Olive Oil: The Elixir Of Life

The immense benefits of olive oil for your health

We wrote about the amazing benefits of eating healthy fats, but this time we’re diving deep into olive oil.

Olive oil, like all natural oils, is packed with great benefits that will give your body, skin, and hair a boost of life and vitality.

Even during ancient times, olive oil proved to be potent to help alleviate certain medical conditions and worked amazingly as a beauty staple.

In this post, we share some of the benefits you can enjoy by using it as a superfood, and not just a condiment.

The origins of olive oil

There are historic findings that suggest that ancient civilization cultivated olives and turned it into oil in 6000BC. Further research suggests that olives were originally found in Asia Minor (previously occupied by ancient Greeks, Armenians, Turks, Persians, Romans, Lydians, and Goths to name a few). Cultivation later spread to other Eastern Countries and then to the Mediterranean where it became popular amongst the Romans in Greece.

However, the journey didn’t stop in the Mediterranean but spread to Africa as well with the arrival of some Greek and Phoenician people. The Bible and Kuran record the use of oil in religious ceremonies.

With its many benefits, ancient people also used it as soap, and as oil to burn lamps. It also helped by providing medicinal properties.

Beneficial properties

Before understanding the process of manufacturing this oil, one of the things to understand is the composition and “makeup” of the oil itself.

Triacylglycerols

These are natural fatty acids which are compounds found in many plants and tree species. Its name “tria” derives from the fact that they are actually made up of 3 fatty acids. Their health benefits include being a potent source of energy, which is healthier than sugar. The oleic acid makes it a good and healthy choice for cooking.

Glycerol

Glycerol is a natural non-toxic sweet compound naturally found in olive oil.

Zero trans fatty acids

Unlike the process of margarine that needs to be hydrogenated to become solid at room temperature, olive oil doesn’t have any trans fats.

Packed with healthy fats, extra virgin olive oil is by far a healthier choice.

Polyphenols

The oil contains natural polyphenols, which are natural antioxidants.

It’s important to consume foods high in antioxidants to counter the effects of food additives and preservatives.

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From tree to table: processing the oil

When it comes to processing the oil from the olive, the technique plays a role in how the oil will taste at the end of its journey.

Traditional olive oil process:

The traditional method requires crushing handpicked olives to release the oil and juice from the fruit. In the past, large granite stones were used to do the crushing.

The longer the mixing duration enhances the flavours naturally. So good quality oil has had a longer mixing duration to promote the natural flavour of the oil.

Modern process

Instead of granite mills, factories use metal automated mills to crush the olive fruit. The entire process uses automated machinery and state of the art technology.

When shopping for olive oil, be sure to look for the words: “extra virgin”, “extracted using mechanical means” and always select olive oil that is cold-pressed.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is also called EVOO.

Olive oil health benefits

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how olive oil is produced, we want to discuss how the oil benefits your health. You’ll notice that olive oil is sometimes referred to as the elixir of life due to its multiple benefits.

1. Heart health

Studies have shown that the monosaturated fats found in olive oil set it apart from other oils. The oil plays a far better role in helping you maintain a healthy heart, reducing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and the chances of stroke and heart disease.

2. Healthy fats doesn’t contribute to obesity

Unlike cooking oil and other processed oils that contribute to high cholesterol heart disease and weight gain, olive oil has the opposite effect.

3. Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation causes pain and it usually manifests as swelling on the injured site.

Because of this, the body tries to secure the injury by flooding it with blood rich in white blood vessels.

As a result, the inflammation (swelling) causes pain, which thus requires an anti-inflammatory to reduce the symptoms. Olive oil contains natural anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it ideal as a natural pain reliever.  

4. Helps reduce the pain from arthritis

As we’ve mentioned the anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil can help reduce pain and as a result, helps to treat conditions such as arthritis.

Some supplements combine the likes of olive oil and Omega 3 fatty oils to help combat the effects of rheumatoid conditions.

5. Cancer-fighting properties

Research has shown that olive oil has cancer-fighting properties called “oleocanthal”. This is naturally occurring in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a telltale giveaway is a slight burn at the back of the throat when you eat foods with EVOO.

6. Improve immune system

Taking vitamin C is one thing, but olive oil has tons of antioxidants, which helps to make the immune system stronger. This is vital in any diet, and if you’re looking for a low-risk solution against catching flu and colds during high-flu seasons.

7. Great for skin and anti-aging

In its purest form, olive oil proves to revive and firm skin because of its high levels of squalene. Squalene occurs in the fruit and has a set of its own benefits for your skin and overall health. 

It may reduce the appearance of cellulite and wrinkles. Its complex composition is able to tackle skin issues on a cellular level, thus able to reduce cellulite as well as wrinkles.

8. For sunburn

You can use Extra Virgin Olive oil alone or combine it with pure aloe vera for effective sunburn treatment.

9. Soothe eczema

Suffering from eczema is a nightmare. Many things trigger flare-ups including allergies, clothing materials, high-stress levels, and products with harsh chemicals and fragrances in it. Add some EVOO to bath water or rub it onto the skin to help moisturize as well as ease the itch.

10.Natural conditioner for hair

Use as a moisturizing treatment for dry damaged hair. You can use it as a deep conditioning treatment, and you can use it as a pre-treatment (before you wash your hair) to treat dry scalp.

11. It can speed up hair growth

Pure olive oil can aid in the growth of your hair and you can add it to castor oil and apply it as a pre-treatment before you wash your hair.

12. Strengthens hair

The good fatty acids and properties help to strengthen hair naturally. You can use it as a treatment in your conditioner or as a treatment before you wash your hair at least once a week to help soften and strengthen your hair.

How to store and maintain your bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Store at a room temperature
  • Buy olive oil in dark glass bottles as light damages the oil
  • Keep away from heat – don’t place it right next to your stove

Closing thoughts

Going back to nature and enjoying the benefits for health and wellness is by far a great way to maintain your health.

We maintain that a balanced diet, regular exercise and reducing stress are keys to staying healthy and disease-free in life.

So, when it comes to the goodness of olive oil and olives, we can enjoy its benefits as part of our daily use. 

You might also enjoy:

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Olive oil benefits for your health, skin and hair.