Monday, 3 Oct 2022

Julia Bradbury on the ‘healthiest’ oil which helps ‘fight cancer and heart disease’

Julia Bradbury inspects her new breast after mastectomy

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After recently confessing to have drastically cut down on her alcohol consumption as “drinking one unit a day” will increase the star’s chances of her cancer recurring by 28 percent, the star shared that something she aims to maintain within her diet is olive oil. The star went on to explain that particularly one type of oil, which is dubbed to be the “healthiest”, can help to combat both cancer and heart disease. What is the truth about olive oil consumption and what are its health benefits?

Posing in a yoga position whilst wearing a bikini that flaunted her immaculate figure, all whilst underneath an olive tree, Bradbury shared three healthy benefits of olive oil to her 223,000 Instagram followers.

Within the post she stated: “Olive oil has been around as long as the Ancient Greeks.

“The olive oil that goes through the least amount of processing to make is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). [It] is the healthiest.”

Having Greek heritage from her mother, Bradbury is well rehearsed to spread information regarding the health benefits of olive oil, going on to claim that EVOO can even help stop arteries from hardening.

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The post continued to state: “It’s high in healthy plant nutrients called phytochemicals that may help fight cancer and heart disease.

“Active compounds in EVOO help lower blood pressure and keep your arteries from hardening.

“Inflammation in your body leads to chronic disease. Certain antioxidants in EVOO can reduce inflammation in your body in the same way that over-the-counter drugs do.

“The oleic acid in olive oil is an anti-inflammatory too.”

Bradbury’s post gained more than 3,000 likes and fans flooded the comments with how they would use more olive oil to reap the benefits. One even urged the star to “write a book” full of all of her health and lifestyle tips which she posts so much about.

Whilst another commented: “Thank you as always for your advice Julia. I will use olive oil a lot more.”

And a third wrote: “I never really thought about olive oil and its benefits, thank you for highlighting this.”
Similarly to the content of Bradbury’spost, registered nutritionist Nicola Shubrook provided BBC Good Food with five main health benefits of olive oil, especially as it is a main component of the Mediterranean diet.

Shubrook explains that one level tablespoon of olive oil can provide the following:

  • 99 kcals/407 kJ
  • 11g fat
  • 6g saturates
  • 0g monounsaturates (a healthy fat)
  • 9g polyunsaturates (a healthy fat)
  • 56mg vitamin E.

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A post shared by Julia Bradbury (@therealjuliabradbury)

In addition to the various healthy fats, vitamins and calories olive oil provides, Shubrook explains that the substance also has the potential to improve heart health, reduce inflammation, improve mood, improve brain function and protect against chronic disease.

Improving heart health

Olive oil is defined as the liquid fat, or natural oil obtained by pressing whole olives. There has been plenty of research conducted that demonstrates its benefits for heart health. This includes its ability to reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels, both of which contribute to a reduced risk of heart disease. In addition, a large review of these studies demonstrated how olive oil was the only source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of both stroke and heart disease.

Reduce inflammation

Research looking at the role of antioxidants and their anti-inflammatory effect, including oleic acid found in olive oil, has discovered that these play a role in reducing inflammation and the marker for inflammation, known as C-Reactive Protein (CRP).

Shubrook goes on to state that EVOO in particular is rich in polyphenols (compounds found in certain plant-based foods), one of which is called oleocanthal. This compound appears to share the same pharmacological activity as ibuprofen, and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory.

Improve mood and brain function

Research has found that a high intake of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, oily fish and olive oil is connected to reducing the risk of depression. In a 2015 study, older populations who followed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or nuts, was in turn associated with improved cognitive function, and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Protecting against chronic disease

Early research has suggested that olive oil and its high polyphenol content may have a protective effect against type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. However, more research is needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn.

In spite of the numerous health benefits, like with anything, too much olive oil can be a bad thing. Consuming a modest amount of EVOO per day — between one and three teaspoons — will help to give individuals a healthy shot of antioxidants, while also keeping fat intake in check, but too much can cause individuals to go over their recommended calorie guideline, causing individuals to intake too much fat.

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