The olive, one of the oldest foods known to man is thought to have originated in Crete between five to seven thousand years ago and also regarded as a symbol of peace and wisdom by the Greeks. Many civilizations have also used it not only for food but fuel, timber and medicine. Being a second generation Greek, I know pretty much everything about the Mediterranean diet (eating lots of produce, fish, nuts and whole grains) and the one key ingredient that appears in every dish is olive oil. It’s what makes the Mediterranean diet, it’s the yin and the yang, you can’t have one without the other.
Olive oil is a strong anti-inflammatory which its’ compounds include at least nine different categories of polyphenols and more than twenty-four anti-inflammatory nutrients. These compounds can suppress or switch off up to 100 inflammation causing genes. Three quarters of olive oil is fat in the form of oleic acid, a monounsaturated, omega-9 fat, very simply, it’s very good for you! It is also a good source of vitamin E and also provides a great amount of the anti-oxidant beta-carotenes.
As little as 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day has shown significant anti-inflammatory benefits. We all know about that extra virgin olive oil greatly benefits the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, improves cognitive function, increases bone formation, has many anti-cancer benefits as well as arthritic benefits which does include gout. Olive leaves and their extracts can also be used, having similar nutrients. In the Mediterranean region it is considered a folk remedy for arthritis and gout. When I do blood tests at my doctor’s office, he always tells me how my HDL is so high and that he rarely sees that in other patients of his, credit that to my diet which is high in olive oil.
Use cold pressed extra virgin olive oil in all of your cooking and baking instead of vegetable oils, butter or shortening. Oils that have been heated at high temperatures (causing the loss of nutrients) or processing are not only not good for your health but turn stale causing the oil to become rancid, destroying vitamin E in your body which helps control uric acid levels.