5 HEALTH BENEFITS OF USING COLD PRESSED EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL.
BY ALINDA VAN DYK
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the healthiest choice for using as a cooking oil and food dressing and the fact that the oil is Cold Pressed plays a key role in the RETENTION of health benefits.
To clarify – cold pressing refers to the traditional method of pressing olive oil, using granite stones and hydraulic mat presses. Today olive oil is EXTRACTED by means of modern machinery using a hammer mill, malaxer and centrifugal system to extract the olive oil from the solid mass. Hence the modern used term COLD EXTRACTED.
The fact that a cold extracted method is used to make Extra Virgin Olive Oil, ENSURES the retention of all the natural nutrients and antioxidants.
Cold Extracted Extra Virgin Olive Oil is rich in
- Polyphenols and Antioxidants
- Vitamins E, A and K
- MINERALS such as Iron, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium.
Extra Virgin Olive oil is also a mono-unsaturated fat, which simply means a HEALTHY FAT.
The numerous beneficial nutrients in cold pressed extra virgin olive oil provide many important health benefits. As Extra Virgin Olive Oil is COLD EXTRACTED, the nutrients that are retained are substantially higher than oils that have been heated during processing or chemically treated.
The question I ask is – if COLD PRESSED EVOO is the ultimate quality with the most benefits – why settle for less when it comes to looking after your body?
Though the benefits of olive oil has been proven through many studies and research – always first confirm with your doctor should you have any doubt and suffer from a serious illness. My list below is supported by many institutions and research, but remains a suggestion and remember PREVENTION is key…
- HEART HEALTH
- February is the month of LOVE and I can’t help but start with the one thing that makes love TICK…..our hearts! Give your heart a lot of love with “Extra” care an include Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your daily diet.
- Cold Pressed EVOO is vital to excellent heart health. HOW? Olive Oil contains 65 – 85% monounsaturated fats – substantially higher than most other cooking oils.
- It raises the levels of HDL cholesterol (Good cholesterol) in your blood, that helps combat and break-down the Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or simply put – BAD cholesterol
- Controlling the levels of bad cholesterol, Cold Pressed Extra Virgin PREVENTS and COMBATS the clogging and build-up of plaque in your heart and arteries, which in turn also aids in the prevention of strokes caused by dietary factors.
Motto: A dollop of Extra Virgin Olive Oil a day – keeps the doctor away!
- Conceded world-wide, it is a fact that there is a direct correlation between what you consume, and cancer. The International Olive Oil Council reports that cell mutations and cancer is caused by toxins that “attack the DNA”.
- Many other reports and institutes explain it as oxidative stress where free radicals ( coming from food sources) latch on to other cells and parts in the body, leading to cancer and mutations.
- Extra Virgin Olive oil contains predominantly monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid) which is a very short and stable carbon bond. You therefore have low incidences of free radicals that occur within the body. Free radicals (key factor in cancer) occur more predominantly with other fats with triglycerides and have been associated with prostate cancers.
- The polyphenols in Extra Virgin Olive Oil are STRONG ANTI-OXIDANTS. The anti-oxidants and vitamins help combat OXIDATION of body cells. When cells oxidize they AGE and BREAK DOWN. Oxidative stress in the body can lead to many forms of cancer.
- The use of cold pressed olive oil has been associated with reduced risks of bowel, prostate and breast cancer.
- An olive-oil-rich diet is known to be an alternative or support treatment to diabetes – especially in type 2 diabetes. However, is is also a PREVENTATIVE measure and can prevent or delay the onslaught of diabetes.
- Cold Extracted Extra Virgin Olive Oil reduces blood sugar more than other fats. A study led by Franceso Violo at the University in Rome, was conducted to compare EVOO with other oils after consumption, to establish the effect of the oils on glucose levels. The study indicated that when used in a Mediterranean diet, Extra Virgin Olive oil has the lowest increase of blood sugar levels after a meal, in comparison to other healthy cooking oils.
- Many other findings and studies also confirm that cold pressed EVOO are linked to higher levels of insulin, which is beneficial for type 2 diabetics.
- Extra Virgin Olive contains an antioxidant called tyrosol – an agent that assists insulin levels.
- Whether you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, or just a little – if you include Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your diet, it WILL have a protective effect on your bowel and digestive system.
- Beta-Sitosterol is a compound found in olive oil. Widely used for heart disease and high cholesterol, it is this same compound that prevents cholesterol absorption in the digestive system.
- But what does this mean in laymen terms? Simply that EVOO is easily digested and acts as a mild laxative and prevents constipation. Simply put – olive oil keeps your system well oiled.
5. HAIR AND SKIN HEALTH
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil is rich in Anti-Oxidants and Vitamin E and is an excellent product to MOISTURIZE and NOURISH both your skin and hair.
- The “antioxidants” in Extra Virgin Olive Oil does exactly what the word indicates – it is ANTI OXIDATION – combatting the oxidation of cells – therefore the aging of cell.
- So, if EVER you thought an anti-aging cream is nonsense – think again! Here is a natural way of nourishing your hair and skin.
- As COLD PRESSED extra virgin retains the most nutrients, there is no reason to neglect your skin and hair with second grade olive oils. Use the best to achieve the best results.
TIPS for applying to skin and hair:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be applied directly to the skin, as it is a natural product and has no additives or chemicals. Gently rub the best quality oil on your skin for good results.
Mix: If you find the olive oil to oily – mix with a tub of Aqueous Cream for easy application and absorption. I suggest a ratio of 1-unit olive oil to 10 units aqueous.
General hair treatment TIP
Generously rub olive oil onto your scalp and hair. Cover your head with a towel or shower cap and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and a mild shampoo.
Make some of your own infused treatments. The combination of certain fresh herbs or essential oils increase the success. Pour the Olive Oil in a bottle and infuse with fresh herbs such as sage and rosemary, or flowers like lavender.
For essential oils – Rule of thumb: 50 drops essential oil to 250ml Olive Oil
Beware of applying aromatherapy oils directly to skin!
Lavender and Rosemary are ideal for hair growth and Lemon Grass is excellent in combination with olive oil to combat dry scalp!