Saturday, 28 March 2015


According to legend, the olive tree was given to human beings as a gift from the goddess Athena. Sometimes referred to as the ‘liquid gold, olive oil, as no doubt you know, can be used extensively in cooking and food preparation and has for centuries been recognized, as being very beneficial for health. This wonderful, flavorsome oil has in fact, some amazing health benefits. It can reduce the risk of cancers, help control diabetes and reduce cholesterol, to name but a few benefits, and it also has many practical uses as well. The next time you put some olive oil over a salad, think about the thousands of other different uses that it can be used for and here are our favorite 45 amazing benefits and uses of olive oil:
1. An alternative to soap
Thousands of years ago, the ancient Romans and Greeks didn’t have any soap. Instead, they used olive oil to clean their skin and even today, many people still use this method, instead of using soap. Just massage the oil into your skin and then take it off with a warm, wet washcloth.
2. Lowers blood pressure
Even though researchers are unsure why, olive oil has been proven to reduce blood pressure and is beneficial to those suffering from hypertension.
3. Helps fight breast cancer
Olive oil contains a substance known as phytochemicals, and studies have shown that these can be effective both in killing cancerous cells and suppressing the genes that are responsible for the onset of cancer.
4. An all-round beauty treatment
Olive oil benefits are almost countless. Some women accredit olive oil, as being the mainstay of their overall beauty regime. Hollywood siren, Sophia Loren consumes olive oil daily, uses it on her hair and skin, and puts it in her bath too.
5. Lowers the risk of developing coronary heart disease
A diet that is rich in olive oil will greatly reduce the risk of heart disease. A study carried out in Italy found that those who ate more olive oil, along with plenty of leafy vegetables had markedly reduced rates of heart disease.
6. Reduces the risk of stroke
Taking two tablespoons of olive oil every day will increase the elasticity in your arteries and so, will make you less susceptible to strokes and heart attacks.
7. Reduces the appearance of stretch marks
Olive oil benefits include reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Massaging olive oil into your skin during pregnancy will make your skin more elastic and so, reduce the risks of you developing stretch marks. You can also use it after the birth to help lighten any stretch marks that have occurred.
8. Use as a carrier for essential oils
Essential oils are usually too strong to be used on their own, but olive oil makes the perfect carrier oil, when you do use them.
9. Create your own lip gloss
You can create your own lip gloss using olive oil; just mix some olive oil with a natural pigment/color of your choice and add beeswax. Your natural lip gloss is ready!
10. Brings a gleam to household appliances
Olive oil makes a great polish around the home. Apply to faucets, appliances, stainless steel and laminate surfaces and polish off for a bright and shiny finish.
11. Use as an alternative to mascara
You can get big and beautiful eyes without mascara, which can make some people’s eyes itch. Apply some olive oil with a mascara brush instead and it will give you long and shiny lashes without any of the allergies.
12. Olive oil bath
For a wonderful relaxing experience add some olive oil to your bathtub, add a couple of drops of rose essential oil and a handful of rose petals for a touch of luxury; after such a bath your skin will really thank you.
13. Removes paint, tar and tree sap
If you get some sticky tar, sap or paint on your hands, then rubbing with a little olive oil will gently remove it, without the need for any harsh scrubbing.
14. Protects your red blood cells
Over time, your blood cells oxidize, which is one of the common causes of the signs of aging. There is a special type of polyphenol found in olive oil that protects your red blood cells from oxidation, which will keep you younger for longer and help protect your heart, so don’t forget to add olive oil to your salads.
15. Use as a night cream
If you have very dry skin, then olive oil will make a great night cream for you. Just apply a small amount of olive oil to your face at bedtime and you will wake up with smooth and supple skin in the morning.
16. Reduces the signs of aging
The list of olive oil benefits wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that it can reduce signs of aging. Olive oil contains both antioxidants and vitamin E, which makes it a superb anti-aging treatment. To maintain your youthful glow, apply olive oil to your skin daily and it will help keep the wrinkles away.
17. Helps to improve your memory
Research has suggested that people who consume olive oil regularly are less likely to suffer from memory loss, when they get older. It has even been suggested that olive oil can reverse some of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
18. Make butter healthier
If you love the taste of butter, but don’t want all the bad fat that it contains, then mix one part butter with one part olive oil for a healthier spread to put on your bread.
19. Reduces cholesterol
Olive oil is definitely heart friendly, so replacing other saturated fats with olive oil will improve your metabolism and help to reduce your cholesterol levels.
20. Olive oil could save the world!
Great news for lovers of Italian food; The World Health Organization recommends that everyone in the world adopts a Mediterranean style diet, because olive oil is the healthiest source of fat that there is.
21. Use instead of lip balm
If you have chapped and sore lips, then try olive oil instead of your usual lip balm. The oil is quickly absorbed by the skin, so it will moisturize your lips quickly and help protect them all day long.
22. Helps heal skin irritations
Apply olive oil directly to sunburn and other skin irritations, and its natural regenerative properties and vitamin E will help speed up the healing process, as well as soothe the pain.
23. Keeps you fitter for longer
A diet rich in olive oil, like the Mediterranean diet, has been proven in research to keep people healthy into their old age.
24. Prevents your skin from sagging
As you get older, your skin begins to lose its elasticity, which is the cause of sagging and wrinkles. Olive oil contains squalene, which helps to improve the elasticity of your skin and so will keep it firm and toned for longer.
25. Treats dry, rough feet
You can make a great foot scrub by mixing one part olive oil with one part honey and mixing in a little sugar. Massaging the mixture into your feet will help remove dead skin and soften and moisturise your feet as well.
26. Improve your singing voice!
Although there is no scientific evidence for this one, professional opera singers have been gargling with olive oil before performances for centuries, as it is said to protect the throat and lubricate the voice.
27. Use as an exfoliator
For an inexpensive and natural exfoliator, just mix olive oil with some salt or sugar, and away you go. A fraction of the cost of commercial exfoliating treatments and it does exactly the same job.
28. Use olive oil in face masks
Mix olive oil with mashed banana or avocado and use it as a homemade face mask, by applying it for 5-10 minutes and then wash off; the mask will nourish and rejuvenate your skin, making it soft and smooth.
29. Conditions your hair
Your hair can also experience wonderful olive oil benefits. Olive oil has been used as a natural hair conditioner for centuries. From Cleopatra to Sophia Loren, beautiful women around the world and throughout history have used the oil to nourish and strength their hair.
30. A natural skin moisturizer
Olive oil is one of the most wonderful natural skin moisturizers. Use as a hand cream or a face and body moisturizer and it will soon bring back the softness to your skin.
31. It only contains good fat
Olive oil contains different dietary fats in precisely the same ratio that human beings need, which is part of the reason that the oil is so good for you.
32. Use as a makeup remover
Apply some olive oil to cotton wool, wet it a little with warm water and use it to remove your makeup, and even your eye makeup. It’s safe, it’s natural and it will help to moisturize your skin too.
33. Make hair products last longer
You can combine all the benefits of olive oil with those of your regular hair products by combining the two together. It will help products to spread more evenly through your hair and make your product last longer as well.
34. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory
Inflammation is a natural part of the body’s defense system, but it can be painful! Extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, which is an anti-inflammatory compound that can help to reduce redness and soreness.
35. Eases tickly coughs
When you get a dry, tickly cough, you can ease the irritation with a teaspoon of olive oil.
36. Removes chewing gum
If you find gum stuck fast to a non-porous surface like a floor or even on if you get some on your skin, rub a little olive oil into it and it will soften the gum and make it easier to remove.
37. It will keep wooden utensils looking as good, as new
Wooden chopping boards, bows and other utensils can become dull and scratched over time. Rubbing some olive oil into them will bring back the natural beauty of the wood and help to reduce the appearance of scratches.
38. Waterproofs leather
If you rub some olive oil onto leather boots, it will keep out the rain. It can also be used to waterproof other leather items like belts and baseball gloves.
39. Treats bad breath
Had a heavy garlic night? A teaspoon of olive oil with a little lemon juice mixed in, first thing in the morning, will help clear up your bad breath.
40. All in one hand and nail treatment
Not only will olive oil can moisturize your hands, but it will also nourish and strengthen your nails and, if you massage it into your cuticles, it will keep them moist and soft too. An all in one nail and had care treatment.
41. Remove nicotine stains from your fingers and nails
Just rub some olive oil to your hands and it will help remove nicotine stains from your fingers and nails.
42. Bye bye cellulite
Olive oil benefits can also help you fight cellulite. Mix olive oil with coffee grounds from your morning coffee and massage the areas of your body affected by cellulite; if you do it regularly, soon you will see wonderful results!
43. Wonderful massage oil
You can use olive oil as a massage oil, just add a couple of drops of essential oil of your choice and enjoy wonderful spa treatment in the comfort of your own home.
44. Olive oil shave
Use olive oil instead of shaving cream and enjoy close shave and smooth, soft skin.
45. Tames the frizz
When you wake up and find it’s going to be a bad hair day, try applying a little olive oil on your hair before combing (a small amount goes a long way) and it will quickly tame dry and frizzy hairs.
What other olive oil benefits do you want to add to this list? Feel free to share your tips in the comment section.
Stay happy!

Saturday, 14 March 2015


Many hair products contain chemicals that may damage you hair over time. This article describes the benefits of using olive oil for hair growth to maintain a healthy head of hair. Different methods of using olive oil on the hair are detailed as well.

With a variety of ways to style hair these days, it can really take a beating; whether from a curling iron, straightening iron, or coloring products. Altering your hair on a regular basis can make you look great, but can unfortunately take a toll on its quality. 

Many hair products contain chemicals that may damage you hair over time. This is not to say that you should not experiment with different hairstyles. However, it is beneficial to know some options for taking proper care of your hair on a regular basis.

The best way to get your hair healthy and strong is by using a natural method to counteract the effects of any harsh chemicals. There are various ways to naturally maintain your hair, but one you may already have in your kitchen cabinet is olive oil.

Benefits of Olive Oil for Hair Growth

The benefits of using olive oil on stressed out hair strands are abundant.

One of the most shocking benefits of olive oil is that it can prevent and even cure hair loss. When people lose hair, it is due to a hormone responsible for the shrinkage of the hair follicle shaft. However, the production of that hormone, called DHT (dihydrotestosterone), is hampered when olive oil is applied to the scalp.

The overall health of the scalp also benefits from olive oil. A healthy scalp equates to healthy hair. And the natural conditioner properties of olive oil add moisture to the scalp: an area that people tend to neglect.

Besides healing a scaly and dry scalp; olive oil makes hair soft and shiny. Take a look at the products in the hair care aisle at your local retailer: many of them now claim to contain olive oil. This is for good reasons.

Olive oil also has antibacterial properties and antifungal properties that fight off common scalp and hair problems. Head lice and dandruff are two examples of conditions that can be either prevented or hampered by the application of olive oil to the scalp.

How to Use Olive Oil for Hair Growth

Once you know the benefits of using olive oil for healthy hair growth, you will want to know the easiest way to apply it. The answer is simple:

Just pour a small amount in your palms and massage it into your scalp, gently, and continue down to the end of your strands. For approximately a half hour after your hair is coated, keep your hair wrapped with a damp towel or shower cap in order to give it time to soak into the scalp and hair itself. Be sure to wash and condition your hair after the treatment as you normally would.

There is a simple way to make your own conditioner with olive oil. Try combining approximately half a cup of olive oil with one egg yolk and a few drops of lemon juice in a small bowl. Stir well to combine and add the mixture to your scalp, making sure to get the entire head of hair coated. You may need more or less depending on the length. Leave the homemade conditioner in for 15 minutes and simply rinse.

You can also use your microwave to make a deep conditioning paste by adding fragrant honey and cinnamon. Into a microwave-safe bowl, add 1 cup of olive oil and heat for approximately ten seconds until it is warm: not hot. Then add approximately ¼ cup of honey and a teaspoon of cinnamon powder. 

Combine into a paste and apply to the hair, leaving it on for fifteen minutes. Rinse with a shampoo to make sure to get rid of any sticky honey residue. Repeat at least once per week.
With the variety of olive oils on the market, it can be easy to get confused as to which you should buy for healthy hair growth. It is best to always purchase extra virgin olive oil, as this type is processed without the use of chemicals and is in its purest form. 

You may also want to experiment with different types of oil added to the extra virgin olive oil. Combine equal parts of extra virgin olive oil with sweet almond oil which helps prevent split ends and improves circulation of the scalp.

Taking care of your hair naturally does not have to involve a variety of expensive and ineffective hair products. The benefits of using olive oil for hair growth are not only effective and natural, but also budget-friendly.

Friday, 12 September 2014


Top 5 Benefits Of Olive Oil | Best Health and Beauty Tips | Lifestyle

Cure Cancer

The phytonutrient in olive oil, oleocanthal, mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation, which can decrease the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence. Squalene and lignans are among the other olive oil components being studied for their possible effects on cancer.

Cure Heart Disease

Olive oil helps lower levels of blood cholesterol leading to heart disease.

Oxidative Stress

Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin E, long thought to minimize cancer risk. Among plant oils, olive oil is the highest in monounsaturated fat, which doesn't oxidize in the body, and it's low in polyunsaturated fat, the kind that does oxidize.


It has been demonstrated that a diet that is rich in olive oil, low in saturated fats, moderately rich in carbohydrates and soluble fiber from fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains is the most effective approach for diabetics. It helps lower "bad" low-density lipoproteins while improving blood sugar control and enhances insulin sensitivity.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Although the reasons are still not fully clear, recent studies have proved that people with diets containing high levels of olive oil are less likely to develop rheumatiod arthritis.


A high consumption of olive oil appears to improve bone mineralization and calcification. It helps calcium absorption and so plays an important role in aiding sufferers and in preventing the onset of Osteoporosis.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is The Healthiest Fat on Earth

Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is The Healthiest Fat on Earth

Female Chef Holding a Bottle of Olive OilFats in the diet are highly controversial.
You’ll see people arguing about animal fats, seed oils and almost everything in between.
But one of the few fats that most people agree is healthy is extra virgin olive oil.
This oil, part of the Mediterranean diet, is a traditional fat that has been a dietary staple for some of the world’s healthiest populations.
There is actually quite a bit of research behind the health effects of olive oil.
These studies show that the fatty acids and antioxidants in it have some powerful health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease.

What is Olive Oil and How is it Made?

Olive oil is oil that is pressed from olives, the fruits of the olive tree.
The process is incredibly simple… you just press the olives and the oil comes out.
But there is still one major problem with olive oil… it isn’t always what you think it is. Some lower quality versions can be extracted using chemicals, or even diluted with other cheaper oils.
Therefore, buying the right type of olive oil is incredibly important.
The best type is extra virgin olive oil. It is extracted using natural methods and standardized for purity and certain sensory qualities like taste and smell.
Olive oil that is truly extra virgin has a distinctive taste and is high in phenolic antioxidants, the main reason why (real) olive oil is so beneficial.
Then we have regular, refined or “light” olive oils, which have often been extracted with solvents, treated with heat or even diluted with cheaper oils like soybean andcanola oils.
For this reason, the only type I recommend is extra virgin olive oil.
But keep in mind that there is a lot of fraud going on in the olive oil market and it is essential to buy from a reputable seller. Even oil that is labelled as “extra virgin” may have been adulterated with cheaper oils.
If you want to read more about the olive oil fraud and what you can do to find real extra virgin olive oil, read this article.
Bottom Line: Real “extra virgin” olive oil is 100% natural and very high in antioxidants. Many of the lower quality olive oils have been processed and adulterated with cheaper oils.

Nutrient Composition of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is fairly nutritious.
It contains modest amounts of Vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids.
This is the nutrient content of 100 grams of olive oil (1):
  • Saturated Fat: 13.8%.
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 73% (most of it the 18 carbon long oleic acid).
  • Omega-6: 9.7%.
  • Omega-3: 0.76%.
  • Vitamin E: 72% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin K: 75% of the RDA.
But where extra virgin olive oil really shines is in its content of antioxidants.
These substances are biologically active and some of them can help fight serious diseases (23).
Some of the main antioxidants are the anti-inflammatory oleocanthal, as well asoleuropein, a substance that protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation (45).
Some people have criticized olive oil for having a high Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio(over 10:1), but keep in mind that the total amount of polyunsaturated fats is still relatively low, so this shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
Bottom Line: Olive oil is very high in monounsaturated fats and contains a modest amount of vitamins E and K. True extra virgin olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, some of which have powerful health benefits.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Contains Anti-Inflammatory Substances

It is believed that chronic inflammation is among the leading drivers of many diseases.
This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and arthritis.
It has been speculated that one of the mechanisms behind olive oil’s benefits, is its ability to fight inflammation.
There is some evidence that oleic acid itself, the most prominent fatty acid in olive oil, can reduce inflammatory markers like C-Reactive Protein (67).
But the main anti-inflammatory effects seem to be mediated by the antioxidants in olive oil, primarily oleocanthal, which has been shown to work like ibuprofen, a popular anti-inflammatory drug (89).
Researchers estimate that the amount of oleocanthal in 50 ml (about 3.4 tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil has an effect similar to 10% of the adult ibuprofen dosage for pain relief (10).
There is also a study showing that substances in olive oil can reduce expression of genes and proteins that mediate inflammation (11).
Keep in mind that chronic, low-level inflammation is usually fairly mild and it takes years or decades for it to do damage.
Eating plenty of extra virgin olive oil may help prevent this from happening, leading to a reduced risk of various inflammatory diseases… especially heart disease.
Bottom Line: Olive oil contains oleic acid and oleocanthal, nutrients that can fight inflammation. This may be the main reason for olive oil’s health benefits.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Appears to be Protective Against Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke) are the most common causes of death in the world (12).
Many observational studies show that death from these diseases is low in certain areas of the world, especially the countries around the Mediterranean Sea (13).
This observation originally spurred interest in the Mediterranean Diet, which is supposed to mimic the way the people in those countries eat (14).
Studies on the Mediterranean Diet show that it can help prevent heart disease. In onemajor study, it reduced heart attacks, strokes and death by 30% (15).
Extra virgin olive oil protects against heart disease via numerous mechanisms (16):
  • Reduced Inflammation: As mentioned above, olive oil protects against inflammation, a key driver of heart disease (1718).
  • LDL Cholesterol: Olive oil protects LDL particles from oxidative damage – a key step in the heart disease process (19).
  • Improves Endothelial Function: Olive oil improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels (2021).
  • Blood Clotting: Some studies suggest that olive oil can help prevent unwanted blood clotting, key features of heart attacks and strokes (2223).
  • Lower Blood Pressure: One study in patients with elevated blood pressure found that olive oil reduced blood pressure significantly and cut the need for blood pressure meds by 48% (24).

Given the known biological effects of olive oil, it is not surprising to see that people who consume the most of it are significantly less likely to die from heart attacks and strokes (2526).
This really is just the tip of the iceberg. Dozens (if not hundreds) of studies in both animals and humans have shown that olive oil has major benefits for the heart.
I personally think the evidence is strong enough to recommend that people who have heart disease, or are at a high risk of getting it (family history, for example), should make sure to include plenty of extra virgin olive oil in their diets.
Bottom Line: Olive oil may be one of the healthiest foods you can eat for heart health. It lowers blood pressure, protects LDL particles from oxidation, reduces inflammation and may help prevent unwanted blood clotting.

Other Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Although mostly studied for its effects on heart health, olive oil consumption has also been associated with a number of other health benefits.


Cancer is a common cause of death, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells in the body.
Studies have shown that people in the Mediterranean countries have a fairly low risk of cancer and some have speculated that olive oil has something to do with it (27).
One potential contributor to cancer is oxidative damage due to free radicals, but extra virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants that reduce oxidative damage (2829).
The oleic acid in olive oil is also highly resistant to oxidation and has been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer (3031).
Many studies in test tubes have shown that compounds in olive oil can help fight cancer at the molecular level (323334).
Whether olive oil actually helps prevent cancer has yet to be studied in human controlled trials.

Olive Oil and Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the world’s most common neurodegenerative disease and a leading cause of dementia.
One feature of Alzheimer’s is a buildup of protein tangles called beta amyloid plaques, in certain neurons in the brain.
A study in mice showed that a substance in olive oil can help to clear these plaques from the brain (35).
A human controlled trial showed that a mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil had favorable effects on brain function and reduced the risk of cognitive impairment (36).
Bottom Line: There is preliminary evidence that olive oil can help fight cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, although this needs to be confirmed in human controlled trials.

Can You Cook With it?

During cooking, fatty acids can oxidize. That is, they react with oxygen and become damaged.
It is mostly the double bonds in the fatty acid molecules that are responsible for this.
For this reason, saturated fats (no double bonds) are resistant to high heat, whilepolyunsaturated fats (many double bonds) are sensitive and become damaged.
It turns out that olive oil, which contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids (only one double bond), is actually fairly resistant to high heat.
In one study, researchers heated extra virgin olive oil to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 36 hours. The oil was highly resistant to damage (37).
Another study used olive oil for deep frying, and it took 24-27 hours for it to reach damage levels that were deemed harmful (38).
Overall, olive oil seems to be very safe… even for cooking at a fairly high heat.

Take Home Message

Olive oil is super healthy.
For people with heart disease or at a high risk of getting it in the future, olive oil is most definitely a “superfood.”
However… it is extremely important to get the right stuff. That is, extra virgin olive oil that hasn’t been diluted with cheaper oils.
The benefits of this wonderful fat are among the few things that most people in nutrition actually agree on. Now that’s something you don’t see often.