Discover the Amazing Benefits of Olive Oil: Cook Healthier and Nourish Your Skin with This Everyday Essential!
Olive oil offers many health benefits and affects the body from the inside and outside. It is commonly used in cooking, salad dressing, and skin care.
Olive oil & the Mediterranean Diet
Olive oil is a traditional crop of the Mediterranean Basin. For centuries, Mediterranean countries have been using olive oil as the primary oil of their diet. A Mediterranean diet includes the traditional healthy living habits of people from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including France, Greece, Italy and Spain. The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods. The Mediterranean diet has been associated with good health, especially a healthy heart.
What are the health benefits of eating olive oil?
- The main active components of olive oil include oleic acid (the most common omega-9 fatty acid and the most common monounsaturated fatty acid in the diet), phenolic compounds that are potent antioxidants and radical scavengers, and squalene. Other beneficial compounds in olive oil are vitamin E and beta-carotene, which also play an important role in skin health.
- The main phenolics include hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and oleuropein, which occur in highest levels in virgin olive oil and have demonstrated antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are believed to be responsible for a number of olive oil’s biological activities. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, has shown activity in cancer prevention, while squalene has also been identified as having anticancer effects. Olive oil consumption has benefit for colon and breast cancer prevention.
- Consuming olive oil as part of a healthy diet increases your antioxidant levels and provides anti-inflammatory effects from the polyphenols in the extra-virgin olive oil. 
- The oil has been shown to have health benefits for the heart and the cardiovascular system. It reduces the risk of LDL peroxidation (oxygen damage to fat) in the bloodstream.
- Olive oil is the main ingredient in many cosmetics formulas (body and hair) as it moisturises and restores the skin.
How to choose which Olive oil to buy?
Choose Extra Virgin Olive Oil that is in a dark glass bottle. Extra Virgin means that the oil is derived from the olives’ first pressing; this oil has the best overall health benefits. Choose one that has a low acidity level to ensure high quality. Extra virgin olive oil has an acidity level that is less than 0.8%. The acidity in oil indicates the amount of free fatty acids in the oil. The acidity level doesn’t reflect on the taste of the olive oil. In addition, lower acidity also means that the fruit has undergone less damage, therefore offering healthier qualities. Another important note is to look for single area olive oil.
Hair oil treatment DIY with olive oil
You can also use olive oil at home as part of a healthy natural hair treatment: mix half a cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil with 5 drops of rosemary essential oil and 3 drops of lavender essential oil. Apply it on your hair for about 30 minutes before the shower, don’t forget to massage your roots! Then wash with shampoo and warm water.
This treatment can strengthen the hair roots, restore natural hair shine, and provide a wonderfully soft feeling.
I hope you will also love and enjoy this fantastic oil’s benefits! Learn more about the benefits of the olive leaves in this video:
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2. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Mar; 19(3): 686.