It is no secret that olive oil has numerous health benefits, most notably, in moisturising the skin and keeping hair soft, shiny and healthy, with a large section of the world population using it on a daily basis in the form of skincare and hair products. It can also be used for cleaning your teeth and enhancing gum health. making Apart from the mainstream skin and hair benefits that we know of olive oil, did you know that the inclusion of olive oil in your diet could have many overall benefits to your health?
Olive oil, in the ancient world, was popularly termed as ‘liquid gold’ due to these numerous health and nutritional benefits to the human body. Some of these benefits include the following:
- Reduces the risk of Heart Disease
Olive oil has been known to considerably reduce the risk of heart disease in people who richly include it in their diet. According to a research study by The New England Journal of Medicine, people who live in the Mediterranean region, where the olive fruit is primarily grown, suffer far fewer cases of heart disease occurrences than people from any other region. This has been attributed to the rich inclusion and consumption of olive oil in the diet of the Mediterranean population.
Another study carried out by the Universadad Autonoma de Madrid found that olive oil lowers the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body by preventing it from being oxidised. Olive oil has also been known to increase the levels of HDL cholesterol (the good kind of cholesterol) in the body and improve the functioning of the lining of blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure and lowering the risk of heart disease.
- Prevents Strokes
Olive oil has been long known to reduce the risk of and also prevent strokes. In Shamim Ahmed’s book, Home Healing with Nature’s Medicines, older folk who have adopted olive oil in their diet, are up to 41% less susceptible to the risk of strokes.
Another study carried out on over 841,000 subjects found that olive oil was the only source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
Strokes are caused by a disturbance of blood flow to the brain, either due to a blood clot or bleeding. Olive oil helps in diluting these clots and thus ensuring proper blood flow to the brain.
- Helps in reducing the risk of developing Diabetes
A diet rich in olive oil has also been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, especially in its Type 2 form. Several studies have linked the ingestion of olive oil to have beneficial effects on blood sugar level and also increase insulin sensitivity.
Another randomized clinical trial carried out on 418 non-diabetic participants showed that the consumption of a Mediterranean diet, inclusive of olive oil, lowered the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by over 40%, therefore including olive oil in your diet could lower your risk of developing Diabetes.
- Strengthens Bones
Consumption of olive oil has also been known to strengthen bones. In a study conducted by the University of Madrid, researchers found that people who consumed olive oil more regularly had higher levels of osteocalcin in their system, a protein associated with strong bones and a positive indication of a healthy bone formation.
Due to this property, olive oil protects against the ‘Brittle bone disease’, osteoporosis.
- Improves overall Digestive Health
Since ancient times, olive oil has been used to improve digestive health and has long been used as a natural remedy for constipation. This is due to its consistency and texture that helps in stimulating the digestive track, therefore helping food move smoothly through the colon.
Also, since olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, it helps in increasing the mobility of the food through the whole digestive system without any blockages, thereby speeding up the process of digestion and bowel evacuation.
Olive oil is also rich in Vitamins E and K, iron, omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and antioxidants, nutrients which are all vital to your overall health.