Since ancient historical times, fresh olive oil has been one of life necessities. It is not just great for recipes but also medicine, beauty aid and a vital element of religious rituals.

What are the benefits of olive oil?

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acid, vitamin E and K and antioxidants such as polyphenols. This composition provides many benefits.

1) Prevent heart disease

High amount of monounsaturated fatty acid (oleic acid) promote good cholesterol (HDL) level and reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. Oleic acid keeps the blood vessels supple and prevents bad cholesterol (LDL) from oxidizing to form plaque in the blood vessel.

British Journal of Nutrition, July 2007 issue reported 30 healthy volunteer who were given 25 ml per day of olive oil over 3 weeks. Blood test of the volunteers was found to have high level of polyphenol antioxidants. These polyphenols increase the resistance of LDL from oxidation supporting the benefits of olive oil for heart disease prevention.

2) Weight loss

Lose weight with good fats such as olive oil. Substituting olive oil with saturated fat can reduce the body weight and fat mass.

British Journal of Nutrition, September 2003 issue reported research on 8 men, who were divided into 2 groups. One group given food with more saturated fat and the other group were given food of the same calories but has more monounsaturated fat.  At the end of 4 weeks, the second group was found to be lighter and less body fat than the first group.

3) Prevent cancer

Olive oil contains a high amount of vitamin and antioxidants.  Cooking meat in olive oil can reduce the amount of cancer causing agent in meat.

University of Oxford researchers found that people who have a diet rich in olive oil have lower incidence of colon cancer.

Annals of Oncology, March 2005 issue reported the protective effect of olive oil in preventing breast cancer due to the monounsaturated fatty acid component.

4) Skin care

Olive oil is a very good skin moisturizer because of the linoleic acid content in the oil that act as a humectant, preventing water from evaporating from the skin. The high antioxidants content in olive oil can prevent free radical and UV damage to the skin.

5) Hair care

The same benefits for skin can also be applied to hair. Olive oil moisturizes hair and help to repair damage hair.

6) Medicine

Oleocanthal from olive oil has similar property to NSAID (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as Ibuprofen. So, olive oil is a natural painkiller.

Olive oil has natural laxative properties and is a stool softener. So, it helps people with constipation problems.

Olive oil is the prime component of the Mediterranean diet, which has been widely found to have many health benefits. So, switch to olive oil and get the health benefits today!

Are you using olive oil daily? Share with me what benefits you have found in the comment box below.

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