Head to Italy and you’ll hear a multitude of people waxing lyrical about olive oil. There are entire fields dedicated to growing the olives needed for the oil. In fact, you could argue that olive oil is as essential an Italian foodstuff as cheese, wine, and pasta.
They use it for almost everything…
But they’re also not the only ones to recognise its benefits.
Olive oil has long been a staple in Islamic cuisine as well.
In fact, you’ll find a few bottles of the stuff available on the Islamic Impressions website.
But perhaps you’re not yet a convert to the wonderful world of olive oil. By the end of this article, we believe that this will change. We’re going to share with you the key benefits of olive oil.
Benefit #1 – It’s Amazing For Your Skin
I bet you thought we were going to tell you how amazing olive oil is when added to your diet. Don’t worry…all of that stuff’s coming up.
But first, we want to focus on an aspect of the oil that often goes underappreciated.
It’s amazing for skincare!
There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, olive oil contains a ton of antioxidants. For those who haven’t heard of them, antioxidants are the compounds that take the fight to the free radicals that are roaming around your body. It’s these free radicals that damage cells and cause the signs of ageing to appear.
More antioxidants means fewer free radicals. As a result, your skin cells stay healthy and strong.
Olive oil also has natural moisturising qualities that will become evident as soon as you apply it to your hair or your skin. Yes, it may feel a bit…well….oily! But it will also leave your skin feeling smooth and healthy.
And finally, olive oil has antibacterial properties. There are a whole bunch of skin conditions, include acne, that arise as a result of bacteria. A little olive oil on your skin can help to combat these micro-baddies and keep your skin healthier.
You can apply olive oil directly to your skin. Just make sure you wipe away the excess after applying. You can even combine it with sea salt to make an exfoliator!
And by the way, we’re sure that you can guess that antioxidants and anti-bacterial foods are both things that you want to add more of to your diet. So…we’ll just say that the same benefits we’ve talked about in this big section also apply to your gut.
Benefit #2 – It Contains Lots of Healthy Fats
There’s a myth that still pervades today that you should always eat low-fat foods.
That’s simply not the case. And no, this isn’t us saying that you should start bingeing on fast food as soon as possible.
It’s simply a case of some fats being bad for you and some being good for you.
The bad fats are the kinds that you’ll find in a lot of processed foods. These are the trans fats and saturated fats that will definitely cause health problems over the long term.
Then, you have the healthier fats, such as those found in olive oil.
Olive oil predominantly contains a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which has been proven to fight against inflammation. So, if you’re having problems with your gut, this is the food that you want to add to your diet.
The oil also contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Both are great for brain health and your body needs these fats to operate at maximum capacity.
Benefit #3 – It May Protect You Form Strokes
Building on this information about monounsaturated fats, we have the fact that olive oil can help to provide protection from strokes.
This isn’t simple conjecture.
In fact, we know this because of an enormous study that looked at 841,000 people from all over the world. That study concluded that people who eat olive oil regularly have a far lower risk of having a stroke.
And that’s not the only study to reach this conclusion. There have been other large studies that make the same point.
Simply put, you’re protecting your brain and your heart of you start eating more olive oil.
Speaking of which…
Benefit #4 – Olive Oil is Great for Your Heart
Olive Oil is a key component in what many call the Mediterranean Diet.
This is a bit of an umbrella term that tends to refer to the diets that those in countries like Italy, Spain, and Greece tend to eat. This diet usually consists of lots of fresh fruit and veg, fish, and the occasional bit of red meat.
It’s also pretty heavy on the olive oil, which is used to cook most of the foods that the people in the Mediterranean eat.
Several studies have shown that the oil helps to lower your levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also provides a protective lining to your blood vessels and just generally lowers your risk of heart disease.
When combined with the fresh and healthy foods that you’d eat in the Mediterranean diet, you have an oil that’s amazing for your heart.
Benefit #5 – It May Help You to Control Your Blood Sugar
Failing to control your blood sugar places you at risk of developing diabetes.
When your blood sugar rises, your body has to produce insulin to process the sugar. When it does this too much, you start to develop a resistance to the insulin. This makes it less effective, which means more sugar stays in your bloodstream.
The good news is that olive oil may be able to help you to fight against that.
Several studies show that regular consumption of olive oil seems to have a stabilising effect on your blood sugar levels. And on top of that, some studies suggest that it can even lower your body’s insulin resistance.
The Final Word
There’s a lot more to olive oil than meets the eye. And it’s certainly more than an oil that brings out the taste in your foods.
Isn’t it about time that you started experiencing some of these benefits yourself?
You can start today with the Yaffa Palestinian Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil that we offer at Islamic Impressions.