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How Olive Oil Benefits Your Heart

How Olive Oil Benefits Your Heart

How many olive-oil-laden meals does it take before your heart starts to reap the olive oil benefits? It's possible your body will start reaping rewards after a single meal.

In a study of people with high cholesterol, their blood samples showed less clotting potential just 2 hours after eating a breakfast containing phenolic-rich olive oil.

The Path to Heart Trouble
Ah, your endothelium. You may not think much about this thin layer of cells that lines your blood vessels, but that layer does critical things for your body. It controls how your blood vessels dilate and constrict, allowing oxygen and nutrients to flow to every part of your body. Endothelial cells also help regulate blood clotting -- important because too much clotting can lead to blocked arteries. 

Eat for Better Blood Vessels
More and more research is showing how diets affect endothelium. Eating just one high-fat meal can inhibit artery function, but by adopting a heart-health diet, eating antioxidant-rich fats, and getting olive oil benefits, you’ll give your endothelial cells a “love pat.” Researchers credit the phenolics in the oil for helping endothelium do its job in making blood less "sticky" (translation: less likely to clot).

Medically reviewed in October 2019.

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