Why is olive tree so important in the Mediterranean diet

The importance of oil oil in the Mediterranean diet


Olive oil results from pressing olives, the olive tree fruits. Olive tree (Olea europaea) is a tree native to the Mediterranean region, cultivated since time immemorial.

Olive oil is a key element of the Mediterranean diet, one of the principal mainstays, without which, the Mediterranean diet loses its identity.

Among its components we find Omega-9 oleic acid, vitamin E, carotenoids and phenolic compounds (hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol and oleuropein).

In the Mediterranean culture, olive oil is considered an important factor in maintaining a healthy population.

  • The Mediterranean diet will not exist without olive oil !!!


Olive oil in the Mediterranean dietPhotography of oil olive

Olive oil for cardiovascular health

Olive oil mainly provides omega 9. Epidemiological studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet protects against heart disease. The olive oil consumption decreases the incidence of coronary heart disease and certain cancers.

Olive oil reduces overall mortality from heart disease

Olive oil contains phenolic compounds such as oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol. These components are potent antioxidants and protectors of blood capillaries, preventing capillary fragility and deterioration caused by accumulated cholesterol in the arteries.

Omega 9, along with vitamin E in olive oil, helps lower high blood pressure.

It has been shown that consuming olive oil lowers bad cholesterol, increases HDL (good cholesterol) and helps to treat arteriosclerosis.

A diet rich in omega 9 increases good cholesterol and prevents the risk of arteriosclerosis.

Olive oil against dementia

Scientific studies have shown the protective role of olive oil against degenerative diseases of the nervous system. Its benefits are due to omega 9, vitamin E and polyphenols it contains.

Olive oil can prevent Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis and aging. It may also be beneficial in improving mood, stress and anxiety, help treat anxiety, insomnia, depression, and all kinds of nervous system disorders.

Olive oil as natural antibiotic

Phenolic compounds in olive oil, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol and oleuropein, have demonstrated antimicrobial activity with respect to intestinal, respiratory and genital infections.

Olive oil for skin

Olive oil has a lubricant and protective effect on the dermis It helps damaged skin and lubricates the intestines helping recover inflamed skin and accelerating the healing process.

People who have gastritis or stomach ulcers should increase consumption of extra virgin olive oil, especially when there is more pain.

Olive oil is a natural Anti-inflammatory

Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties due to Omega 9 fats as it helps improve the use of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.

One study investigated the effects of olive oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis taking fish oil supplements. The results conclude that olive oil improves the actions of the antiinflammatory treatment with fish oil supplements.

* Related information: More foods in the Mediterranean diet / Olive tree

punto rojoMore information on Mediterranean diet.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

30 April, 2021

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