Olive oil is the oil obtained from the leaves of the olive tree – a traditional plant of the Mediterranean region. Olive oil is a major ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. You may not know the people of the Mediterranean and many people living in the regions who follow the Mediterranean diet have a longer life expectancy. Olive oil is used in cooking, cosmetics, medicine, soap, and as a fuel for traditional lamps. In addition, olive oil has been one of the important ingredients in the beauty of Italian women for generations. Originating in the Mediterranean regions and with many health benefits, now olive oil has been widely used around the world.
1. The active ingredient in Olive oil
✅ Olive oil contains a moderate amount of Vitamin E and K (Vitamin E: 72% RDA, Vitamin K: 75% RDA), many beneficial fatty acids (Omega-6: 9.7%, Omega-3: 0.76% ), and especially high in antioxidants. In particular, some of the main antioxidants are anti-inflammatory oleocanthal (oleuropein) – a substance that protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation. This makes the effects are very good for the cardiovascular system and beauty, anti-aging.
2. Top 5 Olive oil health benefits
2.1 Olive oil health benefits: Anti-inflammatory
✅ Chronic inflammation is one of the leading causes of many diseases. Including heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis. There is some evidence that oleic acid (accounting for 73% of total oil), can reduce inflammatory markers. However, the main anti-inflammatory effect is due to the antioxidants in olive oil, mainly oleocanthal, which has been shown to be as effective as ibuprofen (a common anti-inflammatory drug). The researchers estimate that the amount of oleocanthal in 50 ml (about 3.4 tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil has the same effect as 10% of an adult ibuprofen dosage for pain relief.
2.2 Olive oil health benefits: Good for the cardiovascular system
✅ Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is the most common cause of death in the world. A recent study has been able to prove that consumption of olive oil – particularly virgin olive oil, is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death among people at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Specifically, the effects of olive oil on the cardiovascular system :
- Reducing inflammation: As mentioned above, olive oil has anti-inflammatory effects – the main cause of heart disease.
- Reducing bad cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol): Olive oil protects LDL particles from oxidation. Oxidized LDL- cholesterol causes the formation of plaque in the lumen of blood vessels causing cardiovascular complications such as hypertension, stroke, and heart attack. Dr. Neal Shipley – Medical Director at Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care (New York) said that consuming extra virgin olive oil may help reduce the risk of stroke. In addition, research from France shows that people who use olive oil regularly have a 41% lower risk of stroke than those who never use it.
- Anticoagulant: Some studies suggest that olive oil can help prevent unwanted blood clotting. Blood clotting is also a cause of heart attack and stroke.
- Experts also recommend that people who have heart disease or are at high risk (such as family history), should use virgin olive oil in their diet.
2.3 Olive oil health benefits: Prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease
✅ Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world. This is the leading cause of dementia in the elderly. A feature of Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of protein disorders, called beta-amyloid plaques in certain brain cells. A study in mice showed that the Oleocanthal in olive oil can help remove this plaque. The fact also shows that when using pure olive oil containing oleocanthal combined with diet in the Mediterranean region can reduce the risk of diseases such as reduced attention and dementia.
2.4 Olive oil health benefits: Anti-aging and beauty
✅ Many people living in regions that follow the Mediterranean diet have a longer life expectancy. The scientists also studied olive oil – especially extra-virgin olive oil, which is rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are an antioxidant that has many health benefits. This is considered a valuable component of a healthy diet, helping to fight age-related diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.
✅ In addition to anti-aging effects, olive oil has been used by Italian women for a long time, specifically the effects of olive oil on women are :
- Reduce acne: Several studies show that olive oil has antibacterial properties and is used to treat bacterial skin infections. Many people treat acne by following a Mediterranean diet and using olive oil in their dishes. Actress Chloe Grace Moretz believes that olive oil helps her get rid of acne. She shared with Allure the habit of washing her face with olive oil and saw clearer skin.
- Moisturize the skin: Olive oil contains high levels of polyphenols, vitamin E and phytosterols, which function both as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This oil helps protect skin from sun damage and enhances the skin’s ability to retain moisture.
- Smoothing hair: Olive oil provides moisture for dry hair very well. One of the easiest ways to condition your hair with olive oil is to add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your shampoo. This home hair care method is simple, easy to do, but will give you softer and healthier hair.
2.5 Olive oil health benefits: Cancer prevention
✅ Cancer is an increasingly common disease in the world. This is due to the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. Studies show that the polyphenols in olive oil can help prevent the onset and progression of cancers through the antioxidant process.
✅ Studies have shown that people in Mediterranean countries are at relatively low risk of cancer and that olive oil is believed to be associated with this problem. The oleic acid in olive oil is highly antioxidant and has been shown to have a positive effect on genes related to cancer. Numerous in vitro studies have shown that compounds in olive oil may help fight cancer at the molecular level. In addition, in a 2015 study at Rutgers University in New Jersey (USA), researchers found an ingredient in oleocanthal virgin olive oil that helps kill cancer cells in humans without Harm other healthy cells.
3. Notes when using olive oil
- The fats in olive oil make it susceptible to rancidity. Olive oil should, therefore, be stored away from light and heat. Oil should be used within six months of opening.
- Buy olive oil in dark glass bottles. It is best to use yellow and green glass bottles, which help prevent harmful rays of light that can leave the oil rancid.
- Store olive oil in the best condition, place in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator until needed. When cooled, do not worry if the oil appears white and dense, they will become normal liquid at room temperature.
- Use of poor-quality olive oil that contains saturated fat – substances that can easily produce free radicals increase the risk of diseases that can lead to death such as atherosclerosis, heart attack, obesity, stroke…
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