The Benefits of Olive Oil
Published: July 8, 2011
Olive oil is extracted by pressing or crushing olives. It is the only oil that can be consumed directly without processing. There are numerous health benefits. The oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E and phenols. There are many grades of olive oil according to the purity.
Grades of olive oil
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil- this is the first oil obtained by cold press of fruits. This oil has the maximum benefits. It should be stored in a cool dark place.
2. Virgin Oil- The oil got from the subsequent press of the olives.
3. Pure Olive Oil- This grade of oil is refined and processed. It does not have the complete benefits of olive oil.
4. Light Olive Oil- This type of olive oil will be a mixture and not pure.
The fat in olive oil is mono unsaturated fat. It is in the form of oleic acid. Polyphenols contained in olive oil act as anti oxidant, anti inflammatory and anti coagulant. Oleuropein in olive oil strengthens the immune system. Oleocanthal helps to reduce risks of heart diseases. Beta-carotene present in olive oil helps to increase immunity, reduce cancer risks, improve eye sight and strengthen bones. Chlorophyll in olive oil helps to heal wounds. The rich presence of vitamin E makes olive oil the best oil for baby massages.
Olive oil has been used from time immemorial by man as a beauty agent. The purity of olive oil and the presence of vitamins like E, A, C, D and B (1&2) help to maintain a youthful skin. It also reduces wrinkles. Babies can be massaged with olive oil to ensure clear skin. Oil massages help the skin to absorb the oil and benefit by it.
The anti inflammatory agents in olive oil help to reduce the swelling caused by arthritis. It aids in reducing asthma attacks. The mono unsaturated fats in olive oil are not broken down by oxygen. So, it does not release free radicals which can cause cancer. Case studies of the Mediterranean diet have revealed that olive oil consumption is good for the heart.
The use of olive oil in salads is good for digestion and prevents constipation. Olive oil also reduces blood pressure which leads to stroke or heart attacks. Daily consumption increases the amount of phenols and vitamin E in the body. Olive oil helps diabetic patients to have a proper diet (calories measured) rich in mono unsaturated fat. Olive oil is highly recommended because it reduces the bad cholesterol- LDL and increases the good cholesterol- HDL. Olive oil also helps to reduce gallstone and protects the stomach from ulcers.