Olive oil, while more expensive than many other oils, is hugely popular in Australia. It is most often used in cooking, as a salad dressing, for a variety of dips and sometimes used in other applications that are not food-related. With olive oil being so popular it begs the question: Is it really good for you or not? That’s one of the main questions that will be answered in this article, along with more information about olive oil itself.
What is Olive Oil Used For?
As mentioned in the introduction, the most common use is for cooking. Instead of using things like lard, butter, canola oil and other forms of cooking oils, many chefs, restaurants and those cooking at home prefer to use olive oil. With the cooking process, olive oil doesn’t merely act as a lubricant to prevent food from sticking to a pot or pan. It also imparts its own unique flavour to any dish conjured up. Some other forms of cooking oil simply don’t taste as good.
Olive oil is also very commonly used to dress salads, providing both moisture and flavour, particularly when the oil is combined with other flavourings such as chilli, for example. It provides a crisp, clean taste that enhances a salad rather than overpowering it.
Aside from cooking, many people enjoy using it as a natural moisturiser for dry skin. Some even use it to soften dry and tangled hair. It’s also been known to be used as a lubricant for squeaky door hinges and the like as well as a way to polish the furniture, stainless steel and other items. It can be applied as a rust prevention measure too. In fact, there are numerous uses for olive oil outside of the kitchen. Only a few potential uses have been noted here.
What Are the Health Benefits Of Olive Oil?
Let’s now look at the purported health benefits associated with the consumption of olive oil.
Full Of Antioxidants
As it’s well known to be rich in antioxidants, it helps in the control of free radicals in the body that can cause illness and diseases such as cancer. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals, preventing them from causing cell damage.
Increased Life Expectancy
As far as oil consumption and cooking oils go, olive oil is said to be the healthiest when it comes to the body’s cardiovascular system. People who consume a “Mediterranean” type of diet, where olive oil is used regularly, are considered to have a longer life expectancy, due to a reduction in heart disease and heart attacks.
Reduce the Possibility Of Having a Stroke
It has even been claimed that the regular intake of olive oil reduces the likelihood of having a stroke or any other type of brain dysfunction.
Loads Of Good Cholesterol
Another key area where olive oil is said to be of great benefit is in the reduction of obesity, high blood pressure and high levels of sugar in the blood. The oil has a low density of what’s known as bad cholesterol and a high density of the good cholesterol.
Olive Oil and the Brain
Interestingly, olive oil consumption or the regular eating of a Mediterranean diet can also help to reduce depression. Our brains need oil to function correctly but not just any oil will do. Fish oil has always been good for the brain because of its omega 3 and olive oil has a similar positive impact on brain function and improved moods. Alzheimer’s Disease is something that’s prevalent in modern society and olive oil can assist with both symptoms and prevention of this dreaded disease.
Repair Liver Damage
That’s right. Olive oil can be beneficial for the liver and also assist in the repair of a damaged liver due to poor diet or too much alcohol consumption. Inflammation of the liver is another concern that olive oil has been known to help with.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Sufferers from this condition will be pleased to know that a regular intake of olive oil can not only soothe the condition, but actually relieve it entirely. This is due to its ability to increase intestinal immunity.
Does Olive Oil Have Any Downsides?
The question now remains: Does olive oil have any downsides or negatives?
The overuse or over-consumption of anything can have a negative impact on the body and olive oil is no different, despite it being one of the healthiest oils on the planet. Let’s just quickly list some possible side effects of too much olive oil:
- Some people experience allergies
- Excessive skin use or consumption can cause acne and blackheads
- Skin rashes
- Low blood pressure and dizziness
- Possible kidney failure
Keep in mind that these side effects may only present in a small number of people and only if you use or consume copious amounts of olive oil. Overall, it’s a very healthy oil to either consume or use externally on the skin and hair.
Olive oil has many health benefits when used in a regular diet and it also has many other fantastic uses as well. Try adding some olive oil to your daily life and enjoy the benefits it will bring. Compared to other types of cooking oils, olive oil is the best there is.
Ashley writes the articles and posts for MyMedici and other websites. He has a background in digital marketing and provides services through www.websitestrategies.com.au and www.ashleybryan.com.au. He lives on the Sunshine Coast, QLD with his family.