The truth is that olive oil is good for you. This is said by chefs and doctors alike.
Olive oil is a kitchen staple for most of us, but we often just grab whatever is closest on the shelf as we pass through that particular aisle. However, there are those who are really into olive oil, as in, really into it. The Temecula Olive Oil Company in California is an olive-oil tasting bar, and since 2001, has exploded into a multimillion-dollar business. In a year, they make over 10,000 gallons of olive oil, in 40 different varieties. This is just one tasting bar among hundreds in North America, which has become a haven for some of the best olive oils in the world.
Olive Oil Testing
An olive oil tasting is like a wine tasting. The sample oils are stored in special containers, and customers taste from a variety of oils. On weekends, stores can be visited by hundreds of people, all eager to taste and pay as much as $60 a liter for their favorite oil. An increased interest in the Mediterranean diet may explain why olive oil has suddenly become so popular. People from that region have been shown to live longer, healthier lives, and high consumption of quality olive oil plays into that.
But, isn’t olive oil just olive oil? Far from it. There are 700 different kinds of olives in the world, and thousands of oils are produced from them. The best method for creating olive oil produces extra-virgin olive oil, which itself has tons of different flavors (mellow to bitter) that pair with different foods. Robust olive oil is good for distinct foods like arugula, steak, garlic, and bruschetta. Milder oils go with fish, chicken, and mild vegetables. Olive oil can also be flavored with herbs like basil or fruit peels, like lemon or blood orange.
If you buy really good olive oil, you don’t have to use it very much. Even just a teaspoon or two packs a lot of flavor and antioxidants. Use it instead of butter on bread, instead of processed salad dressing, and so on. Your taste buds (and health) will thank you.
Olive Oil Calories
On average one tablespoon of olive oil which is 14g contains 2.2g of fats, 1.8g of polyunsaturated fats, 10g of saturated fats, and 0g of trans fats. The reason why olive oil is good for you is that it doesn’t contain cholesterol, sodium, and potassium. Olive oil does contain fats but those good types of fats are crucial for our overall health. Fats in olive oil give you energy, increase cell growth, and absorptions of nutrients. Olive oil is rich in fats that have a high level of antioxidants which makes olive oil one of the sources of healthiest fats.
What about calories? One tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories. It’s important to stress that olive oil contains as many calories as vegetables and animal fats. However, not all calories are equal, and the type of calories highly depends on the type of fats contained in any given food. If you are counting calories, incorporating olive oil can help you counteract other factors which can be responsible for building fat and gaining weight.
Olive Oil Benefits for Hair
It’s not a surprise that people have used olive oil for hair care for thousands of years. Olive oil helps your hair become softer, resilient, and shiny. Olive oil is rich in chemical elements such as palmitic acid, squalene, oleic acid which are emollients and they have softening qualities. Many shampoos and hair conditioners contain emollients.
There is not a lot of scientific evidence behind the use of olive oils for hair but those researches that have been done on this topic suggest that olive oil might add a moisturizing effect to the hair. On top of this olive oil can add softness and strength which is directly related to the moisturizing effects of olive oil haircare. If you never used olive oil for your hair, you might want to do some experimenting before you find a routine that works perfectly for you and your hair. For your first treatment use one to two tablespoons and gently massage your hair or your scalp if you have a dry scalp. For most effective results, wrap your hair with a showering cap and leave it for at least 15 minutes.
Before rinsing your hair, comb it with a wide-toothed comb to make styling afterward easier. Shampoo your hair and dry it to see the results. Here we would like to stress that you might need to shampoo your hair twice, and this highly depends on the amount of olive oil you used.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is Good for You
Experts agree that olive oil (especially extra virgin olive oil) is good for you and your health. This is mostly due to the number of monosaturated fats and antioxidants that can be found in extra virgin olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil can help you fight inflammation which is probably one of the main reasons why it’s so healthy for your body. Chronic inflammation can lead to many diseases from cancers, type 2 diabetes to cancer. Also, the use of extra virgin olive oil can prevent strokes which is the second most common reason cause of death. Several studies have proved that people who consume olive oil are less likely to have a stroke compared to those who don’t use the oil.
Olive Oil Acts Like Medicine
Extra virgin olive oil will reduce the risk of heart diseases as well which is the most common reason for death around the world. If you have extra virgin olive oil regularly in your diet it can lower your blood pressure and protect you against bad cholesterol.
As mentioned before, olive oil is not related to weight gain. On contrary, if you want to lose weight opt for the Mediterranean diet that is rich in the use of extra virgin olive oil. If you need more reasons why you should grab extra virgin olive oil when cooking here is one more reason – studies suggest that extra virgin olive oil can lower your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease. So many health benefits! Don’t ignore extra virgin olive oil in your cabinet. Grab it every time you are cooking a meal for yourself and your loved ones.