Health benefits of Olive oil

August 18, 2008

Olives are mainly used to make oils and pickles. Not only the fruits, the leaves of the olive tree are also known for the health benefits. Olive oil has been used from centuries ago for purposes like lighting lamps to cooking food. The present generation is aware of its medicinal as well as cosmetic uses.

Indian cuisines use all kinds of oils varying from state to state and region to region. Olives and olive oil gained favor in the Indian cuisines only a countable years ago. At present, it has gained considerable popularity and has started appearing abundantly in the Indian supermarkets. Olive oil is classified into Extra Virgin, Virgin, Ordinary Virgin, Lamp ante Virgin, Pure Olive Oil and so on depending on their production method, level of acidity and flavor. Extra Virgin olive is the finest and most digestible of all with less than 1% of acidity while Lamp ante Virgin olive oil is not edible.

Olive oil is like a fruit juice made from green olives. Though the tern “oil” reminds us of ill-health, olive oil is a healthy combination of essential fats. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants like poly phenols and tocopherols. It contains substances including

Oleic acid
Linoleic acid
Linolenic acid
Vitamins
Phytochemicals
Moisture

Did you know?

  • Olive oil is used in aromatherapy in combination with other oils because of its wonderful aroma. Monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil controls LDL (bad cholesterol) and enhances HDL (good cholesterol). It is also used for relief from burns and inflammations.
  • It has a positive effect on gastritis and ulcers.
  • Studies in Spain bear witness to the fact the olive oil can work for the reductions and prevention of colon cancer.
  • It is said that olive oil could possibly help the prevention and cure of diseases like thrombosis and arteriosclerosis.
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil contains higher levels of antioxidants as it is the least processed of all. It is received from the first pressing of the olives.
  • Extra Virgin oil is used for culinary purposes as it has a beautiful color and fragrance.
  • It eases the intestinal functions by activating the secretion of bile and other hormones.
  • It is also great for cardiovascular and coronary artery diseases. Blood the reaches the heart through coronary arteries. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil clears the arteries and enables the smooth supply of oxygen and nutrients.
  • It slows down the aging process.
  • Helps the assimilation of vitamins A, D and K.
  • Topical use of extra virgin can alleviate Arthritis.

There are a hundred other uses you can find for extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a good massage oil for both adults and the tiny tots. It is great as a bread dip, nail softener, shaving cream, hair pack, bath oil and so on.

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-Aparna K V