Many nations valued it as holy oil and a symbol of strength and health. Hippocrates had prescribed it for more than 60 different diseases. And the Chinese people believed it had the ability to neutralize the poisons.
In the past, olive oil was so much appreciated that it served as a means of payment. And for many families, it was the main source of income. To date, the popularity of this oil has grown so much that it has become an indispensable part of all the world’s kitchen and cosmetic industries.
Olive oil health benefits
Protects the cardiovascular system
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are the main triggers for the development of cardiovascular diseases. Consuming food rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients is one of the best and most natural ways to reduce the risk of these diseases. Numerous foodstuff contains valuable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Some are particularly distinguished by the content of these precious substances, one of which is the extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil health benefits, why? It is one of the few oils containing about 75% of its own fat in form of oleic acid, which is responsible for balancing LDL and HDL cholesterol. Cholesterol disbalance is responsible for the occurrence of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
Recent studies have shown that olive oil and its oleic acid may be important factors for lowering blood pressure. European statistics have confirmed that the Mediterranean, the largest olive oil consumer, have the lowest percentage of cardiovascular diseases in Europe.
It works against inflammation
Numerous studies have confirmed that olive oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties. For that, the most of the merit is of polyphenols, compounds having a wide variety of anti-inflammatory mechanisms. It was found that olive oil, actually polyphenols in its composition, lowered the level of C-reactive protein in the blood (CRP), the plasma protein that serves as an inflammatory marker.
Also, it has been determined the ability of this oil to reduce activity in the metabolic pathway known as the route of arachidonic acid, which is responsible for stimulating inflammatory processes. It is interesting to note that the anti-inflammatory properties of extra virgin olive oil do not depend on the amount of its intake into the body. In fact, it has been shown that only 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily contribute significantly to the suppression of inflammatory processes.
It improves the digestive system health
It has been confirmed that olive oil improves the production of digestive enzymes. Thus contributing to the proper functioning of the digestive system. In addition, it eliminates problems of heartburn, gastritis, sores, colitis, and obstipation.
Olive oil health benefits for the digestive tract has been first discovered in the study of correlation of nutrition and digestive tract cancer. Numerous studies have shown a lower percentage of digestive tract cancer, particularly upper digestive tract cancer, including stomach and small intestine, in populations that regularly consume olive oil.
A special area of olive oil research was polyphenols in its composition, and balance of bacteria in the digestive tract. It has been found that these compounds have the ability to suppress and slow growth of undesirable bacteria. Including bacteria responsible for gastrointestinal infections.
Polyphenols that have shown these surprising properties are oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and tyrosol. Some of them can stop the growth of Helicobacter pylori bacteria responsible for the appearance of stomach ulcers and other unwanted digestive problems. According to the old folk recipe. A tablespoon of olive oil diluted with a little lemon juice effectively removes digestive problems.
Preserves bone health
Positive action on overall bone health is another promising area of olive oil research.
Previous research has shown that at least two polyphenols in olive oil, tyrosol (TS) and hydroxytyrosol (HTS) enhance bone formation in the subjects. Also, London scientists have found that regular olive oil consumers have a much higher level of osteocalcin, a protein that contributes to bone strengthening, (Daily Mail writes). The second study found that the percentage of osteoporosis patients is much lower in Mediterranean countries where the diet is rich in this unique oil.
Contributes to the clearness of mind
In recent years, scientists are especially focusing on studying the connectivity of this super oil and improving cognitive functions. And in this case, the comparison of the Mediterranean population with the population of other countries has confirmed that the older population of the Mediterranean area is far ahead of others in verbal abilities, visual memory, opinion, and other cognitive functions. This fascinating insight is in favor of olive oil as a potential natural treatment for the protection and preservation of brain youth.
Protects against cancer
Polyphenols found in olive oil are effective in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer – scientists have determined.
Many types of cancer are the result of oxidative stress and excessive chronic inflammation. Since olive oil polyphenols have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are the perfect assistants in reducing the risk of this common disease today.
Studies have shown that only 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil a day can reduce our risk of certain cancers. Including breast cancer, the respiratory system cancer, and the upper digestive system cancer. It has also been proven that women who daily consume olive oil reduce the risk of breast cancer by as much as 45%. In addition to the polyphenol efficacy. The ability of antioxidants in olive oil to protect DNA from oxidative stress contributes to improved cell function, lowering the risk of cancer.
Preserves hair health
Olive oil has also a number of health benefits even for hair. Its application to the scalp can soften and enrich hair and contribute to its health, softness, and shine.
The olive oil and honey mask is an extraordinary combination that can do wonders for damaged, as well as dry and fragile hair. Treatment with this mask can improve hair quality, restore her glow, make it silky and prevent unwanted hair cracking.
Olive oil also offers a perfect blend of food and care. Rejuvenates damaged and fragile hair and enhances the strengthening of the hair.
It contributes to the youthful appearance of skin
The richness of antioxidants hidden in olive oil also helps to protect the skin from the detrimental effect of free radicals that tend to lead to aging skin. This oil is a natural moisturizer that keeps the skin hydrated and elastic, also, smooth, glossy and supple. The miraculously olive oil is a natural cure for acne. While simultaneously alleviating the visibility of scars that are the result of acne and pimples.
Vitamin E, flavonoids and olive oil polyphenols help remove dark spots on the skin as well as skin dirt and dead cells, making the skin healthy outside and inside.
Other olive oil health benefits
In addition to the above-mentioned properties, there are many more different olive oil health benefits:
- alleviates allergies
- lowers the temperature
- heals the burns
- it helps with rhinitis, bronchitis, coughing, hoarseness
- heals the stomach or duodenum ulcer
- protects the liver and enhances its function
- helps with hepatitis
- relieves the hemorrhoid problem
- helps with diabetes
- helps with obstipation
- prevents increased gastric acid secretion (hyperacidity)