Wonders of olive oil
10 thousand years ago people started to collect olives and 4 thousand years later they learned how to make oil out of them. Since then olive oil became a major staple in the Mediterranean diet and today roughly 3 million tons are produced in year with Spain, Italy and Greece leading the way. In every good restaurant they will bring olive oil and vinegar to your table. So what is so great about this product to earn him such popularity and why it stands out from other type of oils?
The health benefits of olive oil are unmatched and they`re being revealed every day, that`s why olive oil is used not only in food, but also in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and soaps. The title of olive oil as a skin remedy is literally legendary. In the myths of Ancient Greece rubbing skin with aromatic oils based on olive oil was the procedure worthy only of gods, kings and heroes. Ancient Egyptians also used it with beeswax as a moisturizer and antibacterial cleanser.
But there are other benefits to that magnificent oil, and we`ve listed the main ones here:
The biophenols in olive oil lowers the level of the LDL-cholesterol (the “bad one”), the major component in cardiovascular diseases and oxidative stress on arterial walls. In the same time, biophenol doesn`t affect the HDL-cholesterol levels (it may even raise them) which plays a protective role in our blood and prevents formation of fatty patches. Also it helps to reduce blood pressure.
2. Remedy against the metabolic syndrome.
It may seem paradoxical but although high with calories, olive oil can help against the obesity. The phenomenon called metabolic syndrome – nasty side-effect of modern lifestyle – is a combination of abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and high blood sugar. Big belly poisons our metabolism and can lead to many risks such as type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. The Mediterranean diet which besides fruits, vegetables, fish and low-fat dairies includes generous amounts of olive oil, and it can help to lose weight and reduce risk of metabolic syndrome.
3. Protection from cancer.
Alongside with various fatty acids, the phytonutrient named oleocanthal has the similar qualities to ibuprofen in reducing the inflammation, the main reason of high cancer risk in our system. Other oil components such as squalene and lignans are being studied for their further positive effects on cancer, specifically skin and breast cancer.
If you need more stimulation to convert to olive oil here`s more: olive oil may protect from depression, it fights osteoporosis, keeps the heart young, can reduce the risk of Alzheimer`s disease and serves as a natural pain killer, that can help to reduce the pain of burns, insect stings and muscle strains.
But if you want to have all these benefits you need to be sure that you`re buying genuine olive oil of the highest quality. Often it gets mixed with lower grade oils like soy and the price is the same so it shouldn`t be a decision factor. Follow these tips to ensure you buy the real oil: try to taste the real olive oil once and compare other products to it; buy certified organic olive oil; the genuine olive oil is preserved only in dark glass bottles, because it degrades in heat and light, so don`t buy it in plastic bottles.