(NaturalNews) If you are an avid viewer of cooking shows, you know that olive oil is a staple in most top chefs' creations. Cooking connoisseurs enjoy using this oil because of the unique flavor it brings to food. Olive oil is made from olives, most of which originate from the Mediterranean region. People in this region are revered for their longevity and their luscious hair and skin. This may be because olive oil is a staple in their diets. As more people are starting to realize the overall health benefits of olive oil, its use is growing in popularity.
Benefits of olive oil for the heart, skin and hair:
Cholesterol and Heart Health
Despite the drama surrounding the use of fats and oils, these things are an essential part of a balanced eating plan. The key is to choose your fats wisely. Olive oil is one of the healthiest types of fat around. The monounsaturated fat in olive oil has been shown to control LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. This can potentially lower your risk of heart disease.
When you digest your food, free radicals that are naturally produced by the body can damage the cells. Free radicals from environmental factors such as dust, smog, cigarette smoke and pesticides don't help the situation. The antioxidants contained in olive oil can help fight off and repair some of the damage that free radicals can cause.
To get the best heart-healthy results from olive oil, the U.S Food and Drug Administration recommends eating two tablespoons daily. You can easily get this amount in your diet by following the examples of top chefs and using it in your favorite foods.
Skin and Hair
The antioxidants contained in olive oil can benefit more than your heart. Because this substance prevents cell destruction, it fights the signs of aging and gives you a more youthful appearance. When applied topically, olive oil moisturizes and softens dry skin. Since the product is natural, adverse reactions are not common.
The problem with a lot of commercial skincare products is that the moisturizing ingredients don't penetrate the skin. Extra virgin olive oil is composed of more than 80 percent oleic acid. This substance easily penetrates the skin, and allows the oil to heal damage, reduce wrinkles and improve texture.
If you struggle with dry, brittle hair, keeping a bottle of olive oil handy can help. A weekly deep conditioner of olive oil can be used in the place of products that contain silicone ingredients to make the hair more manageable. Shampoos that contain sulfates will strip the moisture out of your hair and make it look drab and lifeless. Using olive oil in the place of your regular commercial conditioners can moisturize the hair and give it a healthy sheen.
Olive does more than make scrumptious dishes. It is well documented that, when combined with a nutritious diet, this oil's antioxidant properties can have a positive impact on cholesterol levels and heart health. In addition, when added as part of a regular beauty regimen, it can improve the health of your skin and hair.
About the author: Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.