Healthy Benefits of Olive Oil
Recognized for its’ abundant health benefits, olive oil is being chosen by many consumers as a preferred form of fat in diets and is being recommended by nutritionists and health professionals as one of the best alternative oils to traditional fats and oils. Olive oil has great diversity in how it can be used as an ingredient in recipes and as a food-enhancer.
Olive trees originated in Asia, but are more commonly know as an agricultural product in Mediterranean countries. Olive oil comes from the process of pitting, grinding, and pressing of the olive fruit.
In countries where olive is most highly consumed – Italy, Greece, and Spain, the incidences of cardiovascular disease is low and this is attributed the health benefits olive oil provides. One tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories and 14 grams of fat. However, the fat in olive oil is primarily monounsaturated which, when consumed can help reduce blood cholesterol levels leading to improved cardiovascular function.
Other Health Benefits of Olive Oil:
Olive oil is beneficial as an antioxidant since it contains high levels of vitamin E.
When consumed, olive oil promotes digestion, stimulates metabolism, and lubricates mucous membranes (olive oil contains vegetable mucilage that helps protect the gastrointestinal tract).
Olive oil can aid in relieving constipation. Consuming 1 teaspoon of olive oil with lemon juice (preferably on an empty stomach) can promote proper bowel movements.
Olive oil for skin therapy. Olive oil can be added to dry skin acting like a moisturizer and can also be applied to nails to increase nail strength and to promote healthy cuticles.
How to Choose Olive Oil:
Explore how you can replace butter, margarine, and low quality vegetable oils in your cooking especially in preparing salads, sautéed dishes, and sauces.
Purchase olive oil that is labeled as“extra virgin”, which insures that the oil has been cold pressed. Cold pressed olive oil has been produced with freshly harvested olives and has gone through less processing and has not been degraded with heating or chemicals.
A good quality olive oil will be golden yellow in color versus lower quality olive oils that are light green in color.
Note: olive oil will congeal (form as a solid) in the refrigerator, but remains a liquid at room temperature.
When used in moderation, olive oil is a nutritious fat that promotes a great deal of health benefits. Like wines, olive oils will have differences in flavor depending on the region and producer of the oils. Olive oils can also be infused with herbs, garlic, peppers and other flavorful ingredients to add extra excitement to your dishes.
Best Foods for Healthy, Clear Skin: Treat Yourself to a Better Complexion
Healthy skin is beautiful skin and can be achieved by nourishing it from the inside out. Though its functions are often underestimated compared to other bodily systems, without the skin, we simply couldn’t survive.
Nutritious foods eaten consistently will begin to rebuild the cellular structure but this can take time as the skin has many layers. What you eat and drink now, can take four to six weeks to see the effects. By committing to a natural, whole foods diet, you’ll quickly begin to see healthy, beautiful, glowing skin.
List of Top 10 Best Foods for Healthy Skin
1. Lemon and Citrus Fruits – The Clarifiers
Citrus fruits, particularly lemon, juiced and sipped with water first thing in the morning or at any break are a wonderful complexion clearer. This little ritual gives your metabolism a kick start, your liver a much-needed mini cleanse, and your skin a vitamin C boost. Lemons are very cleansing to the body, so they help clarify the complexion. Another great way to incorporate it into your daily routine is to squeeze it over salad and vegetables or add slices to a jug of water.
2. Water – The Hydrator
Water makes up around 75-85% of your body—it’s even in your teeth and hair. Even though we’ve heard it all before, drinking pure water hydrates your body and prevents dry skin, keeping the cells hydrated, so they can easily uptake nutrients and remove waste.