Olive oil has immense benefits for mankind and you should use it without any thinking about whether you are healthy, patient, or aged because their benefits are mentioned in HOLY books.
Before going to the benefits of olive oil, I want to define “olive oil?”
Olive oil is considered the queen of oils because of its great health benefits, taste, and smell.
Olive oil is obtained from an olive tree in the form of fat liquid which was a traditional crop of the Mediterranean Basin, which was produced by pressing the whole olive and then extracting it.
What is meant by Mediterranean Basin?
Mediterranean Basin is also called the Mediterranean region and it is the region around the Mediterranean Sea that has a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and mild, wet, and rainy winter which support a Mediterranean forest, woodland, and scrub vegetation.
The countries which surround the Mediterranean in a clockwise direction are Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco (Malta and Cyprus are island countries in the sea.) Also, the Gaza Strip and the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar, Akrotiri, and Dhekelia regions have coastlines on the sea.
Can you tell us the types of olive oil?
There are five types of olive oil which are as follows.
1) Extra virgin olive oil:
These are the oil that is freshly extracted unrefined from olive trees and processed (probably within 24 hours). It has the highest quality and is the most expensive. Extra virgin olive oil has less than 1% acidity and has the highest nutrient value rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
What is meant by unrefined?
Unrefined means that during extraction no chemicals and no heat are used.
Can we use it for cooking?
No, extra virgin olive oil is not for cooking because heat can lose its nutritional value, and also at very low temperatures, it can burn.
Then for what purpose we can use it?
It is used for topping and salad dressing, and you can drizzle a teaspoon or desired amount on the food you have cooked because it has an amazing taste and aroma which will make food more attractive.
What color is their recognition?
The color varies from deep grassy green to bright yellow gold.
2) Virgin olive oil:
Virgin olive oil is second to extra virgin olive oil because of the presence of oleic acid which makes virgin olive oil a little more acidic than extra virgin olive oil (about 2% acidic). It is also unrefined oil.
Can we use it for cooking?
It can be used for cooking vegetables, however, it is not recommended for deep frying food.
For what purposes we can use it?
It is best for sautéing (fry quickly in a little hot fat) vegetables, baby massage, and hair and skin massage.
3) Refined olive oil:
Refined olive oil is prepared by refining virgin olive oil. Refining eliminated their nutritional value and makes them very cheaper. It is much inferior to other olive oil types because during refining its characteristic taste and smell are lost. It is tasteless, odorless, and colorless.
For what purpose then we can use it?
Refined olive is suitable for cooking only but not for salad and topping.
4) Pure olive oil:
It is a combination of virgin olive oil and refined olive oil and has low nutritional value because refining decreases its natural value.
For what purpose then we can use it?
It is recommended to use it for cooking only.
5) Pomace olive oil:
Pomace olive oil is the residue and remains of olive oil when all olive (extra virgin and virgin olive oil) are extracted from the pulp.
When olive oil is extracted there is still some residue of olive oil which is called pomace olive oil.
As it has no nutritional value so it is used for cooking and also it is blended with other types of olive oil for beneficial use.
Now coming to the benefits of olive oil?
That’s good and that’s our main topic too.
Benefits of olive oil:
Following are the 21 benefits of olive oil.
1. Cardiovascular Benefits:
First, we will start with cardiovascular (heart) benefits. To explain this we have to explain all about fats.
Olive oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid that makes up about 55 to 85% of olive oil.
What is meant by monounsaturated fatty acid?
It is a good question but to explain this I have to start with fats.
Fats are organic molecules that are made up of triglycerides.
What is triglycerides?
Triglycerides are an ester of glycerol and three fatty acids.
Glycerol is a simple polyol (containing multiple hydroxyl groups) molecule.
Fatty acids are a long chain of hydrocarbons.
Glycerol and three fatty acids combine to form triglycerides.
Glycerol serves as the head and fatty acid serves as the tail of triglycerides.
Now come to the types of triglycerides or fats.
Types of fats:
Fats are of two types.
I) Saturated fats or fatty acid
II) Unsaturated fats or fatty acid
I) Saturated Fatty Acid
Saturated fatty acids are those fats whose all carbon to hydrogen bonds are single and there is no double bond i.e. there is no bonding capacity.
These are solid at room temperature.
Is it good for health?
It is considered that saturated fats increase the level of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol and decrease HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol (will be discussed in unsaturated fatty acid), further explanation will clear you goodness and badness of saturated fatty acid.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is found in all cells of the body.
What is the function of cholesterol?
Cholesterol is an important part of the cell membrane, necessary for hormone production, vitamin D, and bile synthesis (help in fat digestion), and is in the form of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).
Now, what is meant by LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol?
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL):
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is also called “bad cholesterol” and it is the cholesterol with the protein group i.e. it is bonded to the protein group.
Why it is called “bad cholesterol”?
Because the high amount of LDL leads to plaque formation in the arteries reducing the blood flow which can lead to a heart attack (coronary artery blockage) or stroke in the brain due to blockage of the common carotid artery in the neck carrying blood to the brain.
What are the main sources of LDL?
Red meat, poultry, milk, butter, pork, etc.
II) Unsaturated Fatty Acid
Unsaturated fatty acids have a double bond in their carbon chain of fatty acids and there is a capacity for bonding in their chain.
These are liquid at room temperature.
Can you explain their types?
Following are the types of unsaturated fats or fatty acids.
a) Monounsaturated fatty acid
Mono means “one” and unsaturated means double bond.
So monounsaturated fatty acids are those fatty acids that have one double bond in their hydrocarbon chain.
b) Polyunsaturated fatty acid
Poly means “many”
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are those that have many double bonds in their chain.
Is it good for health?
Unsaturated fatty acids are very good for health because it produces High-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol which is best for the cardiovascular system.
What is HDL cholesterol?
High-density lipoprotein or HDL:
High-density lipoproteins are also called “good cholesterol” because it is beneficial for health.
Why it is called GOOD CHOLESTEROL and how does it benefit health?
It is called GOOD CHOLESTEROL because it carries and collects cholesterol from other parts of the body and carries it to the liver. The liver then removes it from the body, that’s why it is called good cholesterol because it protects the arteries from being narrow and if someone has narrowed arteries due to taking a high amount of LDL then it is recommended to take HDL to make their arteries normal.
I think it is clear now.
Let me tell you in simple words which are best?
Saturated fats produce bad cholesterol which leads to cardiovascular disease (blockage of arteries) while unsaturated fatty acid produces good cholesterol which is best for the cardiovascular system.
But here we are talking about olive oil?
That’s why I did the whole discussion, as discussed olive oil is 55 to 85% monounsaturated fat which is good for health.
2. Strong antioxidants:
Olive oil contains a large number of antioxidants.
What is meant by antioxidant?
Antioxidants are compound that inhibits oxidation.
What is oxidation and why it is to be inhibited?
Oxidation is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals (unstable atoms that gain and lose electrons and damage the cell) which leads to a chain reaction that may damage the cells. Free radicals are the main cause of aging and illness.
Remedy for stomach ulcers:
Extra virgin olive oil kills all strains of bacteria associated with stomach ulcers and stomach cancer including those strains which are antibiotic-resistant.
Taking a teaspoon directly in the morning before eating is good for stomach ulcers. A new Spanish search says that extra virgin or virgin olive oil may help to treat and prevent H.pylori infections, which is the main reason for millions of cases of peptic ulcer and gastritis each year.
The antioxidant compound in virgin olive oil is effective against the strains of H.pylori bacteria which infect the lining of the stomach.
4. Prevention of stroke:
Stroke is the lack of oxygen to the brain due to blockage of an artery either by clotting or by bleeding (due to trauma) of an artery in the brain which causes unconsciousness and may lead to death.
As we already discussed olive oil is monounsaturated which means it produces good cholesterol (HDL) so it removes the plaque in arteries and makes them open for a good supply of blood.
The Carotid artery carries blood to the brain which if blocked can lead to stroke so olive oil prevents it from being blocked.
5. Anti-inflammatory properties:
Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties like ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a drug used for anti-inflammation, similarly, olive oil has also anti-inflammatory properties besides the other properties we discussed earlier.
Some research also shows that extra virgin olive oil decreases the level of C-reactive protein (CRP) which is an inflammatory marker.
In other research, olive oil reduces the inflammation of joints of arthritis patients.
6. Help in weight loss:
Olive oil collects bad cholesterol or fats from the body and moves it to the liver which is then removed from the body thus helping in weight loss.
A 30 months of research on Spanish college students who consume a lot of olive oil shows no weight gain thus it is not linked to weight gain.
7. Kill cancer cells:
Extra virgin olive oil is very effective against cancer cells (particularly against breast cancer). A compound found in olive oil called “oleocanthal” punctures the lysosome of cancer cells which then engulfs the cancer cells within 16 to 24 hours.
In another experiment, the olive oil was injected into mice engineered to develop pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, reduce the burden of the tumor, and extended their life span to four weeks.
8. Combat Alzheimer’s disease:
Extra virgin olive oil contains a high amount of micronutrients called polyphenols which are very effective against neuron degeneration, aging, and age-related diseases.
New research shows that consumption of olive oil improves memory and learning ability, and reduces the amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain which are the main markers of Alzheimer’s disease.
9. Beneficial for diabetes:
Olive oil is helpful for diabetes patients because it maintains their blood glucose levels normally.
The brain releases a hormone called serotonin which makes the mode happy and is called the happiness hormone. Olive oil also increases the level of serotonin and serves as an antidepressant. The majority of drugs work by stimulating serotonin during depression.
Benefits for hair:
It has the following benefits for hair.
11. Straighten the hairs:
Olive oil is used for thousands of years for hair care. It is used for hair straightness. It has many nutrients that straighten the hair and it is used with a combination of eggs, aloe vera, banana, etc for better results.
12. Make the hairs smooth, soft, and shiny:
Olive oil contains emollients (oleic acid, palmitic acid, and squalene) which have softening qualities. These components in olive oil enter the hair shaft and make it smooth, soft, and shiny. Many branded shampoos, conditioners, and pomades contain a lab version of emollients.
13. Reduce dandruff:
Dandruff has many causes but the main cause is a fungus and there is no such effective cure for dandruff but olive oil reduces the flakes of dandruff.
Massage hair with olive oil and comb after some time for dandruff flakes removal. Leaving olive oil and covering it with a shower cap gives extra conditioning.
14. Promotes hair growth:
Olive oil is rich in vitamin E which makes the hair strong and stops the hair fall. Massaging regularly can also fix the split ends.
15. Used for the keratin treatment:
Olive oil with papaya or banana, yogurt, honey, and aloe vera is used for keratin treatment which can be prepared at home easily by just buying these easily available products.
16. Moisturize the dry scalp:
Olive oil moisturizes the dry scalp and improves hair health and split ends.
Benefits for skin
Like benefits for hair olive oil has also many benefits for the skin which are as follows.
17. Moisturizes the skin:
Olive oil prevents the loss of water keeping the skin moist.
Olive oil contains vitamin E which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants have regenerative properties so vitamin E regenerates new cells of the skin and increases their elasticity. Vitamin E improves skin health by reducing and treating inflammation, acne, and dryness.
Antioxidants give healing support for burns and scars.
18. Antiaging properties and reducing wrinkles:
Again the antioxidants in olive oil reduce the free radicals which are the main cause of aging thus acting as antiaging. The fast regrowth of cells in the skin removes the wrinkles on the face.
Massaging the skin with olive oil three times a week gives instant results.
19. Treats cracked heels:
Massaging heels with olive oil heals the cracked heels.
20. Fight the bacteria:
Olive oil fights the bacteria which cause acne and are harmful to the skin. You can directly apply olive oil to the skin or you can also use olive oil soap.
Staphylococcus aureus bacteria cause cysts on the skin against which the olive oil is effective.
21. Reduce eye dark circles:
Olive oil reduces dark circles around the eyes and thickens the eyelashes.
Can you tell us which country is famous for pure olive oil production?
The top producer and exporter of olive oil are Spain which is then followed by Italy. 50% of the world’s olive oil production comes from Spain so don’t hesitate while see the name of Spain on olive oil bottles if not fake.
Olive is a fruit of the olive tree from which the oil is extracted.
The “21 benefits of olive oil” start with hair and end with cracked heel healing. Not only are the benefits limited to the external body but also it has immense benefits for the internal body which is explained in this article.
It has five types but you should buy extra virgin olive oil for topping, salad dressing, massage, etc, because it is rich in nutrients as it is extracted without refining, and refining includes chemical use, and bleaching of oil which reduces the nutrient quality of the oil.
While the other type for cooking is refined olive oil because refining reduces its nutrient value so it can only be used for cooking still it is much best than normal ghee use.
Why it is focused and forced to use olive oil?
Though the benefits of olive oil are immense but the one and the best benefits which I am describing here are that it produces High-density lipoprotein or (HDL) which collects cholesterol from the body and gives it to the liver which is then removed, thus removing plaque from arteries protecting the man from cardiovascular diseases like a heart attack.
In last, I want to rememorize that while buying olive oil you should buy extra virgin olive oil or virgin olive oil which is rich in nutrients.
Comment on your experience with olive oil and how it has benefited you.