News is getting around the health benefits of olive oil. It was largely responsible for the low rates of cancer and heart disease on the island of Crete and much of the rest of Greece and parts of Europe. Its monounsaturated fats can be thanked for that, as well as its polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that we know today as weapons in our battle of anti-aging.
Oleocanthal, Polyphenols, and Monounsaturated Fats
Many age-related diseases and ailments can be attributed to inflammations of some kind inside the body all the way to a cellular level. People seek out foods with antioxidants to scavenge for free radicals and help repair cellular damage as well as prevent and soothe this detrimental inflammation. Olive oil can thus be added to the list of superfoods.
It all comes down to the oleocanthal in olive oil. Oleocanthal stalls the activity of cyclooxygenase (COX), which is present in any age-related inflammation and resulting pain that physicians seek to inhibit mostly through drugs like ibuprofin or aspirin. The oleocanthal in olive oil works similarly to ibuprofen in that it reduces and even prevents inflammation.
All it takes is adding olive oil to one’s diet—using it instead of vegetable oil or animal fat to sauté vegetables, adding a spoonful to a meal-replacement shake, and the like.
Benefits of Using Olive Oil Topically
One may even apply olive oil topically to garner its moisturizing and humectants properties. Japanese studies indicate that topical application of olive oil has anti-aging benefits for one’s skin. Said Japanese scientists applied cold pressed olive oil to bald mice after they were exposed to ultraviolet light; these mice were less likely to develop skin cancer than mice in the control group that were not given olive oil. Ordinary olive oil, however, does little; effects are noticeable only with extra virgin varieties, although even those won’t double for sunscreen.
Cretans and Europeans have for millennia used olive oil as a skin moisturizer and anti-aging remedy. Rather than wasting money on overpriced olive-oil skin care products, simply apply extra virgin olive oil directly to skin. If one is prone to blemishes, apply only in dry areas. Since most of us spent our younger years in the sun without sunscreen, anyone can get the health benefits of olive oil from both intake of and topical application of this unsung hero to anti-aging.
Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, researching areas of online colleges & blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.Disclaimer: Some of the links mentioned within this post or posts it may lead to are my affiliate links and in such case I will get compensated for recommending those products.
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