7 Reasons Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is Extra Healthy
The healing benefits of olive oil have been known since ancient times. The first traces of olive tree cultivation were recorded in Central Asia 4,000 BC. Many legends and records talk about the value of olive oil throughout history.
In ancient Greek Athens, at a major event known as the Panathenaic Games, the winners of gymnastics, music and other competitions were rewarded with amphorae filled with olive oil.
Many peoples considered it a sacred oil and a symbol of strength and health.
Hippocrates prescribed it for more than 60 different diseases and the Chinese people believed it had the ability to neutralize poisons.
In the past, olive oil was so prized that it served as a means of payment and was a major source of income for many families.
Today, the popularity of this oil has taken on such a wide scale that it has become an indispensable part of all world cuisines and the cosmetics industry. Extra virgin olive oil is an important part of a varied diet and is rich in chlorophyll, lecithin (a natural antioxidant that stimulates the metabolism), carotene, polyphenols (antioxidants), and essential vitamins A, D and K, and vitamin E.
Extra virgin olive oil is also easily digested and slows down aging due to its high content of antioxidants that block free radicals. The biggest feature of this oil is its beneficial effect on the heart and blood vessels. Due to the high content of mono-unsaturated acids, olive oil protects HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and reduces bad cholesterol (LDL).
Unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, and other olive oil ingredients reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and some cancers.
Health benefits of extra virgin olive oil
1. Protects the cardiovascular system
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are the main triggers for the development of cardiovascular disease. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients is one of the best and most natural ways to reduce the risk of these diseases.
Some stand out in terms of the content of these precious substances, and one of them is just extra virgin olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the few oils that contains about 75% of its fat in the form of oleic acid which is responsible for balancing LDL and HDL cholesterol. Cholesterol imbalance is responsible for the occurrence of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
European statistics have confirmed that the Mediterranean, the largest consumer of olive oil, has the lowest percentage of cardiovascular disease in Europe. 2. It works against inflammation
Numerous studies have confirmed that extra virgin olive oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties. This is largely due to polyphenols, compounds that have a wide range of anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
Namely, it has been shown that only 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day significantly contribute to the suppression of inflammatory processes.
3. Improves the health of the digestive system
It has been confirmed that olive oil promotes the production of digestive enzymes, thus contributing to the proper functioning of the digestive system.
In addition, it eliminates the problems of heartburn, gastritis, ulcers, colitis and constipation. The benefits of olive oil for the digestive tract were first discovered in a study of the association between diet and gastrointestinal cancer.
These compounds have been found to have the ability to suppress and slow the growth of undesirable bacteria, including bacteria responsible for gastrointestinal infections.
According to an old folk recipe, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil diluted with a little lemon juice effectively eliminates digestive problems.
4. Preserves bone health
The positive effect on overall bone health is another promising area of olive oil research. Previous research has shown that at least two polyphenols in olive oil, tyrosol (TS) and hydroxytyroxol (HTS) promote bone formation in subjects.
Another study found that the percentage of people suffering from osteoporosis is far lower in Mediterranean countries where the diet is rich in this unique oil.
5. It contributes the clarity of the mind
In recent years, scientists have been particularly focused on studying the association of this super oil and improving cognitive function.
In this case, too, a comparison of the Mediterranean population with the population of other countries confirmed that the older population of the Mediterranean area is far ahead in verbal abilities, visual memory, thinking, and other cognitive functions.
This fascinating realization speaks in favor of extra virgin olive oil as a potential natural treatment to protect and preserve the youth of the brain.
Beauty benefits of extra virgin olive oil
6. Preserves hair health
Extra virgin olive oil has numerous health benefits even for hair. Its application on the scalp can soften and enrich the hair and contribute to its health, softness, and shine.
The mask of olive oil and honey is an exceptional combination that can do wonders for damaged, dry, and brittle hair. Treatment with this mask can improve the quality of hair, restore its shine, make it silky and prevent unwanted hair breakage.
7. Contributes the youthful appearance of the skin
The richness of antioxidants hidden in extra virgin olive oil helps protect the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals that tend to lead to skin aging. This oil is a natural moisturizer that keeps the skin hydrated, and thus elastic, smooth, and shiny.
Extra virgin olive oil is a natural remedy for acne and at the same time alleviates the visibility of scars caused by acne and pimples. Vitamin E, flavonoids, and polyphenols from olive oil help remove dark spots on the skin as well as skin impurities and dead cells, making the skin healthy inside and out.
Extra virgin olive oil is real liquid gold that has multiple uses in everyday life. You choose which one suits you best.