Olive Oil is Important for Us
Olive oil is one of our favourites, and many people today are using it in their everyday life. There are several uses of olive oil, right from its use in cooking to its use in keeping our skin looking younger and even for our hair to look shiny. Olive oil is known for having lots of nutrients, that can keep us healthy and keep away diseases. It is also an essential ingredient for the cosmetic industry and finds its way into several skin and beauty care products. The extra virgin olive oil is known to contain several nutrients, that can help to have a healthier cardiovascular system and prevent degeneration of our brain. In this article, we will discuss some of the ways olive oil can prove to be good for us.
Health Benefits of Olive Oil
Improves Health of Your Skin
Most of us prefer to use natural ingredients to improve our skin health. Olive oil is a natural ingredient that can make your skin glow. Olive oil has vitamin E that can treat your skin against any inflammation and protect the skin from skin cancers and psoriasis.
It can also act as a moisturiser due to it's adequate amount of vitamin E and antioxidants, that protect us from the sunlight. Moreover, olive oil is non-sticky, making it suitable for various types of skin and can also remain longer on the skin.
Important for Your Diet
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants apart from fatty acids and vitamins K and E. All these nutrients are essential for your body. The antioxidants can help against the free radicals and keep you fitter. It also contains oleic acid, which makes up more than 70% of the oil content. It helps to prevent chronic diseases, as well as to prevent cancer. It also has anti-inflammation properties.
Switching to olive oil can help in shedding your extra flab and prevent the intake of unhealthy trans fats. Its monounsaturated fats are known to be higher than other oils like sesame, sunflower or rapeseed oil.
It Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Studies show that chronic inflammation could lead to several chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity or heart diseases. It is also considered as one of the vital benefits of consuming olive oil. Olive oil contains antioxidants, including oleocanthal, that works as an anti-inflammation drug. It is estimated that olive in normal proportions can act similarly like Ibuprofen due to the presence of oleocanthal. The oleic acid present in olive oil can also work against the C-reactive protein that causes inflammation.
Vital for Your Heart
Olive oil should form an essential part of your diet, as it helps in enhancing the health of your heart. Those who use olive oil regularly have a better life expectancy and a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. It forms a part of the Mediterranean diet and is one of the reasons for the lower occurrence of heart diseases in that region.
It prevents LDL cholesterol from developing in the body and prevents blood clotting in the blood vessels. Studies also show that it can keep your blood pressure in check and act as an alternative for blood pressure medication.
Prevents Certain Cancers
With cancer being a primary cause of premature deaths, olive oil can prevent this to a great extent. Research shows a direct correlation in lower cancer occurrences in regions where olive oil is an essential part of the diet. It is suspected that oleocanthal plays a proactive role in reducing the risk of cancers.
Another reason could be because it reduces the oxidative damages caused by free radicals in the body, which is also a leading cause of cancers in people. However, several studies are still going on to have firmer proof of olive oil being able to prevent cancers.
Prevents Brain Disease
Olive oil is also known to prevent critical illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease. It is caused because of the development of the harmful beta-amyloid plaques in your brain cells. Studies show that oleocanthal in the extra virgin olive oil can slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s in senior citizens. Olive oil can help in the removal of these plaques.
Those having olive oil regularly in their diet benefit by its protective impact on blood vessels in the brain. The phenolic components help in preventing the causes that lead to degeneration of the brain. Having olive oil is also known to avoid dementia.
Keeps Your Hair Healthy
Olive oil can be used with other ingredients for having healthier hair. It has vitamin E in abundance, that helps in fighting hair loss. You can use other ingredients like honey, egg yolk or essential minerals like zinc, calcium, sulphur to enhance the health of your hair.
It can also be used before you use shampoo on your hair. It helps to make your hair shiny and makes it healthier too. You can heat some olive oil and apply on your hair, mainly at the scalp. Wash it off after around 15 – 20 minutes.
Works Against Depression
Most of us face extreme pressures in our lives, leading to the tremendous stress, mood swings and depression. There are some natural antidepressants, and olive oil is one of them. Studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil can protect the nervous system against acute anxiety. Also, those having unhealthy fats face a risk of depression more than those who have unsaturated fats, like olive oil. Olive oil enhances the amount of serotonin secreted by our brain. It is a happiness hormone that is stimulated by most other antidepressants.
What to Look for When Buying Olive Oil?
We have learnt all about the benefits of olive oil, but how do we ensure that we have the best quality oil when shopping? When buying, you must look for a dark bottle, as it is essential to protect the oil from sunlight. The extra virgin olive oils undergo minimal processing. It is also essential to have a look into the levels of polyphenol that comes with a characteristic bitter and pungent taste. You can also check the date of production and the expiry date. Always ensure that there is enough time till the expiry date so that there can be adequate shelf life for the bottle.
Choosing The Right Kind Of Olive Oil!
To make sure you get maximum benefit from olive oil, you have to make sure that you choose the right kind of olive oil. We all tend to reach out for the extra virgin olive oil, while buying it from the supermarket. While it is the most unprocessed form of olive oil, it is also important to realise that extra virgin olive oil is to be used in raw form. You can add it to dressings etc or even for stir-fry, but it is not sustainable to be used at high temperature, and definitely not for frying. For that you use the refined olive oil!