Olive trees have been around for thousands of years, dating back to ancient civilizations; olives have been cultivated mainly in Italy, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, and the US.
The juice of the olives, olive oil, and olives are a staple part of the diet for the world’s healthiest longest living people. These people live in the “Blue Zones”, and they eat the very popular Mediterranean diet.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), is well researched for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, essential fatty acids and many heart-healthy nutrients. It is also helpful for depression, dementia and obesity.
There are many types of olive oil on the market; unfortunately, many companies mix olive oil with canola oil. In fact, olive oil is watered down during production in 70% of oils on the market.
EVOO is the only olive oil with the most nutrients for health. When buying, do your research, check to make sure that what you are purchasing is pure and organic, unadulterated.
EVOO contains vitamins K and E, has 14 grams of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), the monosaturated healthy fat, oleic acid.
Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
EVOO has many uses that are beneficial to our health; in cooking, cosmetics, skin and hair care.
- Heart health tops this list because of the anti-inflammatory polyphenol compounds. It lowers the LDL ratio of cholesterol, the ALA compound (alpha-linolenic acid) decreases the risk of cardiac death by 30%. It can lower blood pressure and the risk of strokes.
- EVOO’s healthy fats help control excess insulin, the hormone that makes us gain weight. EFA’s help you with satiety, reduces cravings and overeating.
- These EFA’s help neurotransmitters in the brain. The brain is made up of mostly fatty acids and we need moderate amounts daily to perform normal functions and to think clearly.
- Olive oil can help with your moods and depression by adjusting the hormones, serotonin, and dopamine, which regulate your sleep cycles and your moods.
- The oil from olives can fight age-related cognitive decline. The compound, Secoiridoids, may suppress gene expression related to the ‘Warburg effect”, which relates to the formation of abnormal cells and affects changes in skin cells.
- EVOO is good for moisturizing and hydrating your skin. Restores skin smoothness and helps fight ultraviolet light radiation. It can soften hair, nails, and cuticles. It has even been used for shaving by both men and women in place of shaving cream.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Cooking and for the Skin
Buy your Olive oil in dark amber bottles, keep them cool and use within 6 months to a year.
There are 3 kinds of olive oil: EVOO, Virgin and Light. I recommend EVOO as the best, preferred oil; Virgin is second best; Light is usually the kind most often blended with other oils and therefore should not be used.
The mixed oil blends should be avoided and can, in fact, cause more damage to your cells and eventually more disease.
Olive oil is made up of mostly monosaturated fats which are largely resistant to heat. So, in cooking sources put its smoke point at about 375-405 degrees F.
The smoke point is the temp at which oil starts to degrade and produce smoke. Olive oil is a good choice for most cooking methods below 400 degrees F.
Extra Virgin Olive oil for the skin should always be premium grade, a greenish-yellow color, meaning the olives are the 1st press. You can blend this oil with another Carrier oil or an Essential oil to massage in to dry skin, hair, or nails.
A great scalp treatment is a mix of Lemon Essential oil with olive oil, massage into scalp with fingertips and leaves in overnight, wrapping hair in a towel, and washing it out in the morning.
Cindy Burrows, B.S., M.T., Herbalist and Nutritional Health Consultant. Helps individuals start health programs to improve their life, wellness and happiness. Cindy is a speaker, writer and entrepreneur of several businesses.