When it comes to looking after our health, we all know the basics. Stay away from bad fats (triglycerides), preservative laden and highly professed foods. Monitor your blood pressure and glucose levels frequently.
However, not many people know that these basics are all part of a larger concern; to improve and maintain our body’s metabolic health.
A Look At Metabolism and Metabolic Health
In a world that is become more and more aware of the need for healthy lifestyles, the word ‘metabolism’ is often used in advice concerning weight loss and food digestion. But, how many of us know what metabolism truly means?
Here’s the answer: metabolism refers to how the body processes and uses the food we eat. The body’s metabolic system has a staggering amount of organs, hormones and enzymes which use energy from foods to carry out vital functions like breathing, blood circulation and maintaining better heart health.
People with low metabolic health, therefore, are more at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Indeed, the presence of 2-3 metabolic risk factors in women increases the risk of them developing cardiovascular disease by 117%; an extremely concerning statistic.
What are these metabolic risk factors? They’re signs that our body is not able to process energy efficiently. Risk factors which point to low metabolic health include excess weight, low levels of HDL (good cholesterol), high blood glucose when fasting and a high blood pressure.
To maintain better metabolic health, one must first look at dealing with these risk factors. Doctors, health and fitness experts alike recommend changes to one’s diet supplemented with adequate exercise.
Olive Oil: The Great Healer
Many studies have lauded the benefits of Mediterranean diet on human health. More specifically, many place a focus on one of the most basic components of the Mediterranean diet; olive oil.
Homer, the celebrated author of the epic Illiad and the Odyssey is said to have called it “liquid gold”, while Hippocrates, a physician known as “the father of western medicine” saw olive oil as “the great healer.”
Today, with science and studies in their hands, researchers are able to irrevocably prove that olive oil is indeed the great healer.
It is packed with vitamin E, polyphenols and phystosterols, antioxidants which nourish the skin and prevent premature aging. It reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s amongst the elderly and helps maintain memory processes. People who regularly consume olive oil also tend to have better digestive systems and suffer less from stomach ulcers and chronic gastritis.
When it comes to metabolic function, olive oil can go a long way in reducing the severity of risk factors that cause decreased function. It has been found to be better than low fat diets in sustained weight loss and contains large amounts of monosaturated fatty acids (MUFA) which facilitate weight loss, fight bad cholesterol and lower triglycerides.
For individuals with low metabolic health, it can help reduce the risk of associated diseases as well as improve their metabolic process. For instance, it has anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the risk of heart disease, insulin resistance, which causes diabetes and arthritis.
Thanks to its plethora of positive qualities, people across the world are embracing olive oil. Of course, it helps that olive oil is highly spreadable and has a smooth, faintly fruity taste and can be used in a variety of dishes.
#IChooseHealth: Look To Leonardo Olive Oil
One of India’s most popular olive oil brands is Leonardo Olive Oil. Leonardo Olive Oil was launched in India in 2003, but can trace its roots back to 1890.
Thanks to its years of experience, Leonardo Olive Oil is wholly unique. An understanding of oil has been passed down from generation to generation resulting in a careful process which creates rich, healthy olive oil.
Olives are grown in South Italy and then processed to retain taste, smell and nutritional qualities. Thanks to the process, Leonardo Olive Oil ensures that its products arrive at customers’ tables in their most nutrient rich form, giving them all the wide and varied benefits of the oil in a bottle.
The process includes stringent quality checks from monitoring the olive groves and harvests to storing raw materials to creating recipes for the right blends. Filtering, packaging and storing the finished oils are monitored on a similar level, following which they are sent from Italy to India and taken to supermarket shelves to give customers a healthy taste of Italy.
Leonardo Olive Oil has three different variants; Pomace Olive Oil, Olive Oil – Extra Light and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Olive Oil- Extra Light is great for stir frying, shallow frying and sautéing while Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be used to season salads, toss pasta and in dips. Meanwhile, the Pomace Olive Oil has a high smoking point, making it perfect for Indian cooking methods such as frying; the oil retains its nutrients through long frying and is cost effective.
Indeed, the Leonardo Olive Oil website has a special section dedicated to recipes which use olive oil to make Indian favourites like samosa, gujiya and tadka vegetables. It also has a store locator which allows you to find the nearest store selling its olive oil.
What Else Can You Do?
As well as making sure that your pantry is always well stocked with the great healer, there are many other steps you can take to maintain better metabolic health. Try getting at least 30 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise per day to control weight and blood pressure.
Other dietary changes include eating smaller portions, reducing your alcohol, salt and sugar-laden foods intake. Instead, choose whole grain foods and carbohydrates and increase your portions of fruits and vegetables.
Healthy eating can be an incredibly exciting experience; how about whipping up some Fusilli Alla Norma or Buckwheat Sago Tikki? Head to Leonardo Olive Oil’s recipes section to try out the recipes.