Olive oil is widely known for being one of the healthiest oils for consumption through various means, and many studies, research, and experts show that it has an incredible amount of health benefits. It’s also a staple and main source of fat in the Mediterranean diet, which was voted the top diet of 2019.
This is why we make sure Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the 1st ingredient in all of our salad dressings. In this article we are going to breakdown and simplify what are some of the top health benefits of olive oil which include disease and illness prevention, immune system strengthening, skin improvements and even improved mental and emotional health.
What is Olive Oil?
Olive oil is a liquid that is extracted through the pressing of whole olives, which come from the tree Olea europaea. It’s mainly used for cooking and for dressing foods, but it’s also found in supplements, soaps, pharmaceuticals, and even cosmetics due to its versatility in health benefits. Olive oil is primarily sourced from countries such as: Spain, Italy, Greece, and Tunisia. We prefer Tunisian olive oil for its bold flavour and beautiful golden colour.
Health Benefits of Olive Oil
1. May prevent strokes
Due to monounsaturated fats, olive oil helps reduce the chance of strokes. Studies show that people who incorporate olive oils in their food can have as much as 41% reduced chance of stroke (1)
2. Helps maintain healthy weight and increase antioxidants
Even though olive oil can be high in calories, it helps maintain calorie intake thereby helps maintain fitness. Studies show that high consumption does not lead to weight gain, and in fact can sometimes lead to weight loss and increase antioxidant count, especially when incorporated with the mediterranean diet. (2) (3)
3. May Helps emotional health and Cognitive health
It’s found that olive oil can have an effect on the cognitive decline that’s associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s. (4)
4. May Help Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disabling autoimmune disease that causes a lot of inflammation, swelling, and pain around joints and the body organs. Olive oil has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to help people with rheumatoid arthritis along with fish oil supplementation. (5) (6)
5. Inflammation and pain relief
Olive oil contains something called oleocanthal which exhibits anti-inflammatory properties that would normally be found in medication such as ibuprofen, but without any side effects that medication has. It’s also found that like ibuprofen, Olive oil can help with pain relief (7)
6. Cardiovascular health
There is also a much lower cardiovascular mortality rate in European-Mediterranean countries compared to westernized countries ,which suggests that olive oil plays a big role in cardiovascular health since olive oil is a big part of the Mediterranean diet. (9)
7. Olive oil helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels
Olive oil has been shown to help maintain healthy cholesterol level by reducing “bad cholesterol “ (LDL) and increasing “good Cholesterol” (HDL ). (10)
8. Decrease risk of cancer
Studies show that extra virgin olive oil can actually help kill cancer cells, as well as prevent cancer through the antioxidants olive oil is rich in. (11)
9. Treat and Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
A study showed that in healthy adults, olive oil consumption seemed to lower lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and daily olive oil consumption shown signs of improved glucose metabolism in adults who already had the disease. (12)
10. May Reduce, prevent, and possibly Dissolve kidney stones.
The antioxidant properties as well as other aspects of olive oil seem to help reduce, prevent, and sometimes even dissolve kidney stones, according to one study. (13)
11. Osteoporosis and increasing bone health
Though the exact active component is not yet known, extra virgin olive oil has been proven to help prevent osteoporosis and increase bone health. (14)
It’s also been shown that olive oil improves bone mineralization and calcium absorption, which can benefit you in improving bone health. (15)
12. Reduces pre-menstrual cramps
Research and a clinical trial shows that daily doses of extra virgin olive oil taken two weeks before the menstrual cycle starts, can be more effective at reducing pain severity compared to ibuprofen. This is probably due to the anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties that olive oil has. (16)
14. may help blood pressure
According to one study done by the University of California, it has been shown that two tablespoons of phenol-rich extra virgin olive oil can lower blood pressure. (17)
15. Helps improve skin
Olive oil has shown to have many skin benefits, through consumption or through topical application to the skin.
Studies show that fatty acids in extra-virgin olive oil can protect your liver from oxidative stress, which will be reflected on your skin. (18)
Recent french research also shows that olive oil applied to the skin may help protect the skin from the aging effects of the sun. (19)
It has also been shown that olive oil can be used as a great moisturizer and even heal wounds when applied topically (20)