Olive oil is pressed from olives, which are mainly grown in the Mediterranean area. The oil is widely used throughout the world in cooking and baking, soaps and cosmetics, as well as in prescription drugs. Olive oil is available in several different grades, such as extra-virgin, virgin, pure, as well as refined olive oil.
Cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil is the healthiest, because it comes from the first pressing and is darker in color. The darker oils naturally are more expensive, but the benefits associated with them are well worth the extra price.
1. Naturally Nutritious
Cold pressed olive oil is all natural, and has not been exposed to heat or any other ingredients. This process leaves all the nutrients and antioxidants in their natural state, so that your body can obtain maximum benefits. The oil is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, E and K. It is also high in omega fatty acids and antioxidants. These nutrients work together for the overall health of the body.
2. Weight Loss
Olive oil can help to achieve a lower body weight. It helps to reduce hunger pains and improves your metabolism, thus allowing you to lose weight quicker.
Vitamin E helps to protect your cells from free radicals, and vitamin A helps to prevent wrinkles from showing up. They work together to slow down the overall aging of the body. Not only will olive oil sustain your physical youth, but your mental capabilities as well.
4. Prevents Heart Disease
The antioxidants and omega fatty acids will protect you from high cholesterol, which can build up along the walls of your arteries and eventually lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks and stroke.
5. Prevents Cancers
Studies have shown that olive oil may be just as effective as fruits and vegetables when it comes to protecting you against cancer. Consuming olive oil on a daily basis can help you to prevent many types of cancers such as breast, endometrial, skin, colon and prostate cancer.
6. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Olive oil is great if you are diabetic, or if you are at risk for diabetes, as it can help to stabilize blood sugar levels. It also helps to lower triglyceride levels, which often puts diabetics at risk for heart disease.
7. Lowers Risk of Gallstones
Olive oil helps to lower the risk of gallstone formation, as it naturally helps the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones.
8. Relieves Gastrointestinal Problems
It is good for the overall health of the intestinal tract; it helps to relieve constipation and other gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers and gastritis.
9. Promotes Healthy Bones
The high amounts of essential fatty acids help to develop strong and healthy bones in children and growing teens. In adults, they help to maintain strong bones by preventing the loss of calcium.
10. Reduces Inflammation
Studies have shown that the omega-6 fatty acids help to reduce the inflammation associated with heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Olive oil is easy to add to your daily diet, as you can simply use it as a substitute for your other oils in your baking and cooking. It can also be used on salads and steamed vegetables as a light dressing.