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If you asked a group of people to write down a list of superfoods, chances are that you’re going to spot olive oil on every list. Rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, and a staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil really is all you need to stay healthy. In fact, a new study has revealed that olive oil could be the key to you living a long and healthy life.

Is Olive Oil the Secret To Longevity?

In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers set out to see how adding olive oil to our diets can improve our health.

For the study, the researchers examined data from the Nurses Health Study (1990-2018) and the Health Professionals Follow Up Study (1990-2018). Of the 60 582 women and 31 801 men included in the data, none of them had developed cardiovascular disease or cancer since the start of the study.

Over a period of 28 years, the participants had recorded information about their diets and the researchers had this information. The researchers also had health outcomes for the participants, as well as information on their deaths.

The results

According to the findings, the people who reported the highest intake of olive oil (more than 0.5 tablespoons a day) had a 19% lower risk of dying early from any cause compared to those who didn’t consume as much olive oil or consumed no olive oil.

Specifically, the people who consumed a lot of olive oil faced a:

  • 19% lower risk of early death due to cardiovascular disease
  • 17% lower risk of early death due to cancer
  • 29% lower risk of early death due to neurodegenerative disease
  • 18 % lower risk of early death due to respiratory disease

Can we trust the study?

Now, while olive oil does have amazing benefits for the body, it should be noted that the study does have its limitations.

For instance, participants in the study who ate more olive oil also had other healthy lifestyle habits that could have contributed to their longevity. They were non-smokers, and they made sure to consume a balanced diet.

Olive oil is really good for us

olive oil

Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

Despite the study’s limitations, the truth is that olive oil is an incredible health elixir.

For one, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, with the main fatty acid being oleic acid. According to studies, oleic can help to combat inflammation, and this is one of the reasons why olive oil has been found to help reduce the risk for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer.

Eating more olive oil

If you’re looking to introduce olive oil into your diet, might we suggest adopting the Mediterranean Diet? Considered the healthiest diet in the world, the Mediterranean diet is high in antioxidants and incorporates a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seafood, beans, and nuts, as well as olive oil.

Additionally, you can also use olive oil as a salad dressing, enjoy it as a dip for bread or even drizzle it over your meals.

Want to know more?

In addition to eating more olive oil in 2022, might we also propose doing what Oprah Winfrey is asking for and drinking more water?

References

Guasch-Ferré, M., Li, Y., Willett, W. C., Sun, Q., Sampson, L., Salas-Salvadó, J., Martínez-González, M. A., Stampfer, M. J., & Hu, F. B. (2022). Consumption of Olive Oil and Risk of Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Among U.S. Adults. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 79(2), 101–112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2021.10.041

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.