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Health Benefits of Olive Oil

There are numerous benefits that are hidden in the extracts of an olive. Due to the various advantages gained from its usage, demand for its oil is fast increasing in the market.
HolisticZine Staff
A majority of people are looking for some natural ways to fight obesity and heart diseases. The health benefits of olive oil being numerous, it has become an appropriate alternative for meeting this need. The benefits of this oil have been recognized since ages by ancient doctors, while people from the Mediterranean have always made use of it to heal and prevent various disorders. In recent years, modern doctors and physicians have conducted a thorough research on its benefits and come to a conclusion about it holding a significant nutritional value to human health. Its benefits are principally due to rich amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids and its antioxidative capability.

The oil pressed out from the olive fruit is known as olive oil, and it is available in various grades. This grade depends on the techniques used while processing it. Good quality oil is that which has been through a minimum amount of processing techniques. In simple words, the more processing it goes through, the more reduced its quality will be. The best quality oil is from the virgin grade, as it retains most of the nutrients from the fruit. The various grades established by the USDA are U.S. Olive oil, Refined Olive Oil, Virgin Olive Oil Not Fit for Human Consumption, Virgin Olive Oil, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Health Benefits

Facilitates Digestion
This oil plays a very important role in improving the nutrient absorption process and speeding up the functions of the digestive system. It prevents the possibilities of excessive production of certain acids, which in turn lessens the chances of ulcers and other gastrointestinal complications. If a person is experiencing chronic constipation, he just needs to consume two tablespoons of the oil in the morning on an empty stomach. This certainly would cure the problem. Moreover, it is also useful in the prevention of gallstones.

Prevents Heart Diseases
Research has proved that people living in the Mediterranean suffer from less heart disorders than other communities, and the primary reason is the use of olive oil in cooking. It doesn't have any cholesterol, and comprises about 80% monounsaturated fats, which are the main source of benefits. It lessens the cholesterol level in the body, which mainly causes heart problems. It also has considerable amounts of vitamin E and polyphenols, which are effective antioxidants. It also contains a certain chemical that aids in preventing blood clots.

Controls Diabetes
Doctors recommend diabetic people, or those who have the risk of diabetes, to consume a low-fat and high-carbohydrate diet along with olive oil. Research has shown that the consumption of such a diet is an effective way of controlling blood sugar levels.

Avoids Colon Cancer
Unlike other fats which increase the possibilities of colon cancer, olive oil guards colon cells from carcinogens. It lowers the amount of bile acid and augments the level of a particular enzyme, which is responsible for determining cell turnover in the gut.

Prevents Breast Cancer
Being rich in monounsaturated fat, olive oil lowers the possibilities of breast cancer. It's also rich in vitamin E, which prevents cell damage that might otherwise lead to breast cancer.

Other Benefits
The healthy fats are converted into anti-inflammatory agents by the body mechanism. These then contribute to the cure of arthritis and asthma. Oleocanthal, a compound found in this type of oil, is very efficient in controlling inflammation. It also helps the skin to produce a natural shine and glow, which is why it is used in many skincare products and natural herbal therapies.

As you've now seen some of the health benefits of olive oil, you may include it in a variety of food recipes. Moreover, liberal amounts of it could be used for treating flaky scalps and to rejuvenate the skin too.