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Up Your Olive Intake

     There are hundreds of types of olives, but some of the most popular are Manzanillo, Sevillano, Mission, Ascolano, Kalamata, and Barouni.  Take your pick, because olives are one of the healthiest fruits for your heart, your bones, your skin, and your overall health.  And don’t avoid them due to their high-fat content… that’s one of the benefits that make them so healthy! Cut Your Cardiovascular Disease Risk More than 75% of the fat in olives (and olive oil) is oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat that has been proven to help reduce your cardiovascular disease risk by lowering blood pressure.  When you consume olives, oleic acid travels into your cells and has the ability to alter the signaling patterns at the cell membrane level, in this way helping to regulate blood pressure.  And the prestigious journal BMC Medicine reports that olive oil (high-quality extra virgin olive oil that is) can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and death in people predisposed to heart disease. Increase Your Antioxidant and Anti-inflammation Power

According to the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, olives are abundant in antioxidants, with antioxidant properties higher than those of vitamin E!  Olives are rich in distinctive antioxidants, such as oleuropein, which helps keep LDL cholesterol from oxidizing in your body and causing your arteries to harden.  Oleuropein also exhibits anti-inflammatory capabilities by helping to suppress the activity of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), which contributes to inflammation.  Another phenolic compound in olives called oleocanthal has demonstrated anti-inflammatory action that rivals the anti-inflammatory power of the drug ibuprofen.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms in olives make this nutrient-dense fruit a notable cancer weapon.  Compounds in olives have been shown to help activate two anti-cancer genes: one that inhibits the development of tumors and another that helps induce cancer cell death.

Oleuropein to the Rescue

Oleuropein in olives, along with other antioxidants such as Tyrosol, have been shown to increase life span.  In lab studies, oleuropein increased longevity by 15% in treated cultures.  Along with the unique antioxidants hydroxytyrosol and squalene, oleuropein may help protect the skin from UV radiation.  And studies have shown that olive oil infuses the skin with antioxidants when applied topically; so feel free to slather some olive oil on your skin when you are cooking!  Oleuropein has also been shown to help protect against the loss of bone mass.  One hundred and twenty seven elderly men ate a Mediterranean diet high in olive oil for two years and saw an increase in a bone matrix protein called serum osteocalcin, as well as an increase in procollagen I N-terminal propetptide, which is another marker of bone health.  Other antioxidant compounds in olives have been shown to activate bone-forming cells called osteoblasts.

Additional Olive Oil Benefits

  • Protecting against insulin resistance
  • Keeping the liver healthy
  • Providing antimicrobial and antibiotic assistance
  • Stimulating testosterone production
  • Delivering nutrients, such as vitamin A, for healthy vision
  • Being a great source of copper, fiber, iron, and vitamin E

  

AVOCADOS

Avocados are one of the best flab-fighting fats, but it’s unlikely that you’ll eat an entire avocado in one sitting.  So how do you keep that leftover avocado from turning brown?

Well, first let’s talk about why avocados turn brown.  Like apples or potatoes, they oxidize when exposed to air.  Once you cut into an avocado, you’ll never be able to completely stop the oxidation process, but you can dramatically slow it with a few quick tips and tricks:

1. Cut the avocado with a ceramic or plastic knife.  Metal actually accelerates the oxidation process.

2. Try lemon or lime juice. Citric acid is a powerful antioxidant; rub a little juice around the exposed flesh and you’ll significantly delay the browning effect.

3. No lemon or lime? Use oil. Oil is another great buffer to oxygen. Use in place of lemon or lime juice when you don’t have any handy.

4. Store as air-tight as possible. Again, avocados turn brown due to oxidation and exposure to air, so storing in an air-tight container only makes sense.

5. Water. Huh? That’s right! This one works exceptionally well for guacamole. Place your leftover guac in a plastic container and press down to remove any air pockets. Add a half inch of water on top and seal with an air-tight lid. The water creates a barrier between the avocado and the air, keeping your guacamole fresh and 100% green for 24 hours or more!  When ready to eat some more, just drain the excess water and enjoy.  Works like a charm!

Now, while avocados are AWESOME, what you probably didn’t know is that there are 4 specific types of “healthy” fish — all very common — that you should literally NEVER eat due to incredibly high levels of contamination that can and WILL hammer the delicate cells of your body with toxic inflammation…

In the end, this toxic inflammation build up contributes to achy joints, premature aging of the skin (and less visible organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver), difficulty shedding excess body fat, cognitive decline, forgetfulness, feeling blue and moody, and so much more…