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Olive oil is not just a dietary staple in the Mediterranean region. It also enjoys an honorable reputation in the United States. As a food ingredient, olives themselves are made up of 18 to 28 percent oil. About 75 percent of it is heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid or MUFA. Commercial producers press fresh olives harvested mainly in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. These countries include Italy, Spain, and Greece. In fact, 98 percent of the world's olive oil production comes from just 17 countries. Good-quality olive oil offers many health benefits and contains essential vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. This oil is also gentle on your digestive system and prevents gallstones and soothes ulcers. It also delays or eliminates the onset of diabetes and promotes weight loss. If olive oil isn't yet a regular part of your diet, it's about time you change that.

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Helps Fight Diabetes

Eating extra virgin olive oil as a part of your balanced diet may help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Many ads and promotions try to convince viewers that eating low-fat is the best approach. However, people should not forget about the healthy fats that are essential for overall good health. Some of the fats in the oil can reduce the risk of developing diabetes almost by half. An anti-inflammatory agent in olive oil fights the specific inflammation that is the underlying cause of diabetes. Coat your roasted veggies in olive oil and sprinkle them with some sea salt and thyme. When you take them out of the oven, you'll enjoy a delicious taste and yummy texture.

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Improves Brain Function

Olive oil is a great "brain food," which means it protects the brain from free radical damage. With free radicals, split oxygen molecules have unpaired electrons and are unstable. They become a danger when they start trying to bond to other molecules or atoms in the body. Medical professionals see free radicals as a threat to good health. Moreover, scientists associate them with cancer, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis and other diseases. Scientists have also linked free radicals to aging. The process of getting old is considered a gradual accumulation of free-radical damage. This great oil is effective against free radicals. It is high in essential brain vitamins, including E and K. These vitamins work to slow memory loss and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. Olive oil will help keep your brain sharp as you age. This oil is tasty with fresh greens. Drizzle some spinach and rocket salad with a little oil and toss in a few tomatoes and some feta cheese for a delicious lunch.

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Promotes Weight Loss

A diet rich in extra virgin olive oil may have more of an impact on longer-lasting weight loss results than a low-fat diet. Contrary to the belief that a low-fat diet is the most effective one, studies have shown different results. Olive oil may, in fact, help you lose weight. It can control hunger pangs by keeping you full for longer periods of time. It also reduces sugar cravings. Instead of your afternoon coffee with a piece of cake or a cookie, make hummus. You can blend chickpeas, oil, tahini paste, garlic, and lemon juice for a delicious dip with carrot and celery sticks. It will keep you full for longer without making you sleepy and help you avoid spiking your blood sugar.

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Helps to Relieve Pain

Extra virgin olive oil contains a substance called oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory agents. The compound acts in the same way as pain medicine. It stifles the part of your system that gives rise to pain. Research suggests inflammation causes quite a few chronic diseases. Therefore, its properties grow more compelling as a remedy. Although it won't cure your headache, it may give you some of the long-term benefits of repeated ibuprofen use. This includes helping to ward off Alzheimer's.

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Can Help with Anxiety and Depression

Some people have lower levels of serotonin, a hormone in the body popularly known as a "feel-good" brain chemical. Scientists have linked it with mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Some research suggests that olive oil may create higher levels of serotonin. Additionally, in one study, Spanish researchers discovered that subjects who followed a specific diet had more of the hormone. A Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, vegetables, beans, and fruit meant a 30 percent less chance of depression. Moreover, these findings hint that heart disease and depression may share some common responses related to your diet. Drizzle olive oil on your corn on the cob to do away with butter or margarine or use it on boiled potatoes.

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It Strengthens Your Immune System

Olive oil is necessary for strengthening and protecting your immune system. Therefore, based on the wide range of important antioxidants present in olive oil, it helps you fight infection. The immune system defends the body against invasion by strange substances. Some of these include toxins, microorganisms, parasites, and tumor processes. Recent research shows that the fatty acids in the makeup of olive oil assist in lowering immune crises such as increased white blood cells. This is caused by specific B- and T-cells. These fatty acids play an essential role in making your body function at its best. They also help in treating some autoimmune diseases and regulate your response system in general.

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Helps to Prevent Stroke

Studies have suggested that olive oil may play a part in reducing the risk of stroke. A diet employing regular olive oil use can help dissolve blood clots. International researchers from France reported olive oil might prevent strokes in older people. The team found that older people who regularly used olive oil for cooking, salad dressing or bread had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke. Moreover, this figure was compared with their counterparts who never consumed it. If you are a pasta lover, instead of heavy sauces with pasta, coat your penne with olive oil. You can add a dash of fresh lemon juice for a rich, tangy flavor with health benefits.

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Helps to Fight Osteoporosis

Medical experts characterize osteoporosis by a decrease in bone mass. This bone loss, in turn, makes the structure of bone tissue change, making the bones to become fragile. This level of weakness increases the possibility of fractures. Moreover, this makes even the slightest knocks or falls potentially fatal for sufferers. Olive oil supplementation was found to have a positive effect on the thickness of bones. It is essential to include sources of calcium in your diet. However, olive oil helps your body to absorb calcium. In the Mediterranean where the standard diet is rich in olive oil, there are fewer cases of this disease. You should try replacing butter and margarine in your baked goods with olive oil to add softness and freshness.

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Prevents Skin Cancer

A recent study found that olive oil and other ingredients included in the Mediterranean diet can prevent malignant tumors. You can slow down this most dangerous type of skin cancer by eating olive oil. Moreover, this oil is rich in antioxidants that help to protect skin cells from damage caused by oxygen processes. The use of sunscreen remains the best way to prevent sunburn and protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun's UVA and UVB rays. However, when you consume olive oil each day, you help counter the effects of the sun. You should try drizzling olive oil in your grilled fish and meat when having a barbecue.

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Great Beauty Tool

Olive oil also gives you a range of benefits as a DIY tool. You can use it to make a pre-shampoo hair treatment for silky locks, combine it with sugar to use as a face and body skin scrub or use it as a makeup remover. If your hair gets dull and brittle, you can use it as a shine serum to tame stray hair. You can also put it on your dry and damaged cuticles and nails to condition them or use it as a serum for dry lips. If your skin is extra dry and your elbows and heels are cracked, use it for extra hydration. Anti-aging extra virgin olive oil helps with osteoporosis and skin damage. It adds a special protective coating on the skin and brings a lot of health benefits with regular consumption. When you are ingesting olive oil, use it on the outside too. You can reap extra rewards from this healthy oil.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.