Olive oil has high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as high levels of antioxidants, which is why it has been shown in studies to help keep bad cholesterol levels down and raise good cholesterol, resulting in lower instances of heart disease in those who consume it regularly. There is no other oil that is naturally produced that has such a large amount of monounsaturated fatty acids as olive oil.
Olive oil also helps protect the lining of the stomach, helping to prevent gastritis and ulcers. This wonderful oil naturally helps secrete pancreatic hormones and bile, thus lowering the risks of gallstones. Foods that are prepared in extra virgin olive oil provide the highest levels of important antioxidants, as it is produced from the initial pressing of olives.
Research also suggests that olive oil can help prevent colon cancer. A study was done that involved feeding rats with diets that included olive oil supplements and another group of rats that were fed diets with supplemental safflower oil. The rats that received the olive oil diet had a reduced colon cancer risk compared to the rats fed with the supplemented safflower oil diets.
There are many delicious Spanish dishes that are simple to prepare at home that will provide the wonderful health benefits that olive oil has to offer. One such dish is the traditional Spanish omelet or Tortilla Espanola. This dish is very popular in Spain and is often served at cafes or bars as an appetizer as well, and many Spanish homes serve it as a light dinner.
It can also be served as a sandwich by putting it between two pieces of bread or as the Spanish prefer, a baguette. It is made by frying sliced potatoes in olive oil, draining them on paper towel, mixing beaten eggs with the potatoes and frying again in the olive oil. There are many variations to this recipe, adding other vegetables if desired.
Another popular Spanish dish that can usually be found when dining out at Spanish restaurants is Paella. This delicious chicken dish is prepared with olive oil and includes rice, tomatoes, artichokes and spices.
Traditionally prepared Spanish cuisine is filled with flavor because of the use of olive oil and spices. Not only does it offer a satisfying meal, but it also provides the wonderful benefits of reducing the risks of heart disease, colon cancer, ulcers and stomach problems. Next time you plan to dine out, choose a restaurant that offers traditional Spanish food and enjoy a healthy and delicious dining experience.