Most of you have already heard that extra virgin olive oil is good for you in more ways than one. However, what are the key benefits you can expect from eating this sort of oil or applying it onto your skin, hair and other parts of your body? Moreover, are there any other uses you haven’t yet heard of?
Contrary to popular belief, not all types of oils are good for you. Furthermore, there are a few varieties of olive oil you can choose from. Still, the most popular and the most beneficial one is certainly the extra virgin kind.
Light olive oils usually entail the use of solvents in order to extract the oil from the olives. Moreover, these kinds of oils are often treated with heat or even combined with other, less expensive oils.
In contrast, extra virgin olive oil is the most natural oil made from olives. Since it’s extracted by using natural methods and also purified, it has a very distinctive scent to it. What’s more, it has an incredible amount of phenolic antioxidants, as well as vitamins A and E.
Extra virgin olive oil is known for being one of the healthiest options for cooking delicious meals at home. It is rich in monounsaturated fat, which is the good kind of fat most nutritionists ask you to opt for. Monounsaturated fats are much better at withstanding high heat, so this oil's nutrients won’t get lost while you’re cooking.
Moreover, it contains oleic acid, a substance that lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as improves insulin sensitivity.
Extra virgin olive oil is also famous for its antioxidants (more than 30 types of phenolic compounds) that protect the body against free radicals and can help you prevent heart diseases and other cardiovascular events.
Furthermore, these antioxidants are powerful enough to fight inflammation and lower the risk of chronic conditions. Moreover, several studies have confirmed that those who consumed the highest amounts of extra virgin olive oil had a 41% lower risk of stroke.
Another giant study that includes data from over 840,000 subjects, showed that those who ate the most olive oil were 11% less likely to die early and had a 9% reduction of heart issues.
Although the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil are abundant, most of you are probably wondering whether it can make you fat. Many studies have been conducted on the way the Mediterranean diet can affect weight loss, and the conclusion is — no, extra virgin olive oil doesn't make people fat.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) has a great fat composition (approximately 73% is monounsaturated fat).
Of course, know that this doesn’t mean you should enjoy an excessive amount of this oil every day. A moderate intake of any food or beverages, as well as condiments, is essential for fighting obesity. But since this kind of olive oil is full of antioxidants and has fantastic nutritional value, it may even lead to weight loss.
Many of the substances found in extra virgin olive oil have anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, when consumed on a regular basis, this oil can even alleviate the pain you might have been feeling in your joints. That benefit is in line with the weight loss advantage of this oil; without pain, a person can feel more motivated to exercise more often and without suffering injuries.
Since extra virgin olive oil is not only healthy for you but also extremely hydrating, it can also prevent premature aging. No matter if you decide to eat it or put it on your skin, you can expect to look and feel younger in just a few months. Moreover, keeping your skin hydrated with this oil will also soften the lines you already have, thus giving you a youthful appearance.
Extra virgin olive oil can improve one’s sensitivity to insulin, which is wonderful news for those who have insulin resistance. But what’s even better is that it can fight diabetes, as this sort of insensitivity to insulin is one of the main causes of type 2 diabetes.
The healthy fats found in this oil are incredible allies when it comes to managing your blood sugar levels. Thus, this oil can even reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by over 16%.
Although most people love extra virgin olive oil because of what it can do to their bodies, you shouldn’t underestimate it when it comes to your brain either. According to one study conducted on mice, a substance found in this oil can eliminate the beta-amyloid plaques.
These plaques usually build up in the brain and lead to the neurodegenerative disease known as Alzheimer's disease. In addition to that, another study also showed that following a Mediterranean diet, filled with extra virgin olive oil, also improves the way the brain functions. This study shows how the consumption of extra virgin olive oil can protect our brain against Alzheimer's disease.
Some other types of vegetable oils can be very difficult to digest, especially when combined with fatty food. However, that’s the area in which extra virgin olive oil shines.
Since it works as a protective shield, it can help those suffering from gastritis or ulcers live a better, less uncomfortable life.
Moreover, when you consume natural extra virgin olive oil, know that it leads to the production of bile. Bile is a fluid that the liver releases in order to help you digest the food you’ve eaten. When its compounds are not in balance, it can lead to the formation of gallstones, which are as painful as they sound. Thus, extra virgin olive oil can actually help you against having to go through a massive ordeal of removing gallstones.
Also, a large analysis showed that high olive oil consumption leads to lower risk of digestive system cancers and breast cancer.
As mentioned, one of the healthiest options in your kitchen is that bottle of extra virgin olive oil. You can use it when frying food or when cooking an elaborate dinner. Moreover, it’s fantastic over salads — its distinct taste gives them a delicious flavor.
One of the best traits of extra virgin olive oil is that it’s suitable to be used on the hair. Thus, a weekly olive oil hair mask is a must if you want to have long and luscious locks. What’s more, the compounds in this oil stimulate hair growth, and they also protect the hair from pollutants. In essence, with this oil, you can get healthy and shiny hair that doesn’t get greasy in just a couple of hours. In fact, some users say that it can also help with pesky dandruff!
Extra virgin olive oil is a great natural facial moisturizer as well because it has all the nutrients our skin needs to stay plump and youthful-looking. Moreover, it is an exceptional barrier for cold weather, and since you would need just a little bit of it to cover your whole face, it’s a cost-effective skincare staple.
Some people are just born with eyes that are too sensitive to all those chemicals you may find in store-bought makeup removers. They often find themselves battling yet another eye infection because either makeup ended up in their eyes or the remover irritated them.
Luckily, extra virgin olive oil can help with those issues as well. All you’d need to do is apply it on your face and rub it in. Afterward, you can use a cloth or a makeup wipe to remove it.
Most facial and body exfoliators contain chemicals that could do more harm than good. Thus, using a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and brown sugar is a recipe for soft and supple skin.
You can use this combination both on your face and on your whole body, as it’s entirely natural and chemical-free. Moreover, it provides you with long-lasting hydration and penetrates the skin.
Since it’s one of the most hydrating oils you can get, extra virgin olive oil is also amazing when it comes to shaving. You just need a small amount to cover the part of the body you want to shave, and that’s it. The razor simply glides over, leaving you with bump-free smooth skin.
Although extra virgin olive oil can provide you with plenty of benefits, it’s also good to know that you can use it around the house too. Indeed, this oil can easily remove leftover paint from your fingers, and it soothes sunburns.
What’s more, some users say that this oil is also great for diaper rash, as well as regular rashes and insect bites.
Finally, since it contains a great amount of vitamin E and antioxidants, extra virgin olive oil is a staple for those who love getting and giving massages. By rubbing it into your body, you’ll nourish your skin and give your muscles a well-deserved break.
Given its many benefits and the fact that it’s able to not only prevent some diseases but cure some skin conditions as well, extra virgin olive oil is something you should definitely add to your to-buy list right now. Unbelievably soothing and extremely healthy, this oil is going to be your new best friend!