What’s so healthy about Olive oil?
This time round from our “What’s so healthy about?” article series, I’m going to focus on the incredible health benefits a bottle of olive oil can offer you. It must be surprising for you to know that olive oil is super versatile having numerous benefits, not just being a cooking-oil but a medicine, a cosmetic product and much more.
History of the olive oil extends beyond 5000 B.C, first cultivated in the Near East region and then slowly being spread to the western part of the world across the Mediterranean Sea. Greeks in the ancient times believed that Olive oil was a gift bestowed upon them by the Goddess Athena and they used olives for their religious rituals.
During the 6th and 7th century it was prohibited to cut Olive trees and the punishment was death. A Greek Poet, Homer who emphasized the value of olive oil through his immortal poems, regarded it as the “liquid gold”. Today countries which are located close to the Mediterranean Sea have claimed the honor of producing the best olive oil in the world.
But unfortunately over 98% of olive oil in the market today has been found to be not truly virgin, which is terrible! Either they have been washed with soy bean oil or Canola oil to increase the texture without knowing the fact that they’re producing toxic materials (1). Because of these fake products; many have lost their confidence about the amazing health benefits olive oil can offer. So, at the end of this article I’ll guide you through the process of choosing some true virgin olive oil for your kitchen cupboard.
Here are the TOP seven reasons why YOU should have a truly virgin bottle of olive oil in your kitchen.
1. Heart friendly oil
Mediterranean populations, who grow and consume Olive oil, are claiming the honor of having the lowest records for cardiovascular disorders in the world. Olive oil is generally known to be high in monounsaturated fat (Healthy fat) which helps to bring down your total cholesterol and LDL (Unhealthy) cholesterol levels, and may likewise help reduce the risk of heart diseases and strokes. It contains zero trans-fats (Unhealthy fats) and is exceptionally low in saturated fats (unhealthy fats) than any other ordinary fatty products, for example, Butter and margarine. Basically, olive oil is a standout among all other oily products found in the market which adds healthy fat to your diet while reduce the risks of high blood pressure, heart diseases and strokes.
2. Olive oil is brainy
Did you know that Olive oil can be a potential cure for your depression? According to a group of researchers from Spain, a diet rich in olive oil can prevent us from mental illnesses such as depression and Alzheimer’s (2). Olive oil can increase the brain serotonin levels, a compound that acts as an anti-depressant. So, by adding a few spoonful of olive oil to your everyday meals will not only make you fit physically but mentally as well. Polyphenols a powerful anti-oxidant found in Olive oil will prevent the brain from pumping up oxidative stress during old age and reduce the cognitive decline (3) giving higher hopes to prevent Alzheimer’s disease which in turn help you to lead a mentally fit autumn in your life.
3. Helps to lose a few Pounds
Losing weight was never an easy task. But what if I told you that you can lose a few pounds by adding a few spoonful of Olive oil to your monthly diet plan? A research done by Harvard School of Public Health had supported this school of thought about the efficacy of olive oil in aiding weight loss (4).
4. Fights against Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a bone degenerative disease commonly manifested during the old age which makes your bones brittle. Studies have proven the potential benefits of adding olive oil to your daily meals to prevent Osteoporosis, especially for postmenopausal women (5). In another study that was conducted among men who followed a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil was found to have high levels of osteocalcin in their blood, an indicator of healthy bones.
So, if you were thinking that taking calcium pills will only make your bones stronger, here’s news! Olive oil will be your new bone friendly eatable.
5. Promotes healthy skin
When it comes to beauty, most of the women love to choose natural products over artificial cosmetic applications.
Olive oil has powerful anti-aging properties due to its high Vitamin E content and protects the skin from serious disease conditions like psoriasis and skin cancer while treating inflammation and acne as well (6).
Also, olive oil can be used as a natural makeup remover and a light scrub. Rather than spending your money on highly toxic chemical containing cosmetic products, grab a bottle of olive oil to achieve that flawless skin of your dreams.
6. Helps prevent breast cancer
A group of researchers at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain found that unlike other vegetable oils, Olive Oil has some potential ability to prevent breast cancers by encouraging tumor cell death, preventing DNA damage, and triggering changes in protein signaling pathways (7).
7. A long silky hair
Did you ever dream of having long healthy tresses just like Rapunzel’s? Yes, you’re guessing right. Olive oil will make that dream come true!
Olive oil is rich in vitamin E that helps to fight against hair loss. It is also rich in other nutrients like magnesium, zinc, calcium, and B vitamins that aid hair growth. It’s not just about eating the stuff; olive oil can significantly enhance the appearance and well-being of hair essentially through direct application. Applications of olive oil as a hair care product are abundant. It can be used as a lotion, to detangle hair, to remove dandruff, as hair oil and the sky is the limit from there.
How to choose a quality bottle of Olive oil
To achieve the maximum nutrition out of the bottle of olive oil you are buying, you need to concentrate on the following factors.
- It ideally shouldn’t be older than 1 year.
- It should be labeled as “Extra Virgin”.
- Color is not a pointer of freshness though few people think a solid green tint implies better quality; however some olive types can be greener than others for no reason and some high quality oils have a golden color.
- Buy olive oil in a container that shields the oil from light. That could be dull glass or a tin.
- Extra virgin olive oil has an extraordinary flavor and freshness. Olive oil should give a fruity taste and smell like olives and some describe top-notch olive oil as “peppery.”
Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils available in the market. It’s great for your heart, your brain, your hormones, your skin, etc…. But it has to be TRUE extra virgin olive oil.
So, grab yours now and start experiencing these amazing health benefits of olive oil, till we meet again with another “What’s so healthy about article”.
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