By Assia Mortensen
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs. These fatty acids are considered a beneficial addition to your diet, especially if they replace less healthy, saturated or trans-fats, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Healthier fats like 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 fully understood, researchers think that these kinds of fats help retain cellular receptor sites, where hormones bind.
According to Dr. Michael Aziz in the 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.” Healthier fats, on the other hand, aid cell membranes, allowing hormones to adhere to the cell more easily and also help to repair cells. Other oils with similar benefits include hempseed and flaxseed.
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.
If you have a hormone imbalance, reasons could include an unhealthy diet, lack of sleep, smoking, stress and certain medications as well as other factors. 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.
Final Tip: 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.
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Mayo Clinic: Olive Oil: What are the Health Benefits; Accessed Oct. 19, 2012
Healthier Talk; 9 Ways to Balance Your Hormones Naturally; Accessed Oct. 19, 2012
Oprah.com; Balance Your Hormones; Accessed Oct. 19, 2012