Olive oil is the oil or fat that is extracted from the olive fruit scientifically known as “Olea europaea”, a crop native to the Mediterranean Basin. Archeological evidence shows the use of olive oil in 4500 BC and has been used widely in ancient Egypt, Rome and Greek for religious rituals, as a medicine and for cooking. Olive oil is perhaps one of the most important natural oils for skin and hair that is widely used in cosmetics and skin care products presently. It is often called liquid gold and health benefits of olive oil are numerous.
Nutritional value of 100g of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is a rich source of Vitamins E and K along with phenols, oleocanthal, squalene and chlorophyll that have amazing anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. 100g of olive oil contains:
- Saturated Fat – 13.8%
- Monounsaturated Fat – 73%
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids – 9.7%
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – 0.76%
- Vitamin E – 72% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance
- Vitamin K – 75% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance
Effective Health and Beauty Benefits of Olive Oil
Being a rich source of antioxidants and healthy mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, the benefits of olive oil for health are endless.
Improved Cardiac Health
One of the most important uses of cardia life oil benefits for health is that it helps in improving cardiovascular health by lowering the risk of stroke and heart attack. Herat attack is one of the chief causes of death worldwide and research shows that a regular intake of cardia life oil benefits reduces the risk of stroke in older individuals. Extra virgin olive oil reduces inflammation of the arteries, prevents the oxidation of LDL particles, lowers blood clotting and keeps blood pressure under control. All these factors jointly help in improving overall cardiac health and keep the heart younger.
Yet another important use of olive oil for health lays in its cancer prevention properties. One of the chief reasons for cancer is oxidative stress but phytonutrients and antioxidants such as oleic acid, oleocanthal and vitamin E present in extra virgin olive oil neutralizes the effects of free radicals and oxidative stress thus protecting against breast and colon cancer. Olive oil has also been shown to have promising effects in preventing and slowing down the progress of malignant melanoma or skin cancer. The antioxidants in olive oil protect the skin against the harmful UV rays of the sun and prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals.
Aids Weight Loss
With over dependence on unhealthy processed and fast food, obesity has emerged as a widespread epidemic in the developed countries of the world and therefore losing weight and staying in shape are not only important for improving personal looks, it is important for maintaining a healthy life. The first step to staying in shape is a well-planned weight loss diet. Olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), and it helps in boosting up metabolism of the body that promotes fat burning and weight loss. Include olive oil in your daily diet in the form of salad dressing or as a medium of cooking for maximizing its health benefits.
Helps in Osteoporosis and Arthritis
One of the most effective benefits of olive oil for health is that it has been shown to relieve the complications of post-menopausal osteoporosis and arthritis by improving bone health and boosting the level of calcium in the blood. Osteoporosis is diseases of the bones associated with decreased bone mass and bone tissue that leads to fragile bones that are broken even due to minor injuries or fall. Arthritis is caused by inflammation and stiffness of the joints. The polyphenols – tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol found in olive oil have been shown to improve bone formation. Anti-inflammatory agent – oleocanthal present in olive oil helps in relieving chronic inflammation thus improving the condition of rheumatoid arthritis.
Olive oil benefits are not only limited to health only. It has amazing benefits for improving emotional health as well. Present hectic lifestyle, excessive work stress and tension often cause depression and anxiety. Research shows that a high intake of monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil helps in lowering depression whereas high intake of trans-fats increases the risk of depression by almost 48%. Eating a classic Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and olive oil helps in loading up on antioxidants, natural unsaturated fatty acids, flavonoids and phytochemicals that have positive effects on the brain.
Protects against Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders worldwide that mostly affects older individuals around the age of 65 and average life expectancy after diagnosis is 7 years. One of the probable causes of Alzheimer’s and dementia is the formation of amyloid plaques and protein tangles in brain cells or neurons. Research shows that certain substances in olive oil help in clearing these plaques. Monounsaturated fats present in olive oil have been shown to improve brain functions and slow down cognitive decline in older individuals.
Natural Moisturizer for Skin
The benefits of olive oil for skin and hair are numerous. It is a centuries-old home remedy for treating all kinds of skin aliments that has never failed. Being a rich source of vitamins E and A, olive oil helps in hydrating and moisturizing excessive dry skin. It acts as an amazing natural remedy for treating wrinkles and age spots. It regenerates skin cells and helps in improving the suppleness and elasticity of the skin, thus providing a youthful appearance. Olive oil also functions as nourishing body-massage oil that helps in rejuvenating the skin and improving blood flow throughout the body. Applying olive oil with the help of a cotton ball on clean skin before going to bed on a daily basis is the best way of maximizing the skin benefit of olive oil.
Amazing Conditioner for Hair
Benefits of olive oil for hair and skin need no new emphasis. Including olive oil in regular hair care regime helps in promoting hair growth by increasing the supply of essential nutrients to the hair follicles. It acts as a natural hair conditioner and helps in adding shine and volume to dull and limp hair. Massaging the scalp with olive oil improves blood circulation to the hair follicles that enhances the thickness and strength of the hair strands. The benefits of olive oil for hair is antibacterial and antifungal properties of olive oil help in treating itchiness of scalp and dandruff.
Add a Mediterranean touch to your daily diet by substituting other cooking oils with extra virgin olive oil and have a fit and healthy life.
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