Food Really is Medicine
Have you ever tasted fresh, high quality olive oil and noticed a slight burn at the back of your throat? It turns out that’s a very good thing. The compound that creates that biting sensation at the back of your throat is called oleocanthal and it has the identical effect as the anti-inflammatory compounds in ibuprophen and other non-steroidal anti inflammatories (nsaids).
I’d love it if someone could tell me an exact amount of olive oil to swig in place of a dose of ibuprofen, but alas, no such recommendation exists. However one large study on the effects of a Mediterranean diet on heart health had subjects taking 4 Tbsp. per day.
When I first learned of this research, I immediately ate about a tabelspoon of the California Olive Ranch brand oil I had in my kitchen to see how much of a throaty bite I felt. It was certainly peppery, almost too much, but knowing how good it was for me transformed it from something to avoid, to something to seek out.
I highly recommend a trip to Benessere on Broadway, a specialty olive oil store stocked with what seem to be the freshest highest quality oils you can find. These folks know the harvest dates of all their oils and guarantee freshness. Best of all, you can sample them before buying! Ask the clerk to direct you to the oils with the most “bite” and they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about.
Remember, olive oil is fruit juice so the fresher the better. Adding it to your food after cooking, or using it in hummus and salad dressing instead of cooking with it preserves it’s medicinal properties and prevents this precious substance from burning.
To your best health!
Cassandra Mick, CNE
Read more about Cassandra’s approach to nutrition or schedule a complimentary Nutriton Strategy Session at www.eatwellwithcassandra.com