Extra virgin olive oil is recognised as one of the healthiest oils. From its antibacterial properties to its ability to remove makeup more thoroughly than your favourite beauty brand, it seems this miracle liquid can do it all.
1. Healthy Fats
Extra virgin olive oil has high a percentage of monounsaturated fats. Why is this a good thing?
Monounsaturated fats reduce chronic inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood glucose, which are indicators of heart disease and stroke.
One of the biggest health benefits of extra virgin olive oil is that it is rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds that prevent oxidation, which is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals. Free radicals contribute to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other serious illnesses.
Extra virgin olive oil contains powerful antioxidants, which means it may help protect us against some of these serious conditions.
Amazingly, extra virgin olive oil contains a naturally occurring chemical by the name of oleocanthal. This chemical works similarly to ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug.
Chronic inflammation is linked to many of today’s most pervasive conditions such as asthma, allergies, heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.
In addition to fighting oxidation and inflammation, extra virgin olive oil has been shown to fight certain types of bacteria.
In a study, different food items were tested for antibacterial activity, and extracts of extra virgin olive oil showed the strongest activity against strains of bacteria tested. It even reduced the amount of Salmonella and Listeria present in mayonnaise!
Another type of bacteria olive oil is effective against is H. pylori, which is a bug that is linked to certain stomach ulcers and some types of gastric cancer.
5. Heart Health
Extra virgin olive oil is also known for its ability to reduce high blood pressure levels (also known as hypertension), which is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease.
A study published in 2000 was able to show that consuming extra virgin olive oil on a regular basis can reduce the need for prescribed hypertension drugs by up to 48%.
6. Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic in the US, with 1 in every 3 Americans expected to suffer from it by 2050.
Extra virgin olive oil can have a stabilising effect on blood sugar and insulin levels, which can help diabetics to manage their condition if they incorporate extra virgin olive oil into their diets.
In a trial of non-diabetic subjects, those consuming a Mediterranean diet – which incorporates a lot of extra virgin olive oil – had more than a 40% lower risk of developing diabetes than those in the control group.
7. Gut Health
Unlike other types of vegetable oil, extra virgin olive oil is super gentle on your stomach.
It acts like a protective barrier for those suffering from ulcers and other gastritis issues. When consumed in its organic form, the olive oil naturally induces production of bile and pancreatic hormones.
Moreover, a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil can also prevent the formation of gallstones.
8. Skin Health
Olive oil contains vitamin E, which improves skin health by treating inflammation, acne, and dryness. It also improves skin elasticity and its regenerative properties.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil can also be used as a moisturising makeup remover! Simply rub into your skin, and wipe off the oil and makeup with some cotton wool.
9. Hair Health
Extra virgin olive oil is known to reduce hair loss, rescue split ends, and reduce scalp irritation, which can help fight dandruff.
Just heat a cup of olive oil and massage into hair generously, focusing on the scalp. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse your hair with mild shampoo, and rinse again.
There are so many amazing health benefits to using extra virgin olive oil, and it’s important to recognise that not all oils provide these health properties.
There are three basic grades of olive oil, and several types within each grade.The three basic grades are Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Virgin Olive Oil, and Olive Oil. These grades are determined by the kind of processing the olives undergo to become olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is so healthy because it undergoes the least amount of processing. Regular olive oil is refined and stripped of important nutrients and antioxidants, which is why is does not produce the same results as extra virgin olive oil.