Olive oil: health benefits

It is one of the oldest vegetable fats and it is the main source of lipids in the Mediterranean diet. It is so beneficial for your health.

Olive oil is oily juice obtained from the extraction of olives, of which there are many varieties having different characteristics depending on the use.

Empeltre, Picual, Hojiblanca, Arbequina, Cornicabra, Blanqueta, Picuda, Koroneiki, Lechin…

There are also different types of olive oil, depending on the mode of extraction or production process. Extra virgin olive oil is the purest, which is extracted by cold pressing.

This oil will be most beneficial because it contains intact all features of olive oil.

COMPOSITION

Olive oil gives us different nutrients that are beneficial to our health:

Depending on the extraction method and the oil type, it will be more or less rich in the components beneficial to the health.

We could distinguish two main parts: the saponifiable part or olive oil fat (98%) and the unsaponifiable part, as well as third part containing other components of a much lesser amount.

These fatty acids are essential to health as the body does not have the capacity for their synthesis, they are essential fatty acids.

The mono-unsaturated fatty acids are most abundant, then follow the saturated ones and the polyunsaturated ones in fewer quantity:

  • Oleic acid (mono-unsaturated) 63-80%
  • Palmitic acid (saturated) 7 -17%
  • Stearic acid (saturated) 1.5-5%
  • Palmitoleic acid (mono-unsaturated) 0.3-3%
  • Linoleic acid (polyunsaturated) 3-14%
  • Linolenic Acid (polyunsaturated) 1.5%

The unsaponifiable fraction is formed by hydrocarbons, sterols and tocopherols such as vitamin E (every 13 grams of olive oil contain 1.56 mcg of vitamin E).

In much fewer quantity: polyphenols (taste), carotenoids and chlorophyll (color) and other volatile components that give it its flavor.

Although no less important, poly-phenols, including oleocanthal, are components which are good to health.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF CONSUMING OLIVE OIL

It is common knowledge that consuming olive oil is good to health.

To be sufficiently beneficial, the recommended dose is 40 grams a day, which is 2 to 3 tablespoonfuls.

DECREASING CHOLESTEROL

It regulates levels of blood cholesterol; thanks to the monounsaturated fatty acids, LDL levels decrease.

The phyto-sterols increase HDL, which helps balance cholesterol, while improving the state of health for people with cardiovascular diseases and arteriosclerosis.

AGAINST HYPERTENSION

It helps reducing hypertension due to poly-phenols and oleic acids.

IMPROVING DIGESTIVE FUNCTION

In the digestive tract it acts as a protector against excessive stomach acids.

It improves the PH of the body by increasing it, also due to a better absorption of calcium and magnesium.

It prevents constipation.

It improves the digestion of the nutrients by stimulating the secretion of bile from the gallbladder, which helps preventing slow or heavy digestions of fats.

METABOLIC AND COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS

It improves metabolic functions and favors brain development.

It favors the formation of cell membranes and brain tissue.

It seems that people who consume more saturated fat compared to those who consume less, have poorer memory. People who consume more monounsaturated fats contained in the olive oil have cognitive improvement over time.

Polyphenols also contribute in it.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTION OF OLEOCANTHAL

This natural organic component of olive oil that partially gives the flavor to the oil, has an anti-inflammatory action similar to that of ibuprofen.

AGAINST OSTEOPOROSIS

It improves the absorption of calcium, magnesium and zinc. So it is helpful for bone growth.

And it is essential during menopause.

It improves the absorption of fat-soluble micronutrients such as vitamins A and D.

ANTIOXIDANT ACTION

It acts as an antioxidant, it reduces the aging of the cell membrane due to its vitamin E content.

SENSE OF SATIETY

People in survey groups mentioned an effect of satiety more significant if they had ingested olive oil and with high content of serotonin. Other surveys also showed the same.

BENEFITS OF OLIVE OIL IN COSMETICS AND EXTERNAL APPLICATION

Since ancient years oil has been used in natural form or in creams for skin improvement.

In the past, Galen made creams by mixing oil with wax or made lotions by mixing oil with milk.

As an ointment for both muscle and relaxing massages.

Olive oil gives skin elasticity and hydration.

It also help improving hydration and elasticity of the skin in hair and nails areas.

As eye makeup remover on a cotton ball.

As a hair restorer before washing hair: apply to your hair, hold for 5 minutes, wash and rinse thoroughly.

It is also used for making soaps, mixing it with caustic soda.