5 Reasons Why Olive Oil Is Healthy

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Olive Oil Everyday

Is Olive Oil Healthy?

Olives at any stage of maturity contain beneficial phytonutrients, and are considered a very healthy food. They also contain antioxidant nutrients such as Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), along with antioxidant minerals like selenium and zinc which contribute to the prevention of a number of diseases.

Here are five great reasons to incorporate olives and olive oil into your diet everyday!

  1. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in olives and olive oil help to prevent Heart disease and Stroke. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid contained in olive oil is linked to reduced blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk.
  2. The polyphenols in olive oil help to lower the risk of certain types of cancers specifically breast and stomach cancer.
  3. Olives provide support to the health of the nervous, and respiratory systems.
  4. Olive oil contributes to the health of the immune system, and may also help reduce the risk of digestive tract cancers.
  5. Containing polyphenols, olive oil reduces inflammation in the body and offers relief from headache pain.

 

However the list of benefits of consuming olives and olive oil goes on

  • Facilitates skin healing
  • An excellent skin moisturizer
  • Regenerates skin elasticity
  • Reduces under-eye wrinkles
  • Does wonders for frizzy hair or split ends

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Olive Oil Everyday

Note* Good quality olive oil contains important vitamins and nutrients and is loaded with antioxidants. Known to be gentle on your digestive system, olive oil may also help in preventing gallstones and soothe ulcers.

Although olive oil is a very healthy oil to use in salads etc., it should not be used to cook with because of its overabundance of oleic acid, which creates an imbalance on the cellular level that can inhibit prostaglandin production, which in turn can increase the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.

Instead use coconut oil, which is a proven antiviral and immune system builder and rich in lauric acid.

History Of The Olive

Before written language existed, there was the olive tree. As well as a food, olive oil was used for health and ceremonial purposes, such as anointing the dead in many religions and cultures throughout the ancient world, and olives have even been found in Egyptian tombs.

The olive, classified as a fruit of the Olea europea tree, is a native to Asia Minor. Spreading from Iran, Syria and Palestine to the rest of the Mediterranean basin, it is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world. Olive trees can thrive for hundreds of years, in rocky mountainous areas like Spain, Italy, and Greece.

Evidence of olive trees in Spain goes back nearly 8,000 years and Spain is still the largest olive producer followed by Italy, Greece, Turkey and Syria. The original stock from which all other olives are descended is a shrub-like tree that still exists to this day in the Middle East.

Olives can be picked unripe off the tree, however are too bitter to be eaten this way and must be cured to reduce bitterness. Water curing, brine curing, and lye curing are the most common treatment processes for olives today, and will affect the color and composition of the olive.

Olives picked before they’re ripe are green, while olives picked at peak ripeness are black. The texture and color depends on the length of time they’re cured, while the taste depends on the ingredients, variety and curing method.

 

Final Thoughts

The nutritional qualities of olives are beyond question, and to me their taste is heavenly. Scientific evidence now shows it’s the phytonutrients and antioxidants in olives such as hydroxytyrosol and histamine that can help prevent DNA damage, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and positively affect digestion. These, and many other nutritional attributes in olives make them a healthy addition to your diet.

 

PS: I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and please don’t hesitate to share it with friends and family. Join the conversation and let me know of your experiences with olive oil – share your stories below and join me on other interesting articles at healingbodyandmind.org

 

To your good health,

Tom

images courtesy of pixabay.com and commons.wikimedia.org

 


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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 29 comments
Jerry

Great article and very informative. I do all the cooking at home and use olive oil a lot. I would have to take issue with your comment not to use it in cooking. Every food network show and most cooking shows I watch all use it. They will use other types of oil for frying like corn oil, peanut oil and Canola where they need temperatures hotter than normal. You might want to recheck that part of your article.

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Jerry- Thanks for your comment, however I will have to stand by my statement as scientific knowledge is always changing, and so is the misinformation about olive oil. Although mainstream media portrays olive oil as the “healthiest oil,” this title does not extend to cooking.

    As I mention in my post:

    “Although olive oil is a very healthy oil to use in salads etc., it should not be used to cook with because of its overabundance of oleic acid, which creates an imbalance on the cellular level that can inhibit prostaglandin production, which in turn can increase the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.” As for the other vegetable oils, they should NEVER be used for cooking period.

    I will say this for cooking with olive oil. As long as you don’t use extreme temperatures or cooking times, the amount of oxidation product will be small. Your body should be able to deal with it, however why take the chance when there is a great alternative-Coconut Oil.

    ~Tom

    Reply
Jean

I love olive oil and use it to cook with often. It’s interesting that they are bitter when eaten right off the tree. Is this why they are so salty out of the jar? Brining? My problem with olives is that once I get started eating them, I can’t stop. I love every kind of olive there is and have tried just about all of them.

I love that they have so many healthy benefits and this gives me an excuse to eat to my heart’s content! 🙂

Thank you for spotlighting the olive and it’s many healthy attributes!

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Jean- I’m glad you enjoyed the article and I’m with you, I simply love olives. And to answer your question as to why they are sometimes salty- The texture and color depends on the length of time they’re cured, while the taste depends on the ingredients, variety and curing method.

    Come back soon Jean, as we are always adding new articles and content daily!

    ~Tom

    Reply
Jason

Wow, I knew olives were good for you, but I had no idea how good! I will be definitely implementing them even more so in my diet. Beside eating olives, what do you feel has been the best way to add olives/olive oil to your diet?

Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Jason

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Jason- I eat a lot of olives during the course of the day, however I also use balsamic vinegar with olive oil as a dressing on my salads, and even drizzle it on French or Italian bread!

    ~Tom

    Reply
Rick Wilson

Hi Tom,
What a lot of great information on Olives and oil. The pictures are really cool and made me want to go grab a handful to munch on. I really like to add them to my salads because of the variety of taste they bring to the mix. I’m glad you mentioned coconut oil too. That stuff is awesome!! The oleic acid in them is a great for processing proteins too. To your health!
Rick

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Rick- Glad you enjoyed the article. I know a lot of people enjoy eating olives as I do, however now you know how incredibly nutritious they really are for your health!

    ~Tom

    Reply
Faith

I used olive oil all through my pregnancy, and luckily ended up with no stretch marks! I alternate putting olive oil and coconut oil on my daughters hair. She is of mixed race and it gets frizzy but the olive oil takes care of that. I hate the idea of putting chemicals on her skin or hair. I do have one question though. How does one determine a good quality olive oil?

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Faith- In general olive oil is best consumed within a year of harvest, although most extra virgin oils will last for up to two years from harvest when unopened and kept in a cool dark place. However there are several factors to determine a good quality olive oil. One is to be careful to choose a trusted brand, and check dates on the bottle. There is a great article which goes into detail about what to look out for, and how to choose the best olive oil. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/05/olive-oil.aspx

    All the best-Tom

    Reply
marcy

Hi Tom,

I really enjoyed reading your article on olive oil. I know that it has a lot of health benefits, and I love eating food with olive oil such as vegetable salad. It is true, it really works in my body. Though I am skinny, I have a strong immune system and I do not easily get sick, especially during the winter or extreme hot summers. I truly believe this is because of my consumption of olive oil.

I was also interested in the fact that olive oil is an antioxidant. In our everyday life we sometimes eat a variety of food, especially processed food. I believe that olive oil is a great help when it comes to cleansing our body from toxins caused by these processed foods.

Thanks for this very informative article.

Marcy

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Marcy- Olive Oil has been used for centuries for so many reasons, including it’s healing properties. I am glad you enjoyed the post, and hope to see you back soon!

    All the best-Tom

    Reply
Eric Thompson

Hi Tom.
Your post on the Olive fruit and oil is very informative. I learned a lot about Olives that I didn’t know before. One of the question about Olives that is still lingering for me is cooking with Olive oil.

When my wife and I go to the supermarket we see too types of olive oil, one for cooking and one for salad. I’m under the impression that the one for cooking went through some kind of process that reduced the negative effect Olive oil would have on the body when heated.

Could you expand on this a little?

Love your post. See you around.
Eric

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Eric- Extra-virgin olive oil is a good monounsaturated fat that is well-known for its health benefits. It’s a staple in healthful diets, such as the Mediterranean-style/type diets.

    However, it’s important to realize it is NOT good for cooking. It should really only be used cold, typically drizzled on salads and other food. Due to its chemical structure and a large amount of unsaturated fats, cooking makes extra-virgin olive oil very susceptible to oxidative damage.

    I recommended using coconut oil instead, on the basis that it doesn’t contain much unsaturated fat. As a result, it’s not going to be damaged by heat and create trans fats like some other oils. Your body will burn it as fuel or it will get rid of it some other way. It won’t store it in your body…

    ~Tom

    Reply
Randy

Hi Tom,
Well I’m sold, I want to eat olive oil everyday.
Thank you for this very informative post, I think there is a health epidemic going on.
We all need to take care of our bodies and this is a great step to start taking to do that.
If everyone removed one unhealthy fat from their diet and replaced it with one healthy fat like olive oil, it would make a big difference.
Randy

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Randy- Glad you found this post informative-and I agree “if everyone removed one unhealthy fat from their diet and replaced it with one healthy fat like olive oil, it would make a big difference.” Yes it would….

    ~Tom

    Reply
John

Intresting stuff! I have known for a long time that olive oil is healthy and I used to take at least 2 shots of it everyday. Guess I have to start doing it again. I did not know it contains polyphenols? Polypehenols can also be found in green tea and it is belived by alot of scientists that it can prevent and even cure cancer. Thanks for sharing!

John

Reply
    Tom

    Hi John- Glad you enjoyed the article. I use olive oil everyday as well, however I prefer it on my salad!

    All the Best -Tom

    Reply
G.C.Horton

The healthy benefits of olive oil are well documented as your point out. However, there are two concerns I have with olive oil.

The first concern is that much of the so-called olive oil on the market is not olive oil at all. It is actually an inferior oil and falsely labeled as olive oil.

How do you know if you’re getting the good stuff?

My other concern is that although olive oil is beneficial, it is still a fat and fats are very calorie dense. How much olive oil is the right amount to consume to get the benefits without getting the fattening effect of oil?

Reply
Phil L

Hey Tom, another great article.
I’m of Italian descent and I grew up on olive oil, it flows through my veins.
My wife and I have cut way back on our use of olive oil for salads, and we never use it for cooking anymore. There is no oil in our homemade salad dressing. We use EVOO more as an accent or finishing oil on some dishes.

For cooking, we had planned to try coconut oil, but once we tried Ghee for cooking we stopped looking. I’ve even done an article on my website about the benefits of Ghee, check it out.

Phil

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Phil- I am glad you enjoyed the article. I enjoy olive oil and olives as well, and include them in my diet. Ghee is another beneficial fat and I encourage everyone to incorporate it into their health regiment.

    ~Tom

    Reply
inahealthyway@gmail.com

Hi Tom, this is a really nice article… I know that olive oil is very healthy but I didn’t really know that it’s not good to use it for cooking! I’ve never heard about it… Luckily I don’t use it for cooking so much.. I am using rapeseed oil but I want to replace it with coconut oil anyway.. I love the taste of olive oil in my salad but it must be extra virgin cold pressed olive oil 🙂

Reply
    Tom

    So glad you enjoyed the article, come back soon as we will be posting more on the benefits of olive and coconut oils.

    ~Tom

    Reply
Erin

Hi Tom-
I have known about the cardiovascular, blood pressure and antioxidant benefits from using olive oil but the rest of the information in your post is new to me so thank you! I would like to clarify that the benefits to skin and hair are from consuming olives? Are there benefits that you are aware of in applying olives and it’s oil directly to the skin and hair? You also mention that olive oil should not be used to cook with – I love to drizzle olive oil on vegetables and then roast them. Should I stop doing this?? Since I have significant lung disease, I am most interested in your comment about respiratory support from olives. Thanks for the great post!

Erin

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Erin- Yes the consumption of olives and the oil both have tremendous benefits to skin and hair. Also there are many creams and lotions that contain olive oil, you can find some organic ones here athttp://organicmakeupreviews.com/. As a whole olive oil should not be used to cook with, however drizzling olive oil on vegetables and then roasting them on low heat should be fine.

    Also try coconut oil which is actually much better for your health if you are cooking vs raw. “Anytime you cook food, you run the risk of creating heat-induced damage. The oils you choose to cook with must be stable enough to resist chemical changes when heated to high temperatures, or you run the risk of damaging your health. One of the ways vegetable oils can inflict damage is by converting your good cholesterol into bad cholesterol—by oxidizing it.

    As far as respiratory support goes-
    Interestingly, olives at any stage contain beneficial phytonutrients.One of them is called hydroxytyrosol, which aids in cancer and osteoporosis prevention. Used very early in traditional medicines against pain, medical science shows a strong link between ingesting olives or olive oil and inflammation – even relief from headache pain. Research contains evidence that olive extracts function as antihistamines (histamine being a molecule linked to allergies and inflammation) at the cellular level.” –Mercola.com

    Extra Virgin Olive Oil also have many anti-inflammatory benefits that are associated with lower rates of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Anti-inflammatory compounds, such as oleocanthal, produce a similar effect to ibuprofen. Daily consumption of Extra Virgin Olive Oil may prevent inflammation.

    Hope all this helps!

    ~Tom

    Reply
Michelle

Hi Tom

Wow I never knew there was so many uses for Olive Oil besides cooking with it. The beauty tips you mentioned are definetly something I am going to try today. Given olives are natural I imagine I will get better results than the chemically made products I currently use! Excellent reading.

Kind Regards

Michelle

Reply
Jovo

Hi Tom, it is a pleasure to read this article. Recently there is almost a hysteria about various types of oils, some very exotic. But olive oil remains one of the most important oils.

I did not know that Spain is the number one producer. I have seen them in Gethsemane garden in Jerusalem, they claim to be from the time of Christ and I can tell you they look like thousands of years old. So thank you, it was really interesting to read your text.

Jovo

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Jovo-
    Thanks for stopping by and reading up about a really delicious superfood. Come back soon as we are continually adding articles of interest.

    ~Tom

    Reply

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