We’ve all heard that extra-virgin cold-pressed Olive Oil is ‘good for you’. There’s no doubt that it is, but what exactly are the ‘real’ medical benefits of olive oil? What about the source of the oil – the olives themselves?
General health / nutritional benefits of olive oil:
- It’s great for your heart! And your brain too! Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats. That’s the GOOD FAT, folks!
- The main ‘fatty acid’ found in Olive Oil, oleic acid, has anti-inflammatory effects. This is significant, because inflammation is a leading cause of disease – including cancer.
- A substance in Olive Oil called oleocanthal also has anti-inflammatory properties.
- It’s also slimming (or at least it doesn’t make you put on weight), and great for your skin, hair, nails and joints.
As for olives:
Both black and green olives have been staples of the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years. And, of course, they are the source of the magic olive oil!
So, what’s the difference between general health benefits and medical benefits? In short, the first is nutritional. It promotes overall healthy and may help prevent or delay the onset of various diseases and conditions. The second – medical – helps to heal, manage or cure an existing illness or problem.
Medical benefits of olive oil:
- Can relieve excema and ear infections
- Treats dry scalp and skin conditions
- Relieves Constipation
- Promotes skin and wound healing as it is high in Vitamin E (drink, eat and put it directly on the ‘ouchie’)
- May help in cancer treatment and management: The oleocanthal in olive oil has been shown to kill cancer cells. Should further research bear this out though – it’s still a long way from that, to olive oil being declared a cure for cancer!
Well, while we wait: since ‘Prevention is the Best Medicine’, you could say that all the health benefits of olive oil (and olives) are in fact all medical benefits of olive oil!