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Top five benefits of olive oil

The Mediterranean Diet has long been hailed as an example of the ideal diet that prevents coronary heart disease and promotes longevity. Olive oil is one of the elements in the diet that has contributed most to its health-promoting status.

Olives have been growing around the Mediterranean for thousands of years. Unprocessed olive oils with labels such as ‘virgin’ or ‘extra virgin’ retain more of their original goodness and are far more wholesome than oils which have been processed , stripping them of some beneficial nutrients.

Despite reports to the contrary in recent years, olive oil, which contains monounsaturated fats, is a suitable cooking oil where some other oils may be harmful in very high temperatures as they change their chemical constituents.

Olive oil has been handed down to us with a catalogue of useful constituents which benefit us from head to toe.

1. Anti-inflammatory

Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties . The chemical oleocanthal in the oil is said to work like the anti-inflammatory drug, Ibuprofen. Inflammation is said to lead to some chronic ailments such as Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes. Olive oil can be consumed as a preventative. It is said to help with rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies appear to show that the oleic acid content in the oils help inhibit proteins that are inflammation markers. Oleic acid are monounsaturated fats, which also help with the body fat composition and cholesterol levels.

2. Rich in Anti-oxidants

Olive oil contains polyphenols which give it impressive anti-oxidant qualities, again helping to protect against heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. Consuming olive oil with vegetables, fruits and legumes in the Mediterranean diet further enhances its protective nature

3. Protects Skin

For centuries olive oil, particularly extra virgin, has been used on the skin for its positive, healing benefits. It’s anti-oxidant content of vitamin K and E and squalene contribute to its anti-ageing effect through mopping up free radicals that damage cells, and help to prevent sun damage. It is cleansing and anti-bacterial.

Its anti-inflammatory properties help combat collagen breakdown, redness and dark spots. It has moisturising properties that help maintain supple and smooth skin, and is great for cell regeneration.

It is believed to help with wound healing and blemishes. Many skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and ulcers are said to be aided by olive oil. Dry hair and brittle nails can also be revived with a good dose of olive oil. Olive oil is considered a very nourishing ingredient in beauty treatments.

4. Bone and blood health

Olive oil’s Vitamin K content is a super nutrient which also works wonders in other areas of the body. It is suitable for strengthening bones and preventing blood clotting. Studies have shown it prevents loss of bone mass. A Mediterranean diet in general is said to lower incidences of fractures. It has been shown to have powerful benefits for the heart. Some studies have shown it to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

A University of Glasgow experiment revealed that just 3 weeks of taking olive oil reduced coronary artery disease markers.

5. Brain Health

In recent studies olive oil has been shown to improve memory, protect the brain, and reduce Alzheimer’s bio markers including the risk of fatal dementia.

Polyphenols and Oleic acid in olive oil work with the gut microbiome and help protect brain cells from oxidative stress. The omega 9 fatty acid has a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels.

According to a new study this year, a daily half tablespoon of olive oil is said to reduce the risk of death by dementia by 28%. The presence of other constituents such as oleocanthal and oleuropein in the oil also benefits cognitive health. Depression is also said to be lowered by the intake of olive oil.

It is felt that the extra virgin olive oil, EVOO, exhibited the most health benefit when consumed raw.

Olive oil today.

Foolproof your body. Start your olive oil regime today. The more the better, claim the scientists. With so much goodness in nature, we can now take control of our physical and mental wellbeing, without resorting to drugs and synthetic foods.

And while you are at it, check out our extra virgin olive oil soaps for external application.

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