Olive oil is a healthy fat and the most common oil consumed in Mediterranean countries. It is high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are healthier than animal fats, saturated fats, and other plant oils. Oleic acid is the main MUFA found in olive oil; it makes up 80% of all fatty acids. Olive oil is also rich in vitamins such as alpha-tocopherol, also known as vitamin E!
In today’s video, you’ll discover 11 amazing benefits of drinking olive oil every day. Watch till the end, to learn how you can distinguish fake extra virgin olive oil from the real. As always, this video is educational and does not constitute medical advice; we are not doctors.
Number 11. “Prevent Heart Diseases.”
Olive oil shows vasodilator effects on blood vessels, which means olive oil widens blood vessels, preventing high blood pressure. Studies also showed that extra virgin olive oil high in MUFA, reduced LDL known as bad cholesterol, and increased HDL known as good cholesterol.
Polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil prevent atherosclerosis. They stop the oxidation of LDL accumulated on the wall of blood vessels. Polyphenols do this by capturing reactive oxygen species (ROS) and preventing their attack on blood vessels.
Number 10. “Reduce Inflammation.”
We are exposed to many environmental pollutants and toxins that cause oxidative damage in tissues and organs, resulting in function loss. Considering oxidative damage and inflammation are the leading causes of degenerative diseases, the antioxidant properties of olive oil have excellent benefits for health. Olive oil’s antioxidant effects come from polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants found in plants, and it is found in higher amounts in extra virgin olive oil than refined olive oils.
Number 9. “Promote Healthy Aging.”
Everyone hopes to be disease and pain-free in old age. Olive oil supports healthy aging with its benefits for weight management and skeletal health. Olive oil can prevent a decline in bone mineral density which can lead to osteoporosis. Taking olive oil helps promote weight loss. One review of 11 randomized controlled studies found that people following an olive-oil-enriched diet for at least 12 weeks, compared to a control diet, reduced weight more effectively.
Number 8. “Improve Cognitive Function.”
Regular intake of olive oil is associated with healthy cognitive function. It protects neurons from oxidative damage, prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and even improves major depression symptoms. In a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2021, 73 patients with depression were given 25ml extra virgin olive oil daily for 52 days. Patients who were given olive oil showed improvement in symptoms of depression compared to those who were given sunflower oil.
Number 7. “Prevent Metabolic Diseases.”
Metabolic diseases such as prediabetes, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome can be detrimental to overall health. These diseases are related to impaired blood glucose and lipid levels. Studies showed that olive oil could decrease glucose, total cholesterol, LDL levels and increase HDL levels by almost 50%.
Number 6. “Help With Digestion.”
Have you ever struggled with constipation? Olive oil can regulate your bowel movement. Importantly, it decreased inflammation and improved the symptoms of ulcerative colitis (UC), a disease of the intestines caused by inflammation. In a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2020, patients with ulcerative colitis were given 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil daily for 20 days. Their blood inflammation markers were decreased, and symptoms such as abdominal bloating, diarrhea, and constipation were reduced significantly.
Number 5. “Protect the Skin.”
The skin is our biggest organ, and it is directly exposed to environmental pollutants and UV radiation. It’s important to increase the skin’s antioxidant capacity to decrease inflammation, and even help to repair skin burns. In a study done in 2015, olive oil was given to patients who had burn-wounds in 10 to 20% of their total body surface. As a result, their wound healing time decreased.
Number 4. “Prevent The Growth Of Harmful Bacteria.”
The anti-bacterial effects of olive oil come from the high polyphenol content. A study tested olive oil effects on 6 strains of bacteria, including E. coli, which is highly contagious and the most frequent cause of gastrointestinal and urinary infections. The results showed that extra virgin olive oil effectively inhibited the growth of E. coli. Olive oil can also inhibit Helicobacter pylori infection, which can cause stomach cancer.
Number 3. “Boost The Immune System.”
A healthy immune system is important because it produces cells that fight infection and diseases. Olive oil can be beneficial for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, in which immune cells attack normal host cells by mistake and damage the joints. An animal study showed that extra virgin olive oil could reduce swelling in joints, and the harmful molecules that cause inflammation in joints. Also, a study done in 2020 showed that even applying and massaging with olive oil, reduced pain in the joints in women with rheumatoid arthritis.
Number 2. “Help to Prevent Cancer.”
Oxidative damage in DNA can cause cancers. Extra virgin olive oil contains polyphenols and vitamin E that capture reactive oxygen species (ROS) and eliminate them. In a study done in 2011, an analysis of 19 studies from thousands of patients showed that higher olive oil consumption lowered the risk of breast and digestive system cancer.
Number 1. “Improve Liver Health.”
The liver is the central organ for nutrient metabolism. Taking olive oil improves insulin resistance and decreases triglyceride accumulation, the leading cause of fatty liver diseases. Also, the antioxidant effects of olive oil protect liver cells from the harmful effects of lipid peroxidation, which damages the cells. See our video, 7 Signs and Symptoms of Fatty Liver – “Reverse!”
Unfortunately, not all olive oils are the same. There are a lot of frauds who sell refined, and “not” virgin olive oils. These fakes do not show the same beneficial effects as extra virgin olive oil, because refined olive oils have lower or no polyphenol content.
Here are some tips to help you choose high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
First, taste it. If the taste is bland or it has a plastic taste, it is most likely fake. Olive oil has a rich taste; it should give you a fresh, peppery finish in your throat.
Second, check the bottle. It should be dark because olive oil can easily be damaged by light and the taste becomes bitter.
Third, check the harvest time. Choose the oil with the most recent harvest date.
Fourth, avoid bottles that have “pure,” “light,” and “virgin” labels. Instead, select the one labeled as “extra virgin.”
Olive oil has a high smoke point of approximately 190 Celsius. It is healthy to use when cooking in high heat because it is not burned easily. You can add olive oil to your salad, bread, fish, or you can drink it neat.
Please share how you take olive oil, and the benefits you experienced in the comments below.
Although there is no exact amount of olive oil you have to drink daily, people living in the Mediterranean countries are reported to consume 60 ml or 4 tablespoons of olive oil. You can take 1 tablespoon every day on an empty stomach, or you can use olive oil extensively in your cooking.
You can mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil with lemon juice, 1 raw black garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of raw honey, and add a pinch of turmeric. Stir well and drink 30 minutes before breakfast; this is just one of many ways you can take olive oil!
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To get the most from this video, watch our videos on the reasons to take turmeric and lemon water every day, by clicking the screen here.