Saturday, 20 September 2014
Friday, 12 September 2014
Top 5 Benefits Of Olive Oil | Best Health and Beauty Tips | Lifestyle
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.
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.
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
Fats 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.
Some of the main antioxidants are the anti-inflammatory oleocanthal, as well asoleuropein, a substance that protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation (4, 5).
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 (6, 7).
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 (8, 9).
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 (17, 18).
- 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 (20, 21).
- Blood Clotting: Some studies suggest that olive oil can help prevent unwanted blood clotting, key features of heart attacks and strokes (22, 23).
- 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 (25, 26).
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 (28, 29).
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 (30, 31).
Many studies in test tubes have shown that compounds in olive oil can help fight cancer at the molecular level (32, 33, 34).
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.
Monday, 18 August 2014
Thursday, 12 June 2014
101 OLIVE OIL USES:
1. Make your arteries more elastic – Two tablespoons daily makes you more resistant to strokes and heart attack.
2. Reduce bad cholesterol levels. – Olive oil contains polyphenols, which help to keep your levels of LDL cholesterol within healthy ranges.
3. Make you less hungry – Olive oil makes you feel sated and tends to make you eat less and have fewer sugar cravings.
4. Reduce the risk of stroke in the elderly through yet another mechanism – Older people who ate diets rich in olive oil consumption, which contains plasma oleic acid, had fewer strokes in a 2011 study.
5. Lower the risk of coronary heart disease in women – Mediterranean cultures have long revered the olive and its oil, with good reason. An Italian study found that a diet that included olive oil along with plenty of leafy vegetables and fruit resulted in reduced rates of coronary heart disease in women enrolled in the study.
6. Cure or reduce acne – Although it sounds counterintuitive to use oil to fight pimples and blackheads, using an olive oil and salt scrub helps some types of acne.
7. Protect your red blood cells and therefore your heart – Over time, cells oxidize, leading to the common effects of aging. A specific polyphenol in olive oil is especially effective at protecting your red blood cells from oxidation. A 2009 study identified this component as DHPEA-EDA.
8. Treat sunburn – Olive oil soothes the pain of mild sunburn by helping skin retain its moisture. Use equal parts olive oil and water in a tight-lidded container. Shake well, then apply to mild sunburn. Shake the mixture often during application to keep it from separating.
9. Help fight breast cancer – Olive oil contains phytochemicals, and a 2008 study found that they are effecting at killing cancer cells and suppressing cancer genes.
10. Improve your memory – Some research has shown that olive oil can prevent and possibly even reverse the memory loss that accompanies Alzheimer’s disease.
11. Prevent heart attacks in men – A 2008 study showed that men who ate at least two ounces of olive oil reduced their chances of having a heart attack by 82 percent as compared to men who ate no olive oil.
12. Keep your lips soft and supple – Make your own lip balm by combining olive oil with equal parts beeswax. Put it into a small glass jar and apply it with your fingertip. Try using Robbins Family Farm Eve’s Mandarin Orange Blend olive oil for a lip balm that is both helpful and tasty!
13. Condition your hair – Ancient beauties and warriors alike used olive oil to tame and beautify their locks. Olive oil strengthens hair and makes it more flexible.
14. Help you to stay healthier into old age – The Mediterranean Diet has been proven to be one of the healthiest in the world. Some consider it the healthiest. Olive oil has always been an integral part of the Mediterranean Diet. Although red wine and lots of fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables also play a huge part in the diet’s success, scientists agree that it wouldn’t be nearly as beneficial without olive oil.
15. Prevent dry scalps – Using olive oil as a scalp conditioner moisturizes your dry scalp.
16. Prevent middle-age spread – Because olive oil is a calorie-dense food, it is often avoided out of fear that it will cause weight gain. However, a 2008 study showed that olive oil, along with nut oils, did not cause weight gain the way less healthy fats do.
17. Provide an easy way to add minimally processed food to your diet – Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is unrefined. It is obtained by pressing cold olives. All other oils that are readily available to consumers must be refined using heat and other harsh processes. Shop Robbins Family Farm’s EVOO’s here.
18. Clean sensitive skin – The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans had no soap and didn’t miss it thanks to olive oil. They massaged olive oil into their skin, then scraped it back off, along with dirt and dead skin. Today, a wide variety of soaps, including some made from olive oil, are available. Yet many people still prefer to clean their skin with pure olive oil.
19. Remove paint from your skin – Olive oil gently loosens paint on your skin. When you wipe away the oil, the paint goes with it. Your skin will be left soft, firm and smooth.
20. Make an inexpensive exfoliant that works like the most expensive spa products available – Exfoliating removes dead skin and prevents your skin from becoming dull. Mix a palmful of olive oil with a teaspoon of sugar or salt. Apply the mixture to your skin, then massage gently.
21. Moisturize your skin – Olive oil is closer in chemical structure to your skin’s natural oil than any other naturally occurring oil. Use it as you would a body, face and hand lotion. Shop Robbins Family Farm’s EVOO’s here
22. Prevent your skin from aging prematurely – The same antioxidant properties that keep your red blood cells from oxidizing when you eat olive oil keep your skin cells from oxidizing when you apply it topically. The antioxidant hydroxytyrosol and vitamin E help to prevent cell degeneration in your skin.
23. Never clog your pores or cause pimples – Olive oil penetrates the skin, leaving your skin silky smooth with no greasy feeling. Cleopatra undoubtedly had many costly beauty secrets up her sleeve, but the most important of them can be yours for the price of a small bottle of EVOO.
24. Prevent sagging skin – The squalene in olive oil increases your skin’s elasticity, leaving it firmly toned with a bright, youthful glow.
25. Smooth and moisturize rough, dry feet – Make a foot scrub of equal parts olive oil and honey, a third part sugar and a dash of lemon juice. Soak your feet in warm water, then massage the moisture into them. Follow up by moisturizing your feet and hands with a well-shaken water and olive oil emulsion.
26. Give you a safe sunless tan – Use olive oil as a medium to make self-tanners go on more smoothly and evenly. Mix equal parts of a commercial self-tanning product and olive oil. Apply the mixture to your skin and enjoy your streak-free sunless tan.
27. Act as a perfect medium for cosmetics – Combined with natural pigments and beeswax, olive oil makes inexpensive, natural lip-gloss, blush and even eye shadow.
28. Make a perfect addition to homemade skin-care products – Nearly all your skin-care recipes, from masks to exfoliants, can be improved by substituting olive oil for the oil called for in the original recipe. You can also often improve and extend expensive commercial skin care products by mixing a small amount with a palmful of olive oil just before you use them.
29. Act as a perfect carrier for oil-based medicines – Essential oils usually cannot be used full-strength on the skin. They typically require the use of a carrier oil. Olive oil is excellent carrier oil for most essential oils.
30. Team up with mashed avocado for a homemade facial mask – Mix olive oil with a mashed ripe avocado into a paste. Smooth onto your face or another area that needs moisturizing and rejuvenating. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then rinse.
31. Combine with honey and egg for a beauty mask right from the pages of Venus’ beauty guide – An ancient beauty mask recipe is made from an egg yolk, a spoonful of honey and a spoonful of olive oil. Rub it on and wait for 15 minutes, then rinse it all off with warm water.
32. Make a natural vitamin supplement – Two tablespoons can replace your daily vitamin E supplement while providing all the other benefits of olive oil. Shop Robbins Family Farm’s EVOO’s here
33. Possibly protect and lubricate your voice – There is no scientific evidence yet to back them up, but singers have been using olive oil as a gargle before performing for centuries.
34. Make a natural massage oil – Olive oil may very well be the world’s oldest massage oil. It can be used alone or as a carrier oil for essential oils. Learn about why olive oil is great for massage.
35. Enhance spirituality – Homer makes reference to the use of olive oil as an anointing oil. In ancient times, anointing was very important. Olive oil was often combined with myrrh or cinnamon oil before it was used for this sacred purpose.
36. Improve your skin’s appearance from the inside out – Including olive oil in your daily diet helps your skin stay healthy and beautiful.
37. Act as an all-natural personal lubricant – Olive oil is almost certainly the world’s oldest personal lubricant. It should not be used in combination with latex condoms or diaphragms, however.
38. Help fight off degenerative diseases – The antioxidants in olive oil give it the power to help lessen the impact of degenerative diseases on your body.
39. Improve the health of the entire population of the world – The World Health Organization officially recommends that people across the world adopt the Mediterranean diet for better health and specifically suggests olive oil as the healthiest source of fat on the planet.
40. Hold its own next to fruits and vegetables as a source of antioxidants and vitamins – EVOO is a natural, minimally processed food that contains as many antioxidants and nutrients as many foods that are touted as health foods.
41. Lower your blood pressure – Although researchers have some theories as to why it works, no one is sure why olive oil helps to lower blood pressure. They just know that it does.
42. Reduce nitric acid to normal levels – Nitric acid has been proven to increase blood pressure. Olive oil reduces nitric acid levels. This may be one of the ways it lowers your blood pressure.
43. Take the credit for making women beautiful – The Bible mentions that the Persian king Xerxes’ wives used olive oil to make themselves beautiful. More recently, Sophia Loren, who is still being named to “most beautiful” lists in her 70s, credits her beauty to olive oil baths. She also claims to consume olive oil daily.
44. Make fine soap – The very first soap in the world was made of olive oil. Today, olive oil soap is still one of the smoothest, best-smelling soaps on the market.
45. Combine with butter for a healthier bread spread – In a mixing bowl, combine one part softened butter and one part olive oil. Mix on low until the oil is whipped into the butter. Refrigerate and use it as you would butter. Shop Robbins Family Farm’s EVOO’s here
46. Make you live longer – There is no doubt that eating a healthy diet can make you live longer. Olive oil is part of the healthiest diet on earth, the Mediterranean Diet. Jeanne Calment, who currently has the distinction of being the longest-living person whose age could be confirmed in the world, needed no convincing. She lived to be a very youthful 122 and gave the credit to her daily consumption of olive oil. She also used it topically.
47. Minimize cellulite – Mix used coffee grounds with olive oil for a topical cellulite treatment. Apply it directly to the skin.
48. Help you get a sunless tan without using commercial products – If you don’t like the thought of mixing olive oil with a commercial self-tanning lotion, mix it with used coffee grounds instead. Apply it liberally but evenly in the tub before your shower and allow it to work its magic.
49. Condition your hair – Used coffee grounds and olive oil make a good hair conditioner, as well. Rub it in well before you shampoo your hair.
50. Deep condition damaged hair – Warm a quarter cup of olive oil to a comfortable temperature, then work it through your hair to the roots. Wrap your hair in plastic wrap or a shower cap, then heat your hair with a hair dryer. Allow the oil to sit on your hair for up to a half hour, then shampoo as usual. If you do this in the shower, your whole body will emerge soft and silky.
51. Remove makeup – Apply olive oil to a cotton ball and gently wipe your makeup off your face. You can safely use olive oil near your eyes.
52. Firm and tone skin – Combine equal parts water and olive oil in a jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. Apply to your skin.
53. Add a new dimension to ordinary wrestling matches – In Turkey, a 600-year-old tradition involves grown men wrestling while covered in olive oil.
54. Act as a sensual massage oil – Olive oil has been used as a sensual massage oil since ancient times.
55. Help you create delicious, healthy baked goods – Olive oil is commonly used in baking in the Mediterranean. Use a lighter-colored, lighter tasting end-of-season version for desserts. Shop Robbins Family Farm’s EVOO’s here
56. Ensure your baked goods come out of the pan in one piece – Olive oil can be rubbed or misted on baking pans instead of baking sprays or shortening.
57. Turn fast food into health food – Use olive oil to transform unhealthy American pizza into healthy Mediterranean pizza by substituting it for other oils and using it to oil the pan and shine up the finished crust.
58. Keep baked goods fresh longer – The vitamin E in olive oil helps to keep baked goods moist and fresh longer than solid shortenings or even other oils.
59. Replace butter in recipes – Olive oil is a good substitute for butter in recipes. It even works in baked goods. Use slightly less than the amount of butter called for in the recipe.
60. Return Italian dishes to their healthy roots – Use olive oil in sauces, to prevent pasta from sticking and to sauté ingredients. A little of the right oil can make the difference between a health dish and an unhealthy one.
61. Make heaven on a plate – Make heart-healthy pesto by grinding basil, walnuts or pine nuts, parmesan and garlic together, then incorporating EVOO until the texture is right. Serve over pasta or as a dipping sauce for bread. Shop Robbins Family Farm’s EVOO’s here
62. Protect food from freezer burn – Use as a protective seal for homemade sauces or other Mediterranean dishes before you freeze them.
63. Prevent mosquitoes from breeding – Prevent mosquito larvae from contaminating rainwater by pouring a layer of olive oil on top of the water in your rain barrel.
64. Make a heart-healthy condiment – EVOO is delicious drizzled over bread and many other dishes.
65. Make a heart-healthy salad dressing – Combine equal parts EVOO and balsamic vinegar, raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar and drizzle over your salad.
66. Make ordinary bread something special – Bread dipping oils can be flavored with a variety of herbs and spices. Start with EVOO and use your imagination.
67. Combine with herbs, spices, garlic or citrus juices to make your taste buds pop – Infuse EVOO with herbs for dipping sauces. Experiment with adding garlic alone or in combination with herbs, spices, vinegars or lemon or other citrus juices. Shop Robbins Family Farm’s EVOO’s here
68. Compliment or contrast with your food – Different EVOOs pair beautifully with foods. Choose flavors of EVOO that either compliment or contrast with the food you are serving it with, then drizzle the cold oil over the food.
69. Reduce the appearance of stretch marks – Combine equal parts cocoa butter and olive oil for a stretch-mark minimizer.
70. Enhance the beauty of black hair – Combine olive oil with hair care products to make the product spread more evenly through your hair.
71. Detangle your hair – Work olive oil into your hair, then comb the tangles right out of it.
72. Shine and seal your hair – After moisturizing, apply olive oil to prevent the moisture from evaporating.
73. Boost a commercial conditioner – Add olive oil to conditioner to enhance and improve it.
74. Prevent hair loss and damage – By using olive oil to manage your hair instead of using harsh chemicals, you can minimize damage to your hair.
75. Kill lice – To kill lice, follow the directions for using olive oil as a deep conditioning treatment. Make sure to leave the oil on your child’s hair for at least 30 minutes and repeat the treatment every ten days for at least a month.
76. Prevent prematurely gray hair – EVOO contains pigments. Using it in your hair will gradually darken it.
77. Aid digestion – People have taken olive oil as a digestive aid for generations.
78. Make a sweet-smelling, clean-burning lamp oil – Olive oil lamps have been prized for thousands of years for their good light and lack of sputter.
79. Act as a household lubricant – Use olive oil anywhere you would use a lubricant spray or 3in1 oil.
80. Shine household surfaces – Appliances, faucets, stainless steel and laminate surfaces all benefit from a light coating of olive oil and a gentle buffing.
81. Condition cutting boards – Rub olive oil lightly on cutting boards, wooden salad bowls and wooden utensils.
82. Sauté food – You can sauté most foods in olive oil. Avoid high heat and don’t try to use it for deep-frying. Shop Robbins Family Farm’s EVOO’s here
83. Darken and highlight eyelashes – Use olive oil instead of mascara to darken and shine your eyelashes and eyebrows.
84. Turn or bath into a spa – Add olive oil to your bath the way you would use any bath oil. Experiment with using different essential oils to scent it.
85. Soothe a baby’s delicate skin – Use olive oil instead of baby oil for baby care, especially to treat and prevent diaper rash.
86. Waterproof your work boots – It also works on tool belts, baseball gloves and other utilitarian leather items.
87. Smooth out that rough shave – Use olive oil instead of soap or shaving cream for a close, comfortable shave.
88. Polish wood furniture – Apply olive oil to a soft cloth, then wipe it onto your furniture.
89. Condition cuticles – Apply olive oil on a cotton swab to moisturize your cuticles.
90. Keep measuring cups clean – Wipe measuring containers with olive oil to allow sticky ingredients to slide right out of the pan.
91. Tame frizzy hair – Lightly spray olive oil on frizzy hair before combing.
92. Unstick a zipper – Allow oil to penetrate the zipper, then unzip as usual.
93. Improve a cat’s coat – Add a small amount of olive oil to cat food for a shinier coat and healthy skin.
94. Lend a shine to brass – Apply olive oil to a soft cloth, then rub it onto brass hardware.
95. Ease earache pain – A popular over-the-counter earache remedy has only one ingredient: olive oil.
96. Ease a scratchy throat tickle – A sip of EVOO may quiet that annoying tickle.
97. Make shoes shine – Lightly dampen a soft cloth with olive oil, then buff your shoes with it.
98. Protect hands from yard work – Put olive oil on your hands before gardening or other dirty work to prevent dirt buildup and make cleanup easier.
99. Remove sap or tar from your skin – Apply olive oil to the sticky spot, then rub gently until the residue is removed. Wipe the oil off your hands.
100. Remove stickers - Saturate the sticker with olive oil, then gently peel it off the surface.
101. Remove chewing gum from skin or non-porous surfaces – Rub the gum gently with olive oil. It might also help you pass chewing gum you have swallowed, but consult a doctor if you have swallowed more than a piece or two.
Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Healthy blood pressure levels are an indicator of how clear the body’s arteries are. When blood pressure levels get out of balance, they can signal a potential heart attack or stroke.
High blood pressure levels are often caused by atherosclerosis, also called hardening of the arteries, which occurs when oxidized particles of LDL cholesterol stick to the walls of the arteries.
Eventually these particles build up and form plaque, narrowing the blood vessels and putting a heavier workload on the heart as it pumps oxygenated blood to the entire body.
One of the specific compounds in olive oil that directly combats this build-up is called oleuropein. Oleuropein has been found by scientists to prevent the LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and sticking to the arterial walls.
Saturated fat diets are associated with higher blood pressure but there have been few good studies on whether the reverse is true; can unsaturated fats lower blood pressure?
And are some unsaturated fats better than others? The answer is yes according to a well-designed study published by researchers from the University of Naples, Italy. They fed 23 subjects a diet rich either in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) (olive oil) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (sunflower oil) for one year.
In their words, "the main result of our investigation was a straightforward reduction in antihypertensive tablet consumption when patients were given olive oil, whereas drug consumption was only mildly affected by sunflower oil."
The need for common blood pressure drugs such as atenolol, HCTZ, and nifedipine was cut in half after just 4 months on the olive oil diet whereas drug consumption was only mildly affected by sunflower oil.
Cholesterol and triglyceride levels were also slightly lower while on the olive oil diet. There are as many as 5 mg of antioxidant polyphenols (absent in sunflower oil) in every 10 grams of olive oil. Polyphenols have been shown to reduce coronary artery disease and may be the substance lowering blood pressure.
Antioxidants reduce nitric acid levels, a substance in the body known to raise blood pressure. At 26.6% of calories from fat the experimental diet was also low in total fat. The study was double blinded with neither subjects nor researchers aware of which oil was being used. Subjects were told to cook with given oil and men were told to add 40g and women to add 30g of oil after cooking.
The study participants experienced no change in weight during the year. For readers with high blood pressure thinking of doing their own olive oil study: please get the consent of your doctor before changing medication doses.
From the Departments of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (Drs Ferrara, Raimondi, Guida, and Marotta, and Ms d'Episcopo) and Biochemistry and Medical Biotechnologies (Mr Dello Russo), Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy.
Reprints: L. Aldo Ferrara, MD, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Federico II University of Naples, Via S Pansini 5, 80131, Naples, Italy.
The content of this web site is not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this web site.
Studies show that olive oil may play a part in reducing rates or risk of some types of cancer, particularly colon, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
A study published in the January 2005 issue of Annals of Oncology has identified oleic acid (the main component of olive oil) as having the ability to reduce the effect of an oncogene (a gene that will turn a host cell into a cancer cell). This particular oncogene is associated with the rapid growth of breast cancer tumors. The conclusion of the researchers was that oleic acid, when combined with drug therapy, encouraged the self-destruction of aggressive, treatment-resistant cancer cells, thus helping to combat the cancer. Olive oil has been positively indicated in studies on prostate and endometrial cancers as well.
The Mediterranean diet has also been linked with reduced cancer rates, so it is very likely that the combination of eating high quantities of vegetables, fruits and whole grains and consuming limited quantities of monounsaturated fats such as olive oil is responsible for this benefit, rather than olive oil by itself. A study from Etienne showed reduced cancer (all types) in a group of heart patients who consumed a “Greek” diet, vs. a group on the American Heart Association diet, whose cancer rates were much higher.
Several studies have come from Barcelona, Spain, that demonstrate the protective effects of olive oil in cancer treatment and prevention. A 2008 study by Escrich and associates concluded that “compelling evidence exists about the protective effect of olive oil consumption on the appearance and progression of some cancers, mainly those of the breast, colon, and prostate. Both its main monounsaturated fatty acid, OA (oleic acid), and some specific minor components could account for the biological effects of olive oil on the distinct stages of carcinogenesis through different molecular mechanisms of action.”
In 2003, M. Solanas from the Department of Cell Biology in Barcelona reported in the International Journal of Oncology that olive oil slowed breast cancer in rats. A corn oil diet stimulated more cancers than a control diet, while olive oil led to fewer and smaller tumors than the control diet.
A 2009 study from Barcelona (the Catalonian Institute of Oncology) by Menendez et al confirmed that the polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil are effective in combating breast cancer cells of the HER-2 type. The study notes that the isolated polyphenols were applied in much higher concentrations than what can be consumed in dietary olive oil, but their findings may help explain the protective effect olive oil seems to have in preventing certain types of cancer among Mediterranean women. The researchers were also careful to point out that only extra virgin olive oil, which is not heated or refined, would contain these beneficial polyphenols.
Colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in Americans. Animal studies have shown that dietary fats increase the development of colon tumors. The fact that the Western diet is high in fats seems to correlate with the high incidence of colon cancer among Americans as opposed to the rest of the world. But different fats have different effects.
Doctors in the Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital in Barcelona decided to test olive oil to see if it could safeguard against colon cancer compared to other oils. Investigators studied the effects of a diet rich in safflower, fish oil or olive oil on rats, which had been given a chemical that accelerates cancer in the bowel.
After five months, twice as many rats in the safflower group had developed tumors as the rats in the other two groups. In fact, the rats that received olive oil had colon cancer rates almost as low as those fed fish oil, which several studies have already linked to a reduction in colon cancer risk.
It is not known what specific property of olive oil lowers the incidence of bowel tumors. Olive oil is an n9 fatty acid (primarily monounsaturated) with a different structure from safflower and fish oil. Dietary olive oil was shown to help prevent colon cancer development. The study authors postulated that these effects may be partly due to a lowering of inflammation chemicals in the intestines.
In a Milan study published by Bosetti in 2002, women who ate more olive oil had better protection against ovarian cancer. The study looked at the diets of nearly 3,500 Italian women: 1,031 with ovarian cancer, and 2,411 without cancer. The women who consumed the highest amount of olive oil (up to three quarters of an ounce daily) had the lowest rate of ovarian cancer, reduced 30% from the average.
The WebMD prostate cancer health site recommends eating olive oil or avocado oil, but almost no other added fats, since they may encourage cancer growth or have no beneficial effect. Both Japanese traditional foods and the Mediterranean diet seem to be protective against prostate cancer, so high quantities of vegetables and very little red meat, as well as individual antioxidant-rich foods like green tea and olive oil may be conferring benefits in these populations.
A 2001 study from Japan found that hairless mice exposed to damaging doses of sunlight then soothed with olive oil developed fewer skin cancers. We don't know if people's skin will react the same as hairless mice, but it is likely that the antioxidants in olive oil could help prevent cancer in humans too. Sunlight damages DNA and creates free radicals that cause oxidative damage. Olive oil has polyphenols and other natural antioxidants that could prevent the type of damage that leads to cancer. Cheaper refined olive oil didn't seem to help the mice as much as fresh, extra virgin olive oil. The utility of this study is unclear, as no amount of olive oil would undo all the damage caused by the sun. A wiser course would be to avoid the sun, use a hat and sunscreens and save the olive oil for a salad.
A more recent study from Ireland demonstrated the role of olive oil in an anti-cancer diet. It seems that the lycopene of tomatoes is more effectively utilized to prevent skin cancer when combined in the diet with olive oil. These foods eaten together provided the equivalent of a low factor sunscreen of protection to the study participants. Again, it should be noted that the best protection from sun is afforded by hats, clothing and minimal exposure.
Solanas, M., Int J Oncol, 01-Oct-2002; 21(4): 745-53
Cancer Causes and Control, Vol. 13: 465-470
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