show breast cancer, in comparison to the ones that rarely consume olive oil.
In the Mediterranean area where we have a great consumption of olive oil we do not meet so many cases of breast or ovaries cancer.
Regularly consuming olive oil along with other Mediterranean foods is thought to help counter the oxidizing effect of the sun. Statistics actually show that only three in every 100,000 residents of countries in the Mediterranean develop any form of skin cancer, a fairly low figure if you take into account the warm climate in the region. However, the use of sunscreen remains the best way to prevent sunburn and shield the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.
A recent Spanish study also demonstrated that the a Mediterranean Diet rich in olive oil reduces the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50 percent compared to a low fat diet. A further study has suggested that a higher intake of olive oil and polyunsaturated fats found in fatty fish and vegetable oils can be associated with a lower risk of depression. In fact, Spanish researchers discovered that individuals who enjoyed a healthy Mediterranean style diet rich in olive oil, vegetables, beans and fruit were 30 percent less likely to suffer from depression.
The healthy attributes of Olives and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil are numerous and range from preventing diabetes to fighting depression. In fact, olives and Extra-Virgin olive oil Natural antioxidants: Apart from fatty substances are a good source of amino acids, vitamin E, Vitamins A and K, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The presence of all these vitamins and minerals means that olives and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil are great for the eyes, the skin, musculoskeletal system, as well as for various immune functions. They are an important part of the Mediterranean diet which helps cholesterol management, lowering blood pressure, heart disease and depression.