Olive oil is a fat obtained from the olive, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean basin. The olive oil is produced by pressing whole olives and is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and soaps. Olive oil is used throughout the world. Most people choose olive oil because of its many proven benefits to human health. Olive oil is good source of vitamin E and vitamin K.
Olive oil gives wonderful flavor and taste to the salads, pasta, fish and almost anything else. It is the most widely used culinary oil. Olive oil benefits are so extensive that it is considered a functional food (healthy food) with components that contribute to its overall therapeutic qualities including a reduction of risk factors of coronary heart disease, the prevention of cancers and alterations of immune and inflammatory responses.
What is the Health Benefits of Olive Oil? (Olive oil Nutrition Facts)
- A diet rich in olive oil may actually be able to slow down the aging of the heart. A diet rich in olive oil or mono-saturated fats could improve the arterial function of elderly individuals.
- Keep bones healthy:- olive oil promotes the absorption of Ca in our body, also prevents our bones from getting fragile by maintaining their mass. So diet with olive oil can prevent osteoporosis
- Olive oil diet reduces risk of type 2 diabetes
- People with diet containing high levels of olive oil are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis
- Improves blood sugar control and enhances insulin sensitivity
- Regular consumption of olive oil can reduce the blood pressure
- Olive oil is rich in anti-oxidants especially vitamin E. Among plant oils, olive oil is the highest in mono-unsaturated fat which does not oxidize in the body
- Lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol
- The phytonutrient in olive oil, oleocanthol, reduce the inflammation, decrease the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence
- Protects liver: protection to liver from severe oxidative stress and keeps it healthy
- Averts Alzheimer’s disease: oleocanthol present in olive oil is highly effective in averting Alzheimers. According to scientists, this phytonutrient detects the abnormal proteins named beta amyloid which are responsible for neural damage
- If you often have ear wax buildup turn to olive oil to flush out the clog. For 3 or 4 nights, put a few drops in the ears before bed to help loosen excess wax
- Fresh olive oil binds with the flavor of foods and forms a bridge to your taste buds
- Drinking olive oil is also good for our emotional health as it can treat depression and help us get rid of mental illness successfully. The mono unsaturated fatty acids in it are known to be responsible for this
- By drinking olive oil regularly, you can put a stop to the most common chronic colon disorder ulcerative colitis too. It also reduces the inflammation of t6he large intestine. Only 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil a day can shield us from this inflammatory bowel disease
Olive oil for Skin Care:
Olive oil will improve your skin, hair and nails and will nourish your body from within. Olive oil is a natural skin care product. It is often used in home remedies for skin care and it is popular for use in massaging infants and toddlers
- It acts as the perfect moisturizer especially for dry skin. It can also be used to moisturize extremely dry skin prone areas like elbows and knees
- It is rich in vitamin E and vitamin which are essential for skin health. Olive oil helps skin cells to regenerate
- Take equal quantities of water and olive oil in a tight lid jar and shake it well to mix them together. Massage your skin with this and wash it off with lukewarm water. It improves skin glow and softness
- Olive oil gives softness and elasticity to the skin
- For those who have extremely dry skin; can use virgin olive oil as a night cream. Apply a little quantity of the oil on your face at night and let it stay overnight. You will wake up with a soft and supple skin in the morning
- Olive oil helps in treating sun burn. Just apply olive oil on the affected area directly stimulates the process of skin healing.
- Good blood circulation is essential to provide natural glow to the skin. A weekly olive oil massage will enhance blood circulation
- You can also use olive oil as a gentle eye makeup remover; it will easily remove the water proof makeup
- Just like olive oil works great as a moisturizing agent on the skin, it has a similar effect on the hair as well
How to Choose Olive oil?
There are different types of olive oils are available in the market. Extra virgin, virgin, light, extra light, pomace olive oils are available in the market. Here is the small discussion which will helps you to choose the best olive oil. Never choose the olive oil based on price because low quality comes cheaper which won’t give all the health benefits of olive oil. Buy extra virgin or virgin olive oils to get all the health benefits of olive oil
Health benefits and flavor of the olive oil depends on many factors. You can’t trust what the bottle says and the best way to learn good olive oil from bad is to know what to look for and learn how to taste it.
- Tasting olive oil straight is the best way to judge its quality. Bitter in taste and you can sense aromas like fresh olives.. Hay, cardboard, vinegar are some of the aromas that indicates an olive oil has gone bad
- Look for olive oils that indicate a harvest date within the last year, at least a year to go before its best by date
- Choose olive oil encased in dark glass because dark glass can prevent oxidation of the oil
Extra virgin olive oil:-
Extra virgin oil is made simply by crushing olives and extracting the juice. It is the only cooking oil that is made without the use of chemical and industrial refining. Extra virgin olive oil has nice flavor of fresh olives and no taste defects. It is simply fruit juice without any additives. Its quality and taste are influenced by the varieties of olives and areas they were grown. It is bitter in taste. It is the highest quality olive oil. It is best for salad dressings and bread dips
Virgin olive oil:-
Virgin olive oil, without the word extra is the oil produced from the second pressing of olives. It has a light flavor and color than extra virgin olive oil. It is also best for salad dressings, stir fry and bread dips
Light and extra light olive oil:-
These are refined olive oils. Light olive oil sometimes called extra light is the lowest quality olive oil. Manufacturers use chemicals and heat to remove impurities. These are lighter in color and flavor than virgin olive oil. Sometimes it is blended with other oils such as canola. These are least expensive and used in baking where a strong olive taste is not desired. Refined olive oil is stil a much healyhier choice than seed oils.
Pomace olive oil:-
This is solvent extracted olive oil after the food grade oils are taken. It i9s of a very low grade and will be very cheap. It should be used for cleaning products rather than for cooking and consumption. Many people think that pomace oil is as good as any other olive oils because they don’t know about the different grades in the olive oil.
How to Store Olive oil?
You can keep unopened olive oil in a cool dark place for up to 2 years. High quality olive oil will last longer than one that wasn’t great to begin with. Once you open the container, the oil begins to degrade much faster. Use it within a few months after opening. Keep the bottle tightly capped and away from heat and direct light. The best strategy is to use olive oil often, and go through it quickly
Precautions while Taking Olive oil:
- Avoid consuming more in quantity
- Never apply it on open wounds with prior consultation
- Always smell its aroma first
- Store in a dark glass bottle away from the heat, air, sunlight
- Don’t use more amounts of olives during pregnancy and lactating