The people in the Mediterranean know the proven benefits of olive oil. They are considered some of the healthiest people in the world. For centuries they have followed The Mediterranean Diet, which consists of olive oil as the main source of fat. It is used daily in many of their dishes. The antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids it contains have been proven to offer many health benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil contains vitamin K and Vitamin E. Both of these vitamins keep the heart and blood vessels healthy. Vitamin K is good for blood clotting and Vitamin E is needed to form red blood cells. Small quantities of iron, calcium, and potassium, can also be found in extra virgin olive oil.
To get some of the benefits of olive oil, start looking for inventive ways to use it in your recipes. For example, saute your vegetables, replace it for butter and use it in salad dressings. Since all olive oils are not the same, let us take a look at the ones that are usually available:
Types of Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – comes from the first pressing of the olives. Has low acidity, great flavor, and a nice aroma.
Virgin Olive Oil – Is inferior in quality and milder in taste than Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Refined Olive Oil – Heat and acids are used to get the most out of the olives.
Olive Pomace Oil – lowest grade of olive oil. Made from the remains of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Is low in antioxidants.
Lampante Virgin Olive Oil – Made from low-quality olives. Is bad for human consumption until refined.
The nutritional value varies in each type of olive oil, because of the way it is processed. Extra Virgin Olive oil is definitely the best one for you to consume. Since it burns easily, (because of the monounsaturated fats it contains), you should use it when sauteing vegetables or as a dressing.
Studies have clearly shown that a good quality olive oil, can help you in obtaining an overall healthy body. Take a look at these 15 proven health benefits. I hope they will encourage you to start using it regularly.
1. Olive Oil Might Help Your Bones
Milk has always been advertised as a must if we want strong bones throughout life. Olive oil might also help according to some studies.
As we grow older we get bone loss, which can cause diseases like osteoporosis. Menopausal women and the aged are usually the ones that suffer most. Studies have shown that there might be good effects of olive oil on osteoporosis as we grow older.
A compound called oleuropein is found in Olive oil. This may help in the production of the cells that make bones and also them healthy.
2. Olive Oil Can Be Used to Treat Constipation
Constipation is something all of us face at some time. To get some relief, taking a tablespoon of olive oil in the morning on an empty stomach can really help. You, however, should NOT give olive oil to children for constipation.
The fact that it is difficult when constipated for the stool to move through the bowel, the olive oil will smooth the inside of the bowel. This will then make it easier for the stool to pass.
3. Olive Oil Improves Your Immune System
Extra virgin olive oil contains vitamin E and vitamin K which can protect the body from any oxygen-free radicals that can cause the immune system to be unhealthy.
Many of the infectious diseases we get are caused by viruses, fungi, bacteria, and parasites that are all around us. Our immune system help to get rid of them. Doctors normally give us antibiotics to help us at these times, but extra virgin olive oil can do the same for our bodies.
There are antibacterial properties in the polyphenols found in olive oil. There are also no side effects like the ones that are often given when medicines are taken for these infectious diseases.
4. Reducing Inflammation is One of the Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Many people suffer from inflammation in their bodies as they grow older. This is usually displayed in the form of arthritis. The content of oleocanthal in olive oil helps with the pain that can occur. It works just as well as medications like the anti-inflammatory drug Ibuprofen, without the harmful side effects.
5. Olive Oil May Help With Alzheimer’s Disease
Extra virgin olive oil may help with the progression or onset of Alzheimer’s disease, although there is no known cure for it as yet. This disease affects the brain cells and causes loss of memory. The plaque that is formed between the cells of the brain is what causes this.
New studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil might be able to help the brain in patients suffering from this disease. It has been tried on mice with some success.
6. Lose Weight With Olive Oil
Going on crash diets do not work for the long term. If you want to lose weight, and keep it off, put some extra virgin olive oil on your salads. In your meals, replace it for the “bad fats” you normally consume. Although the people who follow the Mediterranean diet use olive oil regularly, they are never overweight.
Making good healthy choices every time you eat is what helps with weight loss and keeps it off forever. The vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, Greek yogurt, and little red meat are what works in helping to lose weight.
7. Olive Oil Dissolves Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are a build-up of minerals in your urine, which sticks together in the kidneys. They can be very painful and you might have to see a doctor to get them removed. Men obviously would have more difficulty getting them out of their body. There are medications that can break them up, or they can be removed by surgery.
People that prefer to use a natural homemade remedy, claim that a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil does the same job. You must also drink plenty of water, to help flush them out.
If followed for a couple of days, the Vitamin C in the lemon is what dissolves the stones. The olive oil will act as a lubricant, making it easy for the kidney stone to be passed out when urinating.
Benefits of olive oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reduces High Cholesterol
If you are experiencing a problem with high cholesterol, extra virgin olive oil can help to lower it. We know that high cholesterol is caused when plaque is formed in your arteries. Some other health risks are causing a heart attack or a stroke.
The monounsaturated fat known as oleic acid which is found in extra virgin olive oil can help to lower your cholesterol.
9. Olive Oil Kills Cancer Cells
The antioxidants and vitamins that are found in olive oil, can help with the prevention of getting certain types of cancers. Studies have shown that it can kill cancer cells. Scientists have found that in less than an hour, cancer cells can die when extra virgin olive oil is used.
10. During Pregnancy Olive Oil gives Great Benefits
Although this oil prevents stretch marks during pregnancy, it is also healthy for you and the baby. The good fats that are found in olive oil help in giving the baby a healthy immune system. When olive oil is consumed during pregnancy it also helps in making childbirth easier.
11. Olive Oil Helps With Depression
Extra virgin olive oil can also offer some mental benefits. When incorporating it with all the other healthy foods eaten in The Mediterranean Diet depression can be avoided.
The other foods consumed would include beans, fruits, and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and eggs. These are definitely great to consume if you want to have good mental health.
12. Olive Oil is A Good Choice For Cooking
With so many benefits of olive oil, it is really worth it if you make it your choice of oil when cooking. There are other good oils like coconut and peanut oils on the market also. However, the great taste and flavor that is found in extra virgin olive oil are worth using it in your meals.
Since this oil is a natural food, if you prefer, you can use it on your salads or when cooking meals like stir-fries. Why not give it a try? When you cook with extra virgin olive oil, you are sure that you are keeping your body in excellent health.
Do make sure, however, that the brand is good before purchasing. Many of them are usually mixed with other oils. These are of inferior qualities.