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10 health benefits of using Olive Oil

Not using Olive Oil yet? Are you kidding?! You are missing so many health benefits of this tasty Mediterranean diet oil!

I replaced my usual Sunflower oil with Olive Oil 3 years ago and I have never looked back. It’s such a good feeling to know that you eat something so healthy for your body.

Here are ten health benefits of using Olive Oil (sorry for being a bit repetitive at some points, but I just want to convince you more).

(image credits: Nickster 2000)

1. It’s tasty

Of course it depends from person to person but for me it is perfect ingredient for many dishes. Extra-virgin olive oil is mostly used for salad dressings and foods to be eaten cold.

Choosing a cold-pressed olive oil is sometimes compared to selecting a wine. The flavor of these oils vary considerably and a particular oil may be more suited for a particular dish. Also, people who like lots of tannins in their red wines might prefer more bitter olive oils.

Did you know that olive oil is the main cooking oil in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea?

2. It’s natural

Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as it is – freshly pressed from the fruit. No heat nor chemicals are used in the extraction process.

Did you know there is no "second" press of virgin oil, so the term "first press" is meaningless.

6. It has Vitamins

Olive oil is rich in vitamins A, B-1, B-2, C, D, E and K, iron and Omega-9 (oleic acid).

7. Healthy for your Skin

The benefits of Olive Oil to skin have been known for centuries and were already used in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Olive oil has been regarded as the "beauty oil". Today it is a popular natural health remedy which help maintain elasticity of skin, promote a smooth, radiant complexion, heal dry, brittle nails and soften cuticles. The body’s cells incorporate the valuable fatty acids from the oil, making arteries more supple and skin more lustrous.

3. Prevents Cancer

Studies on mice showed that application of olive oil immediately following exposure to UVB rays has a preventive effect on the formation of tumors and skin cancer. Researchers at the University of Oxford suggests that olive oil may be just as effective in the prevention of colon cancer as fresh fruits and veggies. Olive Oil also reduce the incidence of breast cancer.

4. Good for your Stomach

Olive oil is very well tolerated by our stomach. Drunk before a meal, olive oil protects the stomach from ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs. As a result, it lowers the incidence of gallstone formation.

5. Helps Alzheimer’s patients

Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients who were following the Mediterranean diet had longer survival as compared to those who were following the diet less. As this disease is associated with the clogging of arteries (because of cholesterol and saturated fat) using Olive oil may reduce it’s risk.

8. It’s Cholesterol-free

Olive oil is cholesterol-free. There is a large body of clinical data to show that consumption of olive oil can provide heart health benefits such as lower harmful LDL cholesterol level, and that it exerts anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, antihypertensive as well as vasodilatory effects both in animals and in humans.

9. Has Monounsaturated Fats

This is the healthiest type of fat, and olive oil is the greatest exponent of monounsaturated fat.  Evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that a higher proportion of monounsaturated fats in the diet is linked with a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. It promotes heart health and might help prevent cancer and a host of other ailments. Monounsaturated fat helps lower "bad" LDL cholesterol levels without negatively affecting the "good" HDL cholesterol.

10. Healthy for your Heart

It was discovered that after the subjects had consumed olive oil high in polyphenol antioxidants, they exhibited increased arterial elasticity which may reduce vascular stress and consequentially the risk of two common causes of death—heart attacks and stroke.

This could, at least in part, explain the lower incidence of both diseases in regions where olive oil and olives are consumed on a daily basis.

P.S. Be sure to buy only cold pressed,  Extra Virgin Olive Oil as it is the healthiest type of olive oil.

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