Mediterranean diet is favored by people around the world, and not only for the
rich flavors and textures associated with this traditional cuisine. A wide
range of health benefits have been ascribed to the Mediterranean pattern of
eating, including protection against heart disease, depression, cancer, high
cholesterol and dementia. Scientists and health-care providers have
increasingly been turning their attention to the fruit of the olive tree and
its oil, and in some cases to olive leaves, all with good reason.
There are huge variety of uses for olive
oil in treating ailments and it is often called the substance the ‘great
therapeutic’ since both
olive oil and olive leaf extract have been found to have medicinal properties
Extra-virgin olive oil is one of the
healthiest fats we know of. It contains the vitamins E and K as well as omega-6
and omega-3 fatty acids, and it consists mostly of monounsaturated fats. FDA
even permits labels on olive oil bottles containing this specific health
claim. Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that
eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of
coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil.
Howver we found plenty of studies that have
shown that consuming olive oil, especially the extra-virgin kind, can help with
conditions such as the following:
High cholesterol is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease. There
are two types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. LDL is considered the bad type of
cholesterol and olive oil can help reduce levels of this in your blood.
However, HDL is a good cholesterol and you need higher levels of this to be
healthy. The great thing about olive oil is that it doesn’t reduce your HDL
levels, In fact, it can increase them.
High blood pressure
Olive oil helps to reduce blood pressure, which in turn reduces your risk of
heart disease and strokes.
Because olive oil helps to regulate
blood-sugar levels, enhances insulin sensitivity and helps to reduce levels of
low-density lipoproteins, it may help to prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes.
It can also help diabetics to control the condition, provided of course that it
forms part of a healthy diet.
Olive oil helps with the absorption of calcium, so it encourages the formation
of strong, healthy bones. This means that it can help to prevent or relieve
osteoporosis, but it’s also good to include olive oil in the diet of growing
children so that they can develop healthy bones from the start.
Olive oil is gentle on your stomach and can act as a laxative, which is great
when you suffer from constipation. It also helps for indigestion, acid reflux,
ulcers, gastritis and pancreatic function. Because it encourages bile drainage,
it can help prevent gallbladder disease too.
Loaded with antioxidants, olive oil helps to fight free radicals that can cause
Olive oil contains oleocanthal, a substance which acts as nature’s very own
ibuprofen to reduce inflammation.
Olive oil is great for taking care of your
skin as well. It can be used as a moisturizer and it is often an ingredient in
cosmetics and soaps that are gentle on your skin. You can use the oil to treat
dry winter skin, cracked heels and lips, nappy rash and eczema. It makes a
great hot-oil treatment or serum for shiny hair and because it’s such a great
lubricant, it’s a wonderful substitute for shaving cream. Add some aromatherapy
oils and you have the perfect massage oil too!