We are what we eat and we are defined with what we do. The importance of what we eat is a concern of every cancer warrior. As cancer warriors, it’s important to put into action what really works. Let’s focus on one: our fifth cancer weapon – extra virgin olive oil.
Olive oil can replace a lot of dressing we add in our meals such as butter, mayonnaise and other salad dressings. Olive oil, a vegetable oil not sourced from animals, is a unique fat. It inhibits fat production. As such, it decreases the amount of fat in our bodies, fat that leads to a constant state of inflammation.
But here’s more from this powerful antioxidant. A recent study published in Genes nutrition (2011 volume 6 page 63) showed that oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, the main polyphenols of olive oil possess anti-proliferative activities against colorectal cancer. The study concluded that these polyphenols “may induce anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects only in certain human colorectal cancer cell types.” Simply, it means that we can knock down 2 cancer processes with one stone.
Furthermore, the study states that apart from inhibiting cell growth it affects “motility and invasiveness” of cancer cells. It also has direct anti-tumor effects and “considered as a new class of anti-cancer compounds which target multiple steps in cancer progression.”
Olive Oil Quality
Olive oil comes in 4 levels of quality. This is important to know when buying our olive oil. As much as possible it is best to purchase the purest and best quality of olive oil.
1. Extra virgin olive oil – This is considered the best. This type of olive oil is the least processed and is made from the first cold pressing of the olives. The oil extracted has an acidity level no higher than 0.8 percent. It has a superior taste.
2. Virgin olive oil – This type is extracted from the fruit by pressing. It possesses an acidity level not higher than 2 percent with just the right taste.
3. Olive oil or pure olive oil – The name is somewhat misleading. This type is a mix of virgin olive oil and refined olive oil with no more than 1 percent acidity. It undergoes some processing such as filtering and refining. It has some taste or no flavor at all.
4. Refined olive oil or extra light – The name doesn’t mean extra light or lesser fat. This oil is extracted from the olive fruit though heat or chemicals.
The oil undergoes considerable processing and only retains a very mild olive flavor. The taste and acidity are normally adjusted. This is second class oil.
I’m inclined to buy only extra virgin olive oil. The date of production and expiration is clearly labeled on the product.
Olive oil is an excellent weapon to add to our daily arsenal. Like most functional foods, olive oil is easy to incorporate in our daily diet. It’s a versatile ingredient that can replace a lot of fat such as butter, margarine and other fatty dressings. We can search for other ways to include olive oil in our cooking so we can avail of its health benefits every day.
Olive oil and eating 5-10 fruits and veggies a day are superior weapons in our cancer fight. Let’s not forget our daily 30 minutes of exercise. Now, we’re always ready to blast those cancer cells.