Pour On the Olive Oil: 5 Ways It Keeps You Healthy
Greeks seem to know how to eat well. Their usual diet includes lots of fruits, vegetables, grains and fat.
The Mediterranean diet uses olive oil as its main source of fat - unlike the American diet that consists of fats from animals.
Olive Oil, made by pressing ripe olives, is 77 percent monounsaturated fat; that helps your body rather than hurting it.
The Health Benefits of Olive Oil
- Battles diabetes
- Combats cancer
- Eases arthritis
- Promotes weight loss
- Protects your heart
- Smoothes your skin
Olive oil has been around for thousands of years and throughout those times has been praised for both its cooking and healing properties. The Cretes become extremely rich from exporting olive oil as far back as 2575 B.C, and both the Bible and Greek mythology refer to it.
Five Ways Olive Oil Keeps You Healthy
1. Trumps Heart Disease
In spite of their high-fat diet, the Greeks rarely ever develop heart disease or hardening of the arteries, called arteriosclerosis. This is mainly because their diet includes foods rich in fibre like grains, fruits and vegetables and lots of olive oil. They also drank red wine and beer moderately.
Not all fats or cholesterols are equally made. Monounsaturated fat, the kind you find in olive oil, gives you the biggest benefit because it cuts down on the bad cholesterol without harming the good cholesterol. It also helps make blood less likely to clot, which lowers your blood pressure and your risk of stroke. Don’t forget that high blood pressure contributes to heart disease because your heart has to work harder than it should.
How hungry you are at dinner could be affected by what type of fat you eat during lunch. Anyone battling a few extra pounds knows the growl in your belly is difficult to ignore. If you are 20 to 30 percent over the average weight for your age, sex and height, it is extremely important you take back control of your weight. Not only are you a prime candidate for high blood pressure and diabetes, but different types of cancers as well.
Although not many people consider oil a diet food, because of the high-calorie count, there is a reason why substituting olive oil for others could help you lose weight. The first reason is because oils rich in monounsaturated fat, like olive oil, will fill your belly more than others. During a study, people who ate mashed potatoes prepared with monounsaturated oils weren’t as hungry later in the day than people who ate the same food cooked with polyunsaturated oils. This means that when you aren’t hungry, you’re less likely to snack or overeat; if you don’t snack you’re less likely to gain weight. Olive oil also has a rich flavour making it so you don’t need to use as much of it.
Oil your joints with olive oil; it works topically and internally for arthritis.
4. Keeps Cancer at Bay
The free radicals that roam through your body can cause damage including cancer. Luckily olive oil contains properties that keep free radicals in check. Studies show that adding olive oil to your daily diet may reduce your risk of breast, colorectal, prostate and oesophageal cancers.
Because olive oil can cut the amount of LDL cholesterol as well as triglycerides in your blood, it helps reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Also, it appears to lower your blood sugar, or glucose, levels. High blood sugar is a major symptom of diabetes. Once again, the benefit comes from monounsaturated fat.
To get the most from your olive oil, try to use the organic “Extra Virgin” variety. This less refined product has the most of what makes olive oil good for you and adds some powerful flavour. If you want a weaker taste, buy olive oil labelled “Virgin” or “Light”.
If olive oil is kept in a tightly capped container away from heat and light, Olive Oil can last approximately two years. If you refrigerate it, it will become cloudy. Although when it reaches room temperature again, the cloudiness will vanish.
Olive oil is also great for therapeutic massages, treating wounds, minor burns, eczema and psoriasis. It also softens earwax and relives constant ringing or pain in your ears.