The importance of prevention

Luigi Caricato

For many years now I have been highlighting the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, of which the general public seems to be mostly unaware. I have written a book on this subject, edited by Tecniche Nuove, and have been organizing for the last seven years the extremely popular Olio Officina Festival, where this aspect is always taken into great consideration.

Olive oil is the juice of a fruit, and what makes it unique amongst all other fats for human consumption is that it contains high levels of antioxidants. It is not just one of the many ingredients stored in our kitchens, but is much more. Its role as a functional food is now universally acknowledged, because olive oil, besides being a complete source of nourishment, also provides many health benefits.

Another indication of the high nutritional quality of extra virgin olive oil is that its fatty composition is very similar to that of human milk. Despite these observations, there is one aspect that in my opinion deserves to be stressed, namely that it is always unwise to consider any food as a nutraceutical. We should be aware that one ingredient alone is always ineffective, unless it is supported by adequate eating habits and a healthy lifestyle. However, all scientific proof suggests that olive oil has the bearings of an effective disease-prevention agent.

Olive oil cannot cure any disease, but helps prevent them. For this reason, every effort to adequately communicate and illustrate its benefits must be made. We should take every opportunity to promote its use because in order to feel well, we must acknowledge the importance of prevention.

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