We all have ever heard about Mediterranean people who suffer less incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer. This condition is may rise since they have a Mediterranean diet which including olive oil in their meals. Whats special about olive oil?
Olive oil is the key of Mediterranean diet. Choosing olive oil is a healthier way to enjoy your meal. It is healthier than many other cooking fats due to the fact that it contains monounsaturated, or “good,” fat. There are a lots of health benefits of olive oil that have been proved related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and more. It can combat and prevent many disease and disorder also it is mentioned that olive oil can help the body to absorb better nutrients from other healthy ingredients in meal such as vegetable and fruits.
Extra virgin olive oil is the top grade and the most expensive olive oil which contain pure components. Unlike other kind of oil which derived from the seed, olive oil which contain oleic acid produced by extraction and refining from the whole fruit of Olea europaea L. Using physical pressure and without excessive heat, additive or other kind of solvent. This method allow the dietary oil transferred from the leaves and the skin of olives fruit to olive oil and makes difference with other kind of oil.
It is believed that the motherland of the olive plant is the island of Crete, an area and island in Greek. It is mentioned in most of Greek legends and holy books, that olive is the universal symbol of peace, glory and prosperity. The history of olive trees is linked to the history that has been settled around the Mediterranean Sea in the last 6000 years.
At the first time people growing olive oil in the Middle East area for medication purpose. Later Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Babylonians, the Jews, the Greeks and the Romans spread it to other parts of world. It becomes commercial commodity in Greek and Roman and it plays important role in their economy and culture.
In 1400 AD, through a veritable Renaissance, Italy became the greatest producer of olive oil in the world. In 1700, olive oil brought to America by the Franciscan missionaries brought olive oil to America, and later America continue to import it to fulfil the demand of Italian and Greek immigrants.
After world war, people left olive oil and replace it with animal fat. Olive oil was regarded as poor food at that time. When people know the benefits of olive oil and with the success of Mediterranean diet and it made a comeback in all Italian household some parts of the world. Italy, Spain and Greece are the world’s greatest producers of olive oil nowadays.
Types of olive oil
When you gonna use olive oil in your diet its better know the type of olive oil before. There are two main types of olive oil that usually sold in market, they are :
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil : It is the best and most expensive olive oil. It should have no defects and a flavor of fresh olives
- Olive Oil: it is made from defective olive oil that has been refined to remove the defects. This almost tasteless, colorless, and odorless oil is then mixed with a small quantity of extra virgin grade oil to give it some flavor
If you want to test whether the oil that you purchased is extra virgin you can make sure by following these flavor characteristic and get to know it
- It only produced from from fresh olives by mechanical process.
- It must be made from high quality olive oil that processed soon after harvesting
- The process should be hygiene by using clean equipment
- It use no excessive heat, the temperature during processing must be under 86F (30C).
- No additive or solven use in the process of producing oil
- It must not be mixed with other olive oils which made from seeds, nuts, or or other leftlover milling substance.
- There must be more than 20 laboratory test to passed by
- It must contain free fatty acid under 0.8% level and peroxide value must be < 20 meq O2.
- Contains more natural antioxidant and polyphenols
- it must be able to pass a taste test by an International Olive Council (IOC) recognized panel to indicate fruitiness and zero defects
- Extra virgin olive oil has pleasant spicy fruity flavors of fresh ripe or green olive. Ripe olive fruit will produce milder, buttery, aromatic and floral taste while the green has grassy, bitter, pungent and herbaceous flavor. The fruitiness of olive oil flavor may also varies by the varieties of olive. Sometime it has bitter and pungent flavor which creating burning sensation in tongue, mouth or throat.
By 100 gram of olive oil, it contains :
- Energy 884 kcal 44 %
- Total fat 100 gram 500%
- Saturated Fat: 13.8%.
- Monounsaturated Fat: 73%
- Omega-6: 9.7%.
- Omega-3: 0.76%.
- Vitamin E: 14.39 mg 72%
- Vitamin K: 60.2 µg75%
and many kinds of polyphenols such as hidroxytyrosol, terpenes, flavones, Hydroxycinnamic acids , Anthocyanidins, flavonoids, and others phytochemical which function both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Extra Virgin Olive oil has a lots of benefits that may effect parts of body. Here are the list of benefits that categorized based on benefits to the part of the body
Benefits Olive Oil for Cardiovascular health
The most important Olive oil benefits is for cardiovascular health, almost 70% people around the world already use olive oil to cook.
- Improve arteries elasticity
Consuming Extra virgin olive oil can make the arteries more healthy and elastic. It leads to the efficient and normal blood flow through the body. Healthy and elastic artery make it possible to pass the nutrients from blood to other parts of body and this may prevent the development of hypertension
2. Reduce bad cholesterol levels.
Olive oil contains polyphenols, which help to keep your levels of LDL cholesterol within healthy ranges. As we know that olive oil contain only good fat, its really healthy and lower the risk of having excessive cholesterol in the body
3. Prevent atherosklerosis
By the lower level of cholesterol, the LDL oxidation can be avoided. LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein oxidation is the main cause of the blood vessels thickening and this may lead to several problem such as high blood pressure and stroke. Consuming two spoonful of EVOO can prevent your body from heart stroke.
4. Reduce the risk of stroke in the elderly
It has been proved by study in 2011 that Older people consume diets rich in olive oil which contains plasma oleic acid, had fewer strokes. It is well known that stroke usually happen during old age and its no wonder since the elasticity and blood flow control of blood vessel has been decreased.
5. Lower the risk of coronary heart disease in women
There are many good reasons why Mediterranean cultures include olive oil in their meals. A study in Italy has been proved that consuming extra virgin olive oil along with other healthy vegetable and fruit can reduce the rates of coronary heart disease in women.
6. Prevent heart attacks in men
According to a study in 2008 reported that extra virgin olive oil can reduced the chances of having a heart attack by 82 % in men who consuming two ounces of extra virgin olive oil compared to men who ate no olive oil
7. Lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension
Olive oil can improve the arteries elasticity and lowering cholesterol level in blood so this condition may lead to lowering blood pressure and prevent hypertension
8. Reduce nitric acid to normal levels
Nitric acid is a substance which has been proven can increase blood pressure. It is believed that extra virgin olive oil can reduce nitric acid levels and this may a cause why olive oil can lower the blood pressure.
9.Protect your red blood cells
A study in 2009 reported that olive oil contains polyphenol component called as DHPEA-EDA which can protecting red blood cells from oxydation.
Benefits Olive Oil for Brain
10. Improve brain memory
Some research has shown that olive oil can prevent brain cells damage and possibly it can improve brain neuroligal function especially memory. Based on research from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst consuming extra virgin olive oil regularly can improves memory of brain by 25%
11. Prevent brain-related disease
Extra virgin olive oil can reduce oxidative stress and neuron inflammation in brain. This benefial effect supported by the low rate of Meditterranean residence who suffer from brain realted disease. It has been proved that polyphenol in EVOO can stimulate brain energy supply and maintain healthy brain function.
Benefits Olive Oil for Anti-Cancer
12. Help fight breast cancer
Extra virgin Olive oil contains many phytochemicals which act as antioxidant. It has been proved that according to a study in 2008 found that olive oil can kill cancer cells and supress the cancer genes. This condition may inhibit the proliferation of cancel cell and its spreading. Based on a study of Active Components and Clinical Applications of Olive Oil which published in Alternative Medicine Review Journal mentioned that epidemiological data show women in the Mediterranean basin have a lower incidence of breast cancer than women in other “Western” countries
13. Prevent colon cancer
According to a study which published by Galeone et al show that there is relationship between fried foods and colorectal cancer. It was reported that extra virgin olive oil can protect colon lines from cancer compared to other oils. Using olive oil for frying is healthier beacuse it has fewer level of HCA’s. HCA is Carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCAs) which are substance produced when protein-containing food is fried have been found to induce breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer in rats.
14. Prevent Pancreatic cancer
An in vitro research by Gill et al found the effect of extra virgin olive oil polyphenols on carcinogenesis effect . By using specific cell lines researchers concluded that olive oil can reduce DNA damage (initiation), increase barrier function (promotion), and reduce cell invasion of surrounding tissue (metastasis) in effort to inhibit the development of pancreatic cancer.
Benefits Olive Oil for Digestion health
15. Prevent gastric ulcer
A research by Romero et al concluded that phenols which contained in olive oil can inhibit bacterial growth especially Helicobacter pylori. Somepathogen bacteria including H. Pylori can cause inflammation inside gastric and promote gastric ulcer. Consuming extra virgin olive oil can prevent stomach from inflammation due to its anti-bacterial effect
16. Help to reduce weight
Extra virgin olive oil can makes you feel more satiety and it will make you to eat less. It has been conducted that olive oil can reduce sugar cravings by stimulating brain and neuron signal.
Benefits Olive Oil for Skin and Hair
17. Cure or reduce acne
It maybe sound weird that olive oil can reduce acne since acne usually comes by excessive oil on skin. Antibacterial effect of olive oil can reduce inflammation on skin and remove bacteria which causing acne. Using olive oil with salt scrub can help to remove acne problem. Just apply a drop of oil to cotton and apply it on the area which infecting by acnes.
18. Treat sunburn
Extra virgin olive oil can be used to treat sunburn. Olive oil can moisture the skin and penetrates into deep skin layer makes it soothes the pain of mild sunburn. Just apply the oil to skin to treat sunburn or mix it with equal part of water to make spray.
19. Keep your lips soft and supple
Forget to use lipbalm which contain chemical ingredients, you can simply keep your lips soft and supple by combining olive oil with equal parts beeswax to make lipbalm. Extra virgin olive oil can almost moist all part of the body including the lips.
20. Condition your hair
Extra virgin olive oil can strengthens hair roots and makes it more flexible.It is also can make the dry hair looks shiny since the amino acid which contained in olive oil can moisture the hair .
21. Clean sensitive skin
It is believed that Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans had used olive oil as soap to clean their skin. Extra virgin olive oil can help to remove dirt from skin and it is save to sensitive skin. Nowadays there are many variety of soap which use olive oil as ingredients but some people still use olive oil to cleant their skin.
22. Remove paint from your skin
Extra virgin olive oil can gently loosens paint on your skin. If you wipe away the oil, the paint will go with it then you will get soft, firm and smooth skin.
23. Lighten the skin
Regular usage of extra virgin olive oil can lighten your skin by exfoliating and remove the dead skin cells from the surface of the skinn which cause skin dullness.
24. Moisturize your skin
Extra virgin olive oil is one of best moisturizer which provided by nature. It has almost similar chemical structure with skin natural oil than any other naturally occurring oil. It can be used to whole body
25. Prevent sagging skin and wrinkle
Olive oil in purest form has high level of squalene almost 0.7% squalene while other food just contain squalene in range between 0.002 – 0.003. The squalene in olive oil can increase skin’s elasticity and leave the skin beautiful firm and bright. So if you want to avoid sagging skin you can consume and use more EVOO
26 Heal dry rough feet
Rough and dry skin feet can be problem for us especially women. Extra virgin olive oil can heal and moisturize the skin feet. Combination of extra virgin olive oil with honey is best cure for dry feet.also make it smooth.
26. Minimize cellulite
The squalene contained in extra virgin olive oil also can minimize cellulite or stretch mark problem. Just mix olive oil with used coffee grounds topical cellulite treatment and apply it directly to the skin
27. Deep condition damaged hair
Rough and dry jhair is enemy for almost evryone include women. Since EVOO has moisturizing effect, it also can be use as natural conditioner to hair. Just mask your hair with some oil then wrap ir with hair cover. Clean with shampoo and rinse it clean.
Benefits Olive Oil for Degenerative disease
28. Reduce the symptom of Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic joint inflammation and damage. There are many theories which explain the cause of rheumatoid arthritis including ROS ( Reactive oxygen species ). ROS can cause destruction of hyaluronic acid and collagen in the joint. Regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil can reduce the sympton of RA including pain reduction and morning stiffness,
29. Prevent Diabetes
A healthy diet which including extra virgin olive oil is one alternative to treat diabetes. Some studies have been proven the effect of pure olive oil to delay the onset of diabetes, lowering blood sugar and lowering the insulin reswistance which is play role in controlling blood sugar.
30. Boost Immune system
Extra virgin olive oils is notoriously high in antioxidants which play important role in protecting your immune system. The anti inflammation effect of extra virgin olive oil may help the body to become more resistant with pathogen and infection. This benefits of Extra virgin olive oil cant be found in other type of oil.
Benefits Olive Oil for Sexual
31. Improve sex desire
Olive oil has been used as aphrodisiac since long time in Roman and Greek ancient era. It is believed that olive oil can improve blood circulation and stimulating sexual hormones which lead to the increasing of libido.
Benefits Olive Oil for Bones health
32. Strengthen the bones
It has been clinically proven that extra virgin olive oil can improve calcium absorption into the blood which is linked to the development of bones cell and maintaining the bone mass.
Benefits Olive Oil for Anti inflammatory respons
33. Pain reliever
Extra virgin olive oil contain substance called oleocanthal which act as inflammatory. It has almost same effect with painkiller, ibuprofen. Even those substances are different by structure, they both can inhibit cyclooxygenas, an inflammation triggering enzyme forming and this may help to prevent inflammation.
Benefits Olive Oil for Anti-aging properties
34. Promotes long life
By all the benefits above, it can be conclude that extra rich olive oil can serve healthier body’s function and maintain normal organs and tissue. This may lead to the quality of someone life and make people live longer. Extra virgin olive oil contains many polyphenols which can acts as antioxidant and prevent aging. It keeps the organs and even skin remain young.
Olive Oil Side Effect
Extra virgin olive oil may cause some side effect such as side skin allergy and excessive use of oil may cause mild diarrhoea. It is suggested that consuming enough dosage of oils is better than excessive usage. Daily dosage of olive oil is between 25 – 40 mL and 8 – 70 g. More than 30 ml dosage, extra virgin olive oil acts as laxative
How to select extra virgin olive oil
Before purchasing extra virgin olive oil you can follow these tips to help you choose the right quality of olive oil based on your requirement
- Before purchase any kind of olive oil its better to know the purpose better.
- Its better to purchase bottle sizes that you’ll use within 8 to 12 weeks after opening.
- Read the labels before purchase and know the meaning of the label on the package. The label will tell you about information of olive oil including the statement that extra
virgin olive oil contains no other ingredients
- Watch the best date and best before date on the package. Choose for the one that is far out as possible.
- Dark bottles containers of extra virgin olive oil is the best to keep it, since it can reduces damage by light,
- Avoid to purchase packages that show signs of broken handling or storage. Such as dust on bottle, broken or loose seal on the cap which can cause the oil to leaks. and orange tint in oil which indicates overexposure by lighting or overheat
How to store Extra virgin olive oil
The best quality of extra virgin olive oil can also be damaged due to mishandling. To keep extra virgin olive oil in best way, there are some important things to know. The key is keep away the package from heat, light and air which can reduce the quality of oil. Here are some tips to store the oil in best way :
- Limit exposure to heat, light and air. By avoid it from these three things you can keep olive oil for up to two years in the original sealed package.
- Once the seal open, you better use it within two to three months.
- Store olive oil in a cool and dark place, such as a cupboard or table, drawer or pantry
- Use small containers for tabletop use of olive oil rather than a large bottle.
- Make sure you keep the cap tightly closed when you don’t use it
- Don’t Store olive oil close to the stove where heat can effect the olive oil
- The top of fridge also not suitable to keep the olive oil
How to use Extra virgin olive oil
Below are simple ways to enjoy the benefits of Extra virgin olive oil :
- You can use two tablespoon of olive oils to stir fry your vegetable or other kind of dish such as meat, fish or poultry
- Use olive oil as salad dressing mix it with lemon or other dressing
- To get benefits of the health, replace coconut oil with olive oil to deep fry the food
- Replace other vegetables oil with olive oil when you wanna bake your meal
- Your pasta or pizza will be great by adding olive oil as dressing.
Those are all the benefits and information that you may know from extra virgin olive oil. Select only best quality oil to get the great benefits of the oil. Start healthy live and its never been to late to enjoy and get healthier body.