- Olive Oil Is Rich in Healthy Monounsaturated Fats. …
- Olive Oil Contains Large Amounts of Antioxidants. …
- Olive Oil Has Strong Anti-Inflammatory Properties. …
- Olive Oil May Help Prevent Strokes. …
- Olive Oil Is Protective Against Heart Disease. …
- Olive Oil Is Not Associated With Weight Gain and Obesity.
Did you know that olive oil was popularly called ‘liquid gold’ in the ancient world? If you are a culinary expert or are hooked to cooking shows, you must be familiar with olive oil. Most chefs today recommend its use. But did you know that this ingredient can be used to improve your skin health too?
There’s more to olive oil than just being a special kitchen ingredient.
“People from the Mediterranean, where olive oil is grown and consumed the most, have the lowest mortality rates in the world when it comes to cardiovascular diseases.”
Wait, there is more.
The benefits of olive oil are many. Weight loss, blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, cancer, arthritis — name it, and olive oil has a cure for it.
Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of olive oil. Are you ready?
Olive Oil — A Brie
Olive oil is extracted from the olive fruit. From ruling our kitchens to taking over the cosmetic world, olive oil has become a rage all over the world in recent times.
When you go shopping, a good variety of olive oils catch your attention. If you are wondering what they are all about, the next few minutes will give you an insight into that.
- Virgin Olive Oil – The most popular variety, virgin olive oil is a well-known cooking oil with a surprisingly low acid content. It is best suitable for people who want to enjoy the benefits of olive oil without spending a bomb.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Made by cold pressing olive fruit, this oil is considered to be the best for our body. But mind you, not everybody can afford to use extra virgin oil due to its high cost.
- Pure Olive Oil – This oil is actually an amalgamation of refined and virgin olive oils. It has a high acidic content, and hence is unsuitable for use.
- Lampante Oil – The type that is used only as a fuel and is not suitable for cooking.
Now that you know the types, let’s move on to the benefits.
The Many Benefits Of Olive Oil
Benefits For Skin
- Moisturizes Skin
- Improves Skin Health
- Helps Remove Makeup
- Has Anti-Aging Properties
- As A Lip Scrub
- Cures Cracked Heels
Benefits For Hair
Benefits For Health
- Improves Nail Health
- Helps Prevent Breast Cancer
- Helps Prevent Diabetes
- Prevents Alzheimer’s
- Strengthens Bones
- Treats Depression
- Aids Weight Loss
- Controls Cholesterol
- Relieves Constipation
- It Helps Eliminate Kidney Stones
- Helps Dilute Ear Wax
- Helps Preventing Strokes
- Perks Up Sex Life
- Acts As A Pain Relief
Skin Benefits Of Olive Oil
You are watching a video on YouTube when up pops an advertisement where a celebrity is bragging about her favorite skin cream while convincing you how it worked for her. And you rushed to a cosmetic shop to buy the cream, only to realize it is wildly expensive. What if we told you olive oil offers the same benefits as some of the costly cosmetic products in the market?
Here’s why you should prefer olive oil over all the chemical-laden skin creams in the market.
1. Moisturizes Skin
Before we proceed, I have a few questions in mind.
Do you religiously go for an in-house moisturizing session after every shower?
Do you finish a bottle of body lotion within a month?
Are you willing to experiment with some natural product in place of your regular branded lotion? A solution that will last longer without as many side effects?
If you replied in the affirmative to at least one or all of my questions, go for olive oil.
This oil contains a good amount of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the skin from various external factors like the harsh sunrays or the wind (1), (2). The light texture of olive oil makes it a perfect non-sticky moisturizer that stays for long and suits all skin types (3).
1 spoon of extra virgin olive oil
What You Need To Do
1. After you have showered, leave your skin a little damp and massage the olive oil onto your face.
2. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, and then wash off with lukewarm water.
Note: If you have dry skin, apply the oil to your face before going to bed, and let it stay on overnight. You can remove the oil in the morning with the help of a gentle face wash and some warm water.
2. Improves Skin Health
When it comes to beauty, most of us swear by natural ingredients. All we want is a glowing skin. No matter how many creams are there on your shelf, for a quick fix, we always reach out for a fruit pulp or a vegetable juice extract.
How can olive oil help?
Olive oil contains vitamin E, which improves skin health by treating inflammation, acne, and protecting the skin from serious ailments like psoriasis and skin cancer (4).
Honey acts as a humectant while yogurt does the job of a gentle exfoliant, thereby enhancing skin health (5).
3. Helps Remove Makeup
Virgin olive oil is an easy and comparatively cheap alternative to market brands. Besides, where can you find a product that does the job without harming your skin? I always recommend natural remedies as I have sensitive skin that suffers blisters or rashes if there’s the slightest variation in the products.
4. Has Anti-Aging Properties
As you age, your skin starts to sag and develop wrinkles. You can delay these signs of aging with olive oil.
5. As A Lip Scrub
6. Heals Cracked Heels
If your cracked heels are stopping you from putting your best foot forward (pun intended!), try olive oil. Exfoliate your heels using hot lemon water and rub olive oil on them generously for added moisture and smoothness. You can wear socks for quick relief.
Now that you know how olive oil benefits your skin, don’t you want to know how it can benefit your hair? Read on.
Hair Benefits Of Olive Oil
I have envied Rapunzel’s long tresses ever since I was a kid. I’m sure many of you can relate to what I am talking about. What if I told you it’s not so difficult to get thick, long hair like Rapunzel? Excited? Read on to know how.
7. Keeps Hair Healthy
Olive oil, in combination with a few other ingredients, can work wonders to keep your hair healthy. The oil is rich in vitamin E that helps fight hair loss (6). Honey moisturizes your hair. It also contains other nutrients like magnesium, zinc, sulfur, calcium, and B vitamins that aid hair growth (7). The egg yolk is rich in protein, a nutrient that is the primary constituent of hair (8).
8. Can Be Used As A Pre-shampoo Treatment
I remember, as a kid, my mom gave me an oil massage before a shampoo so my hair could imbibe the goodness of the oil. Though I hated being all oily at that time, eventually, I understood how important this process was for my hair.
An olive oil massage before a shampoo helps in giving a distinct shine and strength to your hair.
Health Benefits Of Olive Oil
The benefits of olive oil are not limited to just enhancing your beauty. You can derive a lot of health benefits by including this oil in your diet as well.
9. Improves Nail Health
Nails can say a lot about your health. If you look pale, doctors often check your nails. Dull, lifeless, brittle nails are a few problems we encounter. But did you know olive oil can actually improve nail health? If you are planning to flaunt that trendy nail art for your best friend’s wedding, you need to first start caring for your nails so they look healthy.
The vitamin E in olive oil can improve the appearance of nails affected by an ailment.
10. Helps Prevent Breast Cancer
Olive oil and cancer — the correlation can be coined as absurd. But using olive oil in cooking can help prevent breast cancer.
In a Saudi Arabian study, it was found that oleuropein, a natural compound found in olive leaf, has potential anti-breast cancer properties.
In another clinical trial conducted in Spain, it was found that women who consumed a diet containing olive oil were 62 percent less likely to contract breast cancer
11. Helps Prevent Diabetes
Including olive oil in your diet can also keep your blood sugar under control. Trust the many studies that prove this little fact.
In another study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consumption of olive oil was linked to a reduced risk of diabetes in women
12. Prevents Alzheimer’s
According to the Scientific American, oleocanthal in olive oil can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease (14). The American Chemical Society has also come up with similar findings(15).
In an American study, extra virgin olive oil was found to improve learning and memory in mice, supporting the possibility of its replication in humans suffering from Alzheimer’s (16).
13. Strengthens Bones
14. Olive Oil Treats Depression
We all have our share of mood swings. Our state of mind depends on a lot of things. Thankfully, there are a few foods that act as antidepressants. And you can count olive oil among them.
One of the amazing benefits of olive oil is to treat depression. Olive oil can increase the levels of serotonin, the brain chemical. This, it has been found, is similar to the effect of some antidepressants
15. Aids Weight Loss
Losing weight was never this easy. What if you could lose weight while snacking on your favorite food? No kidding here!
Have your favorite Italian pasta or a salad drizzled with olive oil and watch yourself go from flab to fab.
A study published in the Harvard School of Public Health had supported the efficacy of olive oil in aiding weight loss. The weight loss that occurred due to two different types of diets (a moderate-fat Mediterranean diet that includes olive oil, and a lowfat diet) were compared. By the end of the study, only 20 percent of the volunteers in the low-fat group were still following the diet.
You can lower the levels of bad cholesterol in your body by using of olive oil.
17. Olive Oil Relieves Constipation
Use olive oil as a remedy for constipation.
Olive oil benefits the gastrointestinal tract and colon (20). The consistency and texture of olive oil help in stimulating your digestive system, making food move smoothly through the colon. When you take this oil on a regular basis, it helps in completely preventing constipation.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats (21). This helps in increasing mobility so that food can move through the colon without any problem. It also helps in speeding up bowel evacuation and prevents constipation.
This oil is rich in vitamins E and K, iron, omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and antioxidants. These nutrients improve your overall health, including the digestive tract, and help prevent constipation as well.
18. Olive Oil Helps Eliminate Kidney Stones
Olive oil consumption can also help dissolve kidney stones (22).
19. Helps Dilute Ear Wax
Using olive oil to clean ear wax is a good idea (23).
To prevent the onset of cerumen impaction, experts recommend using olive oil to remove wax from your ears. In most cases, when you try to clean impacted earwax, the hardened wax chunks move further back into the ear canal.
This is where olive oil comes in handy. It helps to soften the cerumen, making it easier for you to remove earwax. Once it has been sufficiently softened, the wax gets broken down into smaller pieces, and often moves to the outer edge of your air canal, where it can be safely and thoroughly cleaned with a soft cloth or tissue.
20. Olive Oil Prevents Strokes
You may not know this but the daily consumption of extra virgin oil can help prevent strokes in the elderly (24).
21. Perks Up Sex Life
Ever wondered why all the great love stories originated from Italy – the land of olive oil?
It’s no surprise that olive oil is an excellent aphrodisiac (25). A proper massage with olive oil enhances blood circulation to all parts of the body, including the sex organs.
22. Olive Oil Acts As A Pain Relief
Be it external or internal injury, extra virgin olive oil is known to relieve pain.
There are five things you need to keep in mind while choosing olive oil.
- The first thing you need to do is verify if it is extra virgin olive oil. Turn the bottle around and look for the term ‘extra virgin’. But then, there are other parameters too.
- Check where the oil is from. If you find a lot many countries listed on the backside label of the bottle, it is pretty obvious that the oil has traveled a long way before reaching the store, and there is a high possibility that it is degraded.
- Look for the harvest date. It is important to note that olive oil is unlike wine — it doesn’t get better with age. The oil can be good for about two years if stored in optimum conditions (inside a dark cupboard at room temperature). If you don’t see a harvest date mentioned anywhere, it’s better you replace the bottle on the rack and check for something else.
- Remember to smell it and taste it. Of course, you can’t do that at the store. But make sure you smell the oil and taste a little of it once you have brought it home. If you encounter any off-odors—that of old peanut butter, wax, or sweaty socks—return the oil to the store saying it is rancid.
- Favor domestic oil. Well, high-quality olive oil is produced all over the world. But, according to research, olive oils produced in the domestic country consistently score higher in quality than the imports.
The storage of a product is as important as the selection, if not more.
Just note these simple pointers to ensure the longevity of your olive oil.
- Choose a cool and dark place to store the oil.
- Ensure the oil is away from heat, air, and light.
- Store the oil in a dark or opaque glass bottle, or a stainless steel container.
- Ensure the lid of the bottle is closed tight.
Trivia: Thankfully, olive oil has a longer shelf life when compared to normal cooking oils. Some varieties can even last three years.
Cooking With Olive Oil
A Word Of Caution
Though olive oil has a lot of benefits, it does have some side effects, which you cannot afford to ignore. Take a look:
- Olive oil can cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. When someone who is allergic to olive oil applies it on their skin, the immune system sets off to attack it. This causes the body to produce antibodies, resulting in common food allergy symptoms. People who are allergic to olive oil may develop eczema and skin rashes that can prove to be itchy. Hence, it is always better to do a patch test before using the oil topically. In case of any allergic reaction, consult your allergist or dermatologist immediately.
- Since olive oil is rich in calories, its overconsumption can cause the risk of heart diseases. Make sure you don’t use more than 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a daily basis.
- If you are diabetic and going through a scheduled medication, consult your doctor before using oil. Olive oil may react with the medications and cause further drop in your sugar levels, which can be fatal.
- Using more than the advised quantity of olive oil can also cause a massive fall in your blood pressure levels, gallbladder blockage and several other diseases.
- Too much of olive oil may have a completely opposite effect on your weight, owing to the high fat content in the oil.
- Don’t heat olive oil for too long (more than 20 to 30 seconds) as it has a tendency to burn quickly, making it lose most of its beneficial properties.
- Never apply the oil to wounds or cuts without prior consultation.
- Decrease the dosage of oil when cooking for pregnant or lactating women.