Almost every human is wary of fats and oils in food. However, Olive oil is one of the less controversial oils. Originally grown in the Mediterranean, the oil is gotten from freshly pressed olive fruits.
Olive oil is also grown in Africa, with Tunisia topping the market. Regardless of where it’s grown, Olive oil is largely consumed in Africa.
This wonder oil can be used for cooking or applied on skin and hair. So what are the amazing benefits of this popular oil?
Before we look into the various ways we can benefit from olive oil, lets take a brief look at the types of olive oil we have. We have five basic types or grades of olive oil and each grade determines its performance and benefit to health. The different grades of olive oil include:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – This has been graded the best kind of olive oil according to the International Olive Council. It is gotten from the first pressing of fresh olives, normally within 24 hours of harvesting and it has its acidity (or oleic acid level) being less than 0.8 percent. It also contains lesser calories than the rest of its kind.
- Virgin Olive Oil – Like the extra Virgin oil, the Virgin oil is also gotten from the first press but the difference is that it contains more calories than the extra virgin.
- Refined Olive Oil – This grade of olive oil is stripped of its basic characteristics which include flavour, taste and nutrients. Again, it contains more calories than the ones mentioned above, thus, is less beneficial to health. The refined Olive oil is extracted from the olive oil pulp using agents like acids, alkalis, and heat. The extraction is usually done after the first pressing.
- Olive – Pomace Oil – This is the lowest grade of olive oil so far in terms of extraction processes. it could be referred to as the by-product of the extra virgin oil- the remnant of oil from the Olive skins, seeds and pulp after much heating using a solvent called hexane. Pomace olive oil is bland and extremely low in antioxidants.
- Lampante Oil – Gotten from bad olive fruit or poor processing. The Lampante oil is not fit for consumption following its several product and processing defect.
Benefits Of Olive Oil
1. Weight Loss
With almost a 0 percent cholesterol this oil is a big arsenal for weight loss. According to Leandro Ravetti, Chief Oil Maker of the award-winning Cobram Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oils, a diet rich in this kind of oil may deliver greater and longer lasting weight loss results than a low-fat diet.
2. Diabetes Battle
Consumption of olive oil has been widely known to prevent diabetes. Many studies have now shown that an olive oil-rich diet prevents diabetes, as it reduces glucose levels, LDL cholesterol (bad) and triglyceride levels in the blood.
3. Pain Reliever
The oleocanthal present in the oil acts as a pain reliever. Although scientists still recommend taking pain-relieving drugs since they are faster, a dose of olive oil could always come in handy in emergency cases.
The wonder oil contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent age-related diseases. It also protects the skin and is known to slow down malignant melanoma xc g2e, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.
5. Mental Health
The powerful antioxidants present in olive oil help to reverse mental health deficits, such as Alzheimers, depression and so on. The monounsaturated fat present in it also helps prevent or slow down the cognitive decline.
6. Heart Safety
While most vegetable oils are risky and pose a danger to the heart, the oil from olive tree is exempted from the bad list. More research has shown to prove that people who fry their foods with this oil are less prone to heart failures or diseases.
7. Healthy Skin
Good for combating skin dryness and a host of other skin problems such as excess oil, stretch marks and even skin irritation. To optimize the benefits of olive oil for skin, some health practitioners advise combining it with honey. It can otherwise be consumed on its own or added to a daily diet.
8. Dandruff and Itchy Scalp
Adding olive oil to your hair regimen is good for combating conventional hair problems. By massaging it to your scalp, it improves blood circulation and in the long run, increases hair growth.
Olive oil is particularly good for the African natural hair. When combined with honey or a hair conditioner, it infuses moisture into the hair. Also its Vitamin E content is sure for improving the health of your hair. It’s of little wonder that most commercial beauty products use this oil.
10. Long Life
With the above-mentioned benefits, it should not come as a shock that olive oil does increase lifespan. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant content does help solve a myriad of health problems hence the increased lifespan.