Olive oil has become one true source of plenty benefits and one oil that we have started to use on a regular basis, both in the food and beauty department. We all have some kind of idea of what this oil can do or maybe even know more about the olive oil health benefits. However, I think this oil is an unmatched source regarding its benefits and, needless to say, there are countless ways to improve our health by using it.
Studies show that people from the Mediterranean area are using this oil on a regular basis and it didn’t take long for its effects to appear: a longer expectancy of life and lower risk of high blood pressure, heart-related problems, and cancer. Surely they know most of the olive oil health benefits.
How Is Olive Oil Obtained?
Simple. It is a fat that is obtained from the olive trees in the Mediterranean Basin. The oil is what results after pressing the olives. Although it is used all over the world, it is mostly associated with the Mediterranean area, especially Greece, which is considered to have one of the highest olive oil intakes per person.
The best type of olive oil is, clearly, the extra virgin one, because it is extracted by using natural methods. It has a distinctive taste and it is also very high in antioxidants. Specialists and nutritionists recommend using this type of oil, the only one that is important. Next, we will check some of the most important olive oil health benefits.
Olive Oil Health Benefits
If we take a closer look to what 100 grams of olive oil, we will find out that it has a lot of fatty acids that are beneficial alongside vitamin E and K, therefore, the following nutrient content:
- Monounsaturated fats (73%)
- Saturated fats (13.8%)
- Omega 6 (9.7%)
- Omega 3 (0.76%)
- Vitamin E (72% of the RDA)
- Vitamin K (75% of the RDA)
- Antioxidants (oleocanthal, oleuropein)
A diet rich in monounsaturated fats is thought and demonstrated to prevent diseases such as diabetes and heart disorders and to protect against them. It is also considered to protect against strokes and the risk of having them. Studies show that this diet can improve the arterial function and slow down the heart aging. Also, this diet can help reduce the level of bad cholesterol and improve the good one.
Olive oil, as a supplement, can bring advantages to the thickness of the bones, therefore, preventing the risk of having osteoporosis. Spaniards think that a diet with olive oil can protect people from mental illness. Why? Because the high amount of antioxidants is associated with a low risk of depression.
Can the olive oil help prevent skin or breast cancer? Further studies are required, but, there are some chances that, besides a sunscreen lotion, olive oil could help prevent sunburns and provide positive effects for the skin. A diet with regular intakes of olive oil is associated with low incidence of cancer such as breast cancer, prevents DNA damage and facilitates the death of tumor cells.
Among other olive oil heath benefits, some studies show that one of the antioxidants included in the olive oil can reduce the risk of Alzheimer disease and other damages that may come, naturally, together with the aging process. For example, in the Mediterranean area, where the intake of olive oil is much higher than in other countries, there are registered lower rates of the Alzheimer disease.
In order to fuly benefit from the olive oil health benefits, it is recommended we cook with extra virgin oil and even take a teaspoon of olive oil each morning, on an empty stomach because it acts as a natural bandage. It’s best to use this oil when making a salad dressing, when pouring on toast, soup or cooked vegetables to give them a distinct flavor.
However, when cooking over high heat, we shouldn’t use this oil. If you heat the olive oil up to its smoking point, then, all its nutrients begin to degrade and lose their nutritional values and, other health-harmful compounds may form. So, you should be careful here.
As for the beauty industry, there are plenty of uses and olive oil health benefits. Here are some of my favorite ones:
- Before and after hair treatment: you can warm up some olive oil and gently add on your scalp and length of the hair, including the ends. You can leave it for about 10 to 30 minutes and then shampoo the hair. It is also very efficient if used as leave-in oil, especially on dry ends.
- Eye makeup remover: just as the coconut oil, the olive oil can remove your makeup.
- Shaving cream: olive oil acts great as a shaving cream because it is easy to apply on your legs, it acts as a natural lubricant.
- Skin oil: it hydrates dry skin so you don’t need any other body lotions.
- Body and lip scrub: my favorite part when using olive oil on my skin is when I do a total body scrub by using oil and coffee grounds. The result is to die for. Nothing makes your skin smoother than olive oil. When you want to scrub your lips, you can add sugar instead if coffee grounds.
- Cuticle conditioner: olive oil is recommended to use when your nails are soft and break easily and to soften you cuticles.
- Heel repair: when you have rough and damaged heels, the best way to avoid this is to exfoliate them with you pumice stone and use plenty of olive oil on them. Put a pair of sock on and leave them on for the whole night.
- Makeup brush cleaner: I did not know this, but it looks like olive oil can also be used to clean your brushes, so, when using antibacterial soap, you can also add a little bit of oil.
As you can see, olive oil can be used in a lot of ways to help your skin and body. It can be used on every type of skin because it hydrates and rejuvenates even the most dry skin type, it can be used as a remedy against strech marks, as sunscreen, as hair and face masks, and even as a premature antiaging secret due to the fact that it gives the proper elasticity.
If taken on a regular basis, the olive oil health benefits will act in favor of your health and probably help when facing problems and diseases. As studies show, olive oil acts in favor of your cholesterol, heart and blood pressure or other related diseases, may prevent cancer, Alzheimer and depression. Another miracle of nature from which we only have to benefit and take advantage of!
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