Health Benefits of Olive Oil
Extracted from olives, olive oil is used in cooking, medicines, cosmetics, soaps and for other varied purposes. Olive oil has great taste and aroma and offers a lot of health benefits and nutrients. Olive oil is widely used in the preparation of pasta, fishes, salads and meat. Let’s look at the nutrient value and health benefits of olive oil.
Nutritional Value of Olive Oil
Olive oil is high in calories and provides around 900 calories for 100 gms of its intake. A rich source of fats-mainly monounsaturated fatty acid commonly known as MUFA, olive oil also contains polyphenols, omega-3 and triglyceride esters.
Health Benefits of Olive Oil – Prevents Heart Diseases
Monounsaturated fatty acids present in olive oil helps in lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body thus reducing blockage of arteries and plague formation. It also helps in the reduction of blood clotting. Olive oil is also a good source of antioxidants like phenols and vitamin-E which helps in keeping the heart strong and efficient.
Olive Oil Health Benefits – Prevents Cancer
Olive oil is a rich source of Omega-3 which helps in preventing cancer and reducing the growth rate of cancer cells in the body. Also rich in antioxidants and vitamins, olive oil helps in reducing cell mutation and also prevents free radicals from attacking DNA. Oleic acid in olive oil aids in reducing the production of prostaglandins that produces and develops cancer cells.
Skin Care with Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is beneficial for skin. Various antioxidants like vitamin-A and vitamin-E along with hydroxytyrosyl helps in fighting free radicals that damages skin cells. They have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce wrinkles and skin aging. Olive oil can also be used as a moisturiser because of its hydrophilic properties which helps in the formation of a protective layer above the skin.
Mixture of sugar, salt or honey with olive oil can be used as a scrub for the face as it helps in skin exfoliating. Dead cells are removed and it helps in removing the clogged pores and provides smooth and glowing skin.
Olive Oil for Hair Growth
Olive oil is very beneficial for hair. Used widely for dry hair and scalp treatment, olive oil has been found to work against split ends and dandruff. Olive oil massage helps in making the hair growth rapid and healthy and makes it lustrous and soft.
Health Benefits of Olive Oil – Aids Cognitive Function
Loss of memory is common after a certain age. Presence of monounsaturated fats in olive oil helps in lower the odds of cognitive deficit. Verbal fluency and visual memory is not declined by much if olive oil is consumed daily in an adequate amount (3 tablespoon). It helps in combating many brain related problems like unbalanced water content and unbalanced nervous system functions.
Olive Oil protects against Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is most common, occurring with the onset of age, obesity, physical inactivity and family hereditary. Rich source of antioxidants and vitamins and iron, olive oil helps in preventing diabetes. Monounsaturated fats in olive oil stimulate secretion of hormone called Glucagon-like peptide-1 which further helps in enhancing the rate of insulin secretion in the pancreas. Extra virgin olive oil helps in reducing blood sugar level and also system inflammation which destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
Other Health Benefits of Olive Oil
- Olive oil helps in the reduction of high blood pressure.
- Helps in combating platelet aggregation and eicosanoid formation in vitro.
- Two polyphenols in olive oil—tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol helps in building bone and strengthening them.
- Health benefits of olive oil includes combating various digestive problems and preventing constipation.