Whether you are using it for food preparing, salad dressing or as face/hair mask, one thing is sure – olive oil is excellent for all these things.
Olive oil is a fat obtained from the olive tree (lat. Olea Europaea). This tree grows up in Europe, mostly in the Mediterranean area – Greece, Italy, Spain, and south of France. Even though it comes from the old continent, it is now used worldwide.
Nutrient Composition of Olive Oil
This is the nutrient content of 100 grams of extra virgin olive oil:
- Saturated fat: 13.8%.
- Monounsaturated fat: 73% (most of it the 18 carbon long oleic acid).
- Omega-6: 9.7%.
- Omega-3: 0.76%.
- Vitamin E: 72% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
- Vitamin K: 75% of the RDA.
8 Most Important Olive Oil Benefits
All experts agree at one thing – extra virgin olive oil is good for you. Here are some of the most significant benefits it brings for your health and well being.
Olive Oil is Rich in Monounsaturated Fats
14% of olive oil is saturated fat – omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. They are believed to have many beneficial effects, and you should use it when cooking.
Monounsaturated fats are resistant to high heat, which make olive oil perfect for frying, or heat cooking.
It Contains Antioxidants
Along with fatty acids, olive oil is rich in vitamin E and K. Also, it contains powerful antioxidants. They might reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and they fight against risks of heart stroke.
Olive Oil Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Maybe you didn’t know, but chronic inflammatory is the leading cause of cancer, heart diseases, diabetes type 2, and Alzheimer. Extra-virgin olive oil is rich with oleocanthal, which is similar to ibuprofen. According to scientist 3.4 tablespoons or 50ml of olive oil is the same as 10% of the adult version of ibuprofen.
It Prevents Stroke
Stroke is caused by blood flow disbalance – a blood clot or bleeding. Scientific research showed that olive oil contains monounsaturated fat which is very powerful in fighting against risks of stroke and heart disease.
It Fights Against Heart Disease
While heart disease is one of the most common cause of death in the world, it is also quite rare in the Mediterranean area. This lead to the conclusion that olive oil as part of the Mediterranean diet is protecting heart rate and condition.
It lowers blood pressure and protects LDL cholesterol particles. Including olive oil into your daily diet will protect you from risks of heart disease.
You Can’t Gain Weight and Obesity
The recent study has shown that eating a significant amount of olive oil won’t affect your body weight. On the contrary, olive oil is linked to increasing levels of antioxidants which leads to weight loss.
Olive Oil Has Antibacterial Properties
Killing bacteria comes easy if you use olive oil on a daily base. Olive oil contains nutrients that fight against bacterias which are immune to antibiotics. One of the most common stomach bacteria is Helicobacter pylori, and olive oil can eliminate it from your organism.
It Has Anti-Cancer, Diabetes and Alzheimer Properties
Even though more research is needed for proving all these properties, there are some strong believes that olive oil can fight against risks of cancer, diabetes type 2 and Alzheimer disease. Several medical studies have proven that olive oil can have effects on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
When it comes to cancer, the olive oil antioxidants can reduce oxidation of free radicals, that are one of the leading drivers of this disease.
5 Olive Oil Dangers
Like everything else, olive oil has good and bad sides. Many things are not researched enough about this oil and many others that are proven to be dangerous and not recommended. Pay attention to these dangers that come with olive oil.
Even if olive oil has many benefits, excessive use can cause acne on your skin. The problem occurs when oil is not absorbed into your skin – it is heavy, so if you use it frequently, your face turns into a surface full of sebum, dust, and dirt. The only solution is to try not to overdo it – put olive oil twice a week, for hydration and smoothness.
It is Not Suitable for Dry Skin
Oils can make your dry skin smoother and more hydrated. However, it is not the case with extra virgin olive oil and dehydrated skin. Oleic acid present in olive oil is considered responsible for breaking the skin’s natural moisturizing abilities.
Can Cause Blackheads
Along with acne, olive oil texture on your skin can cause the appearance of blackheads. That thin film that olive oil creates on skin traps specks of dirt, clog pores, and keep the dead skin on it.
Causes Allergies and Skin Rashes
Some people claim they have allergies as well as skin rashes when they are in contact with olive oil. This applies to food prepared with olive oil as well.
People with oily skin should avoid olive oil since it can cause irritation, rashes, and redness.
Can Cause Diarrhea
Strong laxative properties of olive oil are known to many of us. However, the high-fat content of the oil can cause digestive disorders such as diarrhea. Due to this, try not to consume too much olive oil while preparing food.
Truths and Myths Of Using Olive Oil in Your Beauty Routine
Even though olive oil is an ingredient of many products for personal care such as face wash, body wash, soaps or lotions, many people decide to use it individually.
- Truth: Moisturizer and After-Sun Treatment
Some medical researches showed that using olive oil after sun exposure can prevent cancer-causing cells to show up. They claim it is mostly because of its antioxidant properties.
However, olive oil can also be one of the leading causes of skin burnouts. That is why you should be careful when applying and dosage oil on your skin.
- Myth: Olive Oil Will Make your Skin Oily
When using harsh foam or gel cleansers, your skin is forced to produce more sebum than usual. That squeaky clean feeling on your skin isn’t good! Cleaning your skin with oil-based products can make your skin feeling balanced.
- Truth: Exfoliator
For treating and exfoliating your face, mix olive oil with sea salt to get a fine homemade scrub. Don’t overdo it though. Limit the use on one a week.
- Myth: Oils Can’t Detoxify Skin
From ancient times Arabs were using oils in general for detoxing their skin and clean out junk from their immune system. Antioxidant-rich oils such as olive oil are perfect for detox, cleaning and reducing free radicals.
- Truth: Eye Makeup Remover
If you have troubles with removing your waterproof mascara or any other eye makeup, then you should try olive oil. It soaks and breaks down all waterproof makeup and leave you with perfectly clean skin.
- Truth: Face Mask
Natural masks are perfect for your skin. They are pure, made of the ingredients from your kitchen. Mix olive oil with egg white, honey or ground oats. It will immediately hydrate your face skin.
- Truth: Olive Oil For Face Wrinkles
Common questions people ask are – is olive oil good for your face, and can I leave olive oil on face overnight? The answer is yes.
Antioxidants from olive oil can fight wrinkles on your face. Apply olive oil around the eye area and leave it for the night.
- Truth: Lip-Scrub
Mix the teaspoon of olive oil with coarse sugar, and a splash of lemon. You can literally eat this lip scrub. This mixture is perfect for other parts of your body as well.
Olive Oil for Skincare: Benefits & Uses
Using olive oil in your everyday skincare routine can bring you many advantages. From antioxidant properties to vitamins, here are some of the biggest perks of applying oil on your skin.
- Antioxidant Properties
As mentioned before, olive oil has antioxidant properties that can help your skin looks better and prevent the production of free radicals. Due to these properties, when you apply olive oil on your skin, you can actually prevent premature aging.
- Rich in Vitamins
Olive oil is rich in various vitamins, that are all good for your skin. Some of these fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamin A, D, E, and K. Vitamin E treats skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Olive Oil Treatments for Problematic Skin
Two of the most common issues with skin are eczema and acne. This natural oil can be helpful in both cases. Let’s discuss these problems in detail.
How Olive Oil Can Help With Skin Eczema
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a skin condition that usually causes roughness, inflamed, itchy and even bleeding patches on different parts of body – neck, hands, face, knees or bend of elbows. No exact thing leads to eczema. Food allergies, external irritants like pet hair or mold can cause dermatitis, but it all depends on a person.
Olive oil is an excellent natural remedy for eczema. Its antioxidant ingredients called squalene, tyrosol, and oleocanthal soothe and reduce the inflammation caused by this skin condition. The oil has many fatty acids (such as Vitamin E and omega-3) that lock moisture and penetrate deep into the epidermis.
There are many recipes that you can DIY. Mostly all the ingredients can be found right in your kitchen or bathroom. You can mix olive oil with coconut oil and vinegar, essential oils, sea salt, aloe vera gel, etc. Apply these mixtures right after a bath.
However, there are some precautions that you should pay attention to. If you are prone to skin eczema, use cosmetic products which are olive oil based. Test patches on your skin to make sure you are not allergic. If you don’t find any relief even after using olive oil treatment, consult with your dermatologist.
Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Acne Treatment
Even though olive oil has many inflammatory properties, one of the main dangers that it brings is that it can cause acne problem. On the other hand, it can also solve these skin complications.
Everyone fights with acne. This skin inconvenience usually starts with extra sebum that blocks hair follicles, i.e., clog pores on your skin. If you were looking for a natural way of solving this problem, then olive oil is a great way to go.
Antioxidants from olive oil (polyphenols) are perfect for keeping toxins away and preventing infections. Along with these properties, vitamins from this oil keep your skin bright and your acne scars away.
Extra virgin olive oil is the best for acne treatment. It is pure, extracted juice from the olive tree. No chemicals or heating were used in production, it can’t irritate your skin, so it is considered as the best. It retains all the proper ingredients, vitamins, and antioxidants that olives have, more than all other kinds of olive oils.
Olive Oil for Hair Treatment
We have learned that olive oil can have many skin benefits. However, it doesn’t stop there – here are the most prominent olive oil benefits that can make your hair look shiny, healthy, and eye-catching.
- It Softens Your Hair
If you have long hair that is prone to brittle, with split ends, you should try olive oil. Rub oil along the entire hair length, and leave it for a few hours.
- Olive Oil Kicks Out Dandruff
Ingredients mixture that olive oil contains is perfect for dandruff treatment. You can add a bit of lemon juice, and massage gently into your scalp and hair.
- Helps Split Ends Heal Faster
Olive oil can moisturize and add weight to your hair. This helps especially in dry winter months. Olive oil acts as a serum – after shampooing and styling it, it will add extra-glossy finish.
- Control Your Curls
Using olive oil for styling your curls is easy. Apply hot oil on your scalp and leave it for 30 minutes. This short treatment will help you get pretty curls or flips.
- Removes Frizz
Before shampooing, massage oil into your scalp to prevent fuzziness of your hair.
- Helps for Hair Growth
Many people who use olive oil on their hair will notice that it is growing faster and appear thicker.
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil that you can find on the market today. All its properties including vitamins, antioxidants, monounsaturated fatty acids are perfect for hair growth.
When you’re using or trying olive oil hair treatments for hair growth, you may wonder how long it will take to see first results. You must consider the length of time that it takes your hair to grow. Most people’s hair grows from one to two centimeters per month.
If you plan to do olive oil hair growth treatments, the good idea is to get a hair trim every six weeks or so. This way, you will encourage new hair growth.
How to Store Olive Oil
Due to olive oil monounsaturated properties, it can be kept in the store longer than any other oil. However, you need to know how to store it properly to keep it fresh even after opening the bottle.
When you choose the location of storage, think this – air, heat, and light are the biggest enemies of olive oil. They create free radicals, lead to excessive oxidation so the oil that you are using start to be bad.
When it comes to packaging, you must avoid plastic bottles, as well as metal containers. Containers made of iron or copper can cause chemical reactions between them and oil, and create toxic compounds. It is the best solution to keep them in glass or stainless-steel bottles. Opt for a tinted glass – it has incredible potential in keeping out the light.
A Natural Remedy With Many Uses
Olive oil, especially non-refined (extra virgin), is one of the most natural skin and haircare products to use.
It doesn’t contain any artificial colors, scents, or chemicals. You can do your olive oil skin and hair treatments on a regular basis.
However, always test small parts of your body even before the start. Be aware of the dangers that olive oil can bring. If you notice any problems with your skin or hair while doing treatments, make sure to consult with your dermatologist.
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