Contrary to popular fitness trends that tend to pin dietary fat as public enemy number one, olive oil has been incorporated into diets for thousands of years. It stands today as one of the few sources of fat that’s considered healthy. Whether using it for cooking, salad dressings, or a number of other culinary purposes, olive oil goes far beyond a simple pantry product.
In this article, though olive oil carries dozens of beneficial properties, we’re going to explore the 5 most scientifically backed health benefits. Before we get started, let’s first gain a better understanding of what olive oil is.
What is Olive Oil?
Simply put, olive oil is the natural extract that comes from olives. To obtain this extract, olives can be processed a number of different ways, which also determines whether the final product is considered refined or unrefined.
Unrefined olive oil, also known as extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), is the least processed. This allows the olive oil to retain the majority of its vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties, giving the final product a darker appearance and more robust flavor profiles.
Refined olive oil is processed to a higher degree and can even be blended with a variety of other oils from different regions to get the final product. The extra processing removes many of the beneficial properties from the oil, resulting in a lighter appearance and little to no flavor.
While both forms of olive oil are considered healthy for you, extra virgin olive oil carries the most benefits, which is why at D’Olivo, we pride ourselves on carrying the highest quality ultra-premium EVOOs.
5 Health Benefits of Olive Oil
1. High Concentration of Antioxidants
These well known substances have long been loved for their free radical fighting properties. Antioxidants work by preventing the oxidation of cells and helping with blood cholesterol, both of which are leading heart disease risk factors.
Outside of benefiting overall heart health, antioxidants have also been shown to help with the prevention of other diseases as well. Though more research still needs to be conducted, the results have led researchers to believe that olive oil may help with atherosclerosis or even cancer thanks to the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of olive oil.
2. Weight Loss Aid
Many of the existing weight loss programs encourage participants to shy away from foods that are high in fat. Not only is this train of thought untrue, but olive oil has actually been shown to help with weight loss in controlled study groups. Over the course of a 3-year study, the participants consumed a diet rich in virgin olive oil and enjoyed a number of benefits, decreased weight gain being one of them.
To aid with your weight loss efforts, consider incorporating extra virgin olive oil into your diet routine. Of all the macronutrients, fats contain the highest number of calories per gram and also digest the slowest. These two factors can help you feel full for a longer period of time, reducing cravings for snacks and junk food.
3. Monounsaturated Fats & Inflammation
Olive oil is rich in oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat which has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body. Though inflammation is a natural response, when the body experiences chronic inflammation, studies have shown that it becomes more susceptible to developing a range of different diseases.
Additionally, the high levels of oleic acid present in olive oil may have beneficial effects on cancer causing genes. Further studies have looked into its role relating to breast cancer specifically, showing promising results.
4. Cancer Fighting Properties
As one of the leading causes of death in the world, some of the best precautionary measures you can take to prevent cancer are dietary. Inhabitants of the Mediterranean region are found to have lower incidences of certain cancers, which researchers believe could be related to the high intake of olive oil in their diets.
The antioxidants present in olive oil not only help to prevent inflammation, but they also reduce cellular proliferation, which is believed to be one of the leading causes of cancer. Furthermore, in non-human studies, evidence continues to mount, showing that olive oil can actually help fight cancer cells.
5. Hair & Skin Health
We’ve talked a lot about the health benefits of olive oil for the body internally, but what about externally? Aside from being used for cooking and dietary purposes, olive oil can also be found in many cosmetic products for your hair and skin.
The high fat content and beneficial compounds that are present in olive oil are great for keeping your skin and hair moisturized. To do so, consider using some as a conditioner to strengthen your hair while keeping it soft and easy to manage. One study has also found that you can also use it directly on the skin to keep it nourished and rich with antioxidants.
Rather than backing this claim up with another scientific study, try it out for yourself with our exclusive line of olive oil based skin care products and see why so many of our customers use them to look their best.
Though we’ve only just scratched the surface of olive oil health benefits, hopefully this article helps to shed some light on the power of this common, natural kitchen product. While there’s still plenty of research to be done on olive oil, many studies are continuing to discover the extent of its holistic properties every year.
At D’Olivo, we understand just how healthy and delicious olive oil can be, which is why we’ve made it our mission to share it with as many people as we can. Browse through our extensive line of ultra premium extra virgin olive oils and skin care products to begin incorporating this powerful oil into your daily routine and living a healthier lifestyle.