While olive oil is not a magic bullet for balancing the hormones, it can be part of a well-rounded plan to keep the hormones functioning at optimal levels. The main type of fat in olive oil is called is monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs. This type of fat is considered a beneficial addition to your diet, especially if it replaces less healthy saturated or trans fats, according to the MayoClinic.com. Even healthier fats like olive oil, however, are high in calories and should be used in moderation.
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Olive Oil and Hormone Function
Healthier fats, such as those found in olive oil, help create responsive and healthy cell membranes, allowing hormones to adhere to the cell more easily. Although all of the mechanisms of this process are not understood, it is thought that these kinds of fats help keep cellular receptor sites, where hormones bind, repaired and working properly. According to Dr. Michael Aziz in the 2010 article "Hormones: The Balance of a Healthy Body," when people eat less healthy trans fats, "they incorporate in our cells, and the cells cannot communicate or talk to one another. In turn, hormones are disturbed (and) weight gain follows."
Animal fats containing saturated fatty acids increase blood cholesterol levels and can disrupt hormone function. Monounsaturated fats like those found in olive oil can help lower more dangerous low-density lipoprotein levels while helping to balance blood sugar. Olive oil may help lower your risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol, thereby improving related risk factors.
Olive oil also contains beneficial antioxidants such as vitamins E, K and polyphenols, which are thought to promote good health and reduce the some of the negative effects of aging. Besides olive oil, healthy fats can be found in avocados, eggs, nuts, seeds and other foods.
A variety of conditions can cause hormone imbalance. These include an unhealthy diet, lack of sleep, smoking, stress and certain medications. If you believe that you have a hormone imbalance, discuss the problem with your doctor, as there are many different ways to improve hormonal function.
Olive Oil Storage Tips
According to the MayoClinic.com, heat, light and air can affect the taste of olive oil and perhaps its health-promoting nutrients. So you should store the oil in a dark, room-temperature cupboard, or keep it in the refrigerator.