Not only are there tremendous benefits to using olive oil for health and beauty, it is very easy to incorporate olive oil into your meals. You can pour it over salads, cook with it, you can even take a spoonful; that’s really all you need to help prevent two all too common chronic illnesses: Alzheimer’s and cancer.
How Can Olive Oil Protect Us From Alzheimer’s?
The hippocampus is the part of the brain that controls the forming, organizing and storing of memories. On the hippocampus there are synapses, which are structures that allow nerve cells to send signals to another cell.
This is the first part of the brain that gets affected by Alzheimer’s disease, but according to a study by the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, a compound in olive oil called oleocanthal can bind with and remove toxic proteins that clog the synapses on the hippocampus to prevent memory issues.
How Olive Oil Prevents Cancer
Studies have shown that there are compounds in olive oil that slow the growth of tumors in breast cancer. Not only can olive oil slow the growth of cancer cells, but it can also protect our DNA from damage caused by cancer cells before the damage occurs.
Something in the oil may be inhibiting the proteins that cancer needs to grow. Who knew olive oil could do so much?
Other Olive Oil Health Benefits
Aside from preventing and slowing chronic illness, olive oil can also do the following:
- Strengthen your immune system – the antioxidants in olive oil help to protect your immune system from infection.
- Protect your heart – you can reduce your risk of stroke by a whopping 41% by using olive oil regularly. Olive oil has polyphenols that help to balance your cholesterol levels.
- Help with weight loss – olive oil has properties that increase your fat burning rate. However, there is an oil that is much better for this.
Cooking With Olive Oil
Olive oil is high in unsaturated fats, and there has been a long spoken myth about the dangers of these fats, but research has since refuted these claims.
When some fats and oils are exposed to high heat, particularly vegetable oils like soybean and canola which are high in polyunsaturated fats, the oil can for harmful compounds that can contribute to cancer.
Even worse, the carcinogenic compounds in these oils vaporize and can contribute to lung cancer when inhaled. Just being present in a kitchen with some overheated oils can cause harm to your health.
Olive oil, however, because it is high in monounsaturated fats instead of polyunsaturated fats, it is stable at high heat and thus doesn’t form these carcinogenic compounds. Coconut oil is also a great oil to cook with for the same reason.
Note: There are many olive oils on the market, but certified organic extra virgin olive oil is the true oil that will allow you to reap all the benefits mentioned above.