January 12, 2012

The Health Benefits of Olive Oil, Yirssi – Guest Blogger

EVOO (or Extra Virgin Olive Oil) is extremely healthy. It is so healthy that it is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed right as it is when pressed. (I say vegetable, but it's actually a fruit, however, most of us see it as a vegetable). We already know how amazing it is for our hair and skin, and most of us naturals probably agree with its given moniker of "liquid gold."

On your hair, olive oil can help it grow. Since olive oil is rich in vitamin E, it nourishes the hair follicle, triggering the growth of new hair. You can massage it into your scalp, apply it on your hair as soon as you jump out of the shower (which is what I do), or you can make a hot oil treatment to help with frizziness (which I've never done, but plan on doing!)

You can use it on your skin as a moisturizer, which I've never done, but will keep in mind. In The Passionate Olive, Carol Firenze suggests making a moisturizer made of Italian parsley, water, and extra virgin olive oil. You can even use it as an eye make-up remover.

But what I want to point out is the amazing health benefits of olive oil. I grew up in Spain, and EVERYTHING there was cooked with olive oil (or at least that's how my mom cooked, and anyone else I saw cooking), so I know personally that Olive Oil is amazing. It even makes food taste better, in my opinion. Check out all of the ways in which olive oil can be beneficial for you:

  • Studies have shown that olive oil is good for the heart, because it controls bad cholesterol (LDL) and raises the good cholesterol (HDL).
  • It has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis.
  • It may also benefit the prevention of Colon Cancer.
  • Provides a high content of antioxidants, like polyphenols, vitamins E & K, chlorophyll and carotenoids.
  • A 2009 study from Barcelona (the Catalonian Institute of Oncology) by Menendez et al confirmed that the polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil are effective in combating breast cancer cells of the HER-2 type.
  • In a Milan study published by Bosetti in 2002, women who ate more olive oil had better protection against ovarian cancer.
  • Recent research, is demonstrating that the anti-inflammatory effects of olive oil can act much like a daily dose of ibuprofen to reduce and lessen the severity of arthritis.
Not only is it super good for you, but it is SO easy to incorporate into your diet. You can make salads and dress them with olive oil, vinegar and salt, and you have a super healthy Mediterranean salad. Any time that you cook something that calls for oil, pull out that olive oil! You can also use olive oil instead of butter or margarine in a lot of recipes.

I hope that this is enough to convince you on how good olive oil is. And the best thing is, most of us already have it in our cupboards!
You can find Yirssi on her blog by clicking here, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube

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