If you want to be as healthy as possible on the inside, and you also want to look as youthful as you can on the outside, then you need to read about the healing power of olive oil!
Simply put, olive oil is healthy. In fact, one of the kindest things you can do for yourself and your loved ones, is to use a good quality olive oil on everything you eat.
I want you to cook your food with olive oil. And make salad dressings and pestos with olive oil. And then, when you arrange your food on your plate, I want you to put a generous drizzle of olive oil on top of your food before you eat it.
And, no, I’m not exaggerating. I really want you to up your intake of good quality olive oil.
I spend a lot of time researching ingredients, testing new products, studying trends, etc. I spend so much time with this kind of thing because there are so many varying opinions on what’s best, what’s in, what’s truly healing, what tastes good… and so on and so on and so on… it can get really confusing!
Every now and then my job gets made a lot easier because all of the experts who I trust, agree on something… hallelujah!
This is exactly the case with the healing power of olive oil.
My favorite conference of the year is David Wolfe’s Longevity Conference. Each year, I come away with so much information, but there always seems to be a few take-aways that all of the experts at the conference agree on. This year, one of those things was the amazing benefits of olive oil. It was so clear that by the end of the weekend, we were all putting huge glugs of olive oil on top of every meal we had. And, now that I’m home, honestly my habits have changed for the better. Instead of using salad dressings, I’ve been putting deliciously pure olive oil and fresh lemon juice on my salads with some Himalayan salt, and oh my… this truly ups the taste and the healing powers of my leafy greens…
Healthy Fats Keep You Looking And Feeling Healthy And Youthful
First let me just say that it is so important that you make sure you have healthy fats in your diet. And, NO, fat does NOT make you fat. In fact, low-fat diets do not help you lose weight. Current research is also clear that healthy fats do not increase your risk of disease or heart problems.
One of the simplest ways to get healthy fats into your diet, is with cooking oils. You can saute your food in them, make salad dressings and sauces with them, add them to smoothies, and drizzle some of them on top of whatever you are eating.
Olive oil is a healthy fat.. IF you buy a quality product.
This is one of those instances where you should not skimp on quality. A lesser quality olive oil not only has fewer health benefits, but it may even be harmful to you. However, a good quality olive oil will keep you healthy and youthful!
Keep reading to learn some specifics about the healing power of olive oil…
Here’s What Olive Oil Can Do For You
1. Optimize Heart Function
Olive oil is heart-protective. Adding more olive oil into your daily routine you can actually lower your LDL cholesterol, raise your HDL cholesterol, and lower your triglycerides. For heart health, I recommend a good quality extra-virgin olive oil, as this delicious oil has been shown to contain large amounts of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and protect your heart.
Heart disease is on the rise. But, it turns out that all of the talk about the Mediterranean Diet, has a lot of merit. When you eat a diet rich in olive oil, your risk of heart disease dramatically decreases!
2. Reduce Inflammation
Olive oil reduces inflammation so well that it’s actually been compared to a low dose of Ibuprofen. Oleic acid, the main fatty acid in olive oil, can reduce levels of C-Reactive proteins, thereby reducing inflammation in the body.
Good quality olive oil has been used to effectively lessen the inflammation and pain of arthritis and may even help to lessen bone loss.
3. Increase Brain Function
Olive oil is good for your brain. It has a positive effect on both memory and concentration, and some recent research has even shown that it may be effective in warding off Alzheimer’s disease, and even strokes.
I want you to try an experiment the next time you have a project that needs a lot of thought: Make (or buy) yourself a healthy lunch. Take out your (new) jug of high quality extra virgin olive oil, and put a few big glugs on top of your food. Eat it. Not only will it be more delicious, but your concentration and focus will soon be at optimal levels.
4. Help Maintain Healthy Weight
Yes, really. If you add the right healthy fats into your diet, it’s much easier to maintain a healthy weight. Whether you feel you need to drop a few pounds, or add on a few, I recommend adding olive oil into your daily routine. Healthy fats like olive oil help regulate your blood sugar to keep your insulin level where it should be, thus helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Also, a diet that includes healthy fats keeps you feeling full and satisfied much longer than one without these necessary fats. I have found that adding olive oil to everything helps with weight management better than any other trick!
5. Fight Disease
Olive oil has been found to have a positive effect on some cancers and some autoimmune diseases. It contains lipid oleic acid, which has been shown to be an anti-cancerous compound. And, because of the high level of antioxidants in olive oil, it’s been shown to be effective in fighting many other diseases as well.
Nobody seems to be fully sure why, but research is now showing that making olive oil part of your healthy diet, can significantly lower your risk of breast cancer.
6. Lift Mood And Lower Anxiety
It’s clear that the incidence of depression and anxiety can be worsened in people who are on low-fat diets. Your brain needs healthy fats. The happiness center in your brain will thank you when you feed it healthy fats like olive oil. This happiness portion of your brain goes haywire when it doesn’t get enough of the proper hormones — like serotonin and dopamine. Olive oil can help these levels.
7. Smooth Digestion
Olive oil helps fight gut bacteria. A major strain of bacteria that lives in your gut — Helicobacter Pylori — can be treated with daily doses of olive oil. Studies have shown that taking one to two ounces of a good quality olive oil every day for two to three weeks, can eliminate this bacteria. Even those of of without serious digestive issues, need to add olive oil to our diets — it will stave off intestinal bacterial issues.
8. Lengthen Your Life
Olive oil is a longevity food. People who add this healthy fat into their diet and make a point of eating the raw form of the oil — what I mean by that is using it as a drizzle, or in dressings, and other non-heated ways — as part their daily routine, actually have been shown to live longer lives.
What Kind Of Olive Oil Should You Use?
Olive oil comes in many varieties and from many countries. There are great olive oils available from Greece, Italy, and Spain. Many local stores and markets offer olive oil tastings, so you can choose what you like. Each country has great products available — it’s just a matter of taste. I particularly like to use Greek olive oils for many of my salads and dressings. I often use Italian and Spanish oils for cooking, but again, there are no hard and fast rules, as long as you purchase a good quality olive oil.
Spanish olive oil is often a more yellow color, while Italian is more green. Greek oil sometimes has a stronger, riper flavor. It’s all a matter of taste.
One of my new favorite Greek olive oils is Kasandrinos extra-virgin olive oil. And, for years, I’ve been using Bragg organic olive oil for cooking and I still love that one too!
Make sure you read the ingredients on your container of olive oil. Lately, there have been incidences of companies being less than truthful on their extra virgin olive oil labels. Read your label. Look at the ingredients to make sure that olive oil is the only ingredient and that there are no other oils mixed in. See that there is a certification on the label.
I like to buy extra virgin olive oil for everything. This oil, for me, is the healthiest and best tasting. Extra virgin means that the oil still has many of the antioxidants and bioactive compounds from the olives themselves, making the oil extra healthy.
If you are interested in learning about some other healthy oils, read my article: The Healthy Cooking Oils You Should Be Using.